History of Latin America
Click on a Native American culture to learn more. Olmec Maya Aztec Inca Toltec
1500 BC-300 BC Built first civilization in Latin America. An Olmec stone statue Olmec Traded with people miles away, which is how the Olmec culture spread throughout Mexico and Central America. Each city focused on a particular activity and depended on each other. Some cities were known for farming, controlled valuable mineral resources (jade and obsidian), or religious centers.
Settled in the Mexico Yucatan Peninsula and surrounding areas AD 330-AD 900 No one is really sure why civilization declined. Maya Glyphs-A form of writing they used using signs and signals to record the history of their kings. Became wealthy because of trading Developed a calendar and a number based on 20 Their cities were made of observatories, temple pyramids, and ball courts. Play the Video
As Maya civilization declined, the Toltec took over Northern Mexico. Captured in A.D. 1200 by the Aztec A.D. 900-A.D. 1200 Toltec Built the city Tula northwest of present day Mexico City Held a monopoly in trade of obsidian glass, which gave them power over other groups
Around A.D. 1200, moved from the north into central Mexico and captured Tula. Adopted Toltec culture and took control of the region’s trade The Great Pyramid was the main temple of the Aztec capital. To extend their culture, the Aztec often waged war with other groups. Aztec The Aztecs were hated by the people they conquered. In 1521, these groups joined with European invaders to conquer the Aztec. They demanded Tribute from those they conquered, a tax that was paid in food, clothing, precious stones or feathers. People were also sometimes taken as Tribute and forced into slavery. Play the Video
Settled in what is now Peru in South America around A.D. 1400s Inca The Inca worshiped many Gods but the most important was the sun God, Inti. Legend was that the emperor descended from Inti. All Inca called themselves “Children of the Sun”. Their empire stretched more than 2,500 miles along the Andes. Founded military posts and developed a system of record keeping Cuzco served as the center of government, religion, and trade. Play the Video