Maya Confederation• City States joined together in a confederation located in the Yucatan Peninsula• Each city was independent and relied on trade to obtain everything they needed• Sometimes cities fought each other
Uncertain origin• Around 400 BCE, a new people suddenly appeared in the Yucatan Peninsula (Central America)• These people were called the Maya. No one knows where they came from, but they arrived with amazing skills.• They were an advanced civilization. They soon took over the Yucatan Peninsula of Central America.
Agriculture• Farming in the flat rainforest; land quicky lost its fertility• No metal tools• Corn, cocoa, tropical fruits, pepper
Amazing architects• Mayas built hundreds of religious centers, each filled with huge pyramids and elaborate temples.• There was at least one ball court in every city.• Excellent roads ran for miles through the jungles and swamps, linking these centers of religion and learning.
Each city had a palace built for that city’s ruler. The job of ruler was hereditary. When one ruler died, his son took over. Typically, there was one palace per city.
Temples were places of worship,and home to the many priests of the Maya civilization. At the foot of the temple was typically where the Mayas placed their ball courts.
Mathematicians• The Maya were very clever people. Their system of mathematics was among the most sophisticated in the ancient world.• Knowledge of astronomy and very accurate calendar
AlphabetA system of picture writing developed that was similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics
The End?Around 900 CE, the Maya citieswere abandoned. A few peoplecontinued to live in the cities,but mostly, the cities wereempty. The people had, for themost part, disappeared, gonesomewhere else. Those whoremained were unable orunwilling to repair themagnificent roads and buildings.The great Maya cities fell intoruin.
Introduction•The Aztec tribe lived inancient Mexico since the12th century AD.•The Aztecs were nomadsbut eventually they settleddown to live in one place,nearby lake Texcoco
Settlement•A legend says the Aztecs settledwhere an eagle landed on a cactus • Do you remember the difference between legend and history?• The Aztecs quietly settled along theswampy shores of Lake Texcoco.•They built canoes so they couldfish, hunt waterfowl, and trade withother tribes
Agriculture• Most of the people who lived in the empire were farmers who grew lots of crops, including maize, beans, peppers, avocados, squash, cocoa, bananas, sweet potatoes, and onions.• Farmers were very poor and did not own their own land.
Floating Gardens •To feed everyone Aztec engineers created “floating” gardens. •They built rafts, which they anchored to the lake bed. •They put soil on top and grew crops. They made walkways out of mud and reeds to connect the floating rafts. •The Aztecs grew chili peppers, squash, corn, tomatoes, and beans.
Trade• Fairs were important: different products from all over the Empire were exchanged• Supervised by the government
Aztec gods• The Aztecs had many gods –they were polytheistic• The most important was the sun god - Tonatiuh Quetzacoatl Tonatiuh Huitzilopotchtli
Human sacrifice• The Aztecs practised human sacrifice.• They believed that if their gods were not fed, they would not do their jobs. The sun god would not bring up the sun, and everyone would die.• Most of the people they sacrificed were captured from neighbouring tribes during war.
Aztec warriors Warfare was very important. Military victories allowed Aztecs to – conquer new lands and resources – dominate other tribes – collect taxes from defeated tribes – obtain soldiers and women for religious sacrifices
Aztec culture• Aztec cuture was very sophisticated: - alphabet - painting and sculpture - pottery - architecture - jewelry (metals, precious stones and feathers) - use of wheel… only for toys!
Free School for Everyone•To build their city they needed manyengineers, builders, and traders.•To train them they needed schools•The Aztecs were the only people upto that time in history to have freeschools that every child had to attend– even girls and slaves.
TenochtitlanThe builders and engineers designed andbuilt the amazing Aztec cities, including thecapital city of Tenochtitlan, located on theswampy shores of Lake Texcoco.
The Aztecs built an enormous city on Lake Texcoco, using canals tocommunicate its different areas
The end of the Aztecs• In 1521 The Aztec leader Montezuma surrendered to the Spaniard, Hernán Cortés. Why? – They were weakened by smallpox – Cortés made friends with the Aztecs enemies who fought against them – The Spanish fought and beat the Aztecs
Introduction • Incas built a large Empire around the Andes area (12th to 16th centuries AD) • It started as a small state in the central Andes • Conquests andThe Inca communications Empire made the Empire possible
Empire• Roads – mountainous area – no wheel – llama• Messengers (chasqui)• Emperor + Governors to control remote areas• Taxes paid in labour, food or metals• No money
Creating such a large empire of course meant thatthe Incas had MANY warriors … 40,000 by the height of the Inca Empire in the early 1500s! Inca warriors
CultureNo numbers –instead,they used quipus tokeep track of taxescollected by theadministration,resources, etc.
Incan ReligionThe Incas were polytheists water god sun god snake god
The Incas also believed that their emperor was adescendant of the sun god. Atahualpa, the last of the Incan emperors.
While it was tough to farm there, the Andes mountains did provide one very important resource… GOLD!Gold was not only for wealth, but also for religion. TheIncas worshipped the sun -- gold represented the tears of the sun.
Golden alpaca Gold drinking cups Gold necklace
Cities• Cuzco was the Empire’s capital city• Machu Pichu was the ‘sacred city’
One of their greatest achievements was theconstruction of a “hidden city” high up in the mountains, Machu Picchu.
ArchitectureBuilding techniques adapted to mountainous area– materials: stone– earthquake-proof stone constructions
Agriculture• Terraces built to cultivate the slopes: terrace farming• Land belonged to the counity, the empire or the Gods.• Agriculture• Llama rearing