Q:

Where did the Mayans come from?

A:

Quick Answer

The exact origins of the Mayan Civilization are unknown. There are two theories that prevail among archaeologists; the first camp believes that the Maya originated on their own, while the other postulates that they are a direct offshoot of the Olmec Civilization.

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Full Answer

The Maya or Mayan civilization, which is dated between 500 B.C. and 800 A.D, was comprised of separate city states who shared a common language and culture. A theory formed in the field after a long archaeological dig and study by the University of Arizona purports that the Maya did not originate from one culture but from several different Meso-American cultures in the region.

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  • Q:

    When did the Mayans meet the Spanish?

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    The first contact between the Spanish and the Mayans was in 1511. A Spanish officer named Valdivia was sailing from Panama to Santo Domingo, but his boat sank near the east coast of Yucatan and Valdivia, and his crew was captured.

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  • Q:

    What were the physical features of the Mayans?

    A:

    The Mayans had various body modification practices within their culture that affected their physical features. Having an elongated forehead, modifying their teeth by filing the ends to a point or adding dental decorations and having numerous facial piercings were all highly desirable in Mayan culture.

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    How did the Mayans make their shelter?

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    The Mayans made their shelter using stone or wood with thatched roofs with no windows or chimneys. The huts did not have wooden doors. Instead, they hung cloth screens on the doorways.

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  • Q:

    What did the Mayans do for entertainment?

    A:

    The main form of entertainment for the Mayans was a type of ball game played in special courts constructed in an I-shape. Two teams opposed each other in trying to get a rubber ball through stone hoops attached to the sides of the courts or at opposite ends of the court. The entire community became involved as players, spectators, sponsors and gamblers, and priests performed ceremonies before and after.

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