The Maya: History, Culture & Religion - Deepstash
How To Learn Anything Fast

Learn more about history with this collection

The importance of practice and repetition in learning

How to stay motivated and avoid burnout while learning

How to break down complex concepts into manageable parts

How To Learn Anything Fast

Discover 38 similar ideas in

It takes just

4 mins to read

The Maya civilisation

The Maya civilisation

  • The Maya refer to modern people and to their ancestors who built an ancient civilisation in Central America.
  • The Maya civilisation reached its peak during the first millennium A.D. It consisted of many small states that were ruled by kings.
  • The Maya people live on today in Central America and throughout the world. They speak many languages including Mayan languages (Yucatec, Quiche, Kekchi and Mopan), Spanish and English.


312 reads

The complicated Mayan calendar

The complicated Mayan calendar

The Mayan calendar consisted of eighteen months of twenty days each plus a period of five days ("nameless days") at the end of the year.

This calendar system included a long-count that kept track of time by using different units that varies in length from a single day to millions of years.


165 reads

Maya origins

In the Pre-classic period (1800 B.C. to A.D. 250), permanent village life grew and lead to the early Maya cities. The early Maya cities were carefully planned. Nixtun-Ch'ich, in Peten, Guatemala, had pyramids, temples and other structures that were built using a grid system.

Farming became more effective during this period, likely because of the discovery of the "nixtamal" process, where maize is soaked in lime or something similar and cooked to increase the nutritional value. Other crops included squash, bean, chilli pepper and manioc.


148 reads

Maya civilisation at its peak

Maya civilisation at its peak

Between A.D. 350 and 900, ancient Maya reached a peak. The civilisations reached intellectual and artistic heights that few could match.

Cities found throughout the Maya world had their individual wonders.

  • Tikal is known for its twin pyramids constructed at the end of every K'atun (20-year period).
  • Copan is known for its "Temple of hieroglyphic Stairway" - a pyramid-like structure with glyphs on the 63 steps that seem to tell the history of the city's rulers.
  • The site of Palenque is known for its limestone sculpture and the burial of one of its kings inside a pyramid.


116 reads

The Maya civilisation did not vanish

Many cities were indeed abandoned around 1,100 years ago, including Tikal, Copan and Palenque. A recent study suggests that drought may have played an important role.

But other Maya cities grew for a time, such as Chichén Itzá. Council houses - places where people in a community gathered - flourished after the ninth century. But, when the Spanish arrived, they brought diseases that decimated the Maya. Despite the devastation, the Maya people continue to increase.


113 reads

The Maya universe

The Maya universe

According to stories recorded by the K'iche Maya, the forefather gods Tepew and Q'ukumatz created the Earth from a watery void and added animals and plants. Eventually, humans were made, including twins, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, who defeated the lords of the underworld. Later, the twins' father, the maize god, was resurrected.

The world consisted of Earth (the domain of the Maya people), sky (the realm of celestial deities), and the watery underworld (the realm of the underworld deities.)


178 reads

The Mayan deities

  • The Itzamnaaj was lord over the most fundamental opposing forces - life and death, day and night, sky and earth. Itzamnaaj could be depicted as a serpent or two-headed reptile.
  • Other deities included the sun-god K'inich Ajaw, the rain and storm god Chaak, and the lightning god K'awiil.
  • The Maya believed each person had a 'life force' in their blood, and draining the blood in a temple could give some of this life force to a god.


96 reads

The Maya: Record-keeping and astronomy

Record-keeping was essential for agriculture, astronomy and prophecy. By keeping records of the seasons, the Maya could determine the best times to plant and harvest their crops.

Moreover, recording the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars helped them to develop accurate calendars that they could use for prophecy.


258 reads

The Maya: Economy and power

The Maya had a sophisticated economy that could support specialists and a system of merchants and trade routes. They used various objects as currency, including greenstone beads, cacao beans and copper bells.

Maya rulers managed the production and distribution of status goods and critical commodities like salt. Maya labourers were subject to a labour tax to build palaces, temples and public works.


118 reads



I am gonna win the day.


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates