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Who were the earliest Americans?. The Americas. Guess how much the statue weighs!. Student who comes closest gets a prize (2 mins ). 8 tons/16,000 pounds!!!!. http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/28709-discovery-atlantis-olmec-civilization-and-atlantis-video.htm. Intro video.

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The Americas

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Who were the earliest Americans?

The Americas


Guess how much the statue weighs!

Student who comes closest gets a prize (2 mins).


8 tons/16,000 pounds!!!!


http://videos.howstuffworks.com/discovery/28709-discovery-atlantis-olmec-civilization-and-atlantis-video.htm

Intro video


36a explain the rise and fall of the Olmec, Mayan, Aztec and Inca empires

36b compare the culture of the Americas including government, economy, religion, social structure, technology and the arts of the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas

Aks 36


Essential question

Who were the Olmecs and what was their contribution to civilization in the Americas?


The earliest civilizations


How did they get here?


Review of effects of agriculture


How did people survive before settled agriculture?


The Olmec

Early civilizations


  • Mesoamerica’s first civilization builders

    • What does “Mesoamerica” mean?

  • Began carving out a society around 1200 BC in the jungles of southern Mexico

  • Thrived 800-400 BC

  • San Lorenzo – the oldest site

Olmeccivilazation


Olmec heartland


What do you think the olmec environment was like?


Where was the olmec civilization located?


  • Hot and humid and covered with swamps and jungles

    • Rainfall often caused rivers to flood

  • Large deposits of salt and tar and clay to make….?

  • Wood and rubber from rain forest

  • Flooded plains near rivers provided…?

The environment


  • Earthen mounds, courtyards, and pyramids

  • Planned ceremonial centers

  • Stone symbols – writing?

  • Ritual ball games

Olmec society


  • What do you think these monuments, mounds, and colossal heads tell us about their culture?

    • May have represented particular Olmec rulers

  • Elite ruling class

Olmec culture


  • Believed to have prayed to a variety of nature gods

  • “The Jaguar Spirit”

    • Half-human, half-jaguar

    • Powerful rain god?

    • Earth, fertility?

Olmec religion


  • Olmec trade spanned north and south!!!

  • Trade spread Olmec influence

Trade and commerce


What do you think happened to the Olmec?

Decline (by 400 BCE)


The Olmec left their mark

Olmec art and construction affected future cultures like the Maya

Olmec developed ceremonial centers, ritual ball games, and ruling class

Later cultures in Mesoamerica adopted Olmec ways

Influenced Mayan writing system

Origin of the Mayan calendar system

Legacy/impact


3 – things you learned

2 – things you want to find out more about

1 – question you have

Summary


Who were the Mayan’s and what triggered their decline?

The Mayans


Engineering an Empire


The Mayans


Tikal Pyramids


Southern Mexico into northern Central America

Includes dry scrub forest of the Yucatan Peninsula

Also – dense, steamy jungles

Maya took on Olmec influences and blended it with their local customs

Mayan Civilization


What was the climate like for the Mayans?

Where was their civilization located?

Review


  • AD 250-900 = “Classic Period” of Maya civilization

  • Built many cities (Tikal) in northern Guatemala

    • Each city-state

      • Which means what for its government?

  • Giant pyramids, temples, palaces, and elaborate stone carvings

  • Tens of thousands of people surrounded the city center

Mayan Civilization (cont)


How was each Mayan location set-up in terms of government?

Review


  • Each Maya city featured a ball court

    • What happened to the losers?

  • Religious and political significance

  • Maya believed the playing of this game would maintain the cycles of the sun and moon and bring rain

recreation


Ball game gear


Exact rules and method of scoring are unknown.

Inscriptions indicate that players could not use their hands or feet to move a solid rubber ball.

Members of the losing team might be sacrificed by beheading.


City-states exchanged their local products and craft goods

No unifying currency, cacao (CHOCOLATE) beans sometimes served as one

Maize, beans, and squash provided the basis for Maya life

Agriculture and trade


  • King sat at the top and was regarded as a holy figure (hereditary)

  • Noble class (priests and leading warriors)

  • Merchants and specialized skills

  • Peasant majority

Social structure


  • What type of religion do you think they practiced?

    • Polytheism – gods of corn, of rain, of war, etc.

