The ancient Maya civilizations were noted for elaborate and highly decorated ceremonial architecture, evidence of which remains today in the form of pyramid temples, palaces, observatories and ball courts. Much, much more remains uncovered.
The fact that these were constructed without the use of the wheel, metal tools, or beasts of burden continues to fascinate us.
Some of the edifices were positioned so that precise observations of the equinox, solstice and other astronomic events could be made by sighting planets and stars along defined line positions on special buildings.
The Maya used their knowledge of astronomy to produce an extremely accurate calendar. The Maya’s advanced concepts of time and mathematics, including the use of zero, led to the development of their elaborate calendar based on cycles that go beyond our weeks, months and years.
They used this knowledge to schedule optimum planting and harvesting times for their intensive agricultural system that made use of terracing, drainage canals, raised fields and tree cropping to feed huge populations.