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The Achievements of Ancient Mayan Civilization

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Social Studies +2 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)
This collection reviews the major achievements of the ancient Mayan civilization, including its great cities, use of writing, calendar, religious beliefs, art, and architecture. Resources are provided as a basis for student research. Several of the videos are available in Spanish and English and would be useful for a Spanish language teacher who wants students to research the Maya.

Guiding questions to consider while reviewing this collection:
1) In what ways did observation of the sun influence multiple facets of ancient Mayan life?
2) Which elements of ancient Mayan life persist in Mayan culture today?
3) How are art, religion, and architecture seemingly intertwined in ancient Mayan culture?
4) What are the various theories about the demise of the ancient Mayans?

This collection focuses on the achievements of the ancient Mayans; however, it is critical to remember that the Maya are a living people and continue to preserve old traditions while building new ones in the modern world. For those interested, here is a collection on the modern Maya: https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/the-maya-people-today/yKMyzCEPMadkGgA8.

Codex Telleriano-Remensis

National Museum of American History

Mayan codex, undated

National Anthropological Archives

The Creation Story of the Maya

National Museum of the American Indian

El mito de la creación de los mayas

National Museum of the American Indian

Chichen Itza, Yucatan

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Chichen Itza (Mexico), ca. 1937, part 1

Human Studies Film Archives

Serpent Columns--Chichén Itzá

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Ancient Mexican Art

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access

Copies of frescoes at Chichen Itza 1902; 1917

National Anthropological Archives

Stone With Fresco

NMNH - Anthropology Dept.

The Maya and the Sun

National Museum of the American Indian

Zenith Passage at Chichén Itzá

National Museum of the American Indian

Los mayas y el Sol

National Museum of the American Indian

Calendar Round

National Museum of the American Indian

La Rueda Calendárica

National Museum of the American Indian

Sun, Corn, and the Calendar

National Museum of the American Indian

El Sol, el maíz y el calendario

National Museum of the American Indian