When we think about the Mayans, we tend to focus on the end of their civilization. While that is certainly a fascinating narrative, it is not the only thing about the Mayans that is worth keeping in mind. A quick overview of the major accomplishments of the Mayans will make it clear that this was a culture and people who accomplished a great deal. Agriculture, engineering, and communications are just some of the arenas of accomplishment that the Mayans touched upon, over the course of their long, storied run.
1. They Might Have Invented Rubber Before Anyone Else
For a long time, it was believed that the first rubber products were created and released by Charles Goodyear in the 19th century. However, many historians believe that the Mayans were creating and utilizing rubber products several hundred years before Goodyear was even alive. Interestingly enough, it is believed that this discovery was made by accident.
2. They Accomplished A Lot With Astrology
The Mayans placed a great deal of importance on astrology and on the cosmos. They developed an understanding of astrology that put them significantly ahead of other civilizations. For example, they were able to predict solar eclipses.
3. Their Calendar Is Impressive
Utilizing astrological cycles, the Mayans were able to not only enhance both their planting and harvesting. They were also able to create two impressive, extremely accurate calendars. In fact, the calendars created by the Mayans are as accurate as what we use today. They established 2 overlapping annual cycles. There was the two-hundred-and-sixty-day sacred year, and then there was the three-hundred-and-sixty-five-day secular year.
4. Their Sense Of Astronomy Accomplished Even More
The profound passion and talent the Mayans possessed for astronomy is impressive to this day. It even extended into what the Mayans accomplished by combining their belief in astronomy with the temples and similar structures they built. Chichén Itzá in Mexico is a good example of this thought. As you will discover, this temple is set up to coordinate with the sun during the spring equinox and the fall equinox.
5. They Didn’t Need Metal Or Wheels
The Mayans utilized a wide variety of tools, to be certain. However, as you consider the long list of things the Mayans accomplished during their existence, keep in mind that all of it done without the use of metal or wheels. Remember that the Mayans built some pretty remarkable cities and temples.