History – Essay 1
February 21, 2015
Olmec and Maya
Complex Societies confer to a set of factors that contain an agricultural surplus, urban settlements, specialized labor and trade, government, a stratified society, and sophisticated ritual traditions. Ever since the beginning of time, humans formed through generations and generations of species. It took quite a while for humans to fully develop their brains to start thinking out of the box and creating new ideas for their own. Nevertheless, complex societies arose independently during the centuries 3500 to 500 B.C.E. in several regions of the world. Out of all the other complex societies, ...view middle of the document...
The Maya society came around 300 to 1100 C.E. near the Yucatan Peninsula and was organized into small city-kingdoms. Within this society, there was a lot of warfare among the city-kingdoms to see who would rule over the other kingdoms. With warfare, there were always captives and in some kingdoms, they would kill the captives to sacrifice them to their gods in return of good fortune. The society was centered on a religious temple. That being said, they used a form of offering call bloodletting, which is the flow of blood, in return the gods would flow water. When a kingdom had captives, they would use the captives for bloodletting, but also use their own blood when needed. The ball game was also held and was played with captives as well. Some inventions of this society were a form of writing, ideographic elements with symbols for syllables, and mathematics. Their form of writing is the most flexible and sophisticated of all early American systems of writing. They also had two calendars; one is a solar year, which is 365 days a year, and the other is a ritual year having 260 days a year. Every 52-year cycle, the two calendars will be the same and complete a cycle. Using mathematics, they invented the concept of zero and also calculated the length of the solar year at 365.242, 17 seconds shorter than modern astronomers. As you can tell, some of the ideas from the Maya society coincide with that of the Olmec’s.
From the two societies, there is a distinct similarity between them. They both use human sacrifice, a calendar, and a system of writing. The Olmec and Maya society both created different systems of writing but created them to communicate with their people. The Olmec made astronomical observations to start and create a calendar that led to the Mayans completing where they left off. ...