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Humanities - Spring 2

The Ancient Mayans


During the second half term, we will be learning about the lives and achievements of the Ancient Mayans. We will discover more about their inventions, architecture and beliefs.


The first Mesoamerican civilisation to develop writing, the Mayans developed a sophisticated culture of city states with fine monumental buildings and characteristic stepped pyramids.

The Mayans were advanced in their use of mathematics and renowned for the accuracy of their calendar.


In the lowland areas crops such as maize, cacao, beans, avocado, squash and chilli were grown. Dogs were kept for meat and animals such as turkeys, rabbits, deer and agouti were hunted for food. Highland areas provided stones such as obsidian and jade and ores such as hematite. Quetzal feathers were highly prized for headdresses. Clothing was made from woven cotton or sisal.


Mayan cities are characterised by a range of monumental architecture including templesstepped pyramidsball courts, observatories and palace complexes. Large plazasroads and reservoirs were also built. These are decorated with sculptures and hieroglyphs detailing aspects of warfare, dynastic succession and religious ritual. A high degree of artistry was achieved and this is evident also in pottery, wall paintings, jade carvings and feathered headdresses.


Some major cities of the Maya Civilization where Tikal, Copan, Chunchucmil, Bonampak, and Palenque. They derived various religious and cultural traits like pyramid building, inscribing of monuments, and city construction. They worshiped various gods related to nature.


Mayan Facts For Kids