PRE- COLUMBIAN CIVILIZATIONS

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA: AZTECT EMPIRE AND MAYAN CULTURE

A) AZTECTS

  • Aztec” refers exclusively to the people of Tenochtitlan. This city was located on an island in Lake Texcoco . 
  • Several types of money were in regular use; small purchases were made with cacao beans and larger purchases were made with cotton cloth.
  • Maize was main food source along with avocados, tomatoes, tamales,  vegetables, meat, corn, chili peppers and chocolate.
  • Harsh laws maintained order.
  • N’ahuatl is a system of hundreds of pictures that created an alphabet and scribes and priests were the only ones who could write.
  • War was a important for aztecs so boys were trained to fight.
  • Aztecs used two different calendars, one measured time, while the other was used to fix religious festivals.
  • Religion played a very important part of Aztec life and music was a huge part of religious ceremonies.

B) MAYAS

  • The Ancient Mayan lived in the Yucatán Peninsula.
  • The Maya had no central king. There were separate areas, similar to ancient Greece city-states.
  • The Ancient Maya developed the science of astronomy, calendar systems and hieroglyphic writing. They were also known for creating ceremonial architecture, such as pyramids, temples, palaces and observatories built without metal tools.
  • The Mayan people were skilled farmers.
  • The Maya writing system was based on glyphs. Some of the glyphs were pictures and others sounds.
  • The Ancient Mayans were a very religious people. Mayan actions were based on rituals and ceremonies. One of those rituals was human sacrifice. The Mayan Kings were considered  descendants of the Gods.
  • The Ancient Maya had a class society. At the top were the nobles and priests. Their middle class was made up of warriors, craftsmen and traders. The farmers, workers and slaves were at the bottom.

PERU : INCA

  • The Inca Empire existed in Peru.
  • The Emperor was a skilled warrior and leader who exercised absolute power. 
  • The official language of the Inca was Quecha. The Inca had no written language. 
  • The Ancient Inca built aquaducts, cities, temples, fortresses, tunnels, suspension bridges. The Inca had a great understanding of mathematics and agriculture. They also knew about hydraulics, astronomy, architecture.
  • The Ancient Inca grew corn, potatoes, coffee, and other grains. They  created woven baskets.
  • The Inca pyramids were built with mud bricks of clay that were mixed with dry straw. 
  • The Incas worshipped many gods and goddesses. The major Incan god was the god of nature, Viracocha, the creator. Another god was Inti, the sun god. 
  • The Ancient Inca’s developed important medical practices. They preformed surgery on human skulls and used anesthesia during surgery.

 precolumbian

MayanCivilization worksheet

SpanishConquestoftheIncas

AztecCityofTenochtitlan

IncaCivilization

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