Essay Classic Mayan Architecture

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Classic Mayan Architecture

Mayan culture existed a thousand years ago, in what is now part of Central America. Its ruins were almost entirely abandoned by 600 A.D, and were not rediscovered until the early 1500’s, by Spanish settlers. Mayan architecture astounded the early conquistadors, and continues to be of great interest to modern archeologists as well. These scientists have labeled a certain period of Mayan architectural history as the “Classic” period.
This refers to a period when the Mayan civilization flourished, and extended from 300 to roughly 900 A.D (Miller 52). Because of our image of classical antiquity, the word “Classic” implies the heights of cultured accomplishment. In the classic period, we envision musicians
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These people built fake mountains by piling rock, and building a foundation on top to build a temple. The Mayans developed these temples further by adding sculpture, and painted faces onto these pyramids. The whole building would then be covered with plaster, and painted red or other bright colors. The Temples were often small, and had three dark rooms in their interior. One of the rooms would be an inner sanctuary where the king preformed his rituals (Liz 1-6). That temples were, in fact, religious buildings is beyond question; structures of the same shape were still in use when the Spaniards arrived and described with horror the bloody sacrifices that took place within the temple walls. Some Mayan temples have multiple doorways and suites of interconnected rooms. In some rooms, plaster-and-stone thrones look through doorways onto courtyards where one can easily envision crowds of religious supplicants (Culbert 165). Many temples also contain architecture that curiously corresponds with certain astrological phenomenon. Most temples constructed during the Classic period have a total of 365 stairs, and openings that align with the summer and winter solstices. When the temples were built, the architects aligned the temples with the sun, the moon, and the stars (Liz 1-6).

Some of the most distinct features of Classic Mayan culture were the pyramids. The pyramids were either temples or
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