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Early Mexico Mesoamerica


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Title: Early Mexico Mesoamerica

Early Mexico Mesoamerica

The Olmec
Olmec 1400 BC to about 400 BC.
  • 1. 1st ancient Pre-Columbian people living in
    the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico.
  • 2. Farmed on Ejidos Common food plots, mixture
    of crops
  • 3. The Olmec practiced ritual bloodletting.
  • 4. Artwork Colossal Heads
  • 5. Created Mesoamerican Ball Game

  • The most familiar aspect of the Olmecs is their
    artwork, particularly the colossal heads.
  • In fact, the Olmec civilization was first defined
    through artifacts purchased on the pre-Columbian
    art market in the late 19th and early 20th
    centuries. Olmec artworks are considered among
    ancient America's most striking and beautiful,
    and among the world's masterpieces.

Facemask made of Jade
The Wrestler Known for Beauty and realism
Mayan Civilization
1000 B.C. - 900 AD)
The Maya
  • 1. Settled in Yucatan Peninsula depended on
    cenotes or sinkholes for water
  • 2. Only known fully developed written language of
    the pre-Columbian Americas.
  • 3. Art, architecture - Temples
  • 4. Mathematical and astronomical systems
  • 5. Calendar2012!

Cenotes, sinkholes
Mayan Numeral System
Mayan hieroglyphics
  • A painted stucco relief in the museum at
    Palenque, This panel depicts king Upakal K'inich,
    from the 8th century A.D.

A jade mask. Its design representing the Rain God
  • Ball courts
  • As an integral aspect of the Mesoamerican
    lifestyle, the courts for their ritual ball-game
    were constructed throughout the Maya realm and
    often on a grand scale. Enclosed on two sides by
    stepped ramps that led to ceremonial platforms or
    small temples, the ball court itself was of a
    capital "I" shape and could be found in all but
    the smallest of Maya cities.

The Palace, Palenque Ruins
  • The Year - 2012
  • The end of days?

  • The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of beliefs
    that cataclysmic or transformative events will
    occur on December 21, 2012, which is said to be
    the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the
    Mayan Long calendar. Various astronomical
    alignments related to this date have been
    proposed, but are not final. Scenarios for the
    end of the world include the Earth's collision
    with a passing planet or black hole.
  • Another interpretation of this transition is that
    the Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a
    positive physical or spiritual transformation,
    and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new
  • Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed
    the idea that a catastrophe will happen in 2012,
    stating that predictions of impending doom are
    found neither in classic Maya accounts nor in
    contemporary science. The modern Maya, on the
    whole, have not attached much significance to the
    date, and the classical sources on the subject
    are scarce and contradictory, suggesting that
    there was little if any universal agreement among
    them about what, if anything, the date might

Jade jewel of the Mayans/AztecsMask and
Serpent Necklace made of Jade
Ritual HUMAN Sacrifice
While human sacrifice was practiced throughout
Mesoamerica, the Aztecs, if their own accounts
are to be believed, brought this practice to an
unprecedented level. During the dedication of the
Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs
reported that they sacrificed 84,400 prisoners
over the course of four days, actual numbers were
probably closer to 2000 though.
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The Aztecs1325 AD1521
  • 1. Mesoamerican group who encountered the Spanish
    conquistador Hernán Cortés.
  • 2. Extreme Blood letting, human sacrifice.
  • 3. Settled in Mexican Plateau - City of
    Tenochtitlan built on islands in Lake Texcoco,
    present day Mexico City

Artist depiction of the city looking east
  • Tenochtitlan
  • Capital city of Aztecs, surrounded by Lake

The Beginning of the End for Aztecs
How were the Spanish able to conquer the Aztecs
so easily?
  1. Aztecs saw the Spanish as Gods (at first)
  2. Spanish had superior weapons - guns
  3. Spanish allied with Aztec enemies
  4. Aztecs had no immunity to Spanish disease Small
  5. Spanish killed leader, Montezuma

Small Pox
  • In 15201521, an outbreak of smallpox swept
    through the population of Tenochtitlan and was
    decisive in the fall of the city.
  • The population before the time of the conquest is
    unknown and hotly contested, but disease is known
    to have ravaged the region thus, the indigenous
    population of the Valley of Mexico is estimated
    to have declined by more than 80 in the course
    of about 60 years!

Montezuma was captured and then assassinated by
Cortes Engraving of Hernan Cortes and Montezuma
Mexico City Monument celebrating Aztec founding
of Tenochtitlan
Montezumas Revenge?
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