Andean Societies

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					Chapter 6: Early Societies in the Americas and Oceania

                              Early Mesoamerican societies,
                                  1200 B.C.E.-1100 C.E.
Ceremonial centers, calendar,    Olmecs 1200-100 BCE
Maize, basalt heads, ball game
Olmec Jade Ear Flares   Olmec Jade Mask
500 BCE – 650 CE

                   Pyramid of the Moon
                        important ceremonial center
                        extensive trade network (obsidian)
         Teotihuacan    begins to decline 650 CE, sacked and then abandoned
                        home to 200,000
                        theocracy, little evidence of military, professional merchants
Pyramid of the Sun
                        evidence of ball game, adopted Olmec writing, calendar
The MAYA: El Mirador: 150 BCE-150CE

La Danta from Nakbe
The MAYA: Nimli Punit 500-900CE

                   Tikal 500-800 CE
                      Tikal 500-800 CE

Palenque 500-800 CE
Mirador: El Tigre
Central Plaza, Tikal
Lintel 24
Structure 23
Yaxchilan, Chiapas, Mexico

The sculpture depicts a sacred
blood-letting ritual which took
place on 26 October 709.
King "Shield Jaguar" is shown
holding a torch, while
Queen "Lady Xoc" draws a
barbed rope through her
pierced tongue
Bonampak Mural
Piercing tongues

Sting ray spines
At the height of
Mayan civilization,
body modification
included a variety
of alterations of
the teeth.
The Mayan calendar was very
advanced, and consisted of a
solar year of 365 days. It was
divided into 18 months of 20
days each( haab’), followed by a
five-day period that was
highly unlucky. There was
also a 260-day sacred year
(tzolkin), divided
into days named by the
combination of 13 numbers
 and 20 names.

Two calendars would repeat
Every 52 years = Calendar
Round. Maya Long Count
developed to record time
over 52 years
Dresden Codex

                Bonampak, Mexico
Bishop Diego de Landa:

Relacion de las cosas
De Yucatan 1566
According to the Popul Vuh
a book compiling details of
creation accounts known to the
 K'iche' Maya of the Colonial-era
highlands, we are living in the
fourth world.[8The Popol Vuh
describes the first three creations
 that the gods failed in making and
the creation of the successful fourth
world where men were placed. In
the Maya Long Count, the previous
creation ended at the start of a 13th
b'ak'tun.The previous creation ended
 on a long count of,
 (August 11,3114 BCE)
Another will occur on
December 20, 2012, followed by the
 start of the fourteenth b'ak'tun,, on
December 21, 2012
•   Migration into
    South America
    c. 12000 BCE
•   Climate
    improves c.
    8000 BCE
•   Largely
•   Highly
    due to
                     Polynesia/ Oceania
                     1500 BCE – 700 CE

Andean Societies
               Chapter 6: Early Societies in the Americas and Oceania
               Theme 1: Interaction between humans and the environment

• Migration
• Population pressures, trade, and the need for additional resources led to the development
of complex social and political forms
• no metallurgy: specialized craftsmanship: jade, obsidian, textiles (cotton)
• Mesoamerica: diverse geography, early settlement along coastline not river valleys, rich
food supply that becomes more diverse with agriculture (maize, beans, squash, tomato, avocado)
(Olmec rubber) No native draft animals: instead have to rely on human labor/ terraced fields
• Andean Society: difficult geography (Andes), early settlement along rich coast, llama/alpaca,
beans, peanuts, sweet potatoes, cotton, terrain makes contact between these two American regions
nearly impossible (some isolated trade: maize, squash N to S: gold, silver and copper S to N)
Gold, silver and copper metallurgy (Chavin de Huantar)
• Oceania: Australian Aborigines (H & G), Pacific Islands more contact with SE Asia (agriculture)
                    Theme 2: Development and interaction of cultures

• Mesoamerica: basalt heads (Olmec) polytheism, bloodletting, human sacrifice, astronomy and
prediction, calendar (solar and ritual), Maya hieroglyphs, (record astronomical, geneological,
political and social history, record keeping, poetry, and religious texts: Popol Vuh) (records on
papyrus, stelae, architectural stone, tombs, murals) Maya numerical system, concept of zero,
stelae and altars, ball game, enormous ceremonial complexes, murals, pyramids and temples,
great plaza areas (no written records for Olmec)

• Andean Society: Chavin Cult (1000 BCE: arrival of maize), Chavin Cult prompted building of
Large temples, art and pottery (everyday life) , polytheistic, animal sculpture: dedicated to fertility
and abundant harvests), no writing

• Oceania: spread of Austronesian language, decorated pottery, outrigger canoes
                    Theme 3: State-building, expansion and conflict

• Mesoamerica: Olmec :authoritarian, socially stratified, commanded large labor pool to produce
 basalt heads and flood control projects, managed trade systems, some evidence of military
Teotihuacan: theocracy?, no evidence of military/conquest, politically stratified, authority over
immense and expansive trade network (proximity to obsidian source, three legged orange pottery)
Maya: political organization varies: city states to regional empires, priest/kings (jaguar…),
Continually competing over resources and regions of influence, tried to symbolically align
themselves with more powerful (usually religious) centers: Kaminaljuyu, Tikal, Palenque, El Mirador
Chichen Itza
• Andean Society: Mochica/ Chimu (Chanvin de Huantar), regional states and cities along coast,
large scale irrigation projects, trade with highlands (carried out by coercion and warfare), regional
states unable to consolidate into anything approaching an empire
• Oceania: Australia: egalitarian, H&G, Lapita chiefdoms (around trade), hierarchical chiefdoms
             Theme 4: Creation, expansion and interaction of economic systems

• Mesoamerica: trade, craft specialization, cacao currency, trade at times dominated by influence
of Teotihuacan, lowlands traded agricultural foodstuffs for highland obsidian and jade

• Andean society: built irrigation systems so that the lower valleys could support agriculture,
established trade and economic networks from city to highlands (integrated economic zones)

• Oceania: H&G (Australia), trading and seafaring in and around New Guinea (3000BCE), outrigger
canoes, domesticated animals (chickens, pigs)
             Theme 5: Development and transformation of social structures

• Mesoamerica: ample evidence of social stratification (art, stelae, murals, architecture),
elaborate social hierarchy (kings and ruling families, priests, landowning nobility, merchants,
Professional architects, sculptors, specialized artisans, peasants and slaves (majority))

•Andean Societies: similar to above, merchants probably played significant role as the trade
etworks became more complex and extensive

• Oceania: Australian aborigines more egalitarian

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