The source form for a location in the code is the innermost list present in the original source that encloses the form responsible for generating that code. So the frame for this call in the source:. The information that tells make how to recompile a system comes from reading a data base called the makefile. Thus, it is highly probable that this calendrical system, formerly thought to be a Maya invention, was developed in the Late Formative by epi-Olmec peoples living outside the Maya area proper. Several gods who played significant roles in the Postclassic codices, however, can be identified on earlier Maya monuments. Hairy These dogs will leave hair piles laying around.
Pre-Classic and Classic periods
Many owners removed the 2,5 inch bracket and installed a 3,5 inch drive with an adapter cable. Although most modern computers do not have physical ISA buses, all IBM compatible computers — x86 , and x most non-mainframe, non-embedded — have ISA buses allocated in physical address space. Embedded controller chips southbridge and CPUs themselves provide services such as temperature monitoring and voltage readings through these buses as ISA devices.
However, despite there even having been books published on the P specification, it never officially progressed past draft status. There still is an existing user base with old computers, so some ISA cards are still manufactured, e. This article is based on material taken from the Free On-line Dictionary of Computing prior to 1 November and incorporated under the "relicensing" terms of the GFDL , version 1.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses of "ISA", see Isa disambiguation. This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations.
January Learn how and when to remove this template message. One 8-bit and five bit ISA slots on a motherboard. Milestones in computer science and information technology. Retrieved 17 March The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 January Retrieved 6 January Archived from the original on 9 April Retrieved 3 May Archived from the original on 24 October Technical and de facto standards for wired computer buses. Disengage the tabs on the baffles from the slots in the fan hood Fig.
Undo the screws securing the fan hood assembly to the appliance back panel, and draw the fan and hood assembly forwards Fig.
When changing components ensure Pressure that both the gas and electrical supplies to the Switch boiler are isolated before any work is started. When the component has been changed turn the selector switch fully anticlockwise against the Fig. Note the positions of the two sensing tubes on the outlet elbow and three wires on the fan motor and remove them Figs. Slacken the screws on the outlet sealing collar. Ease the collar upwards as far as possible. Remove the burner as described in Section Undo the screws securing the injector manifold to the inlet elbow and remove the manifold.
Unscrew and replace injectors as required and examine the sealing gasket, replacing as necessary. Undo the nut on the gas feed pipe under the boiler. Completely undo the securing screws and hinge the facia panel down. Disconnect the earth wire and pressure sensing pipe Lead Earth from the valve. Drain the primary circuit and remove the socket head screws securing the pump head to the body and draw the head away.
Undo the screw on the pump wiring cover and remove the cover. Drain the primary circuit and undo the nut on the pressure gauge capillary Fig. Remove the timer cover and ease the timer wiring aside. Undo the screws securing the gauge retaining bracket Fig. Drain the primary circuit.
Disconnect the discharge pipe from the valve. Using a suitable hexagon key undo the grub screw sufficiently to release the valve. Note the orientation of the valve, rotate it and withdraw it from the manifold. While supporting the heat exchanger undo the screws securing it to the brass manifolds. Withdraw the heat exchanger upwards and to the left of the gas valve, taking care not to damage any wires or controls.
Remove the DHW pressure differential valve as described above. From the brass diverter manifold undo the nut on Pipe Diaphragm the heating flow pipe. Check that gas, water and electrical supplies are available at the boiler. CH water system pressurised to 0.
The preferred minimum gas pressure is Ignition electrode and lead connector across terminals 2. Flame sensing electrode and lead connections 2. Replace flame sensing electrode Overheat thermostat operated Allow to cool.
The Classic Central Veracruz style is almost purely devoted to the paraphernalia of the ball game and to the ball courts themselves. During the post-game ceremonies, which may have featured the sacrifice of the captain and other players on the losing side, these U-shaped objects were worn about the waists of the participants.
On the front of the yugo was placed an upright stone object that may originally have functioned as a ball-court marker and that took two forms: All are carved in an elaborate low-relief style in which life forms are enmeshed in undulating and interlaced scroll designs with raised borders. All of these items, and the style itself, may have evolved out of late Olmec art on the Gulf coast. Very often the yugos represent the marine toad , a huge amphibian with swollen poison glands on the head; in its jaws is a human head.
