Flashcards in Maya Deck (81):
What was the Northern Lowland landscape like?
There were no rivers or streams. Instead, there were natural wells used as a source of water called cenotes. This is where the Yucatan Peninsula was, with a thin layer of topsoil with limestone underneath.
What natural resources and commodities were found in the Northern Lowlands?
Limestone was used for construction of various things. Flint was used to make tools. They burned limestone to make quicklime to make mortar and plaster. They made salt and grew cotton and raised stingless bees
What was the Southern lowland landscape like?
It was thick jungle. It was wetter and hillier. There were also actual lakes, swamps and rivers.
What natural resources and commodities were found in the Southern Lowlands?
There was a source of copal resin (used for pom incense), chocolate, jaguar pelts, Quetzalcoatl feathers
What was the Maya Highlands landscape like?
It had a high plateau region with mountains of volcanic origin
What natural resources and commodities were found in the Maya highlands?
It was a source of volcanic stone (basalt and obsidian) and jade
Most of our data on the Archaic Maya comes from sites in this Central American country
People in the Archaic lived in ___ societies
What style of living did the Archaic people have?
How did they get food?
Hunting and gathering
When was the Formative period?
1500BC - AD 150
When was the EARLY Formative
1500 - 800 BC
What was a major lifestyle change that occurred during the early formative period
People started living in villages and making pottery
What were the three most common animals eaten by Early Formative villages?
Deer, turtle and dog
What were early Maya houses made of?
They were built of cane and thatch. Commoners lived in houses like this throughout the entire Maya sequence
What did archaeologists find under many house floors
What did dedicatory caches serve to do?
Animate and bring life to the house
What kind of drink and objects were used in Early Formative ritual?
Drink used in ritual included a cacao drink. Rituals were concentrated in households including scenes created with figures that represented ancestors
When did the MIDDLE Formative period occur?
When did the LATE Formative period occur?
400 BC - AD 150
What were minimal chiefdoms?
Less complex chiefdoms that had a two tiered hierarchy
Examples of minimal chiefdoms
Blackman Eddy, K'Axob, Cuello
What were maximal chiefdoms?
More complex chiefdoms that had a three tiered hierachy
Examples of maximal chiefdoms
Nakbe, El Mirador
What kind of interaction existed between Maya chiefdoms?
Constant competition (both internally and externally) and warfare
What kind of archaeological evidence is there for chiefly warfare
Mass burials, defaced masks on temples, and fortification ditches/moats (version of a palisade)
What is the evidence of a ranked society that we see in burials at K'axob
Similar to patterns in formative Oaxaca burials reveal some men receive special mortuary treatment (high status). Infants buried with special artifacts that clearly could not have inherited these goods through their achievement
Where did Maximal Chiefdoms first arise?
The Mirador Basin
What is an E-Group?
An architectural observatory. Three small temples on a plaza that the equinoxes and solstices could be viewed from a small temple a little further away. They had a great interest in astronomy
When did El Mirador peak in power?
400 BC - AD 100
What is El Tigre?
A very large temple (the largest Maya pyramid ever built)
What architectural features made their first appearance at El Mirador?
Triadic temples, stela in front of stairways, two room temples on top of pyramids
What writing systems cam before the Maya writing system?
Isthmian and Zapotec
What is the major improvements that Mayan writing made compared to earlier scripts?
Emphasis and tense were placed on words. So writing was more detailed and the tense could be determined
Why did Maya rulers commission written texts?
They wanted to record names and events associated with Maya rulers. It could be used as a propaganda tool
How many days exist in the sacred calendar?
How many days exist in the secular calendar
What was the advantage of the Maya long count calendar?
It could provide exact dates by listing how many units of time to count forward from the base date?
What date does the long count use as a base date?
August 13, 3114 BC
What 3 traits define a writing system?
1. 3 signs in a row or column
2. Must be read in a specific order
3. Must represent a spoken language
Where do the first generation of Maya states arise?
