The Maya were a very interesting and advanced culture. They were
one of the early cultures to create their own calendar. Their
religion was one that was very complex and interesting. The history
of the Maya is as mysterious as it is ambiguous.
The Mayan empire was formed as early as 1500 B.C. There was a
period between 300-900 A.D. that was called the "Classic" period.
This was the peak of the Mayan civilization. The Maya owned a great
abundance of land and had a large population in their villages. They
also had extremely advanced technology for their time. During this
period, the Maya developed a calendar and a system of hieroglyphs.
After 900 AD the Maya seemingly, without reason, abandoned their
villages and migrated to the Yucatan Peninsula. After this migration,
the main cities of the Maya were on, or all around, the Yucatan. The
Spanish eventually overcame the Maya, but the Mexican government did
not gain complete control of the Maya until 1901.
Mayan religion was centered around many gods, including five main
ones. The rain god, Chac, was one of the most important gods, as he
gave rain to the corn. Another important god to the Maya was Toltec.
Toltec was similar to the Aztec god Quetzalcoatyl. He was a man whose
only possession was a feather. These feather protected him from all
types of harm. Quetzalcoatyl's uncle, who was jealous of his nephew,
stole the feather just before Quetzalcoatyl was to go into battle. He
died in the battle, and turned into a bird, now called the Queetzal.
Another Mayan god was Itzamna, the god of the sky. The Maya believed
that their gods had control over their respective powers. For
example, if it rained, the god of rain would watch over the
activities of the people. If the people pleased the god, he would
reward them. If they acted contrary to the wishes of the god, they
would be punished accordingly.
The Maya were one of the few early cultures to create an
organized calendar. The Mayan calendar began on July 16, and had 365
days. The days were divided into 18 months of 20 days each. Also,
there was a system of 28 weeks with 13 days each.
I think that the Mayan calendar proves that the Maya were truly
an advanced civilization. This calendar proved to be one of the most
accurate of its time. The Maya also had a very complex religion that,
to this day, baffles the worlds greatest anthropologists and