The earliest hachas , which were characteristically notched to fit on the yugos , were quite thick human heads and may well date to the Late Formative or Proto-Classic. In time, these become very thin and represent human heads wearing animal headgear. Palmas are paddle-shaped stone objects with trilobed bases and exhibit a much richer subject matter than either hachas or yugos , quite often illustrating brutal scenes of sacrifice and death , two concepts that were closely associated with the ball game on the Gulf coast.
Whether or not Classic Central Veracruz culture was a Totonac achievement, the style persisted through the Classic period and strongly influenced developments in distant regions. Dozens of earthen mounds are scattered over the surface in a seemingly haphazard manner, and the archaeological sequence is long and complex.
The site reached its apogee in the Early Classic, when the stone monuments for which it is best known were carved. Most important are a number of stelae , some of which are carved in a low-relief style recalling Late Formative Tres Zapotes, early lowland Maya, and Cotzumalhuapa on the Pacific coast of Guatemala. Cerro de las Mesas pottery, deposited in rich burial offerings of the Early Classic, is highly Teotihuacanoid, with slab-legged tripods predominating.
At this and other sites in southern Veracruz, potters also fashioned large, hollow, handmade figures of the gods. The most spectacular discovery, however, was a cache of some jade objects. Many of the specimens in this treasure trove are of Olmec workmanship, obviously heirlooms from the much earlier Olmec civilization, while some are clearly Early Classic Maya. The entire coastal plain from Cerro de las Mesas north to the borders of Classic Central Veracruz culture is famed for Remojadas-style pottery figurines, which must have been turned out in incredible quantity for use as burial goods.
Figurines are hollow and largely mold-made in the Late Classic, while they were fashioned by hand in the Early Classic. All kinds of genre scenes are represented, including even lovers in swings, as well as more grim activities such as the heart sacrifice of victims tied down in what look like beds.
Instead of the 18 or 19 sites known for the valley during the Late Formative, there now were more than , a testimony to Zapotec prosperity. The temple superstructures had colonnaded doorways and flat beam-and-mortar roofs. Spectators watched the game from stone grandstands above the sloping playing surfaces.
The finest are actually miniature replicas of the larger temples on the surface, complete with facade and miniature painted rooms. By Classic times, inscriptions are abundant, appearing on stelae, lintels, slabs used as doors, and wall paintings. The year Calendar Round was the only form of writing dates. The subject matter of these inscriptions can be related to the scenes that they accompany: Little is known about the Guatemalan highlands between the demise of the Late Formative Miraflores culture and the onset of the Early Classic.
Each temple platform was rebuilt several times, the later structures being raised over the earlier. Within the stairways fronting each successive platform a great leader was buried. The rich burial furniture in the tombs is informative, for it included three classes of goods: Also discovered in one tomb was a slate mirror carved in Classic Central Veracruz style. Jade objects occur in abundance in the Esperanza tombs, and in one structure an enormous boulder was recovered; it had been imported from the Maya source along the Motagua River in the southeastern lowlands.
The Esperanza elite were enormously wealthy. What were they doing in the Maya highlands in the first place? Were they an army of imperial conquest? Or were their interests more in the realm of trade? It is not possible to be definite in these interpretations; but it is known that among the Aztec of the Late Postclassic there was an institution called the pochteca , a hereditary guild of armed merchants who traveled into distant lands looking for luxury goods to bring back to the royal house.
Quite often the pochteca would seize lands of hostile peoples through which they passed, or they would provoke incidents that led to the intervention of the regular Aztec army. Within a zone only 75 miles long and 30 miles wide, on the Pacific coast plain of Guatemala, is a cluster of nine compactly built ceremonial centres that together form the Cotzumalhuapa civilization. It forms a puzzle, for there are strong affiliations with most other contemporary civilizations in Mesoamerica.
While Cotzumalhuapa took form by the Early Classic, it continued into the Late Classic; but there are great problems in dating individual sculptures.
The problem of Cotzumalhuapa has been linked with that of the Pipil , a shadowy people living in the same region on the eve of the Spanish conquest, who spoke Nahua rather than Maya. It is possible that these Classic sites were actually Pipil capitals, but the case cannot be proved. There is some hieroglyphic writing on Cotzumalhuapa sculptures, mainly dates within what seems to be a year Calendar Round, the glyphs for days being Mexican rather than Maya.
