The Mayan Empire

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The Mayan Empire was a civilization in which many today still look at their vast stone cities and monuments in awe. The center of the empire was located in the lowlands of the Yucatan Peninsula, modern day Guatemala which is an extremely tropical environment. The Mayans reached the peak of their power in the sixth century, estimated to have a population of about two million people, but by 900 A.D. the majority of their great cities had been abandoned. What caused this major decline is continuously debated but what is known is that the Mayan culture was an extremely dominant society of Mesoamerica that was extremely efficient in farming, ceramics, writing, and geometry. They have left behind complex calendars that show just how advanced and…show more content…
The reason for the large number of deities and gods that the Mayas worshiped was due to the fact that each god had different characteristics that would emerge in various circumstances. Each of their gods had both a compassionate side and a malicious side. “Some had more than one sex; others could be both young and old; and every god representing a heavenly body had a different underworld face, which appeared when the god “died” in the evening.” Itzamna is the creator god, as well as the god of fire and god of the home. He is also believed to be the inventor of the written language as well as the arts and sciences. Kukulcan, also known as the feathered serpent has been found to appear on many of their important temples. This god would be used by other Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Toltecs and the Aztecs but by the name of Quetzalcoatl. This is proof to the vast reach and influence of the Mayan culture to other Mesoamerican civilizations. Chac, as stated earlier, was the god of rain that lived in the underworld. The rulers of the Maya, considered to be semi-divine because of direct decadency, was regarded as the middle person between the gods and the general public. An important feature of the Mayan belief in gods was the fact that they put complete and unwavering trust into the hands of their gods. The gods controlled all aspects of life for the Mayan people from units of time, activities that took place during this time, and whether life was fruitful or

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