The Southern Lowlands between 100 and 500 AD
What is some evidence of the shift from chiefdoms to states?
1. Shifts from 3 to 4 levels of administrative hierarchy
3. Inter-site roads to subordinate areas
4. Various strategies of consolidation, including records of dynastic founders
How does Calakmul gain power and population?
El Mirador loses clout
When does Calakmul peak in political power?
400 to 600 AD
What is the significance of AD 636-686
A fifty year reign of Yuknoon Che'en during which Calakmul subjugated Dos Pilas and kept Tikal under its thumb
What is the significance of AD 695?
Tikal captured the ruler of Calakmul (Yuknoom Yich'aak K'ak)
With respect to Calakmul, when did Tikal exist?
At the same time, but Tikal peaked in power later than Calakmul
What important structure at Tikal dates to AD 360?
Tikal built the first palace in the Maya region?
How did Tikal finally get the upper hand on Calakmul?
They capture their ruler in AD 695
When did Tikal's dynasty end?
AD 561 when Calakmul allied with Caracol to defeat them
Who was the dynastic founder of Copal?
Knich Yax Kuk Mo'
What does archaeological evidence tell us about this founder?
He underwent a royal naming ceremony, therefore he is thought to be an outsider who had military prowess to assume leadership
Bone chemistry of the founder's skeleton revealed Knich Yax Kuk Mo' was from
After founding the state at Copan, how did Knich Yax Kuk Mo' legitimize his authority?
1. Commissioning monuments and text
2. Marrying prominent local women
3. Acquiring new territory through conquest or diplomacy
What policy was incorporated into the Copal state the day he assumed office
He incorporated quirigua
What is an example of how rulers traced their descent to dynastic founders
What is the significance of AD 629?
A prince arrive from Tikal at Dos Pilas, lending the community royalty and authority
What is the significance of AD 648?
Dos Pilas became a satellite settlement of Calakmul
What is the significance of AD 672?
Dos Pilas was attacked by Tikal
What happened as the two primary states fought over Dos Pilas?
The leaders of Dos Pilas ultimately allied with Calakmul so that their leader could regain the throne
What is a cache? How are they related to Maya religion?
They are found under houses and temples, they did this because it animated it (animatism). A way to make the building come alive and keep their ancestors close to them
Maya religion was ___
What is animatism?
Attributing life to things we consider inanimate. These objects were attributed with ik (vital force) and ku (sacred, holiness)
What was the Maya idea of reciprocity?
They believe that if they do there part, by giving respect and doing rituals for their ancestors, that there life would be successful. If things went bad in life, it was because they were not giving enough to their ancestors. It was a sort of contract.
What is metamorphosis?
A belief that at a person's death, there was a spiritual transformation into an "altar ego" animal
What is apotheosis
Attributing life to things we consider inanimate. Objects had eek (vital force) and coo (sacred, holiness)
What is eek?
What is coo?
What was the substance frequently burned as part of Maya rituals
Incense (pom or copal)
What is the role of caves, springs and cenotes in Maya religion?
They were prominent religious sites
Two Maya sites from which we can infer connections with Central Mexico are
Kaminaliuyu and Tikal
What are the implications of archaeologists finding Teotihuacan pottery and pottery in the style of Teotihuacanos?
Pottery made in Teotihuacan was clearly
gotten by trade, while pottery made in Teotihuacan style clearly shows that Maya people are emulating the Teotihuacano
Imported pottery from Puebla is called
Thin orange pottery
What was the architecture that imitates that at Teotihuacan?
When was the Postclassic Maya period?
AD 600 - 1000
Under what kind of administrative system was Chichen Itza ruled during the postclassic?
Administered by joint rule (Mul Tepal)
Why was access to the coast important to Chichen Itza?
They wanted access to port sites (emal and Isla Cerritos)
Mayalan administered a state that unified what region?
The Yucatan Peninsula
When did the Mayapán join rule collapse?
What did the Maya area look like when the Spaniards arrived?
Consisted of 16 independent provinces called cuchabalob