There are no real texts, then, to help with the problem. Archaeologists have divided the entire area occupied by speakers of Mayan languages into three subregions: Between and the most brilliant civilization ever seen in the New World flourished in the forested lowlands of the Central and Northern subregions. Lowland Maya civilization falls into two chronological phases or cultures: Tzakol culture, which is Early Classic and began shortly before ce , and the Late Classic Tepeu culture, which saw the full florescence of Maya achievements.
Tepeu culture began about and ended with the final downfall and abandonment of the Central Subregion about These dates, based on the correlation of the Long Count system of the Maya calendar with the Gregorian calendar , are the most generally accepted; but there is a slight chance that a rival correlation espoused by the American archaeologist Herbert J. Spinden may be correct, which would make these dates years earlier. One of the earliest objects inscribed with the fully developed Maya calendar is the Leiden Plate, a jade plaque, now housed in the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden , Netherlands, depicting a richly arrayed Maya lord trampling a captive underfoot.
On its reverse side is a Long Count date corresponding to Both objects and, in fact, almost all early Tzakol monuments draw heavily upon a heritage from the older Izapan civilization of the Late Formative, with its highly baroque, narrative stylistic content. Because of the Maya penchant for covering older structures with later ones, Tzakol remains in the Central Subregion have to be laboriously dug out from their towering Late Classic overburdens.
The use of the corbel vault for spanning rooms—a trait unique to the lowland Maya—was by this time universal. Stelae and altars a legacy from Izapa are carved with dates and embellished with human figures and perhaps gods. Polychrome pottery, the finest examples of which were sealed in the tombs of honoured personages, emphasizes stylized designs of cranes, flying parrots, gods, and men. These often occur on bowls with a kind of apron or basal flange encircling the lower vessel.
The lord on Stela 31 may have been a puppet ruler manipulated by tough merchant-warriors. It could therefore be expected that the disruptions that effectively ended the life of the great Mexican capital would be reflected in the Maya area. This is exactly the case. The lowland Maya suffered some temporary reverses; few stelae were erected between and , and there is evidence that existing monuments were mutilated. The cultural situation in Late Classic Mesoamerica is the reverse of that prevailing in the Early Classic: Central Mexico now played only a minor role, while the lowland Maya reached their intellectual and artistic heights.
In contrast to the old Teotihuacanos, however, the Maya were not expansionistic. It is true that Maya cultural influence has been detected along the Gulf coast and in the states of Morelos and Tlaxcala —as in the painted murals of Cacaxtla in the latter state—but it is unlikely that this was the result of a military takeover.
The outcome of this state of affairs, with no one people powerful enough or sufficiently interested in dominating others, was a political and cultural fragmentation of Mesoamerica after It was not until the great Toltec invasions of the Early Postclassic that anything approaching an empire was to be seen again. Climatic deterioration, resulting in drier conditions and thus a diminished subsistence potential, may have been a factor. People continued to live in some sections, but their houses were mere hovels compared to the dwellings of the Early Classic.
In general, the Valley of Mexico was a cultural and political vacuum in Late Classic times. One of the very few centres of the Late Classic in central Mexico that amounted to much was Xochicalco , in Morelos. Strategically located on top of a hill that was completely reworked with artificial terraces and ramparts, Xochicalco was obviously highly defensible, an indication of the unsettled times then prevailing in central Mexico.
The site shows a bewildering variety of cultural influences, particularly Maya. All indications are that Xochicalco was a cosmopolitan and very powerful centre, perhaps the most influential west of Veracruz and northwest of the Maya area.
It was literate and civilized at a time when most other parts of central Mexico were in cultural eclipse. The Mixtec invasions of the valley probably began in earnest around The Mixtec occupied the hilly, northern part of Oaxaca; their records, which extend to the 7th century, show them to have been organized into a series of petty states headed by aggressive, warlike kings.
