The dawn & disappearance of the ancient religion of Mayans
WHO ARE MAYANS?
Mayan, also known as Maya was established in 1800B.C. The Maya civilization is one of the most sophisticated in the west. Maya was also one of the most advanced civilizations in the world. Much of Mayan history is buried in mystery.
Where did Mayan live?
Mayans lived in a tropical and ideal location. Mayan located themselves in South-eastern Mexico, Central America, and the entire Yucatan Peninsula which includes modern-day countries, Belize and Guatemala. In Mexico, they occupied Tabasco and Chiapas states. In Central America, they covered the Western parts of Honduras, El Salvador.
What did Mayan do during their peak?
250 to 900A.D was the golden age of the Mayan empire. 40 cities were developed during this time. Tikal was the largest Mayan city and capital with approximately 100,000 to 200,000 inhabitants. Tikal contained schools, libraries, hospitals and a huge sports arena. The rest of the cities held a population between 5,000 to 50,000. It was due to the golden age in their civilization when the population peaked at 2,000,000. Mayans did outstanding work in the field of Mathematics, Science, agriculture, art, architecture, and pottery.
What about Mayan gods & religion?
Mayan was a polytheist religion, which means they worshipped more than one god. Mayan pantheon had 250 deities. Also, there were 166 gods, each with different purposes and characteristics. Most gods represented a form of nature. However, their main gods were:
Itzamna: God of heaven
Chac: God of rain
Ah Mun: God of agriculture
Ah Puch: God of death
Ek Chuah: God of war
Sacrifices were essential to keep piousness of the rituals in many occasions like; inauguration of a new ruler, a designation of a new heir to the throne, the dedication of a new temple or court. Human sacrifices were found more sacred and the victims were the prisoners of battles, they were painted blue to honor the gods. Different methods of sacrifice were employed for each occasion. There is a conjecture according to which Mayan originated from Asian country India, as too many similarities of gods. Mayan temples were step pyramids. They were so well fabricated that Mayan temple architecture became key to understanding the culture.
What else did they do?
Mayans were the first to develop an accurate calendar of 365 days, according to which not only they used to plan their harvesting and crops but also predicted extraordinary astronomic events such as solar eclipses, Lunar eclipses and precise position of the Moon. Mayan calendar declared the world’s end on 21st December 2012. Numeric ‘0’ was also used in this calendar recorded around 3B.C, making them the inventor of the number. By 700B.C they created their writing. Mayan roughly made 10 thousand paper books. Mayans used cocoa beans as money. Mayans used herbal medicines by snorting, rubbing n skin, smoking, ingesting and enemas form for rapid absorption in the body.
How did they collapse
Between 900 to 950A.D the Maya civilization started to mysteriously disappear. Some believe drought, deforestation, war, overpopulation, and climate change as reasons being. Although certain reasons are shrouded in mystery just like their culture. In 1492 Spanish reached Mayan culture until then the civilization almost vanished and they destroyed the remaining civilization. Spaniards forced Mayans to convert to Christianity, even burned their books and architecture. Out of thousands, only 4 books remain which are yet to be decoded. All these reasons make Maya ‘The lost civilization’. The Maya civilization was erased after 4,000 years of distinguishing cultivation.
Do they still exist?
Even though after such an existential crisis Mayan descendants are still living in parts of Mexico and Central America. Guatemala holds the most number of them.
A lot of things about Mayans still remain mystery and are out of reach. I wonder if we will be able to disclose the details of this ancient religion.
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