The Majestic Mayan Empire

Mayan_Empire

The Mayan Empire, which thrived in modern-day Guatemala, was the epitome of power and prosperity during the sixth century A.D. It was one of the most superior societies of Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America). The Mayans showed excellence in the fields of agriculture, pottery, hieroglyph writing, calendar development, and mathematics.

The earliest Mayan settlements that have been recorded date back to 1800 B.C., which may be referred to as the start of Preclassic Period. What set them apart from the other civilizations was their place of residence. Whereas, a majority of the civilizations before, during, and after Mayan times were often dispersed in several different areas or even cities, the Mayans would remain in one block of an area; this was the geographical block that would cover the Yucatan Peninsula along with Guatemala. This also meant that the Mayans remained secure from any attacks of the other empires and tribes present in the Mesoamerican region.

The Mayans would show great advancement in their agricultural techniques and were able to harvest crops such as corn, beans, squash, and cassava. They were also very apt at building pyramids, constructing cities, and etching stone monuments.

The golden age of the Mayan Empire came during A.D. 250 when the Mayan society inhabited around 40 cities at the time. Each of its cities would hold up to 5,000 or more people, and the entire population of the Mayan empire racked up to 2,000,000 people.

Mayan excavations have helped with the discovery of palaces, temples, plazas, and pyramids being built by the Mayans. The farmers of the Mayan Empire made up the major segment of the population and they would often use advanced irrigation and terracing methods.

The Mayans also proved to be extremely devout and would worship several gods. Their gods had been categorized into different worldly elements such as the God of Sun, God of Moon, God of Rain, and God of Corn. The kings of the empire would come in second in the hierarchy, after the gods. The kings would claim and be considered people related to the gods and acted as the messengers of gods and the people. They would come in power through hereditary succession and also performed religious ceremonies and rituals pertaining to the culture.

Starting from the later eighth century to the end of the ninth century the Mayans had slowly started to abandon their homes in the Mayan cities and dispersed. No one really knows the reason for such a move but some scholars assume that this was possible because of the exhaustion of the natural resources of the cities.

 

About the Author
Amita Vadlamudi writes extensively on history and ancient cultures. Her resume and her various other works and interests may be found at the following sites.

https://www.cakeresume.com/amita-vadlamudi

https://foursquare.com/amitavadlamudi

http://www.worky.com/amita-vadlamudi

https://www.xing.com/profile/Amita_Vadlamudi

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Owning a Dog as a Pet

dog

Dogs by far make the best pets. They are affectionate and loyal to their owners and bring great companionship and happiness.

There are hundreds of breeds of dogs. Retrievers, poodles, terriers, collies, German shepherds, Dalmatians, and beagles are some of the most popular breeds. Dogs come in many sizes. Smallest is the Chihuahua which weighs around 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds).  St. Bernard breed is the heaviest at around 90 kilograms (200 pounds). Dogs vary greatly in appearance. Some barely look like dogs. Some dogs have so much hair that they look like small wooly mammoths. Some have no hair at all. Some have so much skin that they look like they are wearing a thick quilt. Some dogs look mean when in fact they are docile. Other dogs look attractive, when in fact they might be troublesome.

Physical appearance is only one of the characteristics that go into the selection of a dog as a pet. Their temperament and their behavior is what is even more important. One thing for certain is that people love their dogs regardless of the dog’s look.

Dogs are loving, loyal, and comforting. However, they are not always obedient or easy to take care of. They demand much time. They need to be walked in all types of weather. Their food, grooming, kenneling,  and medical bills could be costly. Prospective pet owners much do a thorough research on the suitability of the dog before they decide to take on the responsibility. They must clearly weigh the pros and cons of owning a pet and prepare to make a serious commitment. There are many good books available on dogs and pets in the book stores, libraries, and online.Dogs certainly make great reading, and if properly chosen, dogs make great pets.

 

About the Author: Amita Vadlamudi spent her entire professional career working on the computers and computer related jobs. When she is not working, Amita Vadlamudi likes to unwind with books on other, more lively subjects. Ms. Vadlamudi’s professional resume may be found on the following web sites:

Resumonk Site

Edocr Site

 

The Hobby of Coin Collecting

coins

Coin collecting is a hobby enjoyed by many around the world. Indeed it is one of the oldest hobbies even from the ancient times, engaged by royalty and academia. A lot can be learned from coin collecting such as history, culture and politics and can be shared with and passed down the generations.

The technical name for coin collecting is numismatics. It is the collection and study of coins as well as the paper money from around the world for their artistic value rather than their monetary face value.

History of Coin Collecting

There has been a lot of evidence that coin collecting was a prominent hobby in the Roman era. Suetonius’ De vita Ceasarum shares that emperor Augustus was fond of old and foreign coins and would give them as gifts to his friends. It is thought that coins have been collected since as long as they have existed.

Some scholars have contested that it is the Italian Renaissance that gave birth to coin collection, but numerous Greek and Roman accounts argue otherwise.

The hobby of coin collecting surged back into popularity during the Renaissance period. During the 15 and 16th-century, ancient coin collecting became the hobby of the kings. In the 17th century the nature of collecting geared more towards serious research.