By the Postclassic, they had become the dominant force throughout Oaxaca and in part of Puebla. Its most imposing structure is the Pyramid of the Niches, named for the approximately recesses on its four sides. There are a number of other temple pyramids at the site, as well as palacelike buildings with flat, concrete roofs, a tour de force of Mesoamerican engineering knowledge. Further down the Gulf coast plain, the Remojadas tradition of hollow pottery figurines continued to be active in the Late Classic, with a particularly large production of the mysterious smiling figures of dancing boys and girls, which were intended as funerary offerings.
But in addition, there was a great deal of pottery and figurines that were fashioned under very strong Maya influence. In fact, much of southern Veracruz at this time was a cultural extension of the lowland Maya. There is no indication, however, that these peoples had any acquaintance with Maya literacy or with Maya building techniques.
There is still controversy over whether the Late Classic sites built by the lowland Maya were actually cities or whether they were relatively empty ceremonial centres staffed only by rulers and their entourages. The common people built their simple pole-and-thatch dwellings on low earthen mounds to keep them dry during the summer rains.
Thus, total mapping of a particular site should always include not only masonry structures but house mounds as well. Several Maya sites have been so mapped. The Tikal population has been estimated from this survey to be 10,—11, people, but perhaps as many as 75, within an even wider area could have belonged to Tikal.
This sounds very much like a city, but the evidence actually can be differently interpreted. First, at the time of the conquest the Maya generally buried their dead beneath the floors of houses, which were then abandoned. Thus, an increase in number of house mounds could just as easily indicate a declining population in which the death rate exceeded the birth rate.
An ordinary Maya family typically occupied two or three houses arranged around a rectangular open space. These were grouped into unplanned hamlets near good water and rich, well-drained soils. Several zones formed a district for which a major centre like Tikal acted as the ceremonial and political nucleus. Neither Tikal nor any other such centre shows signs of town planning or neatly laid out streets. There are also ecological factors that must have set certain limits upon the potential for urban life in the Maya lowlands.
Slash-and-burn cultivation would have made for widely settled populations; and, as has been argued, the uniformity of the lowland Maya environment would have worked against the growth of strong interregional trade, always a factor in urban development.
Yet these statements must be qualified. It is known that raised-field, or chinampa -type, farming was used in many places and at many times in the Maya lowlands. This would have allowed for greater population concentration.
It is also known that there was a brisk trade in some commodities from one lowland Maya region to another. What, then, can be concluded about lowland Maya urbanism?
At the same time, a centre whose rulers could draw upon the coordinated efforts of 75, people must inevitably have had some of the functions of a true city—in governance, religion, and trade, as well as in the development of the arts and intellectual life.
While there are some important differences between the architecture of the Central and Northern subregions during the Late Classic, there are many features shared between them. A major Maya site generally includes several types of masonry buildings, usually constructed by facing a cement-and-rubble core with blocks or thin slabs of limestone. Temple pyramids are the most impressive, rising in a series of great platforms to the temple superstructure above the forests.
The rooms, coated with white stucco, are often little more than narrow slots because of the confining nature of the corbeled vaults, but this was probably intentional, to keep esoteric ceremonies from the public. The so-called palaces of Maya sites differ only from the temple pyramids in that they are lower and contain a great many rooms. Their purpose still eludes discovery; many scholars doubt that they really served as palaces, for the rooms are damp and uncomfortable, and there is little or no evidence of permanent occupation.
The temples and palaces are generally arranged around courts, often with inscribed stelae and altars arranged in rows before them. Leading from the central plazas are great stone causeways, the function of which was probably largely ceremonial.
Other features of lowland sites but not universal are sweathouses, ball courts, and probably marketplaces. There are more than 50 known sites that deserve to be called major.
Tikal is the largest and best-known Classic site of the Central Subregion. It is dominated by six lofty temple pyramids, one of which is some feet 70 metres high, the tallest structure ever raised by the Mesoamerican Indians. Lintels of sapodilla wood still span the doorways of the temple superstructures and are carved with reliefs of Maya lords enthroned amid scenes of great splendour. Some extraordinary Late Classic tombs have been discovered at Tikal, the most important of which produced a collection of bone tubes and strips delicately incised with scenes of gods and men.
Ten large reservoirs, partly or entirely artificial, supplied the scarce drinking water for the residents of Tikal. While its architectural remains are on a minor scale, it is noted for its gigantic stelae and altars carved from sandstone. The principal watercourse on the western side of the Central Subregion is the Usumacinta River , originating in the Guatemalan highlands and emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.
