The world has been a cradle of innumerable civilizations. Through archeological studies and researches, we are able to know more about the fabulous history of this Earth. Although, every civilization is in itself a subject of intense research, there have been some whose grandeur and brilliance has made archeologists to work deeply on them and they have contributed greatly in the world culture and heritage.
The Mayan civilization, that existed between 2000 BC to 1600 BC, had states that stretched from Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico to present-day Honduras and El Salvador. Honduras is a very popular tourist attraction as it reveals various unknown facets of the Mayan civilization. Mayan facts stated further will make you aware about some interesting Mayan information about the Mayan culture.
Ancient Mayan Facts
The Mayan culture was, in essence, tied with the threads of deep rooted beliefs and customs. A closely knit family group and religious practices were an integral part of the lifestyle in ancient Mayan culture.
The Mayan culture was dominated by certain sets of belief and rituals that were an integral part of Mayan customs. For instance, after the death of a person, the dead bodies were buried in the graves under houses. Those who belonged to rich communities were buried in tombs and along with their body, some of their possessions like clothing and jewelry was also buried. In the Mayan traditions, ancestors were worshiped like Gods as Mayans believed that ancestors rejoined Gods after their demise. One of the interesting Mayan facts is that the practice of human sacrifices was highly prevalent in the Mayan culture. Mayans believed that offering human blood was a way of seeking blessings of God. Besides this, Mayans also practiced self – torture through various means, to gain strength and please the Gods. Festivities and dances on joyous occasions was an integral part of the Mayan customs.
The Mayans had a very strong family support system. Right from infants to great grandparents, everyone lived in the same house together, as a family. Elders were treated with great regards and adult men were the bread winners for the family. Hunting, fishing and farming were the major sources of gathering food. Women were restricted to household works of making clothes, raising children and preparing food.
Mayan men wore a strip of cloth around their hips and through the legs while women wore long loose dresses up to the ankle. Due to hot climate, these dresses made of hand woven cotton and other fabrics. Mayans who belonged to the rich communities wore jewelries, ornaments and various other decorative shells, etc.
Not many games were played in the Mayan cultures. However, the culture of playing ball games was very popular. In these games, using only the shoulders, the players on opposite ends of the courts were expected to throw the ball through the ring on the side walls placed vertically. Winners were awarded jewelries and prices while losers were tied and rolled down the stairs of large plaza structures.
One of the most interesting Mayan facts in its calendar that raises a much hyped question – is the world going to end in 2012? There are various schools of thoughts on this controversial and mysterious topic and no one is exactly sure about the truth. Nonetheless, Mayans were known to have various calendars to predict events.
Mayan pyramids are one of the most admired architectures of the world just like the pyramids of their counterparts, that is, the Egyptians. The most interesting Mayan pyramid facts is that the largest pyramid build by Mayans is situated in Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico. This place was used as a teaching and discussion session for intellectuals like astronomers, mathematicians, scholars and priests. This great pyramid is known as the ‘pyramid of the magician’, owing to its amazing construction that is aligned with planets that were discovered at that time.