“Treasure your ancestors, teach your children and celebrate your heritage”. ~ Mayan quote
You just have to visit an ancient Mayan ruin to realize you may not be as smart as you think you are. The ancient Maya were an advanced people who cornered the market on architecture, astronomy, mathematics, art, agriculture, as well as an advanced written language.
It’s truly mind boggling how such a brilliant people who did SO much with SO little could suddenly disappear? This mystery draws bus loads of tourists daily to the ancient ruins in the Yucatan, in particular Tulum and Chichen Itza. Chichen Itza was named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” in 2007 and Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti & Placido Domingo have all performed there over the years!
The Romans were clearly master builders but the Mayas were no slackers either. While the Romans had use of metal tools, the Mayas relied on stone, bone and wood yet they constructed magnificent cities, pyramids and even had the foresight to build underground reservoirs to hold rainwater where water was scarce. All without the use of shovels, plows, pulleys, carts or even beasts of burden. (Sheesh, I’m useless if I don’t have a pair of scissors to cut the tag off my new shirt.)
They also had excellent trained doctors who made medicines from herbs, some of the same natural ingredients used today in our medicines. They were also great artists whose art was an expression of their life & culture. I am fascinated by their masks, moulded in jade, turquoise and stucco, worn during ceremonies and during battle. We’ve brought home masks from Playa del Carmen as gifts and souvenirs and they never fail to incite curiosity.
Overall, if they gave out awards in 400 A.D. for being a people at the “top of their game”, the Mayas would have sewn up the Triple Crown, every Grand Slam and the World Cup!
NASA archaeologists are using satellites to discover and study Mayan ruins to determine what caused a civilization as technologically advanced & powerful as the Mayas to suddenly collapse. By doing so, NASA is hoping to find answers to keep us from meeting the same fate. Most scientists agree that deforestation, climate change and drought played a big role in their demise and being that we are living in an environmental pressure-cooker with many modern-day parallels gives many scientists pause.
Our fast-paced world could not be further removed from the Mayas. We want everything now, if instant messaging, movies-on-demand and fast-food drive-thru’s are any indication. I can only imagine how much better off we would all be if we embraced the Mayan spirituality along with their idea of sustainable living with a respectful connection to Mother Earth.
Take a trip to the Mayan Riviera and don’t miss seeing these ancient ruins of a people that paved the way for our civilization. Wanna learn more? Click on this link to view “Mystery of the Maya” documentary. http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/mystery-of-the-maya/
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Sally Foran is a happily married mom of 3, residing in Canada and is a frequent traveler to the Riviera Maya MX. She is an aficionado on ‘everything Playa del Carmen’ and writes with joy and passion about the area. She is also a witty blog contributor to Work & Family Foundation Canada, and NAVUT (offering professionals new to Ottawa the inside scoop!) Sally has also been awarded Blogger of the Week on TravelBlog.Org
PHOTOS: CHICTENITZA, ENCIRCLEWORLDPHOTOS