"CHAPTER 1: TOWARD CIVILIZATION"
AKS 36: PEOPLE OF THE AMERICAS I. Early Life in the Americas A. Land Bridge Theory 1. During Ice Age, people crossed a “land bridge” at the Bering Strait from Asia into North America; once the Ice Age ended they were trapped and migrated throughout 2. Problems with theory a. Artifacts found in North America pre-date Ice Age b. Land Bridge too long for easy travel across c. Land Bridge was not exposed long enough for many people to cross d. Other theories include using boats to cross prior to Ice Age B. Complex Societies in the West 1. Pacific Northwest: Oregon to Alaska a. rich in resources, supported a large population b. hunted whales, fished, used forests for survival c. potlatch – ceremony where families gave food and gifts to the community 2. Southwest: Arizona/New Mexico a. harsh environment; very hot b. Hohokam – farmers, used irrigation; corn, beans, squash c. developed pottery 3. Four Corners: Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico a. Anasazi – influenced Hohokam b. built homes in cliffs or shallow caves c. Eventually known for pueblos – villages of large apartment style homes d. Adobe- sun-dried brick used to make pueblos e. Pueblo Bonita – “beautiful village”; built around A.D. 900 f. kivas – underground ceremonial chambers 4. Great Plains: Between Rocky Mountains and Mississippi River a. Hunters and farmers b. Women farmed and kept homes while men hunted 5. Mound Builders a. Eastern United States; began around 700 B.C. b. Built mounds to bury their dead c. Hopewell – mound builders in Ohio region; built Great Serpent Mound for ceremonial purposes d. Mississippi – last great group of mound builders; A.D. 800 – 1500’s; used Mississippi and Ohio Rivers for transportation and trade 6. Northeastern Alliance a. Iroquois – formed alliance of many tribes in Great Lakes region b. Iroquois League – aka The Five Nations; formed by Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and the Seneca; legend is that it was founded by Chief Hiawatha 7. Connections a. Trade b. Religious customs; belief in natural spirits; great respect for land c. Social patterns; strong focus on family and other close relatives d. Totems – objects used to identify different tribes C. Early Civilizations of Mesoamerica (Central Mexico to South America) 1. Olmec a. first known civilization, around 1200 B.C. b. lived on Gulf Coast of southern Mexico c. abundant in salt and tar d. worshipped the jaguar e. traded throughout Mesoamerica f. Olmec civilization collapsed around 900 B.C. 2. Mayans a. influenced by Olmec b. empire stretched from central Mexico into South America c. Classic Period – A.D. 250-900; built large cities (Tikal) d. Cities linked by trade and alliances e. Agriculture – grew maize, beans, squash f. Slash-and-burn agriculture – cut down and burned brush before planting g. also grew crops on raised mounds in swamps h. Religion – prayed to gods, gave offerings of food and flowers j. also cut and pierced bodies; made human sacrifices k. used math, developed a calendar, and used astronomy to keep up with gods l. used a sacred, religious calendar and an agricultural calendar m. glyphs – symbols for writing; codex – book; n. Popul Vuh –Mayan story of creation o. A.D. 800 – Mayan civilization declined; overpopulation, civil war 3. The Valley of Mexico a. home to first civilization of central Mexico – Teotihuacan – “city of the gods” b. Teotihuacan – modern Mexico city; population of 150,000-200,000 c. traded obsidian – green and black volcanic glass d. Declined and abandoned by A.D. 750 e. A.D. 900 – Toltecs emerge; ruled central Mexico from capital at Tula f. worshipped war god; later religious wars caused decline; gone by A.D. 1200 4. Aztecs a. arrive in Valley of Mexico around A.D. 1200 b. Established capital in Tenochtitlan at Lake Texcoco c. formed Triple Alliance with Texcoco and Tlacopan to become stronger d. Built empire with military conquest e. Tenochtitlan had a population of 200,000 – 400,000; larger than most cities f. Religion – polytheistic, public ceremonies, human sacrifices g. Montezuma II – last great ruler; led Aztecs until Spanish arrive D. South America: Land of the Inca 1. Empire built in South America along Andes Mountains 2. Capital built in Cuzco; stretched 2500 miles along Andes 3. Built road system, had one language, similar architecture 4. Ayllu – community cooperation to complete tasks; Mita – labor tribute (tax) 5. Quipu – used for counting 6. Religion – polytheistic; Inti – sun god; Viracocha – creator god 7. Decline – height of power in early 1500’s; civil wars followed by the Spanish led to its decline