10 Unbelievable facts of the Mayan culture
A few years ago, the Mayan culture gained popularity around the world because of widespread stories about their famous calendar, that supposedly predicted the end of the world for the year 2012. Along with this myth, other stories about human sacrifices and the invention of soccer were published, some of them true, some of them lies.
To clear all those mysteries, we will have with you 10 unbelievable facts about the Mayan Culture.
1. Mayans are still live today.
They are, of course, fewer in number, but they still live in the Yucatan Peninsula, Chiapas and Tabasco in Mexico and Belize and Guatemala.
2.The Mayans also built pyramids.
These unbelievable structures, now protected by the government, are located at different sites around Yucatan peninsula. You can find one of these hidden cities on your Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Tour. Some people even say the Mayans outdone the Egyptians in terms of architecture, but their civilizations are not comparable. The Egyptian pyramids where built around 2000 years before the first Mayan pyramid was finished, also they are different in appearance and functionality.
3. They had many calendar systems.
One of them similar to our Gregorian calendar, and another called the Long Count calendar, which contemplated cycles of 2,880,000 days, the last long count calendar ended on December 2012, which led to stories of how the world would end that year. But according to the Mayan people, this calendar never spoke about a doomsday in 2012, but only about closing a cycle. Just like every December 31st in our calendars.
4. Mayans were among the first to use the zero symbol.
However, the invention of the symbol is not attributed to them. Other small tribes in the area had already discovered and used it prior to the Mayans.
5. The human sacrifices
Mentioned before were part of their religious rituals. For this rituals, the Mayans sacrificed mostly slaves and prisoners, but sometimes, for special celebrations, the winners of the ball game had the honor to offer their lives to the gods. It`s unbelievable, but true
6. Saunas were a thing among Mayans.
They used them as a mean to purify themselves and called it Temazcal, you can experience a traditional Temazcal as part of our Mayan Rituals Spa at Costa Maya.
7. The Mayan had their own writing system.
Also known as Mayan glyphs, this language was an intricate and complex set of logograms complemented with a set of syllabic glyphs, somewhat similar in function to modern Japanese writing.
8. They had their own version of soccer.
Maya ballgame was played mostly by hitting a ball with the hip and the goal was to make this ball go through one of many stone circles located along the walls of the court.
9. The Aztecs founded their biggest city, Tenochtitlan, in A.D. 1325.
The mayan are commonly compared to the Aztecs, but the Aztecs were a much younger civilization. Mayans established at the Yucatan peninsula around 2600 B.C. and were long gone by the time the Aztecs gradually conquered the rest of the area, until they fell in 1521 at the hands of Spanish invaders
10. How was the end of the mayan civilization?
There are so many theories out there to describe the end of the Mayan civilization, none of which has been confirmed. Researchers have mentioned the possibility of natural disasters like earthquakes and diseases while yet others brought forth reasons like wars, drought, climate change, famine, and overpopulation, their greatest mystery is still hidden.