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Early Human Migrations
Sculpture from the Americas
Origins of the
Peoples of the Americas?
Major Pre-Columbian Civilizations
Heirs of the Olmecs
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The Maya lived in the highlands of Guatemala
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Besides maize, they also cultivated cotton and cacao
Tikal was the most important Maya political center,
300 to 900 C.E.
Maya warfare: warriors had prestige; captives were
slaves or victims
Chichén Itzá, power by the ninth century; loose
empire in Yucatan
Maya decline began in 800 C.E.; many Mayans
deserted their cities
Lands of the Mayans
The Yucatan
Peninsula
Maya Society and Religion
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Maya society was hierarchical
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The Maya calendar had both solar and ritual years
interwoven
Maya writing was ideographic and syllabic; only four books
survive
Religious thought
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Kings, priests, and hereditary nobility at the top
Merchants were from the ruling class; they served also as
ambassadors
Professional architects and artisans were important
Peasants and slaves were majority of population
Popol Vuh, a Maya creation myth, taught that gods created humans
out of maize and water
Gods maintained agricultural cycles in exchange for honors and
sacrifices
Bloodletting rituals honored gods for rains
The Maya ball game: sporting, gambling, and religious
significance
Chichen-Itza - Pyramid
Chichen-Itza - Observatory
Chichen-Itza - Ball Court
Mayan Cultivation
of Maize
Chac, God of Rain 
Mayan Underground Granaries: Chultunes
Overview of Tikal (Guatemala)
Temple of the Masks
Tikal Jungle View at Sunset
Tikal:
Temple of
the Masks
Tikal - Wall Mask of the Rain God
Mayan Glyphs
sky
king
house
Mayan
Mathematics
child
city
Mayan Glyphs
Mayan Drinking Cup for Chocolate
Pakal: The Maya Astronaut
Quetzalcoatl:
The God of Wisdom & Learning
Teotihuacan
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The city of Teotihuacan in the highlands of Mexico
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Teotihuacan society
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Colossal pyramids of sun and moon
High point between 400 and 600 C.E.; two hundred thousand
inhabitants
Paintings and murals reflect the importance of priests
Rulers and priests dominated society
Two-thirds of the city inhabitants worked in fields during
daytime
Artisans were famous for their obsidian tools and orange pottery
Professional merchants traded extensively throughout
Mesoamerica
No sign of military organization or conquest
Cultural traditions: ball game, calendar, writing,
sacrifices
Decline of Teotihuacan from about 650 C.E.; was sacked
and destroyed mid-eighth century
Toltec Society – A Precursor
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Toltecs in the 9th & 10th centuries after the
collapse of Teotihuacan
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Established large state, w/ powerful army
Tula
Toltec decline after twelfth century
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Civil strife at Tula
Nomadic invaders after 1175
Mexica (or Aztecs)
 Arrival of the Mexica (or Aztecs)
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in central Mexico mid-thirteenth century
Warriors and raiders
Tenochtitlan (modern Mexico City)
Chinampas style agriculture
 Military Conquest/Alliances
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15th century, Aztecs launched military campaigns
Oaxaco in southwestern Mexico
Alliances with Texcoco and Tlacopan
Controlled subject peoples with oppressive tribute
obligations
Tribute from 489 subject territories
Lands of the Aztecs
Aztec View of Tenochtitlan
Mexica (Aztec) Society
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Mexica warriors were the elite
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From the Mexica aristocracy
Wealth, honor, and privileges
Mexica women had no public role, but were honored as
mothers of warriors
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Mexica women active in commerce and crafts
Primary purpose to bear children: women who died in
childbirth celebrated
Ruins of the City Center, Tenochtitlan
The Codex
Mendoza :
The
Founding
of
Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan: The “Venice” of the Americas
Aztec Chinampa or Floating Garden:
15ft. to 30ft. wide
Tenochtitlan - Chinampas
Religion
 Deities
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adopted from prior Mesoamerican cultures
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Tezcatlipoca
Quetzalcóatl
 Practices
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Ritual bloodletting common to all
Mesoamericans
Human sacrifice to Huitzilopochtli
Large temple at the center of Tenochtitlan,
thousands of skulls
Aztec Writing
Aztec Math
Aztec Sun Stone -- Calendar
Aztec Sun Motifs
Aztec Codex
(15c Manuscript)
The Aztecs Were
Fierce Warriors
Aztecs Sacrifice Neighboring Tribes to
the Sun God
Heart Sacrifice
on an Aztec Temple Pyramid
Wall of Skulls, Tenochtitlan
Sacrificial Statue, Tenochtitlan
Aztec Gold
Early Andean Society and the Chavín
Cult
• Early migration to Peru and Bolivia region
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Early agriculture in South America
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By 12,000 B.C.E. hunting and gathering peoples reached South America
By 8000 B.C.E. they began to experiment with agriculture
Complex societies appeared in central Andean region after 1000 B.C.E.
Andean societies were located in modern-day Peru and Bolivia
Main crops: beans, peanuts, sweet potatoes, cotton
Fishing supplemented agricultural harvests
By 1800 B.C.E. the people produced pottery, built temples and pyramids
The Chavín Cult, from about 900 to 300 B.C.E.
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Complexity of Andean society increases during Chavín
Devised techniques of producing cotton textiles and fishing nets
Discovered gold, silver, and copper metallurgy
Cities began to appear shortly after Chavín cult
Early Andeans did not make use of writing
Mochica
 Early Andean states: Mochica (300-700
C.E.) in northern Peru
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Irrigation, trade, military, no writing
Artistic legacy: painting on pottery, ceramics
Lands of the Incas
The Coming of the Inca
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Kingdom of Chucuito dominated Andean South America after the
twelfth century
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Chimu, powerful kingdom in the lowlands of Peru before the midfifteenth century
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Irrigation networks; cultivation of maize and sweet potatoes
Capital city at Chanchan had massive brick buildings
The Inca settled first around Lake Titicaca in the Andean highlands
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Ruler Pachacuti launched campaigns against neighbors, 1438
Built a huge empire stretching four thousand kilometers from north to south
Inca ruled as a military and administrative elite
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Cultivation of potatoes; herding of llamas and alpacas
Traded with lower valleys; chewed coca leaves
Use of quipu for record keeping
Capital at Cuzco, which had as many as three hundred thousand people in the
late fifteenth century
Extensive road system linked north and south
Official runners carried messages; spread of Quecha language
Cuzco: Ancient Capital of the Inca
(11,000 ft. above sea level)
Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu
Incan Suspension Bridges
Society
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Trade limited
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Inca society was also a hereditary aristocracy
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After death, mummified rulers became intermediaries with gods
Peasants worked the land and gave over a portion of their
produce to the state
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Local barter in agricultural goods
Fewer specialized crafts
Besides supporting ruling classes, revenue also used for famine relief
Peasants also provided heavy labor for public works
Religion
 Inca priests served the gods
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Venerated sun god called Inti
Creator god, Viracocha
Ritual sacrifices practiced, but not of humans
Inca religion had a strong moral dimension:
rewards and punishments
Incan Terrace Farming
Incan Digging Sticks
Maize in Incan Pottery
& Gold Work
Over 100 Different Types of Potatoes
Cultivated
by the Incans
Produce from a Typical Incan
Market
Incan Ceramic Jars
Peanut
Cacao God
Potato
Cacao Pod
Squash
The Quipu: An Incan Database
Incan Mummies
Inca Gold & Silver