Maya, Aztec, and Inca Civilizations Mesoamerica Mesoamerica = Mexico & Central America Mesoamerica
Some of the greatest civilizations in the Americas developed in Mesoamerica The Maya and Aztec lived in the
Mesoamerican region How did people first get to the Americas? Theory #1 = Bering land bridge Humans migrated into North America from Asia by crossing over a land
bridge between Alaska and Siberia How did people first get to the Americas? Theory #2 = Coastal migration Humans migrated to the Americas by crossing the seas, most likely the Pacific
Ocean, and settling along the western coasts of the Americas Where did the ancient Maya live? The Maya settled on the Yucatan Peninsula in central America.
Maya Political Structure The Maya were NOT AN EMPIRE and NOT UNITED politically
Maya civilization was made up of city-states Each city-state had its own ruler Maya Architecture
Built towering temples and palaces Atop the temples, priests performed religious ceremonies while people watched from the plazas below
Ceremonial platforms, temples, pyramids, observatories, ball courts all built by the Maya Maya Religion
The Maya were polytheistic Advances in Learning The Maya created a writing system of hieroglyphics Advances in learning
The Maya created a set of numerals Also developed a 365-day calendar What happened to the Maya?
The Maya abandoned many of their cities around 900 A.D. Archaeologists DO NOT KNOW WHY Maya civilization declined
Theory: Around 900A.D. there was a severe drought. Many died due to starvation others migrated away. Maya Video Clip http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx? VideoID=12203 This National Geographic video shows the Mayan Pyramids. It is part of the series Lost
Temples and it tries to give an answer to the question "Why did the Maya abandon their magnificent city of Chichen Itza?" There is reference to Maya culture. Aztecs Where did the Aztecs live?
The Aztecs lived in what is known as the Valley of Mexico in central Mexico. Tenochtitlan
Tenochtitlan was the capital city of the Aztec Empire. Legend of Tenochtitlan The Gods told the Aztecs to search for an eagle holding a snake in its beak perched atop a cactus. This is where they were to build their capital city. The Aztecs saw this sign on a
swampy island in lake Texcoco. Legend of Tenochtitlan How did the Aztecs build a city in the center of a lake?
Tenochtitlan was built on an island It was connected to the mainland by causeways leading north, south, and west of the city. The city was interlaced with a series of canals, so that all sections of the city could be visited either on foot or
by canoe. Tenochtitlan Today, Tenochtitlan is Mexico City Government
The Aztecs created an empire through conquest Conquered people and local rulers
had to pay tribute to the Aztecs The Aztecs had an emperor The Aztec Emperors main job was to lead in war Religion & Mythology
Aztecs were polytheistic Huitzilopochtli was the main Aztec god. (Prounced: weets se lo poch tlee) The Aztecs built massive temples and pyramids dedicated to their
Gods Religion & Mythology Pyramid of the Moon Sun What happened to the
Aztecs? Spanish conquistadors led by Hernan Cortes conquered Tenochtitlan and defeated the Aztecs in 1521. Aztec Video Clips Engineering An Empire http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx?
VideoID=6255 What the Ancients Did For Us http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx? VideoID=10964 Inca Where did the Inca live?
The Inca controlled an empire in the Andes Mountain region of South America. Government The Sapa Inca (Emperor) had absolute
power. The Emperor claimed to be the son of the sun.
The Emperor was also the empires religious leader. The empire was divided into four regions with the capital at Cuzco. Uniting the Empire
The Inca built a massive road network through mountains and across rivers and gorges. Stonework
The Inca constructed stone temples without using mortars yet the stones fit together so well that no object would not fit between the stones. Religion
The Inca were polytheistic. The primary god was Inti, the sun god. Religion Inca believed in reincarnation.
The Inca practiced cranial deformation. -They achieved this by wrapping tight cloth straps around the heads of newborns to alter the shape of their soft skulls into a cone-like shape. Medical Advances
The Inca performed successful skull surgery. The Inca also used medicines to make patients unconscious during surgery
Organization Each family in a community was assigned a specific job.
Government officials arranged marriages. The government organized mandatory public service building projects.
What happened to the Inca? Civil war in the empire broke out... AND Smallpox spread, killing much of the
Inca population Fall of the Inca BUT ultimately, it was Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro that brought about the fall of the Inca Empire.
Inca Video Clip http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx? VideoID=2301
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