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Mayan Architecture Essay

1089 words - 4 pages

General:The boundaries of what once was a enthralling civilization spanned through the countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and some of Mexico. This area is known commonly as "Mesoamerica". In Maya were many active volcanoes, which were used to get stone for building. The Mayans were good hunters, because they had to catch their own food for dinner (Internet #1). Living around 1000 B.C. to 1697 A.D., the Mayans had 3 main periods of time. These periods were called, the pre-classic period, the classic period, and the post-classic period (Kindersley, 6). The Mayans were an American Indian people (Source 4, 322).Maya was colorful. They had two places, the "village" where all the people would live, and the "town center" which would be where people barter their goods, and the men would go to watch wrestling and other sports. Being idolaters, the Mayans had lots of temples, immense pyramids rising high off the ground. Competing for the top designs architects would roughly sketch, and then administer and build a temple or shop. Although, the Mayans favorite architecture was sculpturing people (Source 4, 326).Each city-state had a ruler to govern it, Tikal was the capital of the kingdom, and had a king who would govern over all the city-states. The people in each city state would have to pay taxes to the king, because he needs to keep things in order. They could do this in three ways. Firstly, they could pay money to him that they would get through bartering crafts or food. Secondly, they could help slave on building the temples, which was usually done by the poor people. Lastly, priests do not have to pay all the tax if they have completed all the tasks that are required of them that year or month (Kindersley, 6).Temples:The Mayans respected their temples a lot. The design would come through competing architects, which was usually a pyramid. The outside of the temple had to look the best, although the Mayan king-priests did not care about the inside as much. The temples and burial places were concealed deep inside the tropical forests of Maya. More than half of the Mayan buildings, in Tikal especially, were for burial ceremonies or worshiping (Kindersley, 16). So, unlike other city-states, Tikal was used a ceremonial center (Source 4, 326).In Tikal, is the most majestic temple of all, The Temple of the Giant Jaguar. Rising 528 feet, or 160 metres, this temple is bejeweled to its fullest. This giant temple also includes a ceremonial roof on the top that adds another 161 feet, or 49 metres, to the height. The Temple of the Giant Jaguar has 9 slopping terraces, and a enormous staircase starting at the very bottom and disappearing all the way to the top (Kindersley, 30).Buildings:Mayan buildings are extremely colorful. Colored with pink, blue, and yellow, these buildings did not necessarily look that good (Solbiat, 6). Some people think that they made them this way to keep out the evil spirits (Internet #1). Buildings were usually one...

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