The cultures and civilizations of the americas
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The cultures and civilizations of the “Americas”. Where did the Native Americans come from?. Migrations from Asia ca. 30,000 – 15,000 yrs ago over Bering strait land bridge ; Isolated for at least 15,000 years!. Kingdoms and & Empires of the Americas.

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The cultures and civilizations of the americas

The cultures and civilizations of the “Americas”


Where did the native americans come from

Where did the Native Americans come from?


The cultures and civilizations of the americas

Migrations from Asia ca. 30,000 – 15,000 yrs ago over Bering strait land bridge; Isolated for at least 15,000 years!


Kingdoms and empires of the americas

Kingdoms and & Empires of the Americas


Who was in meso america middle america

Who was in Meso-America? (“Middle America”)

  • Olmec

  • Teotihuacan

  • Maya

  • Toltec

  • Aztec


Olmec

OLMEC

  • 1500 -300 BCE; Gulf of Mexico

  • Carved enormous stone heads of volcanic rock

  • Chief god - human-like with jaguar face

  • urban centers; astronomy

  • Kings, elite, merchants, laborers

  • Hieroglyphics; calendar

  • Corn, beans, squash, manioc

Former kings?


Teotihuacan

Teotihuacan

  • Temples

  • Quetzalcoatl

  • Chinampas

  • Apartment housing for commoners

  • Obsidian tools

  • Aristocratic govt

  • Military protected long distance trade

  • Decline – violence…


Pyramid of the sun

Teotihuacan

Pyramid of the Sun

Pyramid of the Moon


The cultures and civilizations of the americas

Maya


The cultures and civilizations of the americas

MAYA

  • Yucatan Peninsula

  • City States; hereditary

  • Swidden agriculture; no metal tools

  • Complex religion - 3 layers (heavens, now and underworld); trances

  • Elite, tatoos, human sacrifice (elite capt)

  • Writing, ball playing (pok-a-tok), astronomy,

  • Calendar (365) math system(zero)

  • Elite women – high; women important

  • demise - war, drought, infighting

**Mayan math computation


Mayan calendar

Ritual “divine” cycle calendar

Solar “civil” calendar

“long count” calendar

Mayan Calendar

  • first date is actually written 13.0.0.0.0.

  • three possible equivalences:

  • 13.0.0.0.0 = 13 Aug 3114 BCE (Gregorian)13.0.0.0.0 = 11 Aug 3114 BCE (Gregorian)13.0.0.0.0 = 15 Oct 3374 BC (Gregorian)

  • Assuming one of the first two equivalences, the Long Count will again reach 13.0.0.0.0 on 21 or 23 December AD 2012

  • 13.0.0.0.0 may have been the Mayas' idea of the date of the creation of the world.


The cultures and civilizations of the americas

Maya / Aztec Calendar


Palenque

Palenque


The cultures and civilizations of the americas

Mayan Temples


Toltec

Toltec

  • Transmitted Teotihuacan & Mayan culture to the Aztecs

  • Conquest state; military power

  • Violent culture

  • Rivalries

  • Tula art -----

  • Decline & invasion by the Aztecs


The aztecs

The Aztecs


Aztecs

AZTECS

  • Nomads; settled on islands

  • in Lake Texcoco

  • Adopted agriculture; gradually grew into an independent power, then empire

  • Capital city - Tenochtitlan –

  • Ruler chosen by nobility

  • War – religious significance (of course) – legitimized the ruler

  • War also increased holdings of nobles

  • War to get captives for human sacrifice


The cultures and civilizations of the americas

  • Society - hierarchy with Aztec ruler & nobility at top & slaves/criminals/debtors at bottom; women had rights

  • Tremendous inequalities - nobility vs commoners

  • Elaborate ritual; Huitzilopochtli; war/sun

  • Human sacrifice

  • Political tribute system; pd in food; goods

  • Economic: chinampas; barter

  • Dike in lake: salt/fresh water


Who was in meso america middle america1

Who was in Meso-America? (“Middle America”)

  • Olmec

  • Teotihuacan

  • Maya

  • Toltec

  • Aztec


The cultures and civilizations of the americas

  • Pyramids of Tenochtitlán


Huitzilopochtli god of war sun needed human hearts

Huitzilopochtligod of war & sunneeded human hearts


Tlaloc god of rain

TlalocGod of Rain


Quetzalcoatl god of wind knowledge

Quetzalcoatlgod of wind & knowledge


Canoe moving about the chinampas

Canoe moving about the chinampas


Aztec society in transition

Aztec Society in Transition

  • Increasingly hierarchical

  • Conflict between nobles and growing “middle”

  • Violence

  • Discontent tribute tribes; sacrifice!

  • Empire under Montezuma II conquered by Spaniards (Cortes)


Montezuma ii cortes

Montezuma II Cortes


Andean societies environmental challenges

Andean Societiesenvironmentalchallenges…

Moche


Andean cultures

Andean Cultures

  • Background:

  • Early – small coastal & foothills villages

  • by 2600 BCE cf - Old Kingdom Egypt

    Chavin (900-250 BCE)

  • Trade routes; controlled; linked regions

  • Maize <----> quinoa, potatoes, llamas

  • Adobe & stone; 1st metals; jaguar-man

  • Social stratification: priests, elite, etc.


Technologies to meet the needs

Technologies to meet the needs

  • Compensations:

  • Calendar

  • New varieties potatoes & grains

  • Terraced farming

  • Freeze-dried vegetables & meat

  • Llama & alpaca wool

  • Environmental challenges:

  • Altitude

  • Frosts

  • Arid / drought

  • Only llamas!


Andean culture

Andean culture

  • Khipus

  • Ayllu

  • Hereditary aristocracy & kings

  • Mit’a

  • Coca (not cacao)

  • Colonists


Khipus

khipus


Moche

Moche

  • Ca. 600 CE

  • Maize, quinoa, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes

  • Irrigation, canals, aqueducts

  • Alpacas & llamas

  • Textiles

  • Stratified society; theocratic

  • Women weavers


Moche ceramic sculpture

Moche ceramic sculpture


The inca

The Inca


The cultures and civilizations of the americas

INCA

  • huge empire & strong central gov’t

  • extending length of South America

  • Large professional military

  • Built paved roads & suspension bridges - used running messengers; quipus

  • Pastoralists; men and women

  • Capital Cuzco; sun god; royal family

  • Local rulers/chiefdoms; control by hostage taking


Inca terraces machu picchu

Inca terraces;Machu Picchu


Machu pichu

Machu Pichu


Suspension bridge

suspension bridge


Northern peoples

Northern Peoples

Southwestern desert

  • Aztec influence incl. maize, squash, beans

  • Hohokam irrigation canals

  • Anasazi – kivas; cliff dwellings & canyon “appts”, pottery, weaving

  • Chaco canyon; Mesa Verde


Anasazi cliff dwellings

Anasazi cliff dwellings


The cultures and civilizations of the americas

Mississippian culture

  • Oldest mounds – 3000’s BCE

  • “mound-builders”

  • Chiefdoms

  • “Hopewell” cultures

  • Towns – central plaza surrounded by mounds; burial mounds, temple mounds

  • Social stratification; trade

  • (not accepted as product of the Native Americans until late 1800’s!)


How mississippian towns might have looked

How Mississippian towns might have looked


Cahokia mounds city illinois

Cahokia mounds city; Illinois

Had more inhabitants than Paris at that time (1150)


Etowah indian mound

Etowah Indian Mound


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