Pacal's Sarcophagus Lid Research Paper

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Mining Unstructured Text To Build E-Democracy

Pacal's Sarcophagus Lid

The Mayan Culture and Pacal's Sarcophagus

Over the course of this semester, in learning about many different ancient civilizations, I found myself consistenly drawn to the mysterious and somewhat grotesque Mayan culture, full of history, culture, and myths. In learning about the many stories of the Mayas and the account of Pacal's Sarcophagus, I found myself exceedingly more interested in learning about this part of Mayan history, as well as the broader history of the Mayan people. In viewing the basic history of the Mayan people and their ways of life, one is able to view the many differing aspects of their culture and their belief-systems that led to the intricate work that is present in Paca's sarcophagus lid. In viewing the features of this lid, and the representations of the artwork present, one can see the many different interpretations that such a work of art and ancient history has created in our contemporary world. While much of these theories are based in ancient history and the ways of the Mayan people, other theories are rooted in fantasy and mysticism. In viewing the Mayan history, and in weighing the different interpretations of Pacal's sarcophagus lid, one can decide for themselves what the lid itself is meant to represent.

The Mayan Civilization

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The Mayan Civilization has long been considered one of the most important civilizations of its time and one which still continues to fascinate archaeologist's and historians alike. It was, infact, "one of the most dominant indigenous societies of Mesoamerica" -- a term which is used to define Mexico and Central America before the 16th century Spanish conquest. The Mayan population was concentrated in the region of Yucatan Peninsula and modern-day Guatemala; Belize and parts of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas; and the western part of Honduras and El Salvador.

Research Paper on Pacal's Sarcophagus Lid Assignment

The Mayan Civilization has contributed immensely to the world in terms of arts and architecture, and the stone cities and monuments that they built for their religious and social purposes continue to capture the imagination of academia and laymen alike. Additionally, the progress of the Mayan civilization can be easily broken up into many eras, starting from the Pre-classic Period, when the entire civilization was involved in agricultural activitiy and the Middle Pre-classic Period, which lasted till 300 B.C., which was a period of major development in the field of city planning as well as the derivation of religious traits, in inclusion to their number system and the famous Mayan calendar.

Religious commitment and activities was a cornerstone of the Mayan civilization, and revolved around the worship of many gods which include beside the major cosmological figure like the sun and the moon, even agricultural elements like corn. The entire system, however, is based on a hierarchical system, the apex of which is comprised of the "kuhul ajaw" or the holy lords, who were considered to be directly related to the Gods and formed a connection between the Gods and the people, and is aided with religious ceremonies. Their abilities varied in the religious terms, from conjuring "gods into existence, the ability to manifest as particular deities, the ability to consort with supernatural companions of a lethal character…., the ability to manifest the central axis of the cosmos, and the ability to communicate with the dead."

There is much evidence for this in the temples and palaces that were built during that time and are laden with inscriptions and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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