- Education and Science»
- History & Archaeology»
- History of the Americas
Maya Indians and Calendar Predicting End of World in 2012
Maya Native Population
The Maya Indians have fascinated scholars, as well as, the general population for many years. The Indians are often referred to as Mayan, but that is incorrect. Maya is the term for the Indians and the language in the Mayan culture.As the Maya population suddenly formed in the Americas with a well-developed and fully functional socio-economic system, scholars often disagree or are baffled as they have no good explanation how this occurred.
Map of Maya Population
How Nomads Originally Came to America
All of the original inhabitants of the Americas are thought to have crossed the Bering Straits when the level of the ocean dropped enough to form a bridge between Alaska and Siberia. Many of the nomads migrated throughout North America and eventually ended up in central and south America. Records of archaeologist show evidence of the first Maya people as early as 1100 BC. The evidence shows that many of people lived in Copan Valley, Honduras probably came from nearby mountainous regions or the Guatemala highlands. Mayan history is divided into four segments. The Classic period occurred between 300 and 900 A.D. when they were at the height of the pre-Columbian culture.
Pre-Classical Period of the Maya Indian
The Maya people settled throughout the Yucatán Peninsula (over 100,000 miles) from the northern Lowlands, which is a porous limestone shelf, with rain forests extending toward the South. Their population extended into the volcanic mountains, which were referred to as the Highlands, found further south of the region. The civilization had great lords who were a small elite group that ruled over as many as 50 independent states and tens of thousands of village farmers.
In low lands they primarily produced crops, such as squash, beans, chili peppers, amaranth, manioc, cacao, cotton for like cloth and sisal for heavy cloth and rope. The Highlands and the Lowlands were equally important for trade. Obsidian, jade and other precious metals were found in the Highlands, which the Maya Indians used for trade. The Maya influence extended into several adjoining areas, as they were great traders.
Tough Life of Maya Indians
The Maya life was not simple, as there were many dangerous animals found in the Peninsula including the Jaguar, the caiman (a fierce crocodile), the bull shark, plus many poisonous snakes. Their method of farming was a slash and burn form of agriculture. The numerous small thorny trees in the area were a problem, and it was extremely hot from February to May, which coincided with the time just after the fields had been cut. They would burn the fields and the skies would be filled with smoky grit in the air until the rains came in May. The Lowlands received about 160 inches of rain per year and the water drained toward the Caribbean. The Highlanders used rivers as a form of transportation for both their people and their minerals, which was sometimes difficult due to the heavy rainfall. The Usumacienta and the Grijalva rivers were very important for their trade.
Chichen Itza Temples
Mayan Rulers and their Temples
The Maya leaders were considered to be divine kings and seemed to be obsessed with power. They built great cities and trading centers and adorned the public buildings with gems, stone and stucco sculptures of deities and mythical creatures.
They ruled the people by dividing them into classes and professions, plus the territories were created with clearly defined borders. Archaeologist compare the peaceful Maya Indians with the blood thirsty Aztec Indians, however, blood sacrifice was used in their religious ceremonies. In addition, they were warlike and raided their neighbors for land, citizens and captives.
If you have ever visited one of the Mayan Temple sites you will note the flat surface on top after you climb what feels like a hundred steps which was the place used for blood sacrifice in their religious ceremonies.
Classical Period of Maya Civilization
The Mayas were the first to discover the 0 in mathematics and their writing in hieroglyphics was the only written communication in America capable of communicating thoughts. Hieroglyphic writing represented syllables or concepts and were written on long strips of paper or sometimes carved and painted on stone. They went from left to right and top to bottom and pairs of columns. They recorded detailed histories and used their calendars to predict future and astrological events. Unfortunately, when the Spanish invaded they ordered the burning of all the books and only three remained.
The Mayan calendar was their greatest accomplishment, although it did not originate with them but it became the most refined calendar. They used their ancestral knowledge, which guided the Mayans existence and influenced most facets of their lives. They actually used several calendars and one of them was called the “long count" which was a continuous record of days from a zero day that correlates to August 13, 3114 BC and is considered more precise than the Julian calendar revised in Europe in 1582. It is often been said the long calendar predicts the end of the world to happen on December 21, 2012. Some scholars believe that the Mayan calendar shows a time of transition from one world age into another, rather than the end of the world.
The Mayas were also great astronomers and kept track of solar and lunar years, eclipses and the cycles of visible planets. In order to accomplish this task they developed a sophisticated mathematical system which used units written with dashes and bars to represent five units.
Books Written as We Near December 2012
This book describes the Classical Maya highly developed civilization in the Yucatan and Guatemala that vanished 1000 years ago. It tells of all the Maya's amazing achievements in that era. The author gives possible scenarios for what might happen in Decemmber 2012,
Post Classical Period of Mayan Natives
The Post Classic Period between 1000 and 1500 A.D. was a time when the Maya migrated further away from Guatemala and further south in the Yucatán Peninsula. Their accomplishments and artwork were not considered as progressive as those seen in the Classic Period. The three most important cities during this time were Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Mayap n. The people overthrew the federation that had been ruling them and lived in relative peace.
However, wars occurred between rival Mayan groups until the Spanish conquered the whole region. Chechen Itza’s was abandoned by 1300. The Mayan calendar predicted this event. The Spanish made it a policy to kill all the Mayan priests and burn all the books when they arrived in Mexico. If this hadn't happened we would have a lot more answers about this lost tribe
Mayan Temple Locations
Earn Money, Make Friends and Have Fun by Writing on Hubpages-- Sign up Today!
NASA Weighs in on End of World
NASA weighs in on the controversy about the world ending in 2012. They state the last big asteroid hit the year 65 million years ago, and there are no threatening asteroids that large anywhere near us. Solar activity peaks approximately every 11 years and these peaks usually cause some interruption in satellite communications. Engineers are building new electronics which will be protected from the solar storms, and there is no reason to believe one will occur in 2012.
There will be a rare alignment of the sun, earth as positioned in the Milky Way. They don’t think this will end the world. Some scientists believe there will be a total magnetic pole shift of the North and South Pole. Even if that occurs, there is no scientific evidence that the world will end in 2012.