The Mayan civilization that once existed in Central America left behind a significant legacy. Despite the fact that it was crushed by the invading conquering conquistadors, the descendants of the Maya still live, and many of themproud of their heritage. Anthropologists are gradually restoring the picture of bygone times in order to understand what the disappeared civilization was like.
Interesting facts about the Maya
An ancient civilization arose about 4,000 years ago, but by the time the first conquerors from Europe sailed to America, it was already in decline. The invasion of the conquistadors only hastened the fall of the Maya.
The Maya-designed calendar was used by many other Native American peoples.
Ethnic Maya in our time live mainly in the territory of Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico .
In the country of Belize, about 10% are also Maya.
In total, about 6 million Maya live in the world. This is much more than the number of any small peoples of the North, and even more than the population in many European countries.
Archaeologists have discovered about 1,000 stone cities built by the Maya, and about 3,000 smaller settlements.
The Maya civilization included not one state, but several. Between themselves, they traded, then fought – sometimes.
Cross-eyedness among this people was once considered a sign of nobility.
Mayan surgeons were far ahead of European ones. When surgery was still in its infancy in Europe, Mayan doctors successfully performed difficult operations using rather primitive instruments. And they used human hair as a surgical thread.
At one time in the Mayan civilization, human sacrifices were widespread. Modern Maya, honoring old traditions, abandoned human victims in favor of domestic chickens.
Long before the invention of anesthesia, Mayan physicians made anesthetics from various plants. They were used in operations and religious rituals.
Mayan doctors were able to put dentures in place of lost teeth.
At the time of this civilization, a ball game reminiscent of modern football was very popular.
The Maya had a highly developed writing system. Many of their records have been preserved on the walls of stone buildings built by them thousands of years ago.
The Mayan people did not know iron. They made weapons mainly from stone, wood and obsidian – volcanic glass.
Among the noble representatives of this people, inlaid teeth with jade were popular. And women also sawed off their teeth, sharpening them so that they were sharp and triangular, like a shark’s.
Anthropologists and archaeologists still do not know why the Mayan civilization began to decline. Assumptions are expressed very different, from drought and overpopulation to global climate change.
The Maya usually sacrificed “their own”, and not strangers from other tribes, since this people considered it a great honor to be sacrificed to the gods.
Despite the high development of civilization, the Maya never invented the wheel.
Other achievements of the Maya include an extensive network of paved roads and even observatories for observing the night sky.
The complex Mayan calendar, made up of three and tied to the movement of stars and celestial bodies in the night sky, has neither beginning nor end. The Maya had no beginning or end of the year – only planetary cycles.
Despite the fact that this civilization existed in a hot climate, public baths were popular with it.
Of all the peoples of Central America of their time, the Maya were the only ones who invented their own script.
The last independent Mayan city was captured by the Spaniards only in 1697, several centuries after the start of the invasion of the conquistadors.
The name that the parents gave to the newborn depended on the day of the week when the child was born.