Timeline of the Americas, 1 BCE - 2013 CE

North America

Archaic Cultures

7000 BCE - 1800 CE

Basketmaker II Culture

1000 BCE - 450 CE

Southern modern-day United States. Transition from hunter-gatherer agricultural society occurs by about 500 BCE, centered around corn and squash. Pithouses.

Cultural artifacts: "Items include variety of tightly woven, well made baskets; bone awls; stone pipes; square-toed sandals with a fringe at the toe end; fur and feather robes and blankets; string and cord woven from yucca and cedar bark; oval cradles; woven bags; bone whistles and small carved bone objects identified as dice or gaming pieces; a variety of projectile points, knives, and scrapers chipped from a variety of stone types."


Lake Okeechobee/Kissimmee River

1000 BCE - 200 CE

South-central modern-day Florida. Mounds for horticultural, not burial, purposes.

Middle Woodland Culture

1000 BCE - 1600 CE

Adjustment to a settled lifestyle. Modern-day Ohio/East Coast/Sourthern Canada area. Ceramics, complex mortuary practices, extensive trade networks (copper, precious stone, animal parts), burial mounds. In ~800 CE, transition to bows and arrows (from spear).

Dorset Culture

900 BCE - 500 CE

Second wave of migration into northwestern North America. By 500 CE, they had spread as far east as Greenland.

Hopewell Culture

700 BCE - 600 CE

Located in the southern Ohio region. Significance of large earthen mounds. Knowledge of geometry and astronomy. Increase in trade.

Link to map:

Basketmaker III Culture

450 CE - 750 CE

Extension of Basketmaker II (Pueblo) culture.

Cultural Decline

500 CE - 1000 CE

Decline in trade, building of burial mounds, artwork.

Theories: 1) overpopulation, 2) advanced tools = large game extinction, 3) climate change, 4) over-dependence (vulnerability) on horticulture.

Late Marine Cultures

500 CE - 1700 CE

Late Woodland Culture

600 CE - 1000 CE

Lead into Mississipian Culture.
Identified by "pottery forms, stone artifacts, and bone tools such as awls, fishhooks, needles, beamers, and turtle shell cups". (http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/arch_NET/timeline/late_wood.htm)

Puebloan Cultures

700 CE - 1600 CE

Mississippian Culture

800 CE - 1700 CE

Slowly spread across eastern modern-day US. Adoption of symbolic and cultural earthen mounds. Great trade systems within the continent. Corn is central to the agricultural society.


Viking Exploration/Colonization

900 CE - 1400 CE

Lief, son of Eric the Red, lands in eastern Canada. First European civilization established.

Thule Culture

1000 CE - 1400 CE

Third wave of migrants from the east (pre-Inuit culture). Domesticated animals and sophisticated tools (boats). Conquered Dorset.

Iroquois Confederacy

1100 CE

Inuit Expansion

1400 - 1500

Inuit expansion east into Greenland and south into southeastern modern-day Canada.

European Claims to N. Am.

1497 - 1620

1497: John Cabot. England.
1500: Fr, Eng, Por, Spa make yearly fishing trips to Newfoundland.
Fr.: 1524 - Giovanni da Verrazano. France. Skirts NA. coast from NC to Newfoundland.

(Early N.Am. maps)

N. Am. Coast Explored


"John Cabot ... under patent from King ... of England ... reaches coast of N. America."

Southern Athapaskan Cultures

1500 CE - 1700 CE

Slave Trade

1562 - 1863

White Dom., Nat. Reb.

1600 - 1900

"The savages let loose, or The cruel fate of the Loyalists", 1783, London. Comments both on the Revolutionary War (America as savages, British as "loyalists") and on the perception of Native Americans (savage, brutal, violent).


19th cent. Ledger drawing by Lakota Bad Heart Buffalo.

Colonial Period

1600 - 1763

Eastern Coast of modern USA. New England, VA, Carolinas, Pennsylvania, Ohio.

Pictograph signatures of Natives selling land to Pennsylvania.

Early 20th cent. Ledger art, a Plains tribe traditional way of preserving oral history. Umbrella shows integration of new European culture.

Early 20th cent. Similarly, guns portrayed speak to presence of settlers.

French and Indian Wars

1689 - 1759

1689-1697: King William's War
1702-1713: Queen Anne's War
1744-1748: King George's War
1756-1763: Seven Year's War

Anti-Indian Legislation

1700 - 1970

1830: Indian Removal Act of 1830. Tribes east of the Mississippi were moved to the west under a "voluntary" program.
1887: Dawes Act (allotments)
1924: Citizenship finally granted to Natives.

Eng. Gains Canada

1763 - 1867

"Treaty of Paris cedes most of North America to British."

American Revolution

19 April 1775 - 3 September 1783

United States of America

1776 - Present

1860, Andrew Jackson. "During this period when the Union was threatened, Kelly may have commissioned this sculpture to remind people of Jackson's most famous statement: 'Our Federal Union. It must be preserved.'"

1993, George Blake (Hupa/Yurok), Hang Around the Fort Injun

Louisiana Purchase


War of 1812

1812 - 1815

Trade disputes. USA vs. Britain and Native American alliance.

Women's Rights

1848 - 1920

Civil War

1861 - 1865

Emancipation Proclamation



1867 - Present

Jim Crow Era

1870 - 1960

1898. Theatrical poster.

Gilded Age

1877 - 1900

Progressive Era

1900 CE - 1920 CE


1941 CE - 1945 CE

Postwar Period

1945 CE - 1968 CE

Civil Rights Era

1955 - 1968

Digital Age

1980 - Present

Being Human

2/2013 - 5/2013

Mexico & Central America

Mayan Culture

2000 BCE - 1500 CE

Advanced understanding of math, time, astronomy, written language. Sophisticated building structures. Population of 1 million. Human sacrifice.

