Mayans Essay

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Daniela Klaric A.3 The Maya: What was their most remarkable achievement? The ancient Maya, a diverse group of indigenous people who lived in parts of present day Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, had one of the most sophisticated and complex civilizations in the Western Hemisphere. The Mayans were responsible for a number of remarkable scientific achievements in astronomy, agriculture, engineering and communications. The Maya flourished over a thousand years ago in Mesoamerica. As the Maya slowly took over the region from the Olmec, the Maya invented many things. For example, the most remarkable achievements of the Mayans were in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, hieroglyphics writing, and calendric. Using only fixed lines of sight to study the movements of the moon, planets, and the sun, the Mayans were able to make accurate astronomical observations. As a result, they were able to devise several calendars; one of them was the solar calendar. The Maya elite developed a complicated calendar system. There are two main cycles in their calendar; one was made up of 260 days and the other 365. Each day is named from both the 260 and 365-day calendars. Because of this each full day name could only repeat every 18,980 days or once every 52 years. Another invention was the vast underground reservoirs that held fresh water safely in times of drought and developed a writing system called codex. They used their codex to record information in books made from the bark of fig trees. The Mayans were the most advanced civilization in pre-Spanish Mexico. The Mayans built hundreds of ceremonial centers and cities, complete with great plazas, palaces, and pyramids, all without the use of metal tools. Their major accomplishment was to construct large pyramids to worship the Sun God and human sacrifices conducted atop the temples. Mayan architectural

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