Government: What did each Mayan city-state have?

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Part 1: Government and Cities

Under Maya, click on Government:

  1. What did each Mayan city-state have?

Own independent government

  1. About how many city-states where within the Mayan Civilization?


  1. What was each Mayan city-state ruled by?

A king

  1. What class were the council of leaders picked from?


  1. Why were priests so powerful in the Mayan government?

Religion was very important to the Maya

  1. What was the punishment for most major crimes in Mayan society?


  1. What did a shaven head represent in Mayan society?

Sign of shame

  1. Did the Mayans have women leaders?


  1. Besides paying taxes, what were Mayan men from the commoners class expected to do?

Serve as warriors

Under Maya, click on Sites and Cities

  1. What were the central buildings and complexes of Mayan cities aligned with?


  1. What types of buildings would be in the center of Mayan cities?

Palaces, pyramids, and temples

  1. What were Mayan cities generally located near?

Trade routes and good farmland

  1. About how many people lived in El Mirador at its peak?

100,000 people

  1. What is unique about the La Danta temple?

The La Danta temple is considered one of the largest pyramids in the world by total volume

  1. What was one of the most powerful city-states in the Classic period of Maya history?


  1. List several of the unique structures/buildings that Chichen Itza had:

Large pyramids, giant ball court, temple for warriors

  1. What was unique about the city of Palenque?

 Known as the "Red City" because its buildings were all painted red

Under Maya, click on Pyramids and Architecture

  1. What covered Mayan buildings and pyramids?

Carvings to honor the gods and kings

  1. What were the two “groups” the Mayans built pyramids for?

First type of pyramid was designed for the priests to walk on

The second type was designed for the gods, so they were very steep

  1. How many steps does the El Castillo Pyramid have? Why?

365, a step for each day of the year

  1. What type of building did each Mayan city-state have for the royal family?

A large palace

  1. What were Mayan ball courts sometimes attached to?


  1. What did the Mayans sometimes build new pyramids on top of?

Old pyramids

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