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Cultures Of The Americas (Part #2)

Cultures Of The Americas (Part #2)






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    Cultures Of The Americas (Part #2) Cultures Of The Americas (Part #2) Presentation Transcript

      • Essential Questions:
      • What were the Americas like before the arrival of Europeans?
      • How would one characterize the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilizations?
      • What was the Iroquois Confederacy?
    • The Maya: Classical Period (250 CE – 900 CE)
      • Saw the peak of large-scale construction and the recording of monumental inscriptions
      • They developed an agriculturally intensive, city-centered empire
      • The cities of Tikal and Copán were built during this period
      • Architecture includes the stepped pyramids
      • The Maya participated in long distance trade with many of the other Mesoamerican cultures
        • The Tainos in the Caribbean, are one such culture
    • The Maya Collapse
      • Cities were abandoned during the 9th century
      • There is no one theory to explain this “collapse”
      • Current theories fall into two categories:
        • Non-ecological Theories
          • Overpopulation
          • Invasion
          • Revolt
          • Collapse of key trade routes
        • Ecological Theories:
          • Environmental disaster
          • Disease
          • Climate change
      • The best theory is that the Maya population exceeded its agricultural potential
    • The Aztecs
      • Origins and Mythology
        • Aztecs' legendary home was Aztlan
        • Some believe Aztlan was somewhere to the north
        • Others suggest it’s a mythical place
          • The Lost City (Atlantis)
      • Rise of the Aztecs
        • Over the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries the Aztec civilization grew in power and territory
        • The capital of the empire was Tenochtitlan
          • The city was interlaced with canals which were useful for transportation
        • Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan rose above the city
      • Mexico City is built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan
    • The Aztecs
      • Human Sacrifice
        • Human sacrifice was practiced throughout Mesoamerica
        • Aztecs brought this practice to an unprecedented level
        • Aztecs reported that they sacrificed 84,400 prisoners over the course of four days
          • 879 people a day, 37 people an hour
      • Fall of the Aztec
        • Aztecs were conquered by Spain in 1521
        • Much of the population died from hunger and smallpox
        • Aztecs were not liked by the other states
        • Freedom from Aztec domination was probably considered a positive occurrence
    • Aztec Calendar
      • Used by the Aztecs as well as other Pre-Columbian peoples in Central Mexico
      • Consisted of a 365 day calendar cycle
      • Is a circular stone with pictures representing how the Aztecs measured days, months, and cosmic cycles
      • Is evidence of the Aztec's knowledge of astronomy and mathematics
      • Was originally placed atop the main temple in Tenochtitlan
    • The Incas
      • A Brief History
        • Incas began as a tribe in the 12th century
        • They absorbed cities as they grew
        • The Empire later suffered a civil war
        • When the Spanish conquerors arrived they took advantage of the situation
          • They conquered the Inca in 1533
      • Architecture
        • Architecture was by far the most important of the Inca contributions
        • The Inca used a mortarless construction
        • Machu Picchu was constructed by the Inca
        • Similar rockwork exists on Easter island
    • Iroquois Confederacy
      • Confederacy was made up of 5 nations:
        • The Mohawk
        • The Oneida
        • The Onondaga
        • The Cayuga
        • The Seneca
      • Based in what is now upstate New York
      • Beliefs
        • Iroquois believed in a formless Great Spirit or Creator
        • Spirits animated all of nature
        • After the arrival of the Europeans, many Iroquois became Christians – by choice or force