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15 Lesser Known Facts about the Ancient Mayans

By Andrew Alpin, 28 October 2017


The indigenous and ancient Maya civilization has long been misinterpreted for their phenomenal astronomy charts that certain experts used to predict the end of the world which was supposed to happen in Dec 2012 and very recently on 23rd September. However, they seemed to have got it wrong. There are many interesting facts about the Maya who inhabited the modern-day Yucatan, Mexico, and Central America.

The Mayan civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization that was prominently regarded by archaeologists for their unique hieroglyphic script. The people came to be known as Mayans named after the ancient city of Mayapan. At the time of their existence, the population was spread over a huge area of South America that included Southeastern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. At present, there are 7 million Mayans still living today trying very hard to preserve their culture while integrating into the modern lifestyle of the country of residence. Take a look at 15 interesting facts about the Mayans.

15The Mayans did not exactly predict the end of the world

The Mayan calendar was based on the alignment of stars and originated in the preclassic periods. According to archaeologists, the Mayan calendar turned out to be more accurate than calculations in the old world and the Julian calendar at the time. The Mayans based their calendars on solar and lunar cycles as well as the eclipses and the movement of planets.

The Mayans did not predict the end of the world which was regarded by archaeologists as the promotion of mythology as fact by so-called experts who ignore the professional opinion of Mayan scholars including epigraphers, historians, and archaeologists. The so-called end of the world in 2012 was far from the truth; instead according to Mayan astronomy charts and the Mayan calendar, it signified a new beginning. Post 2012 led to a huge number of jokes on twitter like this epic one.

“If the Mayans were good at predicting the future there would still be Mayans." 


The Mayan calendar

Image Source: www.mayan-calendar.org

14Mayans belief about the creation of the Earth

Can anyone really predict the creation date of the Earth? The beginning of Mayan calendar was set to coincide with the end of a previous cycle of days or Baktuns as Mayans called it. Thus an end of a cycle would literally be regarded as the end of days which might have led to misinterpretation by doomsday experts.

A Baktun at the time equaled one day in the year 3114 BC as per the Maya calendar and it was this date that became to be regarded by the Mayans as the day the world was created in its present form.

Mayans belief

Image Source: www.toptenz.net

13Beauty Standards


The Mayans had weird concepts of beauty and went to great lengths to achieve it. Just like an ear of corn, they believed that elongated heads enhanced the beauty of a person.

They widely practiced a body modification techniques called trepanning which involved flattening the forehead by sandwiching it between planks of wood so that the skull sloped up and backward. Children were subjected to this for long periods of time.

Beauty Standards for mayans

Image Source: www.images.vice.com


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