Segments in this Video

Progress of Civilizations (04:59)


Profound historical changes took place between the 4th and 9th centuries. These events include the colonization of the Pacific by inhabitants; the invention of the stirrup by nomadic tribes in Asia invented the stirrup; the declaration of Christianity as the official religion of Rome; the burning of the great library of Alexandria was burnt down; and the fall of the Roman Empire, which led to the dark middle ages.

Origin of the Mayas (02:39)

Over 4,000 years ago, Maya inhabited tropical rainforests in the areas now known as El Salvador, Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras. They did not develop their culture based on outside life styles. They started the written history of the Americas.

Mayan Science (04:33)

Predicting the exact dates that maize could be harvested was the job of priests who were expert astronomers. The Mayas developed the solar calendar and another used for rituals and ceremonies. New temples were constructed every 52 years.

Writing (02:17)

The Mayas were the only American people who could read and write. Their writing system was composed of more than 400 symbols. Present day Mayas speak the same language as their ancestors.

Fall of the Ancient Empire (02:24)

Mayan cities were abandoned in the 9th century. The catastrophe that led to this mass exodus remains a mystery.

Credits: Mayas: Part 1 (00:41)

Credits: Mayas: Part 1

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Mayas: Part 1

Part of the Series : Just the Facts History of Science Series
3-Year Streaming Price: $99.95



Explore the origins of the Mayan empire and its fascinating development in isolation from other cultures. Learn about the extraordinary Mayan calendar, Mayan advancements in astronomy, their independent discovery of the concept of "zero," and their discoveries in math and science. Lastly, the program discusses the consequences of the Spanish invasion on Mayan culture and potential reasons for this advanced civilization's mysterious downfall.

Length: 20 minutes

Item#: BVL155071

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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