Hist 131 S7
Ancient Civilization of the Americas
Humans first settled The Americas continents between 30000 and 12000 years ago. They were able to do this because at that period the world was covered in ice during the ice age period. Glaciers locked up much of the world’s water causing the water level to decrease and opening a bridge of land between Siberia and Alaska. When the glaciers receded and melted the oceans rose and therefore flooding the Bering Straits and disconnecting Asia from America.
The inhabitants of America were now isolated from the inhabitants of Africa and Eurasia. Surprisingly though, from what I read it was stated that at the end of the Paleolithic age peoples of the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia all experienced similar cultural changes from hunting and gathering to an agricultural way of life. Between the years of 8000 BCE and 2000 ...view middle of the document...
Found mostly in the low lands of Mexico’s Gulf Coast. They had public buildings, extensive pavements, a drainage system, and a major Mesoamerica ball court. These people also created massive basalt stone heads said to be portraits of their rulers. They were believed to have been carved 65 miles away and brought there on rafts.
In the Classic Period were the Teotihuacán’s. They had huge city that rivaled the largest in the world at the time. At its height in500 CE the cited extended nearly over 9 square miles with a population of over 150000 people. These people also created the Pyramid of the Sun which is the second largest pyramid on the American Continent.
The Maya had densely populated cities and developed a sophisticated system of mathematics and a highly advanced hieroglyphic writing. They made the use of certain farming techniques such as terracing, irrigation and other agricultural technologies to support a huge population. The Mayan’s practiced sacrificing of captives and ball games.
The Aztecs had the largest Mesoamerican state before the coming of the Spaniards. There society was organized for war and was divided into nobles and commoners, with merchants and certain artisans forming intermediate categories. They practices wide scaled human sacrifice from other conquered warriors. There woman could own property and do trade but were still under the command of man.
Nazca’s were found in the Andean South American Region. They had accomplished the building of underground aqueducts to tap into groundwater in the valleys and direct it to irrigation fields they also had detailed pottery decorated with images of plants and animals. One of the things Nazca’s are famous for are there geoglyphs which were colossal earthworks.
The Inca’s built the most extensive Andean empire. It extended for 2600 miles. Inca rule relied on conquest, fear, and alliance with other people. They collected taxes by forced labor. Although they didn’t record their history in writing they kept detailed accounts using knotted strings.