The Maya Empire - Pottery, Glimpses of Daily Life and Symbols of Wealth Illustration

Maya Empire for Kids

In the ruins of the Maya cities, archaeologists have found many artifacts. Some of those artifacts are little statues made of clay. These little statues are detailed and brightly painted, and each shows a bit of daily life. Archaeologists have found a statue of a little ball player, someone wearing a very tall hat, and a musician shaking a rattle. Some statues are very scary looking, and probably have some religious meaning. Many of these little statues are actually whistles and rattles.

Maya artists were highly educated. They were members of the nobility. They used a paint made of finely ground clay and water to decorate their pottery. Their ceramics were used as tableware, currency, symbols of status, trade goods, offerings to the dead, and also for household use like cooking and storing food.

Archaeologists have also found pieces of pottery with scenes carved into the clay. Scenes they've found were of people in bloody battle and scenes of scary critters.

Over time, color was added. Their ceramics became colorful and bright and sometimes scary.

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