It became an academic pursuit and a lot of guidelines were published.

Types of Coin Collectors

Novice: This is someone who collects coins as they come across them. They don’t have a specific theme and rely on friends or family to give them the coins.

Hobbyist: This person collects coins as a hobby. They are in the beginning stages and want to own a small specific collection without having to spend a lot of money. They may be a part of the coin club or be affiliated with a local coin shop where they engage in trading.

Generalist: this person has coins from all around the world. They don’t focus on any particular sort of coin. One of Egyptian kings from early 1900’s, King Farouk was known to be a generalist who collected coins of huge variety and scope.

Specialist: This person is the opposite of the generalist and focuses specifically on one sort of coin collection such as a particular historic period.

Completists: This person collects every type of coin within a certain category. A collector named Louis Eliasberg is known to have collected a complete set of all the known coins the United States.

Coin Collecting as an Investment

There is a good market for coins for people who want to engage in trading coins. The price of the coins is often fluctuating and the right move at the right time can yield good profits. Rare coins can bring in top dollars.

 

About the Author:

Amita Vadlamudi has written numerous articles on varied subjects. Check out Ms. Vadlamudi’s Wix site for food-related articles. Amita Vadlamudi’s professional profile can be found at her About.me Web site.

Safe Hiking Tips

 

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Hiking is an outdoor activity which involves walking in natural environments, often on hiking trails. With hiking, you can view great landscapes, get exercise and fresh air, become refreshed, and improve your health. Before you set out on your first hiking expedition, however, it is important to do some research and take steps to insure a safe hiking trip.

Be smart: when you are planning on going on a strenuous hike please make sure to start working out a week or two prior to that. You must build up your stamina gradually and not push yourself more than you can handle.

Let others know: before you are about to leave let your family or friends know where you are going, whether you are going alone or with a group of friends. Tell them that you will contact them when you get back (and do contact them to avoid them sending a search party after you). It is always preferable to go in groups rather than going alone, especially as a beginner.

Know where you are going: as a beginner, it is better not to improvise your hike, better that you know where you are going unless you are with an experienced hiker. Bring a compass along, also pay attention to the landmarks as you pass them by.

Bring a lot of water: All that walking would require you to keep yourself hydrated. If you are going on very long hikes it helps to carry water purifying tablets with you.

Dress for the part: Keep one or two pieces of warm clothing and a raincoat because the weather can be unpredictable sometimes. In cold weather, dress in layers. Buy good quality hiking shoes and socks to prevent blisters.

Keep a first aid kit and some precautionary items: You need a first aid kit to treat injuries and prevent infections. Bring along sunscreen, bug spray, pepper spray, pocket knife, and sunglasses. Although you might not get a good reception on some hiking trails and wilderness, it is still a good idea to bring along a fully charged cell phone and also a portable charger.

Taking a few good precautions will get you a long way in insuring a safe and enjoyable hiking trip.

About the Author: Amita Vadlamudi greatly enjoys the outdoors and particularly hiking on trails with good vistas. Amita Vadlamudi finds hiking to be a great exercise activity and a wonderful health booster.

 

 

The Central Asian Plains’ Ancient Oxus Civilization

 Oxus Civilization pic

Oxus Civilization
Image: discovermagazine.com

Amita Vadlamudi served as an IT professional for more than 30 years, undertaking large-scale engineering projects spanning Unix and mainframe systems and performing complex coding assignments. An avid reader of history books, Amita Vadlamudi is particularly interested in ancient cultures.

Beyond the ancient Greeks, Sumerians, and Egyptians, there were a number of early advanced cultures whose accomplishments have largely remained a mystery. These include the Oxus civilization, who lived on the Central Asian plains 4,000 years ago.

Spanning 1,000 square miles in what is now Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan, the civilization was concurrent with the emergence of complex societies along the Yellow, Indus, Nile, and Tigris-Euphrates rivers.

The civilization was named Oxus, after the Amu Dar’ya River, which at the time was known as the Oxus River. Bronze Age sites reveal distinctive art forms and regularly proportioned thick-walled mud brick structures that indicate a level of advancement previously thought to have reached the region 1,000 years later. A major find of the late 20th century that has generated significant interest is a 350-by-600-foot citadel in Gonur that was surrounded by towers and a high wall, and had canals and an irrigation system in place.

An Overview of Minimizing Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon Footprint pic

Carbon Footprint
Image: carbonfund.org

Amita Vadlamudi, a computer systems engineer with a major financial services provider, is an active environmentalist. Amita Vadlamudi enjoys spending her time researching a variety of topics, from matters of climate and weather to the characteristics of earth’s landforms and waterways.

There are a number of steps environmentalists can take in order to minimize their carbon footprint. One of the most effective actions an individual can take involves finding a workable alternative to driving an automobile. Walking or cycling is a viable option in many scenarios, while further distances can be achieved through public transportation or carpooling, all of which can help lower carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Any person concerned about the environment should also look into low carbon vehicles, including electric cars.

