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  • Mesoamerican Civilizations

    Chapter 11

    Sections 2 and 3

    STANDARD WHI.11a, b

    The student will demonstrate knowledge of major civilizations of the Western Hemisphere, including the Mayan, Aztec, and Incan by

    a) describing geographic relationship, with emphasis on patterns of development in terms of climate and physical features.

    b) describing cultural patterns and political and economic structures

  • Olmec 1300 B.C.-

    The first civilization of Mesoamerica

    They were located in the hot and swampy lowlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico south of Veracruz.

    They had large cities that were centers for religious rituals.

    They carved colossal stone heads

    They may have been to represent

    their ancestors or gods.

  • Teotihuacn

    Was the first major city in Mesoamerica

    Arose around 250 B.C. and collapsed about 800 A.D.

    May have had as many as 200,000 inhabitants at its height.

    Has a main thoroughfare, known as the Avenue of the Dead, had two main temples.

    The Temple of the Sun and the Temple of the Moon.

  • Mayan civilization

    Located in the Mexican and Central American

    rain forest

    Represented by Chichn Itz

    Group of city-states ruled by a king

    Economy based on agriculture and trade

    Polytheistic religionPyramids

    Yucatn Peninsula

    -Maya were found in the Yucatan Peninsula and Part of Guatemala

    Maya: Between 300 and 900 A.D.

    -Flourished during this time. We do not know why it fell into decline. The Maya abandoned their cities, we do not know why.

    Political and Social Structure

    Cities-Were built around a central pyramid

    Pyramid-Was topped with a shrine to the gods.

    City-States-Each governed by a hereditary ruling class

  • Mayan Kings

    -Ruled the Mayan Kingdom

    They claimed they were divine

    Were assisted by nobles and a class of scribes

    Made special blood sacrifices to maintain the kingdom.

    People

    -Included townspeople, skilled artisans, officials, and merchants.

    Many people were peasant farmers who worked on terraced hillsides farming.

    Men did the fighting and hunting, women made cornmeal and were responsible for homemaking and raising children.

  • Religion

    The Maya were Polytheistic.

    They believed that all of life was in the hands of a divine power.

    They were responsible for pleasing the gods.

    Their gods were ranked in order of importance, the Jaguar was the god of night and was seen as evil.

    The Maya practiced human sacrifice to appease their gods.

    Human sacrifice was also used to mark special occasions.

    When a king ascended to the throne war captives were tortured and beheaded to mark the occasion.

  • Accomplishments

    Language

    The Maya developed an independent Hieroglyphic language.

    The Spanish destroyed most of the Mayan writings. They were not seen as having any value. Their language was not translated until the 20th century.

  • Calendar

    The Maya developed a calendar that had two different parts.

    It had a solar calendar with 365 days, divided into 18 months with 20 days each with 5 extra days at the end.

    A Lunar calendar and a Calendar based on the movement of the Planet Venus. This was a sacred calendar with 260 days and 13 weeks of 20 days each.

    The Mayan calendar says our present world was created in 3114 B.C. and the current world will end on December 23 2012 A.D.

  • Aztec civilization

    Located in arid valley in central Mexico

    Represented by Tenochtitlan

    Ruled by an emperor

    Economy based on agriculture and tribute from conquered peoples

    Polytheistic religion with pyramids/rituals

    The Aztec began c. 12th century A.D.

    Began a long migration that brought them into the Valley of Mexico.

    They established their capital city at Tenochtitln.

    Tenochtitln

    An Aztec legend said that when the people found their new home they would see an eagle perched on a cactus holding a snake. They saw this in lake Texcoco.

    Their city was built up on rafts made from reeds and covered with dirt. They were called chinampas. Present-Day Mexico-City is built on top of this city. The original was destroyed by the Spanish.

    Lake Texcoco-Swampy lake that was the home of the capital city. Tenochtitln means the Place of the Prickly Pear Cactus.

    *

  • Political and Social Structure

    By 1500 there were about 4 million people in the Aztec Empire.

    Aztec Emperor

    Ruled over the Aztec Empire.

    Was the supreme leader of the people.

    He claimed that he was divine.

    People

    Made up of commoners, indentured workers, and slaves.

    Most people were farmers, but they also traded with people in the surrounding areas.

    Men were to be the warriors, while a womans role was to be in the home. Women were allowed to own and inherit property and enter contracts. Women wove textiles and raised children. They could also be priestesses.

  • Religion

    Had a polytheistic religion based on warfare.

    Huitzilopochtli

    Their chief god. He was the god of the sun. The Aztec

    offered him human sacrifice to give him strength to battle the forces of darkness each night so that he could rise each morning.

    Quetzalcoatl

    The feathered Serpent

    He believed he had left the valley of

    Mexico and promised to return in triumph.

    Human Sacrifice

    Each Aztec city contained a pyramid where they

    practiced human sacrifice as a way to postpone

    the end of the world.

  • Destruction of the Aztec

    The subjugation of the people of the Aztec

    Empire bred hatred and discontent among the

    people. When the Spanish arrived they did

    not have a difficult time finding allies to fight

    the Aztec.

    Hernn Corts 1519

    Spanish Conquistador who came to the valley of Mexico in 1519 with 550 soldiers and 16 horses. He was at first greeted by the Aztec Emperor Montezuma (Moctezuma). The Spanish later kidnapped the Emperor and made him a puppet. The people rebelled and the Emperor was killed. The Spanish barely escaped.

    The Spanish returned several months later. Many of the natives had fallen ill with Smallpox. Corts and his allies destroyed the Aztec capital and subjugated the Aztec people.

  • Incan civilization

    Located in the Andes Mountains of South America

    Represented by Machu Picchu

    Ruled by an emperor

    Economy based on high-altitude agriculture

    Polytheistic religion

    Road system

    Late 1300's Inca

    The Inca started as a small group that were located in Cuzco. They did not begin to become powerful until after the fall of the Moche of Peru.

    Pachacuti

    Unified the Inca and established the Inca Empire.

  • Organization of the Empire

    Incan state was built on war.

    The conquered peoples were all taught the same language.

    Each region was appointed a governor who answered to the Emperor.

    Road System: 24, 800 miles of Road

    The Inca built roads to unify their people. Roads made travel and communication throughout the empire more efficient.

    There were rest houses and storage depots along with bridges to span ravines and waterways.

  • Culture

    Were required to marry from within their own social group.

    Women were expected to live at home, the only alternative was to be a priestess.

    Most people were farmers, they also herded llamas and alpacas.

    Quipu-A system of knotted strings used by the Inca to keep records.

  • Great Builders

    They had great buildings made of stone held without mortar. Their roads also show their ability as great builders.

    Machu Picchu

    City built at 8,000 ft above sea level.

    Urubamba River

    River below Machu Picchu

  • Defeat

    The Spanish arrived in 1531

    1531: Francisco Pizarro

    Spanish Conquistador led a band of 180 men with

    superior weapons.

    The Inca, like the Aztec, were devastated by disease.

    Smallpox

    Devastated the Population

    Civil War

    After the death of the Inca Emperor a civil war broke out, Pizarro took advantage and defeated the people.

    Defeat

    Pizarro and his men established Lima as the new capital of the Spanish Colony in 1535.

  • Achievements of Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations

    Calendars

    Mathematics

    Writing and other record-keeping systems

    *

    Tikal, Guatemala

    Tikal, Guatemala