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Chapter 12

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Chapter 11
Review and Discussion
Geography
of the
Americas
The Olmecs, 1400 B.C.E-1200 B.C.E
• Founded the first American
Civilization
• Laid the political foundation
of the Mesoamerican
societies
Teotihuacan (450 – 600 CE)
• It was a religious, artistic, and trade center that had
great influence on succeeding civilizations.
• Elites
– Controlled the state bureaucracy, tax collection and
commerce
– Powerful elites controlled the cities and the nearby
towns and rural peasantry.
• Religion (animism)
– Enormous pyramids dedicated to the sun, moon, and
other gods were built along the central avenue.
– Human sacrifice was carried out
THE MAYAN CIVILIZATION
Maya 300-900
• The Maya established
city-states
• Guatemala, Honduras,
Belize and Southern
Mexico
• united by a common
culture but not unified
by a common political
or military system
Mayan Government
• Each Mayan city had its
local leaders, but all the
city-states were ruled
by one king
The Maya (300-900)
• Military
• Primarily fought to secure military captives not
territory
• Elite captives were mostly sacrificed
• Commoners enslaved
• Women
• Elite - participated in bloodletting rituals and other
religious ceremonies
• Common – agricultural and textile production
What was life like for the Maya?
• Mayan people were farmers
• Priests were the highest
people in the society
• The Maya worshipped
nature: animals, plants,
water and the planets
Mayan architecture
• Relied solely on man
power, stone tools,
and levers for the
building projects
Mayan Accomplishments
• Had a system of hieroglyphics
• Practiced astrology-developed a
365 day calendar
• Developed a counting system
using 0 on a system based on 20
• Grew cotton, made cloth
The Mayan Ball Court Game:
life or death with a little rubber ball…
• The Ball Court that was
used for symbolic religious
games.
Aztecs
• Lived in Modern Day
Mexico
• Capital – Tenochtitlan
(Mexico City today)
• Became an Empire and
conquered other lands
• Spanish arrived in 16th
century
The Aztecs
• Society
– Clan based
– Around 1325, a monarchial system is established
• Kings increased wealth and power by territorial
conquest
• Supported population by
– Land reclamation projects, constructing irrigated
fields, and chinampas
Aztec Society
Emperor- Chosen by Council of Nobles and Priests
Nobles and Priests
Warriors –
Common People
Slaves
Officials, governors, judges
could attain a noble social
status If they killed an enemy
Farmers
- Mostly captives or criminals
(many were sacrificed to the
Sun God)
The Aztecs
• Trade
– No wheel vehicles, draft animals or money was
used
– Barter economy
– Benefited from the tributary system
• Religion
– Worshipped gods and goddesses
– Huitzilopochtli (sun god)
• Required a diet of human hearts
– Sacrificed thousands of people every year
THE AZTECS
The Great Temple at
Tenochtitlan
Aztec Empire Map
Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan
• The city was made up of a central square surrounded by
pyramid-temples, palaces, gardens, zoos, schools &
markets. This city reveals all that was the best of the
Aztecs!
Chinampas: Floating Gardens
• By 1500, the Aztec empire
spread from the Gulf of
Mexico to the Pacific
Ocean and numbered 30
million people.
• Conquered by the Spanish
around 1519
Incas 1463 - 1532
• Located in current day
Peru
• By the early 1500’s, the
Incan empire stretched
2500 miles
– Andes to Pacific Coast
(Ecuador to Chile)
• Empire
Incas
– Built a huge empire in the Andes by 1525
– Developed a strong and professional army
– Prosperity and military strength depended on herds of llamas and
alpacas
• Rule
– Generally left local rulers in place
• Took heirs as hostage
– imperial bureaucracy led by a king
• King was required to prove himself by conquering new territories
• Religion (Sun god most important)
– Rituals, feasts, sacrifices of textiles, animals, and other tribute
goods, and occasional human
• Accomplishments
– Construction of vast network of roads (13,000 miles)
Pachacuti, Ruled 1438-1471
The Supreme Ruler
• Pachacuti was the first
INCA, or “supreme
ruler”
• The INCA was thought
to be a descendant of
the sun god “Inti”
Cuzco: The Imperial Capital
• From Cuzco, the emperor
ruled more than 10
million people
• There was a system of
roads, tunnels, and rope
bridges that connected
the cities of the empire
Incan Road System:
The Heart of the Empire
• allowed armies and news to
travel rapidly around the
empire.
• prohibited ordinary people
from using the roads at all.
The Incas…built a complex civilization
•
•
•
•
They imposed their own language and
religion on the people.
that relied on order and absolute authority
The Incas strictly regulated the lives of
millions of people within their empire.
Government officials arranged marriages.
The Incas…built a complex civilization
•
Community leaders assigned jobs to each
family and organized the community to
work the land.
– Mit’a
•
•
Farmers had to spend part of each year
working land for the emperor and the
temples.
Government officials controlled the
harvest.
Chosen Women of the Sun
• Played a key role and honor role in Incan
religious rituals
• Started at age 8 and trained until age 16
where her fate would be decided
– Made garments for the Sapa Inca
– Most remained in house of seclusion in service of
the Sun for most of their lives
Civilization Location
Capital
City
Good
Stuff
Years
Maya
The Maya were
located mainly
in the Yucatan
Peninsula, and
stretched to
Belize &
Guatemala
Tikal
Hieroglyphics
365 day calendar
counting system
using 0-20
1000 BCE
to about
900 CE
Aztec
The Aztecs
were located
throughout
Mexico
The capital
city,
Tenochtitlan,
now lies below
Mexico city
Built capital city
over lake
Texcoco
Built aqueducts
& causeways
Had zoos,
schools, etc..
1200 CE
To
1500’s
Cuzco, the
Holy city
System of roads,
tunnels, & rope
bridges
Performed brain
surgery
1300 CE to
Early
1500’s
Inca
Pacific Coast
of Peru, in
South
America
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