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  1. 1. A Brief Look At Who Was Here Before We Were<br />NEW WORLD COMING:<br />
  2. 2. The map at left shows the major migration routes of the various peoples that were here before the Europeans.<br />This map lends credit to the Bering Strait theory that ancient peoples got here by walking over glaciated areas and then spreading through what is now South and North America.<br />MAJOR MIGRATION ROUTES <br />
  3. 3. <ul><li>Mayas
  4. 4. Aztecs
  5. 5. Incas
  6. 6. Cahokia
  7. 7. Vikings</li></ul>OUTLINE<br />
  8. 8. Lived in present-day Yucatan, Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras and El Salvador, were a warlike people who ruled a large and loosely controlled empire. <br />They built dozens of pyramids, devised a complex writing system based on hieroglyphs, and developed enough mathematics and astronomy to devise a calendar more accurate than the one used by Columbus!<br />Then, around A.D. 900 their culture vanished from the face of the earth, leaving behind only abandoned religious centers as a reminder that they were once here. Other theories about how they disappeared are inconclusive.<br />THE MAYANS<br />
  9. 9. Founded the city of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) in 1325, and gradually extended control over central Mexico.<br />Controlled by a hereditary elite of warrior-priests.<br />Their religious practices included human sacrifice to the sun god!<br />The Aztecs believed in the concept of 13 heavens and 9 versions of hell. They also believed that the sun fought the darkness each night and rose in the morning to save mankind.<br />THE AZTECS<br />
  10. 10. AZTECS (Cont.)<br />Huitzilopochtli <br />The war and sun god<br />Tezcatlipoca <br />Chief god of the Aztecs in general) <br />Quetzalcoatl <br />"Sovereign Plumed Serpent," widely worshipped throughout Mesoamerica and the god of civilization, the priesthood, and learning). <br />
  11. 11. The Aztecs were polytheistic, and had over 1,000 Gods.<br />When they built the temple at Tenochtitlan, they sacrificed approximately 84,400 people in a 4 day period to honor the Gods.<br />When Montezuma II was anointed King, they sacrificed the bodies of 5,000 men to honor him. Then they cut out their hearts as further tribute to his greatness.<br /> Montezuma II (See picture at left) was their fearless leader when they met their demise with the arrival of the Spanish and Cortez in 1519.<br />AZTECS (Cont.)<br />
  12. 12. To learn more about the fall of the Aztecs, see video at left.<br />THE FALL OF THE AZTECS<br />
  13. 13. Economically very similar to the Aztecs. Their economy was based on agriculture as well.<br />By the 15th century controlled an empire that stretched 1,000 miles along the Andes Mountains from Ecuador to Chile, connected by an elaborate system of roads.<br />Most famous for the cities of Machu Picchu and Cuzco.<br />THE INCAS<br />
  14. 14. Cahokia and It’s History<br />THE MOUND BUILDERS:<br />
  15. 15. The mound builders or Mississippian culture, as they are more widely known, flourished in the eastern part of the United States until around 1200 A.D.<br />See map at left.<br />THE MOUND BUILDERS<br />
  16. 16. Their largest mounds reached more than 7 stories high, and were surrounded by earthwork walls approximately 500 yards long. They took decades to build. <br />The largest mound builder settlement ever created. Located near present day St. Louis.<br />Covered 6 square miles and had over 30,000 inhabitants at its apex in A.D. 1100.<br />No other city in North America grew to that size until Philadelphia did, 700 years later.<br />CAHOKIA<br />
  17. 17. They built an elaborate city inside their earthwork walls that contained steam huts for the men, doctors offices, apartments, and most of the comforts of modern day living.<br />Men living at Cahokia believed in purifying themselves by sweating in small huts that worked like saunas. <br />Stones heated in a fire outside were carried inside, where water was poured on them to create steam. Sweat lodges were generally used by men.<br />CAHOKIA (Cont.)<br />
  18. 18. Women were generally accepted in Cahokia, except in times of menstruation.<br />Menstruating women were shunned or feared by Indians. They were commonly set apart in some way to protect the group. <br />Small, round huts may have served this purpose at Cahokia. (See photo at left)<br />CAHOKIA (Cont.)<br />
  19. 19. Regardless of their attitudes toward women, perhaps the most lasting monument to these people are the mounds they built.<br />Monks mound, the largest mound in North America, is one of many that still stand at Cahokia today. (See picture at left)<br />CAHOKIA (Cont.)<br />
  20. 20. Cahokia, like many civilizations, eventually met it’s end. <br />The amount of resources it took to build the enormous earthen walls, and mounds that the culture was known for depleted the natural resources of the area.<br />Without the trees the native bird population, that had long been a source of food, was depleted.<br />CAHOKIA (Cont.)<br />
  21. 21. In addition, without the trees, and to some extent the dirt around them, silt filled up the waterways used by Cahokia’s inhabitants.<br />They met their demise because they plundered the forest surrounding their settlement. <br /> They were the first victim of urban sprawl.<br />CAHOKIA (Cont.)<br />
  22. 22. Their Contribution to American History<br />THE VIKINGS:<br />
  23. 23. The word Viking means to go raiding, pirating, or exploring. <br />The first sighting of the New World by a European came in 987 AD, when a Viking named Bjarni Herjolfsson sailed from Iceland. <br />15 years later the son of Eric the Red, Leif Ericsson (See picture at left) landed in what is now Labrador (part of Canada). Leif called the area Vinland and sailed back to Greenland. <br />His brother, Thorvald Ericsson visited Vinland the following year and earned the distinction of being the first European to be killed by the natives of North America.<br />THE VIKINGS<br />
  24. 24. Freydis Eriksdotter (picture at left) was the toughest woman of the Karlsefni settlement.<br /> Viking sages wrote that she once repelled an Indian (skraeling) attack by pulling her breast out and beating her sword on it. <br />She killed 5 women that her men refused to do in. She was Leif Ericsson’s half-sister.<br />THE VIKINGS (Cont.)<br />
  25. 25. Like a lot of ancient peoples and civilizations, the reasons for the Vikings disappearance is unknown.<br />Many have speculated that they could have been wiped out by a more powerful civilization, but little evidence exists to support that theory.<br />Scholars also believed that they may have eventually been absorbed by some other tribes in their native areas of Greenland and Iceland.<br />However, how they disappeared is still inconclusive.<br />THE DEMISE OF THE VIKINGS<br />