An individual’s carbon footprint can also be reduced at home. Installing proper insulation not only help maintain heat during the winter and cool air in the summer, but can yield financial gains in the form of state programs such as Energy Upgrade California. Homeowners may further optimize the energy efficiency of their home by installing solar panels and LED lighting systems.

Early History of the US Supreme Court

US Supreme Court pic

US Supreme Court
Image: history.com

Outside of her career as a computer systems engineer, Amita Vadlamudi maintains interests in many subjects, including American history. With the April 2017 confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as the 113th justice of the US Supreme Court, individuals like Amita Vadlamudi may find themselves wondering about the court’s earliest days and its first justices.

On September 24, 1789, five months after taking office as the first president of the United States, George Washington signed the Judiciary Act of 1789, which formally established the US Supreme Court and the rest of the federal judiciary. On the same day, he nominated the court’s first chief justice, John Jay, and five associate justices: John Blair Jr., John Rutledge, William Cushing, James Wilson, and Robert Harrison.

The founding fathers of the United States had empowered the US Congress to create the Supreme Court in the US Constitution, and the US Senate had taken up the Judiciary Act as the first piece of business in the body’s history, passing it on the same day as President Washington’s subsequent signing. Two days later, on September 26, 1789, the Senate confirmed all six of the president’s nominations.

The court first met in February of 1790 and then again in August of the same year. It spent its earliest days determining its responsibilities and organizing the federal court system. The Supreme Court did not rule on its first case until 1792, by which time some of the seats belonged to judges other than those originally nominated by President Washington.

It was not until almost 100 years later that the Supreme Court stabilized its numbers of justices, becoming the nine-member court the country knows today. With his confirmation, Judge Gorsuch joins a judicial body that stands as the ultimate arbiter of disputes related to the Constitution.

Benjamin Franklin and Poor Richard’s Almanack

 

Benjamin Franklin pic

Benjamin Franklin
Image: amazon.com

With around 35 years of experience as a computer systems engineer, Amita Vadlamudi most recently worked with a major financial services firm. Amita Vadlamudi enjoys reading, especially on the topic of American history.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the writers of the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, is known as one of America’s Founding Fathers. In addition to his political career, Franklin was an inventor, printer, and writer. He published the book known as Poor Richard’s Almanack, first under the pseudonym Richard Saunders.

The Almanack contained poetry and weather predictions as well as advice on work and life that turned into common idioms still heard today. Examples of the Almanack’s maxims include “there are no gains without pains” and “he that lives upon hope will die fasting.” While Franklin usually received credit for the aphorisms, he commented that many of them were already popular sayings that he put in print. Franklin continued to publish the Almanack annually for 25 years, and it was one of his most profitable publications.

Documentation in the Assyrian Empire

 

Assyrian Empire pic

Assyrian Empire
Image: ancient-civilizations.com

Amita Vadlamudi is a longtime computer systems engineer in the financial services field. Outside of professional pursuits, Amita Vadlamudi has a strong interest in anthropology and ancient cultures. One culture popularly studied by anthropology buffs is Assyria, a region in the Near East that extended from Mesopotamia through Egypt thousands of years ago.

The Assyrian Empire and its capital of Ashur took their names from the god Ashur, who was reinterpreted as a son of Noah once the Assyrians accepted Christianity. The Assyrians initially spoke Akkadian but, like many nations in the Middle East, moved to Aramaic for its ease of use.

The Assyrian Empire had several advantages over other empires in the region, which ultimately led to greater success. For instance, one of its major emperors, Tukulti-Ninurta I, employed his scribes and scholars to create an efficient bureaucracy and to catalogue existing written works. While the Assyrians crushed revolts with overwhelming force, they also made sure to document the knowledge and cultures of conquered cities and nations, in the interest of expanding the empire’s technological and cultural dominance in the region.

Cownose Rays and Migration

Cownose Rays pic

Cownose Rays
Image: seathos.org

Computer systems engineer Amita Vadlamudi has more than three decades of experience in the information technology industry. Amita Vadlamudi also maintains an interest in marine biology and ocean creatures such as cownose rays.

An open water species found in tropical and temperate waters as well as parts of the Atlantic Ocean, cownose rays engage in mass migration twice a year. These endurance swimmers are built to traverse long distances using flexible, wing-like fins that extend from either side of their bodies, which often breach the water’s surface as they glide through the ocean. Cownose rays grow up to seven feet in length from wingtip to wingtip and reach maturity between four and five years old. Lifespans may vary according to distribution and migration route, with rays in the Gulf of Mexico living up to 18 years and populations in the western Atlantic Ocean only living to 13.

Migration occurs twice a year in large numbers. Groups in the Atlantic Ocean migrate southward in the late fall and northward in spring, although southbound groups often possess a larger population. Schools in the Gulf of Mexico often migrate clockwise, with each school consisting of around 10,000 individuals. Although marine biologists theorize that solar orientation and changes in water temperature may influence the onset of migration, this is not consistently true. For example, migration of the cownose ray population in Florida’s Pine Island Sound seems more influenced by predator avoidance and food availability.