The Maya Originated in Yucatán around 2600 BC, they rose to height around 250 A.D. Technology • Developed astronomy, an intricate calendar and hieroglyphic writing. Two calendars: the solar calendar and the Sacred Almanac. The solar calendar was 365 days long; which consisted of 18 months; 20 days a piece and 5 "unlucky" days. Technology • The Maya architecture: all built without metal tools. Palenque Palace The Nunnery Religion • Believed in many gods, each day involved a new god with new challenges First, glyphs do not represent just sounds or ideas, they can represent both, making it difficult to know how each glyph or cartouche should be read. In addition, many Maya glyphs can have more than one meaning, and many Maya concepts can be written in more than one way. Plus the Maya had 31 languages. Society • Farmers cleared large sections of tropical rain forest and built sizeable underground reservoirs for the storage of rainwater. • They were weavers, potters, had extensive trade networks with distant peoples. – Traded salt, flint, feathers, shells and honey as well as textiles and jade ornaments Grand – Used cacao beans instead of money to Cenote barter for goods Society • Mayan civilization - organized into city-states (50 sites found) – Each city-state a farming community and large urban sites built around ceremonial centers Fall • It started to decline around A.D. 900 when the southern Maya abandoned their cities. Toltec Warrior - Many of the Maya were integrated into the Toltec society by A.D. 1200 – some peripheral (outer areas) cities continued to thrive until the Spanish Conquest in the early sixteenth century. Aztec Tenochtitlan • Aztecs were migratory at first. • In the year 1325, they stopped their migratory pattern on the southwest border of Lake Texcoco as they beheld an eagle sitting on the stem of a prickly pear. – He was holding a serpent in this talons and his wings the open to the sun. They saw this as an omen, announcing the location of their future city and capital, Tenochtitlan. • To build their city, swamps and standing water around them was drained and artificial islands were constructed Map of Tenochtitlan, possibly made for Cortes. Woodcut from Praeclara Ferdinandi Cortesii de Nova Maris Oceani Hispania Narratio, Nürnberg, 1524 (first publication of Cortes's letters.) Courtesy of the New York Public Library. Religion • Human sacrifices – 20,000-50,000 people were sacrificed yearly. • Principal Aztec god, Huitzilpochti • Tribute gathered by raiding and warring Huitzilopochtli battled the forces of parties darkness each night and was reborn each morning. • Among the conquered peoples, rebellions As the Legend of the Five Suns often flared up. shows, there was no guarantee that the sun would always win. • When armies from Spain arrived, they found To give the sun strength to rise each day, the Aztecs ruled by allies among peoples who were offered humanthe sacrifices. Aztec empire. At the center of the Aztecs' calendar stone is the sun god, Tonatiuh. He is surrounded by symbols of the five world creations. The symbols of the 20 days of the solar month are depicted on the stone. Also, eclipses of the sun were foretold by the calendar stone. Society Technology Farming • Trade – golden jewelry, • chinampas feather caps, – giant reed mats tortoise shell and placed them on cups, spices, top of the water and cocoa beans – planted corn, • Merchants also tomatoes, potatoes, chili peppers, and served as spies squash Technology Writing • Pictographic writing • Some pictures symbolized ideas while others stood for the sounds of syllables Fall • Other tribes began to rebel against Montezuma II and the Aztecs – Resented the growing demand for tribute and sacrificial victims • Cortez and the Spanish – Quetzalcoatl returns? – Gained support of the other tribes – Superior weapons – Disease—small pox Inca Empire 2,500 miles Their territory was very diverse both in climate and in terrain, for it included the high peaks and fertile valleys of the Andes mountains, the tropical forests on the eastern edges of the mountains and a long strip of drought- stricken desert along the western coast. • Originally a warlike tribe from the Andes mountains • By 1500 were the largest and richest of the ancient empires of • Mountain roads (14,000 miles), the Americas. bridges and sacrificial • Andean Cordillera, platforms were built second in height and by the Inca. harshness to the – Superior engineering and Himalayas architectural skill – Runners were used to carry messages • Society • Clans lived and worked together and were supervised by a chief. – They formed a self-supporting farm community growing potatoes/maize and cotton – Terrace farming using simple tools and no draft animals or the wheel • domesticated animals: llamas to transport goods, alpacas for wool, and dogs, guinea pigs and poultry. – They manufactured ceramic pottery, clothing and blankets, metal ornaments, tools, and weapons. Society • Rigidly structured under a god-like, all powerful ruler, called the Inca. – the Only Son of the Sun – Cuzco was his home • People's lives were strictly controlled, but the government protected them and made sure that they were well fed and had what they needed to live and work. Technology • Silver and gold were abundant, but only used for aesthetics. – Kings and nobles put in their tombs • Money existed in the form of work. – Each subject of the empire paid taxes by laboring on the roads, crop terraces, irrigation canals, temples, or fortresses—mita system – In return, rulers paid their laborers in clothing and food. Fall • The territory had become too large to manage – Too difficult to distribute food and other goods efficiently – Tribes began to rebel • The stable government ended in 1525 when civil war broke out – Atahualpa and Hus-car fought over who would be king • Pizarro conquered the Inca in 1532 Copper death mask Mummy of a 6 year-old Figurines found with mummies Technology With no written language, the Inca devised a tool for recording the movement of people and goods. The quipu is a series of colored, knotted strings. The type of knot indicated a number, and the knot’s placement signified units of 1, 10, 100, or more. All the cords hung from a main string, and their positions and colors likely signaled what was being counted—troops, supplies, population data, and agricultural inventories. Religion • Sun god-creator of the universe as well as a number of gods representing the weather, the earth, the sea and the moon. • Ancestors were also worshipped as protective spirits who acted as links between the living Incas and the gods. • The bodies of dead rulers were preserved as mummies and sealed in stone tombs, and people came there to pray. • They brought sacrifices usually in the form of cloth, plants, and animals. Only in times of great disaster were humans sacrificed. • The Incas believed in an afterlife with a heaven for the souls of virtuous people where they lived with the sun god himself; evil people went to a cold underworld with only stones for food. – They feared that evil would befall at any time. Sorcerers held high positions in society as protectors from the spirits. – They also believed in reincarnation, saving their nail clippings, hair cuttings and teeth in case the returning spirit needed them. The Inca sometimes interred (buried) their dead in mummy bundles, layers of cloth encasing a body and personal effects. The bundles often had false heads, textiles stuffed with cotton, propped on top. Some wore masks or wigs. Whole families may have been interred in one mummy bundle. In Tupac Amaru, Peru, up to seven bodies have been found in a single bundle. Personal effects such as pottery, food, and clothing were usually wrapped with the bodies. Other objects revealed the deceased’s social status. A feathered headdress, for example, might accompany a member of the upper class, and a powerful warrior might be buried with a mace.