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Maya, Inca, and Aztecs

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Title: Maya, Inca, and Aztecs


1
Maya, Inca, and Aztecs
  • By
  • Maya Gaines-Smith

2
The Mayans
The Mayans
3
Mayan Geography
  • The Maya lived in what is now the Northern Part
    of Guatemala. They cleared areas of the rain
    forest to plant crops like maize, or corn. The
    forest environment provided deer, monkeys, and
    rabbits shelter, and these animals were crucial.
    They also grew cocao.
  • They used trees to make wooden poles and vines
    along with mud to build their houses.

4
Religion
  • The Mayans were Polytheistic.
  • They built large temples that were shaped like
    mountains. The Mayans considered mountains to be
    sacred because they allowed people to approach
    the gods.
  • They made human sacrifices on special holidays.

5
Social Structure
  • The king held the highest position in Mayan
    society because he was believed to be related to
    the gods.
  • Priests, merchants, and noble warriors were also
    a part of the upper class. They held all the
    power in Mayan society.
  • The lower class Mayas were mostly farming
    families, where the women cared for the
    children, cooked, made yarn, and wove cloth. The
    men farmed, hunted, and crafted tools.
  • Slaves were the lowest class. They carried goods
    along trade routes or worked as servants or
    farmers for upper class Maya.

6
Achievements
  • They built observatories so their priests could
    watch the stars and plan religious festivals.
  • They developed a calendar with 365 days for
    planting and another 260 day calendar for
    religious events.
  • They Mayans created a a number system that helped
    them tell time.
  • They created huge temple pyramids and wheeled
    vehicles.

7
Decline
  • We dont know why the Mayan civilization ended,
    but historians think that it was because the
    people didnt want to work for the kings and they
    rebelled.
  • Another theory is that cities started competing
    for farmland and the battles ruined the crops and
    led to food shortages. Scientists also think that
    it could have been a drought that brought the
    decline.

8
Key words
  • Maize- corn
  • Observatories- Buildings from which people could
    study the sky.
  • Cocao- beans which are used in making chocolate.

9
The Aztecs
10
Rise to Power
  • The first Aztecs settled on a swampy island in
    the middle of the lake Texcoco.
  • The Mayans capitol was Tenochtitlan.
  • The Aztecs got from city to city by building
    causeways and canals that were also used for
    trade.
  • They farmed on chinampas

11
Social Structure
  • The Emperor was the most important person in
    society, followed by the nobles, priests,
    merchants and artisans, farmers and laborers, and
    slaves.
  • Farmers and laborers made up most of the
    population.

12
Religion
  • The Aztecs were polytheistic like the Mayans, but
    they made more sacrifices then them. The victims
    were usually captives or slaves.
  • They sacrificed as many as 10,000 people a year.

13
Achievements
  • Artists and architects created fine stone
    pyramids and statues. They also wove colorful
    cloths.
  • They had a calendar like the Mayans. They kept
    detailed written records for history. They also
    passed on history orally.

14
Decline
  • The Aztec civilization fell because of the
    conquistadors.
  • Hernan Cortez came to the Americas to convert the
    natives to Catholicism, get gold, and for
    adventure and to be remembered.
  • The Europeans brought diseases such as smallpox
    that weakened and killed thousands of native
    people, and brought the empire to an end.

15
Key Words
  • Causeways- Raised roads across water or wet
    ground.
  • Chinampas- floating gardens made on large rafts
    that had been piled with soil and anchored to
    trees.
  • Conquistadors- Spanish conquerors.

16
The Incas
17
Central Rule and Economy
  • The ruler Pachacuti started the policy of
    removing local leaders and replacing them with
    trusted officials.
  • The Incas used the language Quechua to do all
    official business.
  • The government told each house hold what work to
    do. People paid taxes in work instead of in
    money. This was called the mita.
  • There were no merchants or markets because the
    government distributed goods collected through
    the mita. If people couldnt care for themselves,
    the government gave them supplies.

18
Social Structure
  • The emperor, priests, and government officials
    made up the upper class. They lived comfortable
    lives and didnt have to pay the labor tax. They
    could relax in places like Machu Picchu.
  • The lower class was made up of farmers, artisans,
    and servants. There were no slaves.

19
Religion
  • They believed that their rulers were related to
    the sun god, so they never truly died.
  • They also held sacrifices, but they sacrificed
    llamas, cloth, or food, but rarely humans.

20
Achievements
  • The Incas were masters at masonry. They also
    built a network of roads that ran the length of
    the empire.
  • Artisans made pottery and gold and silver
    jewelry.
  • They had no writing system, but they kept records
    with knotted cords that were color coded for
    different topics.
  • They passed down their history orally, and they
    had official memorizers who learned poems and
    legends about Incan history.

21
Decline
  • When Francisco Pizarro came to the Incan empire,
    him and the other conquistadors attacked and
    killed thousands of Inca soldiers and captured
    their leader. Pizarro defeated the last of the
    Incas in 1537, and Spain took over the region for
    the next 300 years.

22
Key Terms
  • Quechua- an official Incan language
  • Mita- the labor tax system used instead of money.
  • Machu Picchu- a royal retreat that was in the
    Andes where emperors and nobles could relax.
  • Masonry- stonework

23
Review
  1. Why did the Mayan civilization decline?
  2. Where did the Aztecs settle? How did they live
    there?
  3. What conquistador conquered the Aztecs? What
    disease did he bring with him?
  4. Who was the most powerful in Incan society? Why?
  5. How were taxes paid in Incan Society? How were
    people fed?
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