Cultures Of The Americas (Part #2)


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Cultures Of The Americas (Part #2)

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