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early mesoamerican societies 1200 b c e 1100 c e n.
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Early Mesoamerican Societies, 1200 B.C.E.-1100 C.E. PowerPoint Presentation
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Early Mesoamerican Societies, 1200 B.C.E.-1100 C.E.

Early Mesoamerican Societies, 1200 B.C.E.-1100 C.E.

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Early Mesoamerican Societies, 1200 B.C.E.-1100 C.E.

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  1. Early Mesoamerican Societies, 1200 B.C.E.-1100 C.E. • Origins • migration across Bering land bridgeSpear Shaft • or, evolved independently30 000 yrs old • and/or by sea from Asia • by 9500 BCE reached southernmost part of South America • hunter/gatherer societies; evolved into agricultural societies beginning 8000 BCE

  2. Andean Societies: from 12 00 BCE individualized due to geography → Moche/Chimú in the Valley of the Moche River Chu Chu → Tiahuanaco

  3. Olmecs(1200 – 100 BCE)the ‘rubber people’ Production: • staple: maize (but also earlier - beans, peppers, avocados, squashes and gourds) • herding of turkeys, small dogs Society and Culture • probably authoritarian, stratified • conscripted laborers to construct ceremonialsites • tombs for rulers, temples, pyramids, drainage systems • La Venta– 800 000 man-days of labour Constructions: • Ceremonial Centers • Olmec Heads up to 10 ft tall, 20 tons • transported by dragging, rolling on logs by up to 1000 workers

  4. Mysterious Decline of Olmecs • ceremonial centers destroyed no evidence of warfare • revolution, civil war? FAMSI Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies Olmec monument discovered 1996; emergency funding to move it - 2004

  5. Maya (300 BCE – 900 CE) Evidence: huge cities discovered in 19C like cities in eastern hemisphere Terrace Farming (to capture silt) Cacao beans • hot chocolate • currency Major ceremonial center at Tikal (one of over eighty) Warfare to capture enemy soldiers Ritual sacrifice and enslavement of enemies • Small kingdoms - constant conflict

  6. Mayan society: connections and learning Invention of ‘Zero’ Calendar of 365.242 days (17s off modern calculations) Ideographs and a syllable-alphabet PopolVuh Importance of bloodletting rituals

  7. nature of warfare chinampas agriculture feeding cities of 200 K Gain: blood and grain

  8. City of Teotihuacán (500 BCE – 650 CE) eventually a massive city in the highlands of Mexico lakes in area of high elevation extensive trade network, influenced surrounding areas

  9. Toltec (1000 CE) • centered at Tula, NW of Teotihuacán • ethnically/culturally mixed – Mayans from south, others from north • far-reaching trade network

  10. Cahokia Mounds • near St Louis in now Illinois • settled beginning c. 300 (?) • city of 15 000 • sophisticated building • commercial hub • fabrics in particular • outgrew environment?

  11. Why does this matter? concept ‘pre-Colombian’ is not neutral • part of all of our pasts → sophisticated production → sophisticated trade networks → sophisticated societies ALL before Europeans arrived in the early modern period but was the lens through which they viewed the New World allowed them to insert themselves