What did the Mayans invent?
Do you know what the Mayans invented? Between the 20th centuries BC and XV AD an exciting civilization located in Central America made important discoveries. We are talking about the Mayans, who made great contributions in such important fields as mathematics, architecture, astronomy and writing.
Settled in the territories of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, the Mayans were an eminently agricultural civilization.
However, their contributions have not gone unnoticed, as they were the pre-Columbian civilization with the highest level of scientific development.
Let's see what his most outstanding contributions were.
What did the Mayans invent ?: Writing
The Mayans used a hieroglyphic script. Thus, through graphic representations, they captured the different sounds. It must be taken into account that, in Mayan writing, each syllable was reflected by a sign. Thus, by combining the different syllables, he was able to form a word.
As for the support for their hieroglyphic writing, they used pottery and fig bark. One of the most prominent books of the Mayan civilization is the Vuh popol or community book. This text brings together the history, myths and legends of the Mayan people.
What did the Mayans invent ?: The Mayan calendar
Among its many contributions, the Mayan civilization stands out for its calendar, which was initially structured in a year consisting of a total of 260 days.
Later, the Mayans introduced a new calendar, which was based on the solar year, so they took as a reference years with 365 days.
To do this, they distributed a year over 18 months, with 20 days each. Every day they received a denomination, except for five days which were known as "no name", because they believed that they were synonymous with bad luck.
What did the Mayans invent ?: Mathematics
Since the Mayans used a system of months and 20 days to measure time, they also used the same technique in mathematics.
In other words, they used what is known as the "vigesimal system."
It should be noted that the number zero was represented by a specific symbol. Thus, this system would serve them not only as a tool to measure time, but would also be useful when erecting buildings.
As for counting techniques, the Mayans used dots and bars to write down the different numbers. It should be noted that zero was represented by a symbol that resembled a shell.
What did the Mayans invent ?: Astronomy
No pre-Columbian civilization reached the level of development that the Maya reached in the field of astronomy.
Thanks to their dominance in this area, the Mayans had a calendar measuring the cycles of the solar star and the lunar star.
By observing the path of the sun, the Mayans were able to identify star constellations and discover stars such as Venus.
In the Mayan civilization, astronomy was closely linked to religion, since depending on the position of Venus, sacrifices and war conflicts could occur. Likewise, it should be noted that the Maya were capable of identifying seasonal changes and anticipating eclipses.
What did the Mayans invent ?: Hydraulic constructions
Being a civilization settled in geographic areas that could be affected by floods and droughts, the Mayans needed to guarantee a water supply.
In view of this, the Mayans built underground water reservoirs. This, through stone constructions. The cracks in the tanks were sealed with plaster.
Depending on the needs, the water tanks were built with different elevations. In this way, they made the water flow directly from the reservoirs to the population.