The Olmec • The first great Mesoamerican culture was the Olmec, who lived on the Gulf of Mexico. • They developed the beginnings of a calendar and writing. • Used slash and burn farming • Unsure why civilization declined The Maya • Maya mathematicians devised a number system that included zero long before Europeans. • Maya scholars also developed a complex system of writing with pictures. • The Maya civilization began to decline after A.D. 800 and archaeologists are unsure why. The Aztec • The Aztec gained control the Toltec empire of 5 million people. • The Aztec capital is on the site of present day Mexico City • A class system developed in Aztec society. • The Aztec viewed warfare as a sacred duty. • Believed in human sacrifice The Inca • The Inca was the largest empire in the Americas at the time. Located in the Andes Mountains. • The Inca forced their newly conquered subject to manual labor. • Inca laborers built massive buildings as well as thousands of miles of roads that linked the vast empire. Early Cultures of North America • The Anasazi constructed multistory rock and adobe dwellings in the Southwest. • They abandoned their communities in about 1300. • The Anasazi are the ancestors of the Pueblo Indians • The Hohokam lived approximately from ad 200 to 1400 in present-day central and southern Arizona, largely along the Gila and Salt rivers. • The term Hohokam is said to be Pima for “those who have vanished.” • The Adena and Hopewell cultures were located in the eastern woodlands of North America. • These cultures are known as Mound Builders, created elaborate burial mounds in Ohio and extending to Kentucky and New York.