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Mesoamerica: Incas/Aztecs/Mayas - Arts & Architecture

For our project, we had to compare one aspect of civilization between the 3 major civilizations of Mesoamerica, which were the Incas, the Aztecs, and the Mayas. This prezi was created by Pree Rao and Allison Kim. Period 7 Social Studies.

Pree Rao

on 7 April 2016

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Transcript of Mesoamerica: Incas/Aztecs/Mayas - Arts & Architecture

Dress up your Scrapbook with these fun extras!
Other Materials
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The Americas
Spanish Impact on The Mesoamerican Civilizations
Personal Interest
Music, Dance, and Theater
- Mayans loved dance. It was a form of entertainment for the people of the Mayan Empire. Some scholars believe that the Mayan empire had a variety of dances. Some were called the Monkey, the Grandfather, the Shadow of the Trees., and the Centipede Dance.
- Each movement had a separate meaning in society.
- The costumes were elaborate.
- There was also ritual dancing.
-Main themes were religion, war, and sacrifice.
- Mayans played instruments such as the drums. They also used everyday objects to create sound, such as turtle shells and pottery flute.

- Theater and dance were closely connected to religion and the beliefs of the Aztec elite.
- The performances were performed based on the Aztec calender.
- Even the sacrificed were prepared for a year before they were sacrificed. They learned the various dialogues and rituals and were prepared like actors.
- There were special school built to pass down the theater traditions in society.
- Paintings were used to record the various song and hymns.
- Students were required to learn the songs and know them by heart.

-The basic parts of Incan music and dance was very similar to that of the Aztecs.
- Rituals were mainly created to honor the emperor and reinforce the social order.
- Oral tradition, sacrifice, and agricultural cycles were main parts of a dramatic performance.
- The actors were members of the nobility. The plays were also performed mainly to the nobility.
- The plays were passed through speech, causing the dialogue to be very basic.

Machu Picchu: The Stone Walls
The Mayan Stelas
-a very large stone slab inscribed
with hieroglyphics
(So that people could better understand
-tells a story about a major event
- might be built to honor any
important occasion
(Stelas are built to celebrate the
Ka'tun, a special ceremony)
*concise angles and slopes as well as
smooth surfaces*.
-to glorify the king and record his deeds
-Mythical scenes
-To impress Viewers
-consist of tall sculpted stone shafts and are often associated with low circular stones referred to as altars
-Many are still readable today
-Are useful for scientists to piece together the life in the ancient Mayan Empire

: The Hallmark of The Mayan Civilization
A Mayan Stela (Stele)
Stela H, a high-relief in-the-round sculpture from Copán in Honduras
Detail of Stela B, a high relief sculpture from Copán depicting the king Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil[19]
*The Mayans (continued)
- had a central courtyard offering privacy
to those who lived there.
*Temples and Pyramids
-Pyramids were sometimes used as tombs
for the royals, as well as for other purposes,
but temples were never used as tombs.
Temples were homes.
*The Incans
-Stonework construction
ex) Machu Picchu= City for “Chosen Women”
-50 burial sites (80%)
-The Sacred Plaza: Temple to the Sun/
Temple to the Moon
-More than 100 flights of steep steps
+The last hideout from the Spanish
(The Inca stone work is said to be so meticulous
at many temples that a coin or even a pin
cannot fit between the stones.)
*The Aztecs
-Floating gardens (Chinampas)
- built a series of rafts and anchored
each to the lake bed
-To grow crops to fill in the great hunger
of great population
-Also acted as walkways
-Causeways and Bridges that linked the islands
of their great capital city of Tenochtitlan together.
-Statues, Pyramids, Temples

The Aztec Floating Garden
*The Mayans (continued)
-For rulers
-Job of rulers: hereditary
-built around a central garden or
court for protection and privacy.
-For worship/
Where priests live

The Mayan Pyramid

-Developed Painting, Pottery, Weaving, and Metalworking.
-Jewelry was a important form of art
-There was a surplus of gold available in the region, thus directly effecting the Incan art.
-Cusco had many innovations in pottery, including molding and pottery glazing.
-An important form of art in the Incan Empire. They used precious metals to craft jewelry and other valuable goods for the nobles.
- Metalworking was also used to create tools and ceremonial knives.
-Incans were also famed for their weaving and pottery.
-Detailed designs included geometric patters, supernatural aspects, and things to explain daily life.

-Mayan art tends to be ornate, detailed, and grand.
-Mayans also created objects called steles, which were like modern
day tombstones. The person's profile would be carved and then decorated with headdresses and carried scepters.
-Mayan art was did not only use stone as a medium, it also used wood and carved intricate designs into it.
-Daily events and beliefs were mainly carved in to wood and stone.
-Mayans also created murals to record events. Many of them are in narrative form.
-This art evolved after Teotihuacán was built and became a bustling city.
-Arts was simple, cubic, and geometric
-Teotihuacán was famous for the masks they created.
-They were made of clay, stone, serpentine, onyx, and granite.

-Aztecs were deeply connected to nature, so they created charming sculptures of animals and plants.
- The most famous Aztec sculpture was called the Calender Stone. It is carved in relief and contains a plethora or cosmological symbols. It records the different epochs of Aztecs societies..
- Aztecs loved to portray their gods through sculptures, monuments, ornaments, and architecture.
- Religion was a major part of Aztec art.
- Sculptures were created with strong lines and always had a deep religious significance.
- Clay and stone was used as mediums for sculptures.
- Aztecs ornamentation was widely created and many semiprecious stones were used in the creation of the ornamentation. Gold and copper was mainly used. They made masks and shields.
- Mosaics were also created, and things such as animals and plants were created. These would also be used for rituals. However, they were mainly used as adornments for crowns and other luxuries.
- The Aztec considered feathers to be very valuable as they were used in headdresses and other clothes.
-The Aztecs also created murals that would be found on sides of building

*The Mayans
-To honor the gods
-To conduct ceremonies
-Each pyramids look similar
-Traps: steep steps and tunnels
-Pyramids were named after Spaniards that
visited there.
- Many books that were written by the Mayans were burnt by the Spanish.
- However, some traditions are still done by their descendants, as some culture still lived on.

- The capital was filled with canals that were used for transportation were destroyed by the Spanish drained a nearby lake.
- As the conquistadors turned many of the citizens into Christians, there was Christian influence in many of the arts.

- Many of the metal works were melted by the Spaniards.
- Conquistadors looted many of the civilizations.
- Monuments were divided into claims and titles were handed out by the Spaniards.
-Pizarro constructed the city of Lima and built a magnificent palace. Lima became a cultural center.
- Spanish destroyed much of the Incan legacy by destroying their artworks.
By Pree Rao and Allison Kim

Period 7 Social Studies
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