Their culture reached its peak between 300 and 900 and afterwards their major cities declined because of natural disasters and poor agricultural planning. Their later civilization showed heavy Toltec influence, such as the urban center of Chichén Itzá. The Mayas flourished until 1500 when their regions came under Spanish rule and their centers were abandoned.
They had organized social centers, advanced mathematics and astronomy and a complex hieroglyphic writing system. Like their Aztec neighbors they had a violent polytheistic religion, with deities such as Itzamná and Kukulcán.
They imagined earth being between a celestial pyramid of 13 levels, and an infernal pyramid of 9 levels. They believed that the souls of the departed passed through 8 levels of the Underworld before reaching Mictlán.
The Mayan calendar was a combination of 20 named and 13 numbered days creating a calendar of 260 individual days. The named days were: flint, mountain, jaguar, moon, water, flower, deer, serpent, vulture, lighting, rabbit, rain, dog, obsidian, sun, grass, wind, death, tree and lizard.
Mayan Sacred Days were:
- 8 Water: Goddess of Birth
- 12 Lightning: God of Rain
- 1 Flint: Goddess of Purification
- 4 Rabbit: God of Maize
- 11 Jaguar: God of Wealth
- 7 Mountain: Goddess of Earth
- 7 Obsidian: God of War
- 3 Tree: God of Fire
- 9 Dog: God of Death