Maya, Aztec, and Inca Civilizations

Maya, Aztec, and Inca Civilizations

Maya, Aztec, and Inca Civilizations Pre-Columbian Society in North and South America

MesoAmerica Maya, then Aztecs = dominant civilizations Built on the foundation of earlier civilizations eg: Olmec (the big head people) Maize

Ball games Temple pyramids/ritual human sacrifice Astronomy/calendar Aztecs green

Maya - brown Maya Height 600CE-900CE Culturally united--(NOT POLITICALLY)

City-states Polytheistic Nobles/Priests = elite class Innovative agriculture b/c of poor soil (chinampas, terraces, irrigation)

Glyph writing/zero Downfall? Overtaxed environment, internal warfare Political Control in Maya CityStates Political authority rested with Kings who

were closely intertwined with priests and religion Blood-letting rituals were performed by Kings (believed to retain the city-states connection to the gods; comparable with

Chinas idea of the Emperor performing rituals for his ancestors) Maya Tikal

Writing Styles

Aztecs Height 1300CE-1500CE A true, united Empire

Invading conquerors from N. Mexico Tenochtitlan capital w/Emperor Important families controlled outlying areas Conquered people had to give tribute Complex social hierarchy (nobles, priests, etc.)

Blood-letting remained an important political ritual Human sacrifice, often used to control population which had been conquered

Inca 1400s-1500s South America (Andes Mts.) Also a true united empire Military expansionists

Governed territory of over 2,500 miles Used the delightful Llama (pack animal only) Farmed potatoes on

terraces God-kings = intermediaries b/t heaven and earth

Social Hierarchy Aristocrats lived privileged lives (fine foods, embroidered clothes, and large ears spools) Inca often integrated conquered elites

into their empires elite to keep them happy Inca ear spools AKA: Fancy

gauges Cuzco Capital city Connected to outlying areas by 16,000

miles of roads Royal family members ruled outlying areas Tribute state - $$ to Cuzco, emperor ensured everyone had what they needed = a redistributive economy

Govt control trade, labor, detailed census, centralized econ, etc. Taxes often paid in labor (called mita)

Mita labor used to create huge terrace, irrigation, and watercontrol systems Labor groups allyu = extended family

organized groups (used b/c of crazy terrain) NO writing used qipus!

Labor and Taxes Back by popular demand! llamasong.flv

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