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Mesoamerican Civilizations

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by

Steph Gorges

on 28 January 2014

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Transcript of Mesoamerican Civilizations

Religion
Polytheistic
The Popol Vuh - Narrative of creation myth
Humans created out of maize/water
Environment
Mayan
Civilization
2000 BCE - 1700 CE
Achievements:
Ball Game
Politics
Small city-kingdoms
No central power
Kings - "divine status"
Passed through male lineage
Economy
Based on trade & agriculture
Cacao beans as money
Social Status
Kings

Priests

Nobility/Merchants

Artists

Peasants/Slaves
Meso-American
Civilizations

Yucatan
Lowlands:
-Thin, tropical soils
-Built terraces & irrigation systems
Climate:
-Tropical
-Rainforests
Impact of geography!
Bloodletting rituals = the gods sending rain
Goal: Get the rubber ball through goal without using hands
Temple of Giant Jaguar
Tomb for a Mayan ruler
Located in Tikal
Mayan Calendars
Solar Year:
365 days
Ritual Year:
260 days
Long Cycle:
7885 years
end of world!
Trade Goods:
Animal skins, cacao, & art
(jade & obsidian)
2000 BCE
Maya Emerge
0
300-800 CE
Height of Mayans
900 CE
Decline
Smaller Mayan Civilization
in Chichen Itza
Religion
Polytheistic
Extremely religious
More temples/artifacts than any other ancient Mesoamerican civilization
Environment
People of
Teotihuacan
500 BCE - 650 CE
Achievements:
Temple of Sun
Politics
Theocracy - priests/rulers (connection with gods)
No military or defensive walls
Economics
Based on trade & agriculture
Social Status
Rulers/Priests

Artisans/ Merchants

Peasants
Teotihuacan
Central Mexico
Highlands
-Lakes with freshwater
-Agricultural center
-Channeled water from hills/mountains
Trade Goods:
Obsidian tools & orange pottery
500 BCE
Teotihuacan
Emerges
0
100-650 CE
Height of Civilization
Decline
Writing & Arts -
Perished when declined
650+ BCE
Invaders/Conquest
Burned city
Religion
Tezcatlipoca "Smoking Mirror"

Quetzalcoatl
"Feathered Serpent"
Geography
Toltecs
950 CE - 1150 CE
Achievements:
Politics
Large powerful army with tribute system
Centered in Tula
Economics
Tribute System
Social Status
Military/
Religious Leaders

Craftsman/Merchants

Agricultural workers
Central Mexico
City of Tula
650+ CE
Teotihuacan
Decline
-Toltecs migrated from NW Mexico
-Poor soil and little rain
-Used Tula River (irrigation)
War, Evil
Fertility, Good
Spacious Homes
stone, abode or mud
Because of tribute system
Toltecs
950 CE
1150 CE
1175 CE: Destroyed
Conquest/Invaded
Religion
Tezcatlipoca "Smoking Mirror"

Quetzalcoatl
"Feathered Serpent"
Geography
Aztecs
(Mexica)
1300-1521 CE
Achievements:
Politics
One king/leader
Empire - tribute system with conquered people
No administration/bureaucracy
Economics
Expansive, Oppressive
Tribute System
Social Status
King

Military elite Nobles/Priests

Cultivators/Slaves
Centered around Lake Texcoco
Tenochtitlan (island on Lake Texcoco)
Aztecs
1521 CE: Conquered by Cortes
Built chinampas - "floating gardens"
Adopted
Huitzilopotchli
Patron deity
Bloodletting
Temple
Height:
489 subject territories!
1300 CE
Writing
Pictographs & phonetic elements
Carved in stone or bark
Recorded history and astronomy
"State shamans" - mediate between humans and divine
Full transcript