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Mesoamerica

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Earth Mound known as 'Great Pyramid' Flat ground around used as playing field ... Pyramid of the Sun. Largest Pyramid. 206 feet tall and 720 feet wide at each base ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Mesoamerica


1
Mesoamerica
2
Where?
  • North of Mexico city, to western Central America

3
Society
  • Region ranges from tropical rainforests to dry
    mountains
  • Reflects different civilizations and cultures
  • Linked by trade and similar cultural activities
  • Cosmic Ball Game
  • Complex Calendar of 260 and 365 day cycles

4
Division of History
  • Three Periods of Mesoamerican history
  • Preclassic (1500-300 BCE)
  • Classic (300 BCE -900 CE)
  • Postclassic (900-1500 CE)
  • Reflect the culture and monuments of the Mayan
    civilization

5
Olmecs
  • First major Mesoamerican Art Style
  • Preclassic Period
  • Hard working people
  • Cleared farmland, drained fields, and raised
    earth mounds for religious and political reasons
  • Showed evidence of cosmic ball

6
La Venta, Mexico
  • 900-400 BCE
  • Earth Mound known as Great Pyramid
  • Flat ground around used as playing field
  • Built around astronomical observations

7
Language
  • Olmecs did not have a written language, but used
    art as representation of beliefs
  • Religion changed with way of lifeworshipped
    animals when hunting, worshipped rain and sun
    while farming.
  • Several rituals to control natural forces

8
Colossal Heads
  • Ranged from 5-12 feet tall and 5-20 tons
  • 12 heads have been found
  • Thought to portray rulers
  • Many found buried and mutilated

9
Teotihuacan
  • Olmec societies began to spread throughout
    Mesoamerica, allowing other societies to gain
    importance.
  • Classic Period
  • Located 30 miles from present day Mexico City
  • Emerged in 200 CE as a significant center of
    commerce

10
Size and Population
  • At its height (350-650 CE), it covered 9 square
    miles
  • 200, 000 people made up the population largest
    city in America and one of the largest cities of
    the world at the time
  • Many farmersstaple foods were corn and beans

11
Pyramids
  • City contained two pyramids
  • Pyramid of the Sun
  • Pyramid of the Moon
  • Main street is Avenue of the Dead
  • the name given to it by the Spanish because of
    the Aztec's ritual sacrifices of war prisoners


12
Pyramid of the Sun
  • Largest Pyramid
  • 206 feet tall and 720 feet wide at each base
  • Not as tall as Giza pyramid in Egypt
  • Built over 4 chambers and spring of water
  • Aligned with horizon of setting sun and many
    astrological events

13
Pyramid of Sun
14
Pyramid of Moon
  • Smaller than Sun Pyramid
  • Little is known about the pyramidmay be a royal
    burying ground or used for rituals.

15
Ciudadela
  • Ceremonial Center
  • Sunken plaza surrounded by temples
  • Could hold up to 60,000 people
  • Faced the Temple of the Feathered Serpent

16
Feathered Serpent
  • Quetzalcoatlserpent deity
  • Temple was a place of sacrifice to gods and
    burials
  • Located at the end of the Avenue of the Dead
    (where sacrifices take place)
  • Used for political powerrulers of the city were
    also spiritual rulers

17
Temple of the Feathered Serpent
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