As day turns into night, we move forward in time. We look ahead but rarely behind. But even if we look behind we don’t look at all the things behind us. Let’s see - you have probably heard of World War II or the Romans. But have you heard of the Mayans? Today I’m going to tell you a little about the ancient civilisation called the Mayans.
The Maya people lived in Mesoamerica – now known as Central America. Mesoamerica contains five countries: central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. While the Vikings roamed England, Mayans were making history. They were a pre-Columbian society meaning that it ended when Christopher Columbus discovered America. It ended because once it was discovered other countries had begun to try to conquer it because of the rainforests and all the rich food.
If you were to have a job, it would be the same job as your father. Your job would determine who you are socially. You could only marry someone in your social class. For example, the priest would be mostly respected as it was believed that they could talk to the gods. Another thing that depended on your social class is sacrifice. If there wasn't a peasant available they’d use the next lowest class which would be merchants or traders. It was very rare to get a different job to your father but you would have to be promoted. For example, if you were a farmer and you were spotted with the skills of a warrior then you would be promoted to a warrior. But this was very rare.
The Mayans were very advanced: they had their own writing and maths system and a 365 day calendar - which is the calendar we use now. They even built a tower with 365 steps one for each day. Their writing system was made up of a variety of pictures and their number system is base 20. Zero is represented by a shell – I know, how bizarre! They had place value! 1 was a shell and 5 was a bar. As we would set the numbers from left to right in ascending order, theirs goes up in ascending order. For an example, four hundred and seventeen would be three bars and two dots on top. Then a dot above all of that with a reasonable gap. 20 x 20 = 400. That’s why there’s one dot in the 400 column. So the columns would go: 20, 400, 8000, 160000.
Did you know that football was a sacred game and it would be played outside the temple! How crazy! They had football all those years ago but it wouldn’t be the exact game though. People still play them today!
These Mayans were EPIC!!! Your mind is probably blown away, I know right, how crazy. While we were in Vikings time these Mayans were as smart and advanced as people today!
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