Ancient America Pre-Conquest• Bering Strait, less than 40,000 yrs. Ago• Nomadic groups of hunters and food gatherers to the elaborate empires of the Aztecs and the Inca and the Mayan states.• Farming allowed for the growth of the three empires while division of labor allowed oranization.
continued• Maya: – Distinguished by impressive achievement sin writing, calendrical science, mathematics, and architecture.• Aztec: – Mighty warriors, and a distinctive feature of their religion was large-scale human sacrifice.• Inca: – Greatest empire builders of ancient America, and they made a serious and largely successful effort to unify their empire through language and culture.
1. Aztec Warfare• Huitzilopochtli – deity of war, sun, human sacrifice and the patron of the city of Tenochtitlan.• Theocracy: No division of state and church.• War of the Flowers – Diego Durán states that the Flower wars were instigated by the Aztec Cihuacoatl, Tlacaelel, because of a great famine that occurred during the reign of Moctezuma I, which could only be assuaged through the means of human sacrifice. As a result, a treaty was signed between Tenochtitlan (the Aztec capital), Texcoco, Tlaxcala, and Huejotzingo, to engage in ritual battles which would provide fresh victims.
continued• Sacrifice was a vital part of Aztec culture.• The constant war-like state and culture of the Aztec empire caused resentment among its subjects and nearby neighbors.
The Halls of Moctezuma• Theocracy and Royal absolutism• Elaborate ceremonies and pompous splendor of social rituals.