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Chapter 16 Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas Mrs. M. Brown Mayas • Settlements from central Mexico to the northern part of Central America (Mesoamerica) •Formed city-states with their own king and government •Raised and ate maize (corn) •Trade helped hold the citystates together •Traded forest goods, cacao beans (chocolate), jade, obsidian Mayas • Built stone pyramids with temples on the top to honor local kings •Believed that the gods could be harmful or helpful •Offered blood and occasionally human sacrifices to please their gods. Mayas • Made a 365-day calendar and built observatories •Could measure time accurately •Used a form of hieroglyphics for writing THE END Not enough food? People rebelled against their rulers and fled the cities for safety? Drought? Weakened soil or increased population? By the 1500’s Mayan power was gone Aztecs • Settled in central and southern Mexico •War, tribute, and trade built the empire •Built canals and causeways to connect their island capital, Tenochtitlan, to the rest of the empire •Chinampas – floating gardens to raise food Page 476 Aztecs • A highly structured society with only one ruler—the emperor •Worshipped many gods and regularly made human sacrifices •Used captives as their sacrifices •Loved riddles Aztecs • In the late 1400’s Spanish conquistadors arrived seeking gold. •At first, Moctezuma, the king, welcomed Hernando Cortes because it was believed that Cortes was an Aztec god who had promised to return in 1519. •Gave the Spanish gold but the Spanish wanted more and killed the Aztecs •By 1521 the Spanish had conquered the Aztec Empire Incas • Located in South Americabegan in Peru and stretched from Ecuador to central Chile •12 million people lived in the empire •Most people worked for the strong central government. They had no merchants or markets instead they had the: -Mita system = a labor tax system; the government distributed all food and goods Incas • Incas thought that their ruler was related to the sun god. •They rarely sacrificed humans, instead they sacrificed llamas, cloth, or food •Incas made mummies to preserve the dead rulers’ bodies. •Excelled in masonry work(stonework) - NO cement was used •Built a major road network to connect the empire Incas • Had no written language but used knotted ropes (quipus) to keep records •Known for their beautiful textile designs •Francisco Pizarro killed their leader (even after the leader had given him a room full of gold!) •By 1537 the Spanish controlled the entire Inca Empire Constructed Response Question Yes, you MUST answer this on the test! Do you think the takeover of these civilizations helped or hurt world history? Give at least 3 important reasons to support your point of view.