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2176537668_e85f2ca326_b(Pictured above is a Mayan Calendar)

The Mayan people are ancient people that lived in North/Central America. They were originally from Asia and crossed the Bering Sea in winter while it was frozen over. The 85km walk from Asia to Alaska across frozen ground, in extreme conditions, would have been harsh and many died. From Alaska, they slowly made their way down to Mexico, creating small villages and huts along the way.

At around 1500 BCE, they switched from traditional hunting to farming, and around 1200 BCE, the Olmec people of East Mexico started making clubs and weapons that they attached to their fists, so that when the punched people it would cause significant injury.

About 900 years later the Olmec tribe disappeared, but carvings, pyramids, and the calendar are among some of the things they left behind. Some archaeologists think that the Maya may have come before the Otmecs, but there is no sufficient evidence to support that theory.

In the year 200 BCE and those following, the city Teotihuacan (tay-oh-tee-wah-kahn) was built, in what is now Mexico. Its most famous feature is the main road that stretched over 3km, it is known as the Avenue of the Dead.

It isn’t known why it is called the ‘Avenue of the Death’ because the Aztecs gave it the name after they took over Teotihuacan, not the Maya who originally inhabited the area.

The Mayans thought that ‘the world ended’ many times, but now we know that the ‘world ending’ was probably just natural disasters such and volcanic eruptions, flood, hurricanes etc. there were volcanoes in the area.

They predicted that the world would end on the 21st December 2012 (21.12.12), and as we can conclude that didn’t happen, or none of us would be here right now.

The Maya created tools and weapons made from obsidian, the volcanic rock was plentiful in the area, as it is right next to a fault line and many volcanoes are in the area. They also made tools and weapons from flint to hunt, farm and cool with.

The city began to expand rapidly and kings and priests are introduced, and they wielded the power over the peasants. The priests were selected because when they prayed, a lot of what they prayed for came true. Being a priest was considered an honour because you connected with the gods, and didn’t have to take part in menial work in the fields.

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(Pictured above is a Mayan pyramid temple)

People thought highly of the priests and would take time off to build them temples, as they thought the taller the temple, the closer they were to heaven. The priest would pray, and if their prayers were answered they would say something along the lines of “Hey, whatever you guys are doing is working, so keep it up”, but if they weren’t or something bad happened the would say something like “Hey, you guys are being bad, it has nothing to do with us.”

By 130 CE priests were offering human hearts to the gods, and their temples grow in size and wealth over time. About 500 years later Teotihuacan is attacked and abandoned, no one knows who or why it was attacked.

In the year 300 CE, the Aztecs are one of the last of the ancient Mesoamerican tribes to arrive in the Mexico area.

 

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