  • How did they worship?

    • Prayed, made offerings of food, flowers, incense

    • Offered their blood to nourish the gods

    • Human sacrifice – of captured enemies

Religion


Mayans believed that time was a burden carried on the back of a god

Very important to have an accurate calendar to know which god was in charge of the day

260 day religious calendar

365 day solar calendar

Math and religion


Mayan numerals


  • 800 hieroglyphic symbols (glyphs)

  • Carved glyphs into a bark-paper book known as a codex (only 3 survive)

    • Burned by Spanish priests in 16th century

  • PopulVuh – the Maya’s version of the story of creation

    “Before the world was created, Calm and Silence were the great kings that ruled. Nothing existed, there was nothing”

Written language


Mayan writing


Why was math and religion important to the Mayans?

Describe their social structure.

Review


  • In the 800s, the Maya suddenly abandoned many of their cities

  • Invaders from the north moved into the lands.

  • Reasons?

    • Frequent warfare between kingdoms

    • Population growth = needed more land

decline


In one paragraph, write a short story about what you think happened to the Mayans?

Use your creativity


The aztecs


Who were the Aztecs? How did their civilization function, thrive, and ultimately decline?

Essential question


The aztecs


Greatest empire in Mesoamerica

Heart of civilization located around modern Mexico City

Ancestors of the Olmec

Setting the stage


location


“City of the Gods”

First major city-state of Central Mexico

Peak population ~150,000 – 200,000

Obsidian – Green or black volcanic rock used to make razor sharp weapons

Abandoned by 750 AD

Teotihuacán


Teotihuacán


Preview


  • Arrived in the Valley of Mexico ~1200 AD

  • The god of sun and warfare told them to create a city

  • Based power on military conquest

    • Demanded tribute from their neighbors (gold, jade, maize, cacao)

The Aztecs


  • Emperor

  • Nobles: Military, Priests, Government Officials

  • Merchants, Artisans, and Soldiers

    • Merchants formed a subgroup of elite

  • Enslaved People

Aztec social structure


Tenochtitlan


Established by the early 1500’s

Population 200,000 – 400,000 (larger than London or other European Cities at the time)

Built on an island surrounded by marshland/water

Tenochtitlan


Tenochtitlan


  • Worshipped sun god

  • Human sacrifice was a way to please the gods

    • Enslaved, war prisoners

    • Without blood, the sun would not rise

Aztec religion


Describe the beginning of the Aztecs.

What was their social structure?

What was their religion?

How did they decline?

Review


Human sacrifice


  • Montezuma II became Emperor in 1502 and the Empire began to decline

    • He called for more tribute and sacrifice

  • The Spanish Conquistadors eventually arrived

decline


  • Describe:

    • 3 traits of the civilization

    • 3 strengths leading to power

    • 3 weaknesses leading to decline

Summary


The Incas


Who were the Incas and what were some of their social innovations unique to Pre-Columbian culture in the Americas?

Essential Question


  • Descended from many different civilizations in the region

  • Believed Incan ruler was descended from sun god

  • Located in the Andes Mountains of Peru

  • Founded capital Cuzco around 1100 AD

Origins/Location


  • Governed by central bureaucracy?

    • What is bureaucracy?

  • Roads tied the empire together

  • The heart of the empire of the city of Cuzco

  • Ayllu – extended families that performed tasks to large for a regular family

    • A chief lead each group but they reported to the emperor

Incan government


Roads (14,000 miles)


  • Compared to modern socialism

  • Mita – Annual labor tribute

    • Work on roads, make goods, etc

  • Messages travelled on road system (postal system)

  • No writing system

  • Kept detailed numerical records using quipu

  • Cared for entire population

Welfare state


  • Incan king was considered a descendent of sun god

  • Worshipped sun, moon, rain, thunder gods

  • Young men and women would be drafted into a lifetime of service

  • Great cities – Machu Pichu

    • Sun Temple (center), public buildings, central plaza

religion


  • During the 1500’s the empire split between two sons after death of emperor

    • Civil War ensured weakening the empire

    • Spanish (Pizarro) arrived during the last days of the war

decline


  • 3 – Name 3 things you learned

  • 2 – Things you want to find out more about

  • 1 – Question you have!

    • It is good to have questions!

Summary


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