5 unknown facts about Maya Civilization

Thousands of years ago, the Maya civilization dominated a large area of southern Mexico; however after many years of control, this powerful culture decayed and disappeared mysteriously.

By Notimex Wednesday, April 13, 2016 comments

Secrets about one of the oldest civilizations of the world

 

Thousands of years ago, the Maya civilization dominated a large area of southern Mexico, extending its presence through Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador; but after many years of control, this powerful culture decayed and disappeared mysteriously.

 

Underground secrets

Some natives from towns around the archeological zones of the Yucatan Peninsula tell stories about secret structures or tunnels below the old buildings, legends that they learned from their ancestors. But sometimes legends comes true… let’s remember that on 2015 archaeologists found a cenote under Chichen Itza’s pyramid, a fact that was considered just a rumor; also, it is believed that there are tunnels that connect the monuments to places like nearby cenotes.

 

castillo chichen itzaOriginal Image: “El Castillo, Chichén Itzá”, by Paul Simpson, used under CC BY ND 2.0 license, via Flickr.

 

Maya surgery

The Mayas have been recognized for their domain in the field of astronomy, architecture and mathematics, but did you know that they were also excellent doctors? They had a lot of natural medicines, they were masters in the treatment of fractures and they even practiced surgeries, in fact Mayas used human hair to stitch wounds.

 

maya figurinesOriginal Image: Press Release No. 93. Source: Dirección Medios de Comunicación INAH

 

Mayas have NOT completely disappeared

Although the ancient Maya cities were abandoned thousands of years ago, this doesn’t mean that its population vanished, in some regions of Mexico and Honduras remain little pieces of their cultures, such as some words of their dialect and prehispanic traditions that were preserved by the indigenous communities.

 

tzotziles womenOriginal Image: “Mujeres tzotziles”, by Federico, used under CC BY NC ND 2.0 license, via Flickr

 

The end of an era

The Maya calendar is one of the most precise measuring elements –even more than the Gregorian calendar–, which was the result of an exhausting work of astronomical observation and mathematical statistics. According to the Maya calendar, on December 21st of 2012 was the end of the world, but in fact this meant that was the date of the end of an era and the beginning of a new count. 

 

maya calendarOriginal Image: “Calendario Maya”, by Luis García S, used under CC BY NC SA 2.0 license, via Flickr

 

Beauty Standard

This ancient culture had odd standards of beauty, which results peculiar to modern times, because according to research, the Mayas used to deform the front of children as a symbol of beauty and status. How they used to do it? Tying two wooden boards around the head -one in front and the other at the back-, the pressure caused the forehead flat and the skull had an elongated shape.

 

maya womanOriginal Image: “Calendario Maya”, by Luis García S, used under CC BY NC SA 2.0 license, via Flickr

 

The Maya civilization has great mysteries and secrets that are still yet to be discovered; their grand legacy has allowed us today to have knowledge on certain topics they excelled in; and these intriguing facts make this one of the most interesting cultures, not only form Mexico, but the whole world.