Mesoamerican civilizations


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Mesoamerican civilizations

  1. 1. The First Americans • How did they get here? • Land Bridge connected Asia to Alaska • Migrated down through Canada, North America, Mexico, Central America, and South America
  2. 2. Main Migration Routes to the Americas
  3. 3. The First Americans • Native Americans learned to grow corn (maize) and other crops. • Several complex civilizations emerged in Mesoamerican (present-day Mexico and Central America). • Historians refer to these civilizations as Pre-Columbian because they existed before the arrival of Columbus. • Native Americans did not emerge in river
  4. 4. Map of the Maya World
  5. 5. The Maya • The Maya focused on • War • Human Sacrifice • Chichen Itza- important city • Around the 9th Century, the Maya disappeared into the jungle and no one knows why
  6. 6. Chichen Itza
  7. 7. Maya Achievements • Builders • huge cities in the jungles • pyramids • temples • Writing System • Math and Science • complex numbering system, use of zero. • calendar with 365 days • Artistry • colorful murals
  8. 8. The Inca Empire ( 1200-1535) Lived in the Andes Mountains in present day Peru Farming terraced mountains grew potatoes kept llamas for their meat, wool and to carry goods
  9. 9. The Inca Empire • Built stone roads over 10,000 miles. • No writing system – used quipu—bundles of knotted and colored ropes to count, keep records, and send messages.
  10. 10. The Inca Empire • Machu Picchu • Built stone buildings with no cement, but fit stones together perfectly.
  11. 11. Machu Picchu
  12. 12. Art • Stone sculptures • Ceramic bowls carved with human and animal forms
  13. 13. Aztec civilization • Locatedin aridvalley in centralMexico • RepresentedbyTenochtitlan • Ruledbyanemperor • Economybasedon agricultureandtributefrom conqueredpeoples • Polytheisticreligion with pyramids/rituals TheAztec began c. 12th centuryA.D. Began a long migration that brought them into the Valley of Mexico. Theyestablished their capital city at Tenochtitlán. Tenochtitlán An Aztec legend said that when the people found their newhome they would seean eagle perched ona cactus holding a snake. They saw this in lake Texcoco. Their city was built up on rafts made from reeds and coveredwith dirt. They werecalled chinampas. Present-Day Mexico-City is built on top of this city. Theoriginal was destroyed by the Spanish. Lake Texcoco-Swampy lake that was the home of the capital city. Tenochtitlán means the Place of the Prickly PearCactus.
  14. 14. Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan
  15. 15. Political and Social Structure By 1500 there wereabout 4 million people in the Aztec Empire. Aztec Emperor Ruled over the Aztec Empire. Was the supreme leaderofthe people. Heclaimed that hewas divine. People Madeupofcommoners, indentured workers, andslaves. Most people were farmers, butthey also traded with people in the surrounding areas. Men weretobe the warriors, while a woman’s role was to bein the home. Women were allowed toown and inherit property and enter contracts. Womenwovetextiles and raised children. They could also be priestesses.
  16. 16. Religion Had a polytheistic religion based on warfare. Huitzilopochtli Their chief god. He was the godof the sun. The Aztec offered him human sacrifice to givehim strength to battle the forces of darkness each night so that hecould rise each morning. Quetzalcoatl Thefeathered Serpent Hebelieved he had left the valley of Mexico and promised to return in triumph. Human Sacrifice Each Aztec city contained a pyramid where they practiced human sacrifice as a way to postpone the end of the world.
  17. 17. Destruction oftheAztec Thesubjugation of the people of the Aztec Empire bredhatred and discontent among the people. When the Spanish arrived they did not have a difficult time finding allies to fight the Aztec. HernánCortés1519 Spanish Conquistador who cameto the valley of Mexico in 1519 with 550 soldiers and 16 horses. He was at first greetedby the Aztec EmperorMontezuma (Moctezuma). The Spanish later kidnapped the Emperorand madehim a puppet. Thepeople rebelled and the Emperorwas killed. TheSpanish barelyescaped. TheSpanish returned several months later. Many ofthe natives had fallen ill with Smallpox. Cortés and his allies destroyed the Aztec capital and subjugated the Aztec people.
  18. 18. Incancivilization •Located in the Andes Mountains of South America •Represented by Machu Picchu •Ruled by anemperor •Economy based on high-altitude agriculture •Polytheistic religion •Road system Late 1300's Inca TheInca started as a small group that werelocated in Cuzco. They did not begin to becomepowerful until after the fall of the Mocheof Peru. Pachacuti Unified the Inca and established the Inca Empire.
  19. 19. Organization ofthe Empire Incan state was built on war. Theconquered peoples were all taught the same language. Each region was appointed a governorwhoanswered to the Emperor. Road System: 24, 800 miles of Road TheInca built roads to unify their people. Roads made travel and communication throughout the empire more efficient. There were rest houses and storage depots along with bridges to span ravines and waterways.
  20. 20. Culture Were required to marryfrom within their own social group. Women wereexpected to live at home,the only alternative was to be a priestess. Most people were farmers, they also herdedllamas and alpacas. Quipu-Asystem of knotted strings used by the Inca to keeprecords.
  21. 21. Great Builders Theyhad great buildings made ofstone held without mortar. Theirroads also show their ability as great builders. MachuPicchu City built at 8,000 ft above sea level. UrubambaRiver Riverbelow Machu Picchu
  22. 22. Extremely sharp swords but brittle. Also wore cotton quilt armor.
  23. 23. Defeat TheSpanish arrived in 1531 1531: Francisco Pizarro Spanish Conquistador led a band of 180 men with superior weapons. TheInca, like the Aztec, weredevastated by disease. Smallpox Devastated the Population Civil War After the death ofthe Inca Emperora civil war brokeout, Pizarro took advantage and defeated the people. Defeat Pizarro andhis men established Lima as the newcapital ofthe Spanish Colony in 1535.