25 Unbelievable Facts About The Mayans That Might Surprise You

Posted by , Updated on April 23, 2015

If you haven’t read our list about the Aztecs yet, it’s worth checking out. Both the Aztecs and Mayans were two of the great pre-Colombian Central American civilizations. The Mayan civilization actually preceded and outlived the Aztecs by hundreds upon hundreds of years. It rose and fell several time throughout the last 2 thousand years and actually still lives on today in the culture of numerous Mayans who inhabit the Yucatan peninsula. These are 25 unbelievable facts about the Mayans that might surprise you!

Subscribe to List25
10

Prisoners, slaves, and others were prepared for sacrifice by being painted blue and sometimes tortured. They were then led up to the top of one of the pyramids. There they were either shot with a volley of arrows or they had their still beating heart cut out of their chest by a temple priest. Sometimes the assistant priests would then skin the victim and the head priest would dress himself in the skin and perform a ritual dance.

mayan facts
9

Contrary to popular belief, the Mayans don't have just one calendar and none of their calendars predicted the world would end in 2012

mayan facts
8

They have three calendars that work in cycles. One of them, the Haab, has a 365 day cycle just like the modern Gregorian calendar. The Long Count calendar cycles roughly every 2,880,000 days and was said to reset in 2012. This led to the doomsday prophecies.

mayan factshttps://www.flickr.com/photos/64092100@N02/5837426374/
7

The Mayans had one of the most advanced writing systems of any ancient civilization and wrote on almost anything they could find, including their buildings. Graffiti anyone?

mayan facts
6

Unfortunately many of their writings were lost during the Spanish conquest. Through laborious study during the 20th and 21 centuries much of their remaining writings have been recovered and translated

mayan facts

Show Us Your Love
Join Over 2 Million+ List25 Fans