The discovery in of the magnificent murals embellishing the rooms of an otherwise modest structure astounded the archaeological world. From floors to vault capstones, its stuccoed walls were covered with highly realistic polychrome scenes of a jungle battle, the arraignment of prisoners, and victory ceremonies. These shed an entirely new light on the nature of Maya society, which up until then had been considered peaceful.
In the hills just above the floodplain of the Usumacinta lies Palenque , usually considered to be the most beautiful of Maya sites. The principal structure is the Palace, a veritable labyrinth of galleries with interior courts; over it looms a four-story square tower that may have served as both lookout and observatory.
A small stream flowing through the site was carried underneath the Palace by a long, corbel-vaulted tunnel. The temples of the Cross, Foliated Cross, and Sun were all built on the same plan, the back room of each temple having a kind of sanctuary designed like the temple of which it was a part.
It can be supposed that all three temples served the same cult. The most extraordinary feature of Palenque, however, was the great funerary crypt discovered in deep within the Temple of the Inscriptions. Within a sarcophagus in the crypt were the remains of an unusually tall ruler, accompanied by the richest offering of jade ever seen in a Maya tomb.
Over his face had been fitted a mask of jade mosaic, while a treasure trove of jade adorned his body. At Chenes sites, Maya architects constructed frontal portals surrounded by the jaws of sky serpents and faced entire buildings with a riot of baroquely carved grotesques and spirals.
Uxmal is the most important Puuc ceremonial centre and an architectural masterpiece. It has all of the characteristics of the Puuc style: The nearby centre of Kabah, connected to Uxmal by a ceremonial causeway, has an extraordinary palace completely faced with masks of the Sky Serpent. Just how late Puuc sites remained active, with major constructions being dedicated, remains something of a question. They may have been either central Mexican Toltecs or Gulf coast peoples who probably were Maya-speakers and who had adopted central-Mexican ways.
In this connection, it should be noted that Puuc sites were under several influences from Gulf-coast Mexico, particularly from central Veracruz. Maya art, at the height of its development, was fundamentally unlike any other in Mesoamerica, for it was highly narrative, baroque, and often extremely cluttered, unlike the more austere styles found elsewhere.
It is essentially a painterly rather than sculptural tradition, and it is quite likely that even stone reliefs were first designed by painters. Much of this art has disappeared for all time because of the ravages of the wet, tropical environment on such perishable materials as wood, painted gourds, feathers, bark, and other substances.
There must have been thousands of bark-paper codices , not one of which has survived from Classic times. A few wooden objects have somehow survived. Particularly noteworthy are the massive wooden lintels of Tikal , with scenes of lords and their guardian deities, accompanied by lengthy hieroglyphic texts.
In ancient times, wood carvings must have been vastly more common than sculptures. The wet climate has also destroyed innumerable examples of mural art. Maya pottery can be divided into two groups: Vessels meant to accompany the honoured dead were usually painted or carved with naturalistic and often macabre scenes. To achieve polychrome effects of great brilliance, the Maya potters painted in semitranslucent slips over a light background, then fired the vessels at a very low temperature. Relief carving was carried out when the vessels were leather-hard, just before firing.
The most precious substance of all to the Maya was jade , to which their craftsmen devoted great artistry. Jade was mainly fashioned into thin plaques, carved in relief, or into beads. In the absence of metal tools, jade was worked by applying abrasives and water with cane or perhaps other pieces of jade. It is their intellectual life that established the cultural superiority of the Maya over all other American Indians. Much of this was based upon a calendrical system that was partly shared with other Mesoamerican groups but that they perfected into a tool capable of recording important historical and astronomical information.
Most Maya inscriptions that have been interpreted are calendrical inscriptions. Since the late s it has been learned that the content of Classic Maya inscriptions was far more secular than had been supposed. For many years specialists believed that the inscriptions recorded little more than the passage of time and that, in fact, the Maya were time worshipers; but it has been shown that certain inscriptions recorded the birth, accession, marriage, and military victories of ruling dynasties.
