Prehispanic Cultures in America
By Emilio Riofrío
Maya - Aztec - Inca
Civilizations
Maya - Aztec - Inca
Civilizations
Maya - Aztec - Inca
Civilizations
,
The Aztecs from Mexico Central Valley to
zones of Guatemala.
The Incas occupied territory along the
West Coast of South America, from Ecuador
to North Chile.
The Mayas being the most  antique
among the three, established in
Yucatán’s Peninsula, Honduras,
Belize, El Salvador and
Guatemala.
,
The Mayas
• Appeared around 400 BC and ended
abruptly around 1500 AD.
• Had for capitals, cities as Tikal,
Chichén Itza, Copan and others.
,
• They based their economy on farming
(corn, beans) and trading.
•  Rich in religious beliefs, the Mayas made
sacrifices and had a vast variety of gods, from
which Itzamna was the principal.
,
• Had pictographs and
social divisions.
• Contributions as
Monumental architecture,
Calendar, Maths and
Astrology.
• Disappeared around
1500 without a trace
(Droughts may have
influenced).
,
• From XIII Century to 1521.
• Had Tenochtitlán for capital. A magnificent city
above water.
• Established there due to a myth, in which an
eagle would eat a snake, and thereby edificate the
capital in honor of Huitzilopochtli.
• Called themselves “Children of the Sun”.
The Aztecs
,
Social
Systems,
Technology
and
Contributions.
Monumental
mastabas,
chinampas
(agriculture),
calendar.
Different classes,
warriors had high
social status.
,
End of civilization
• Cortés and the Spanish killed and dominated
the natives until the empire ended and erased
their cultural basis.
,
The Incas
The Incas
• XIII century to 1572
• Their capital was Cuzco
• Spoke Quechua
• Had different social classes by hierarchy.
,
Viracocha created everything.
Inti was the Sun God.
Mama quilla was the Moon goddess.
Pachamama was Mother Earth.
Civilization ended by the civil war among the Incas
and the arrival and conquest of the Spanish.
,
 
 
Worked ores, specially gold,
used in their clothes and some
buildings.
Terraces for crops,
irrigation
Cities on mountain
tops.
Ingapirca and Machu
Picchu for example.
Did not have writing system. Used Quipus to
keep records for finances and trading. More
so over, they had developments in medicine
with the use of special ivy and herbs.
Potatoes were the basis
of their diet.
,
We often forget to look for
beauty and uniqueness in
the very place we stand...



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