Inventions & Achievements Illustration

Maya Empire for Kids
& Achievements

The ancient Maya built their civilization using ideas they learned from the Olmec, an earlier tribe. The Olmec society was built on agriculture. They established farming villages. They were the first people to built roads through the jungle, roads which were used by them as trade routes. These trade routes stretched for hundreds of miles.

By 1400 BCE, the Olmec had a capital city with palaces and temples. They were the first people in the Americas to build huge religious centers in their towns and cities.

As the Maya slowly took over the region from the Olmec, the Maya built on the many clever ideas of these earlier people. For example, the Olmec created a solar calendar. The Maya, using their knowledge of astronomy, and building on the Olmec solar calendar, created the most accurate calendar in the ancient world. The Maya also created inventions of their own, inventions like the vast underground reservoirs that held fresh water safely in times of drought.

Both the Olmec and the Maya invented many things, but they never used the wheel, and they never made metal weapons or tools.

Here are just a few of the many inventions and achievements of the Maya people. They were a very advanced civilization.

A system of writing - hieroglyphics (Maya glyphs)

A system of government

Fair laws and trials with judges

Counting & Calendars

Maya Art



Palaces & Temples

Maya Stelas

Maya Cities

The First Team Sport: Ball Courts


Corn tortillas, Chocolate

Dance (over 1000 dances, many still performed today)


Fabulous headdresses

Beautiful Fabrics

Construction of underground reservoirs to store fresh water

The Maya Inventions (cartoon video)

Maya Scientific Achievements - rubber, tear gas, writing, astronomy, buildings, basketball, libraries, medicines and the construction of hospitals, roadways and more

Mayas for Kids