Yet it would be misleading to contend that the hurly-burly of Maya court affairs and conquests was all that mattered, for some texts must have been sacred and god-oriented. At Palenque, in the similar temples of the Cross, Foliated Cross, and Sun, the dates inscribed on the tablets in the sanctuaries fall into three groups. The very latest seem to refer to events in the lives of reigning monarchs.
The meaning of many non-calendrical signs and even of complete clauses is not known, but there is a difference between this and assigning an actual Maya word to an ancient glyph or a sentence to a glyphic clause.
While it is certain that the language of the Classic inscriptions was Mayan, it is also certain that it was more archaic than any of the Mayan languages spoken at the time of the conquest, six centuries after the Classic downfall. The four extant Maya codices —the Madrid Codex , the Paris Codex , the Dresden Codex , and the Grolier Codex —none dating earlier than , contain a strong phonetic component, in fact a kind of syllabary , which can be successfully read as Yucatec Maya , but the Classic peoples of the Central Subregion more likely spoke an ancestor of the Cholan branch of Maya.
Furthermore, Maya hieroglyphic writing covers the entire span from about ce to the conquest, during which time both the language or languages and the writing system itself must have undergone extensive evolution. In writing systems in general, there is usually a development from pictographic signs , in which a picture stands for a word or concept, through logographic systems, in which words are still the basic unit but phoneticism is employed to reduce ambiguities as in Chinese , to phonetic syllabaries, and finally to alphabets.
Probably most Classic Maya hieroglyphs are logograms with a mainly ideographic orientation, and it seems that there was a considerable degree of flexibility in how the words and sentences could be written. By the Postclassic, this had been codified into a much more rigid system closely resembling that of Japanese , in which a well-defined syllabary can supplement or even replace logograms. There are approximately to logograms in Classic Maya the number varies according to how one separates affixes from so-called main signs , but it will probably be many years before the majority of these are satisfactorily deciphered.
Great progress, however, has been made in unraveling their meaning in specific contexts. Maya mathematics included two outstanding developments: These may rightly be deemed among the most brilliant achievements of the human mind. The same may also be said of ancient Maya astronomy. The duration of the solar year had been calculated with amazing accuracy, as well as the synodical revolution of Venus. The Dresden Codex contains very precise Venusian and lunar tables and a method of predicting solar eclipses.
Maya chronology consisted of three main elements: All Middle American civilizations used the two first counts, which permitted officials accurately to determine a date within a period defined as the least common multiple of and The Classic Maya Long Count inscriptions enumerate the cycles that have elapsed since a zero date in bce. To those Initial Series were added the Supplementary Series information about the lunar month and the Secondary Series, a calendar-correction formula that brought the conventional date in harmony with the true position of the day in the solar year.
Both Classic and recent Maya held the tzolkin as the most sacred means of divination , enabling the priests to detect the favourable or evil influences attached to every day according to the esoteric significance of the numbers and the day-signs.
Several gods who played significant roles in the Postclassic codices, however, can be identified on earlier Maya monuments. In his serpent form he appears on the ceremonial bar held in the arms of Maya rulers on Classic stelae.
The Classic Maya lavished great attention on their royal dead, who almost surely were thought of as descended from the gods and partaking of their divine essence. Many reliefs and all of the pictorial pottery found in tombs deal with the underworld and the dangerous voyage of the soul through that land. Classic Maya funerary ceramics show that this dark land was ruled by a number of gods, including several sinister old men often embellished with jaguar emblems, the jaguar being associated with the night and the nether regions.
The Classic, as well as the Postclassic, Maya practiced human sacrifice , although not on the scale of the Aztecs. The victims were probably captives, including defeated rulers and nobles. Self-sacrifice or self-mutilation was also common; blood drawn by jabbing spines through the ear or penis, or by drawing a thorn-studded cord through the tongue, was spattered on paper or otherwise collected as an offering to the gods.
The four main categories of documents that provide knowledge of the Maya civilization and its religion are: From surviving temples, tombs, sculpture, wall paintings, pottery, and carved jades, shells, and bone, a significant amount of valuable information can be gained—e. Perhaps the most important archaeological source, however, is the hieroglyphic texts carved on stone monuments or stone or bone artifacts and painted on pottery.
