The Maya Civilization Essay

5280 words - 22 pages


Did you know who are the Maya? Maya are an American Indian people who developed a magnificent civilization in Central America. The civilization reached its period of greatest development about A.D250 and continued to flourish for more than 600 years.
The Maya produced remarkable architecture, paintings, pottery and sculpture. They made outstanding advancements in astronomy and mathematics and developed an accurate yearly calendar. Maya were also the first people in the Western Hemisphere to develop an advanced form of writing. Today, their territory is divided between Mexico and several Central American countries.
Through this study, ...view middle of the document...

Various people around the world researched this study. But nowadays, it is not anymore popular or well known in other countries like Philippines.


This chapter contains the related literature, which provides insight about the research.
According to Hoffman (2005), the Mayawere settled in Mesoamerica after migrating from Siberia to Alaska over a land bridge that formed in the Bering Sea more than 11, 000 years ago. It is believed that they traveled along the west coast of North America and eventually established villages and then larger city states in Mexico and Central America. Maya civilization has been divided into 3 parts. The Preclassic period lasted from about 2000B.C to about A.D300; the Classic period lasted from about A.D300 to about A.D900; and then the Postclassic period lasted from about A.D900 to about A.D1500. The Maya expanded their writing system during the Classic period and devised a number system during the time. This was the success in building and construction, their creation of a calendar system, and their advance astronomical and scientific calculations.
The Maya Calculation Assistant published by Abreu (2004), is a calculator (matrix table) used by the Maya in their mathematical operation which also teaches the use of the Maya numerical system. As centuries ago, and today the Maya Calculation Assistant`s main purpose is to ease the executing of mathematical calculations such as multiplication, division and finding a square root. It is also similar to the abacus of other cultures that is a tool, used by the ancient Maya to simplify and speed up daily counting. (see figure 1, Appendix p.21)
Since the Maya numerical system is vegisimal. The Maya Calculation Assistant table contains 400 individual cells (20x20). Arabic numbers are also placed in each cell to simplify learning. To ease understanding, the table grows from top to bottom and from left to right, opposite to the Maya original.
When using the Maya Calculation table, please remember:
 The top row and the first column on the left are the main row and column, they are numbered 1-20.
 When Maya numbers are written vertically (in any vigesimal position) dots always go on top of bars.
 When there are dots, bars or a zero but separated by a wider space, they belong to a higher vigesimal position, so they have to be multiplied by the value of that position.
Learn THE MAYA MATHEMATICAL SYSTEM for these positional values.

Numbers from 2 to 20 of the main row can be multiplied by any other from 2 to 20 of the main row can be multiplied by any other from 2 to 20 on the main column, the result is easily found at the intersecting cell of the two numbers multiplied.
The first power of any number from 2 to 20 can be obtained in the same manner by multiplying any one of these main row numbers by the same number in the main column, the result is also in the intersecting cell of the...

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