The Americas

Early Socities of Mesoamerica

Migrations from Siberia

13000 bce - 9500 bce

Crossed the Bering land bridge and migrated all across till the tip of South America

Early Agriculture in Mesoamerica

8000 bce - 7000 bce


4000 bce

Discovered the agriculture potential of maize, which became the staple crop of the region

Ball Game

1200 bce

The Olmecs

1200 bce - 100 bce


Trade in Jade and Obsidian

1200 bce

Capital: San Lorenzo

1200 bce - 801 BC

Heartland of the Olmec Society with rich harvests, abundant rainfall, elaborate drainage systems.

Calendar to keep track of seasons

1200 bce

System of writing

1200 bce

little survived

Diffusion to Andean Society

1200 bce

cultivation of maize and squash

Colossal Human Heads

1200 bce

most distinctive artistic creations from basalt rock from human labor

Human Sacrifice

1200 bce

people of the rubber country

1200 bce

e first Mesoamerican culture—and perhaps the first in the world—to extract rubber from rubber plants

math system

1200 bce

based on the numbers one and five, which they represented using dots and dashes.

river levees

1200 bce

provide irrigation by occasionally flooding their fields with river water

Slash and Burn Ag

1200 bce

La Venta

800 bce - 400 bce

Leadership. Heartland of the Olmec Society with rich harvests, abundant rainfall, elaborate drainage systems.

Tres Zapotes

400 bce - 100 bce

Heartland of the Olmec Society with rich harvests, abundant rainfall, elaborate drainage systems.

Olmec Decline

100 bce

Olmec's and intruders destroyed the capitals and statues--maybe bc of civil conflicts or doubts of effectiveness and legitimacy



300 bce - 399 ce

permanent village; ceremonial city; temple; trade routes to central mexico
fell under econ. and political dominance of Teotihuacan


300 ce

creates by priests and most elaborate
solar year: 365.242 days
ritual year: 260 days

Maya Society

300 ce - 1100 ce

ceremonial centers become cities, large markets, specialization of labor
fertile soil and ag.


300 ce

Purpose: Capture them in hand-to-hand combat on the battlefield
Captives: Slaves or sacrifice

Small City-Kingdoms

300 ce

Tikal: largest
Palenque, Chechen Itza

Tikal: Political Center

301 ce - 900 ce

high point: 600- 800 ce.
plazas, public building, temples, pyramids, palaces

Tikal: The Temple of the Giant Jaguar

301 ce

stepped pyramid
dominates skyline
represents control over region of 500k ppl


400 ce

bc thin soil that lost fertility quickly: built terraces to trap silt
maize, cotton textiles, cacao( eaten by nobles, money)

Mayan Decline

800 ce

Invasion by foreigners from Mexico; internal dissension and civil war; failure of water control system( low harvest and demographic collapse); eco. prob. bc forests destroyed; epidemics; natural catastrophes;

Chichen Itza: Large Political Framework

900 ce

Bitter conflicts between small city-kingdoms
wanted to stop hostility and make a large framework
absorb and integrate captives into society

Chichen Itza: Political Stability

900 ce - 1000 ce

loose empire that brought political stability to northern Yucatan.


Irrigation from River Tula to irrigate

950 ce

high point

950 ce - 1150 ce

large urban population


950 ce - 1150 ce

large and powerful army
compact regional empire
exact tribute from people and turn capital into wealthy city


950 ce

center of weaving, pottery, and obsidian work


1125 ce - 1175 ce

civil strife; and nomadic incursion; fire



1345 ce

Lake texcoco
chinampa system of ag.
natural defense
patrol 3 causeways that link to main land


1345 ce

kidnapping women; taking others cultivated land


1345 ce - 1519 ce

Military Campaign

1400 ce

imperial expansion
advanced against Oaxaca and became a bulwark
conquer cities between Tenochtitlan and Gulf Coast
Joined forces with Texcoco and Tlacopan


Objective: Tribute

1400 ce

Itzcoatl (Obsidian Serpent)

1428 ce - 1440 ce


1440 ce - 1469 ce

Early Socities of South America

Migration across Isthumus of Central Amerca

12000 bce

Climate Change and Agriculture

8000 bce

Climate becomes dry, so the people take up ag., which leads to population growth, est. of villages and cities, state building, org. cultural traditions

Cultivation and Permanent stttlements( mainly coastal regions)

2500 bce - 2000 bce

early: beans, peanuts, and sweet potatoes
llamas and alpacas
cotton: fishnets and textiles

Construct Canals and Irrigation Systems

1800 bce

Distinctive potery, Cermonial Centers: Temples and Pyramids

1800 bce

Diffusion to Central America

1000 bce

gold, silver, copper metallurgy

Early Andean Valleys : Politics and Econ.

1000 bce - 700 ce

conquers unified each valley and organized them into integrated societies
irrigation systems
trade and exchange networks tie highlands, central valleys, and coastal regions
highlands: potatoes, llama meat, alpaca wool
central valleys: maize, beans, and squash
coast: sweet potatoes, fish, cotton

Chavin Cult

900 bce - 300 bce

Popular: 900-300
Prominent site: Chavin de Huantar
Arose when maize was important to promote fertility and abundant harvests
society became complex: looms for cotton and wool; metallurgy; copper tools


200 bce

big pop., large public buildings, ceremonial plazas, districts

Teotihuacan Society

200 bce - 750 ce

Mochica Society

300 ce - 700 ce

Painting on pottery: depiction of society
ceramic portraits of god/goddesses
evidence w/ specialization of labor art