These, insofar as they can be translated, provide descriptions of ceremonies and beliefs. Four native hieroglyphic books of pre-Columbian date survived the Spanish conquest. The Dresden , Madrid , and Paris codices are named for the cities in which three of the codices are now housed. It is housed in Mexico City. Written on bark paper, these codices deal with astronomical calculations, divination, and ritual.
They appear to be Postclassic copies of earlier Classic originals. After the Spanish conquest, books were written by learned Indians who transcribed or summarized hieroglyphic records.
The former consist of historical chronicles mixed with myth , divination, and prophecy, and the latter which shows definite central Mexican influences embodies the mythology and cosmology of the Postclassic Guatemalan Maya. The Ritual of the Bacabs covers religious symbolism , medical incantations, and similar matters. It describes Postclassic rather than Classic religion, but given the deeply conservative nature of Maya religion, it is highly probable that much of this description is pertinent for the earlier period.
To these archaeological, ethnohistorical, and historical sources may be added the observations of modern ethnologists about the present-day Maya.
Thus, in the Guatemalan highlands, the day calendar still survives, as do ancient prayers to and information about Maya gods. It is likely that a simpler religion of nature worship prevailed in Early Formative times. This probably began to undergo modification during the Middle Formative, as astronomical knowledge became more precise. Certainly by the Late Formative bce , if not earlier , with the appearance of major centres and pyramid and temple constructions, an elaborate worldview had evolved.
Deified heavenly bodies and time periods were added to the earlier-conceived corn and rain gods. Concepts derived from priestly speculation were imposed upon the simpler religious beginnings. Religion became increasingly esoteric, with a complex mythology interpreted by a closely organized priesthood. The Maya, like other Middle American Indians, believed that several worlds had been successively created and destroyed before the present universe had come into being.
The Dresden Codex holds that the end of a world will come about by deluge: People were made successively of earth who, being mindless, were destroyed , then of wood who, lacking souls and intelligence and being ungrateful to the gods, were punished by being drowned in a flood or devoured by demons , and finally of a corn gruel the ancestors of the Maya. Four Itzamnas, one assigned to each direction of the universe, were represented by celestial monsters or two-headed, dragonlike iguanas.
Four gods, the Bacabs , sustained the sky. Each world direction was associated with a Bacab, a sacred ceiba, or silk cotton tree, a bird, and a colour according to the following scheme: Green was the colour of the centre. The main act of creation, as stated in the Popol Vuh , was the dawn: According to other traditions, the Sun male was the patron of hunting and music , and the Moon female was the goddess of weaving and childbirth.
Lunar light is less bright than that of the Sun because, it was said, one of her eyes was pulled out by the Sun in punishment for her infidelity. Because the Maya priests had reached advanced knowledge of astronomical phenomena and a sophisticated concept of time, it appears that their esoteric doctrines differed widely from the popular myths. The Maya believed that 13 heavens were arranged in layers above the earth, which itself rested on the back of a huge crocodile or reptilian monster floating on the ocean.
Under the earth were nine underworlds, also arranged in layers. Thirteen gods, the Oxlahuntiku, presided over the heavens; nine gods, the Bolontiku, ruled the subterranean worlds. These concepts are closely akin to those of the Postclassic Aztec, but archaeological evidence, such as the nine deities sculptured on the walls of a 7th-century crypt at Palenque, shows that they were part of the Classic Maya cosmology.
Time was an all-important element of Maya cosmology. The priest-astronomers viewed time as a majestic succession of cycles without beginning or end. All the time periods were considered as gods; time itself was believed to be divine. Another symbol of the corn god is a foliated cross or life tree represented in two Palenque sanctuaries.
The rain god Chac has a mask with characteristic protruding fangs, large round eyes, and a proboscis-like nose. Such masks are a common element in Puuc architecture. The four hieroglyphic manuscripts, especially the Dresden Codex , depict a number of deities whose names are known only through Postclassic documents. The Chacs, the rain gods of the peasants, were believed to pour rain by emptying their gourds and to hurl stone axes upon the earth the lightning.
Their companions were frogs uo , whose croakings announced the rains. Earth gods were worshiped in the highlands, and wind gods were of minor importance in Maya territory. The corn god, a youthful deity with an ear of corn in his headdress, also ruled over vegetation in general. Several other deities were associated with death—e.