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Chapter 7 - The Americas Section 2: Mesoamerica

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Chapter 7 - The Americas Section 2: Mesoamerica Aztec and Mayan Empires Reading Focus What were the first civilizations in Mesoamerica like? What were some ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 7 - The Americas Section 2: Mesoamerica


1
Chapter 7 - The Americas Section 2 Mesoamerica
Aztec and Mayan Empires
2
Section 2 Mesoamerica
Main Idea Civilizations in Mesoamerica were some
of the earliest and most advanced in the Americas.
  • Reading Focus
  • What were the first civilizations in Mesoamerica
    like?
  • What were some characteristics of Maya
    civilization?
  • What made the Aztec empire one of the strongest
    in the ancient Americas?

3
I. The First Civilizations
Mesoamerica - southern Mexico and northern
Central America - first farming settlements in
the Americas
4
A. The Olmec
  • 1200 BC - AD 300 first large towns in
  • Mesoamerica pyramids, courtyard, giant stone
  • heads, and monuments

The Olmec carved giant heads from basalt that
came from 50 miles away
5
A. The Olmec
  • Elite led ceremonies, controlled trade from Gulf
    of Mexico to Pacific coast cultural diffusion

Artists conception of the ancient Olmec city of
La Venta
6
B. The Zapotec
  • 1500 BC to AD 750 southern Mexico began as
    farmers, built capital city of Monte Albán around
    500 BC

7
B. The Zapotec
  • Monte Albán first city in Mesoamerica Olmec
    influence - main plaza with pyramids, temples,
    palaces, ball court

8
C. The Toltec
  • AD 900 to 1200 highlands of central Mexico
  • militaristic society - warriors established
    dominance over region

9
C. The Toltec
  • Built pyramid-shaped temples and spread the
  • worship of their god, Quetzalcoatl

Tula, capital city of the Toltec
10
II. The Maya
  • 1000 BC - One of the most advanced people in
  • the Americas occupied the Yucatán peninsula

11
A. Early Maya Civilization
  • First lived in small villages used
    slash-and-burn agriculture and terraced hillsides
    to grow crops

12
A. Early Maya Civilization
  • Most cities built during Mayan Classic Age - AD
    250 to 900 became city-States with own ruler and
    government

The Great Plaza (center) and North Acropolis
(top) at Tikal
13
A. Early Maya Civilization
  • Worshipped many gods performed rituals blood
    offerings and occasional human sacrifice

The shaman is about to perform a cha-chac
ceremony a petition to the god, Chac, to send
rain
14
B. Achievements
  • Many advancements in
  • architecture
  • math - concept of zero
  • astronomy - 365-day farming, 260-day
  • religious calendars

Maya Calendar, called the Sunstone
15
B. Achievements
  • Complex writing system glyphs represent
    objects, sounds carved writing in stone and in
    bark-paper book called a codex

16
III. The Aztecs
  • Early Aztecs were farmers from northwestern
    Mexico, created most powerful empire in
    Mesoamerica

17
A. Rise of the Empire
  • According to legend, would settle where they saw
    an eagle on a cactus eating a snake AD 1100s -
    migrated south to Valley of Mexico

18
A. Rise of the Empire
  • Aztecs saw eagle and snake on swampy island in
    Lake Texcoco founded city of Tenochtitlán

19
A. Rise of the Empire
  • Formed alliance with nearby cities gained
    control over huge region beyond Lake Texcoco

20
A. Rise of the Empire
  • Aztecs were fierce warriors conquered 400 to 500
    city states required people to pay tribute

TYPICAL AZTEC WARRIOR AND WEAPONS
21
A. Rise of the Empire
  • Tribute was basis of economy gained wealth and
    strength from tribute and trade

22
A. Rise of the Empire
  • Tenochtitlan was capital city with temples,
  • marketplaces, palaces and 200,000 people

23
B. Society and Religion
  • Society organized with king at the top, followed
  • by priests, warriors, merchants, farmers, and
  • slaves

Aztec Tribute List
24
B. Society and Religion
  • Believed gods needed blood sacrificed up to
  • 20,000 victims - prisoners and slaves yearly to
  • feed their sun god

25
B. Society and Religion
  • Late 1400s - Empire declined due to unrest
  • among conquered peoples defeated by
  • Spanish in 1521

Hernan Cortes and Malinche meet Aztec emperor
Moctezuma II
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