4 Interesting Facts About the Ancient Maya That Everyone Needs To Know

4 Interesting Facts About the Ancient Maya That Everyone Needs To Know

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ancient maya facts

We can learn a lot from studying the cultures of the past and the Maya of the ancient world is no exception. The Ancient Maya were one of the most prolific Mesoamerican cultures we know of and they have left their mark all throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. Keep reading to gain just a sliver of insight into what made this culture so remarkable.

Fact #1: They Had a System of Writing

maya writing

The Maya were unique to America’s early civilizations in that they were the only ones to possess an entire system of writing. Furthermore, they were one of only five cultures in the entire world that were equipped with a system of writing that allowed full conveyance of any concept.

Fact #2: They Understood the Concept of Zero

maya concept of zero

The Maya not only knew letters but also numbers; they were the only culture other than ancient Indians to figure out the concept of zero. This means that the Maya were the only culture to come up with this concept within the “New World.” The Maya numeral for 0 resembles a stylized shell character.

Fact #3: The Maya Favored Jungles for Their Cities

belize maya

Most of the really stellar examples of Maya architecture and artwork, like their pyramids and palaces, are found within the harsh terrain of the sprawling jungles of the Yucatan. This makes the notion of cutting through the brush ever tantalizing as modern man has only managed to penetrate roughly 10% of Belize’s jungle; there is no telling just how many more structures may be laying dormant beneath the dense jungle canopy.

Fact #4: The Maya Were Some of the Most Accomplished Pyramid-Builders

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maya pyramids

In addition to producing some of the tallest structures in the Americas, without the assistance of metal tools or pack animals, the Maya Empire was well known for the sheer number of pyramids it produced. Some of the more notable ancient Maya pyramids in Belize would be Altun Ha, Lamanai, Lubaantun, and Xunantunich.

If all of this information has whet your whistle for exploration or cultural enrichment, it is not that hard to come down to Belize.

From Barton Creek to the ATM Cave to Caracol to El Pilar and Nim Li Punit, Belize is a country rich with plenty of different Maya ruins all over the land and they are all just waiting for you to explore them for yourself.


Get a copy of The Ultimate Belize Bucket List! Written by Larry Waight, a local with more than twenty years of experience in the travel industry, the book is packed with tips, information, and recommendations about all of the best things to see and do in Belize.
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