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Mesoamerican Archaeology 101 Slides Revised

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					Mesoamerican Archaeology 101
           Slides
   Special Thanks to Antonio De La
  Cova, Visiting Assistant Professor of
  Latino Studies at Indiana University.
A. Overview

Olmec         1300-400BC    South Gulf Coast of Mexico

Teotihuacan 200BC-600AD     Central Mexico

Classic Maya 300-900AD      S. Mexico, Guatemala

Aztecs        1200-1521AD   Central Mexico
B. 4000BC

   •Domestication of Corn, Beans, Squash is underway

   •Domestication of Plants came before Villages

C. 1600-1400BC

   Appearance of 1000s of Villages

      •waddle and daub construction, 4 by 6 m

      •villages of 10 to 12 houses with 50 to 60 persons.

      •Grinding stones, deer, rabbits.

      •Egalitarian graves.
D. Olmec

  •1300-400BC

  •South Gulf Coast of Mexico

  •First in a series of complex cultures.

  •Mother culture.
La Venta.

   •Island in mangrove swamp.

   •Giant sculpted heads of basalt.

   •Some hieroglyphs.

   •Tomb near central pyramid contained two juveniles with Jade
   figurines.

   •Buried mosaic of basalt blocks.
La Venta: Pyramid C1 looking NE
La Venta Altar
La Venta Stelae
San Lorenzo

   •Platform and ceremonial complex.

   •Pyramid: 33 m high, 130 X 75 m base.

   •Carved Stelae and altars with snake and Jaguar motifs

   •giant sculpted heads.

   •20 artificial ponds used for water storage or irrigation.

   •Hallucinogenic Marine toads.
San Lorenzo
Olmec Seated Figure
E. Teotihuacán      200BC-600AD          Central Mexico

   •Located near natural Springs and caves.

   •Natural trade route from Gulf coast to central Highlands.

   •50 A.D.: 60 to 80,000 people with pyramids of moon and sun
   started.

   •500 A.D.: 100 to 200,000 people.
      •Pyramids completed:
           •Pyramid of the Sun, 200 times 200 m base, 60 m high.
           •Pyramid of the Moon: 150 x 150 m base, 45 m high.
   •City laid out in quadrants.

   •Residences of the elite, 50 x 50 m walled compound.
Teotihuacan: Pyramid of the Sun
Panorama of Teotihuacan
•Hundreds of workshops:

   •25% of population were artisans.
   •Stone, textile, ceramics, jewels, metals.

•Burials of cracked human bones and depictions of human
sacrifice and warfare.

•Influenced rest of Mesoamerica.
    •Kaminaljuyu in Guatemala.
    •Trade goods in Oaxaca, and in Maya areas.

•600 A.D.: Site loses population

•Evidence of invasion and burning and class conflict.
Teotihuacan: Orange Ware Vase
Teotihuacan: Deformed Cranium
F. Classic Maya      300-900AD    S. Mexico, Guatemala.

•300 to 600 A.D.: Maya influenced by Teotihuacan.

•600 to 900 A.D.: classic Maya.

•Achievements:

   •Some cities of 50,000 or more, Tikal, Copan, Cobá.

   •Large, steep, beautiful pyramids.

   •Maya hieroglyphics writing: history of royalty
Copan: Inscribed Stelae
Tikal: A view from the Great Plaza
Ball Court (Lower Right) in the Great Plaza of Tikal
Copan: Temple with corbel arch
Cobá Ball Court
Cobá Pyramid
Cobá
Palanque Palace
Palenque’s Temple of the Inscriptions
Detail of a Bonampak Mural
Chichén Itzá: El Castillo/Templo de Kukulkán
Red Jaguar Throne Inside El Castillo
Chichén Itzá: Chac Mool and Serpent Columns at Temple of
1000 Warriors
Mayan calendars and astronomy

Solar calendar:

   • 356 days: 18 months by 20 days each with five additional
     unlucky days
   • Agriculture and marketing

Lunar calendar:

   • 260 days: 13 months by 20 days each,
   •astrology, fate of individuals and the empire.
Chichén Itza:
    The Observatory
Causes of the rise of Mayan civilization:

   Trade Networks: Trade in obsidian, salt, stone; Cobá

   Hydraulic Theory: Irrigation works in a Campeche

   Social-environmental circumscription:

     •limited water resources
     •forced to population to congregate around cenotes
     •administrators that controlled water became the elite
     •works for Chichén Itza
Chichén Itzá’s Cenote
Labna, Yucatan: Palace with Sacbe
Aztecs

  1200-1521AD

  Central Mexico
An Artist’s Recreation of Tenochtitlán
Tenochtitlán: The Central Plaza with the Templo Mayor
Tenochtitlán: The Templo Mayor
Tenochtitlán’s Skull Rack

				
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