The Maya Civilization and Astronomy The Maya civilization is characterized of being one of the biggest and wisest civilizations of history, who were known of having the only known fully developed written language of pre-Columbian America, and the most advanced Mathematicians and Astronomers. They were mostly characterized for being extraordinary good astronomers who were experts on making observations and recording the motion of the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. Maya’s primary interests were Zenial Passages, when the Sun crossed over Maya latitudes. They were based on an annual basis where the sun travels to its summer solstice at latitude of 23-1/3 degrees north. Since most of the Maya cities were located south, they were able to observe the sun directly overhead while the sun was passing over their latitude.
They were also very religious and worshipped not just one God but various that were related to nature such as the God of the sun, the moon, rain and corn. The Mayans created many temples and palaces in the shape of pyramids. By doing this they were known as the great artists of Mesoamerica. They were very smart by the advances they made in mathematics and astronomy which we still use today such as the 365 day calendar. It was believed that the Mayan’s were priests and scribes and very peaceful but not all of the Maya culture was due to the Mayan war between city-states and the torture and human sacrifice in their religious rituals.
The Mayans made several breakthroughs in these fields. This includes the invention of the Mayan calendars, one with 260 days and the other with 365 days. The Aztecs made many other inventions, as they made advances in math and astronomy, as well. The Incas also made discoveries in math, which led to the making of the quipu and other tools. The Mayan civilization began about 3,000 years ago in what is today Mexico.
They observed and predicted lunar eclipses and created the length of a tropical year as 365.2420 days. The astronomical data found by the Maya were used to come up with two calender systems that served both practical and religious goals. These included the Haab known as the solar calendar, and the Tzolkin known as the ritual calendar. When placed together they create the Long count. The Haab , the solar calendar or the Vague calendar was divided into eighteen months with 20 days in each.
There have been many theories regarding how the pyramids at Giza were constructed. Most experts agree that they were constructed as burial monuments for pharaohs, but “how” these ancient people constructed monuments of such great size without modern machinery is a mystery which is still being debated. Yaquelyn Gonzalez Dr. Foster Humanity 111 (World Culture I) 05/03/2013 There have been many hypotheses about the Egyptian Pyramid construction. The entire Giza Plateau is believed to have been constructed over the reign of five pharaohs in less than a hundreds. It has not been much discussion of the reason for their existing as much as the way they were constructed.
Fist of all they brought with them superior weaponry. The Native Americans at the time were only using primitive weapons by our standards, and here the Europeans come with muskets and body armor. Although this is by no means the only reason that they were able to conquer America it did help in the fact that it made them a superior force, it made them harder to kill which made them more powerful. Along with their advanced weaponry they had the fact that all of their forces were consolidated. The Native Americans despite having a staggering lead in the number of bodies were spread out among the country.
Between 2000 and 250 B.C.E., (Pre Classic Period) the Mayan villages were established in coastal areas of southern Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. (Brown, R. W., 2008) The Mayans built temples containing carvings that represented Venus and the Sun. By 250 B.C. to 900 C.E., (Classic Period) the Mayans had matured into a great civilization. The Mayans developed farming methods, traded expanded between the different Mayan cities, and the population is estimated to have grown to over two million people.
It is though understood by most researchers that the huge heads and a number of other sculptures represent their leaders. However, they have not yet found anything to document regarding leadership like the case with Maya society, which named the exact leaders and provide their respective reigning dates. Alternatively, archaeologists had to depend on the little information gathered to document the community’s social systems. This information provided indication of substantial centralization within the Olmec region, first at La Venta and then San Lorenzo. No other Olmec locations come close to these in terms the amount and superiority of structural designs and architecture.
AP UNITED STATES HISTORY Question 1: Describe the Aztec civilization and the effect that European conquest had on it. While the Aztecs shaped a sophisticated civilization with advanced agricultural practices, elaborate cities, talented mathematicians, sacrificial religious rituals, and far-flung commerce, European conquest brought negative things like death, along with positive things such as animals, language, and laws. The Aztecs based their agriculture primarily on the cultivation of the Indian corn, maize, which fed huge populations. Even though they didn’t rely on large draft animals like horses and oxen, and didn’t have the invention of the wheel, these people were able to create complex cities and carry commerce to great lengths. Also, some of their people were talented mathematicians that made extremely accurate astronomical observations.
What set the Aztecs and Incas apart was that the Aztecs were pioneers of modern education, requiring all children to get a formal education regardless of sex, class or status. While the Incans had one of the most diverse cultures to ever exist with more than 700 languages being spoken by the Incan people and no sole political body to rule. Although, both the Aztecs and the Incas were defeated by the Spanish and both suffered greatly from smallpox. One of the things that made the Aztecs and Incas so similar was the fact that they lived in the same general timeframe, The Aztecs from 1375-1521, and the Incas from 1438-1532. Manco Capac, the first emperor of the Incan empire, founded the Incan civilization in the early 13th century.