"A palace court scene is depicted on the exterior of this cylindrical vessel" and Mayan art "include(s) representations of the ancient peoples, their costumes, architecture, and activities." Indicative of recorded history, hierarchy, judicial system, organized society.

Olmec Culture

1200 BCE - 400 CE

First ancient Mesoamerican civilization located in modern-day Mexico, theorized to be the "mother culture" from which other cultures in the area developed. Sophisticated building structures and cities; trade; artwork, including giant stone heads; agricultural society based on maize, beans, and squash.

Building of Teotihuacan

0 CE - 600 CE

North-east of modern-day Mexico City. 25,000+ inhabitants, whose ethnic origins are uncertain. Large pyramidal structures. Geometric, religious. More than 22 square miles large.

Greater Nicoya Cultures

0 CE - 100 CE

Toltec Culture

250 CE - 1200

"Toltec Tula, a new settlement c. 70 km north-west of Teotihuacán, was established on a ridge overlooking the juncture of the Tula and Rosas rivers. It grew slowly at first, but by c. AD 950 covered c. 5 sq. km and contained between 15,000 and 20,000 people. Explosive growth during the principal period of occupation, the Tollan phase (c. AD 950–c. 1200), created one of Mesoamerica’s largest cities, with an estimated 35,000 to 40,000 inhabitants. Toltec culture disintegrated shortly after 1150. Crop failures and famines in the arid land, internal conflicts and pressures from northern immigrants in search of new lands all contributed to Tula’s downfall."

Polychome Ceramic Cultures

500 CE - 1530 CE

Teotihuacan Decline

600 CE - 700 CE

Evidence suggests that an internal uprising against the elites may have sparked the downfall of the city: only the elites' homes were burned.

Cartago-La Cabaña Cultures

800 CE - 1530 CE

Carib Culture

1000 CE - 1400 CE

Chiriquí Cultures

1000 CE - 1530

Parita Phase Cultures

1000 CE - 1530

Aztec Culture

1200 CE - 1500 CE

Likely descendants of tribes from modern-day southern US/northern Mexico.

17th cent. Writing, depiction of people (pres. natives) as friendly. Writing.

Mayapán City

1200 - 1450

30 km south-east of Mérida in Yucatán, Mexico. Mayan influence. Contained some 3500 structures within 4 sq. km, about 100 of which were large masonry temples or ceremonial structures. An estimated population of 11,000–12,000. Decline due to infighting.

Taino Culures

1200 CE - 1500 CE


1492 - 1504

"The Pride of Columbus", 1866

Spanish Expl./Conquistadors

1493 - 1550

"Art production consists predominantly of religious works commissioned for convents and churches."

Mexico, 1650, artists unknown. "The painting displayed, the third in the series, depicts Hernando Cortés (1485-1547) meeting the Mexica emperor Montezuma (1480?-1520). The landscape and treatment of indigenous dress serve to romanticize the meeting of these two powerful leaders. Cortés approaches Montezuma with his arms opened in a gesture of embrace, which the Mexica leader respectfully rejects by raising his left hand. Montezuma's idealized body, dignified stance, full beard, and the golden sword in his right hand owe more to European ideas about the appropriate bearing of a king than to ethnographic accuracy. Furthermore, while the feather skirts shown on Montezuma and his court were part of the standard European iconography for depicting "Indians," skirts like this are not known to have been worn anywhere in the Americas."

Native Genocide

1500 - 1550

(Bartholomé de las Casas book)

Viceroy of New Spain

1535 - 1821

1531. Note Madonna and Child.

16th century Mexican. European + native art forms: hummingbird feathers and native gold with Christian motif.

United Provinces of Central America

1824 - 1838

Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

Independent States (Central America)

1838 - Present

Republic of Mexico

1850 - Present

South America

Kotosh Cultures

2200 BC - 900 BC

Cupisnique Cultures

1800 BC - 400 BC

Manchay cultures

1800 BC - 400 BC

Chavin cultures

1000 BC - 500 BC

Paracas Cultures

700 BC - 100 AD

Parcas cultures

700 BC - 100 AD

Tolita/Tumaco cultures

400 BCE - 400 CE

Standing Figure, 1st century b.c.–1st century a.d.

Malagana cultures

300 BC - 300 AD

-Figures made of adobe clay
-By the characteristics of signified by the genitals, the two figures on top are male and the bottom figure is female.
-The female has wide-set hips for child-bearing, but features small arms that blind. These features indicate that the woman is impaired and helpless.
-These figures establish the clear gender roles perceived in the Malagana cultures.

Jama Coaque/Bahía cultures

200 BCE - 600 CE

Early Tolima cultures

200 BCE - 500 CE

Pukara and Early Tiwanaku cultures

200 BC - 400 AD

Early Quimbaya cultures

1 AD - 900 AD

Early Zenu Cultures

1 AD - 1,000 AD

Calima (Yotoco) cultures

1 AD - 800 AD

Moche cultures

1 AD - 800 AD

Nazca cultures

100 - 700

Recuay cultures

100 - 800

Wari cultures

400 - 1000
  • Wari Tunic -Tunics were expressions of ethnic affiliation, social status, and religious beliefs. This one woven with bold colors, features a reptile like creatures, head to head with one another.

Tiwanaku State

400 - 1100

Late Tolima Cultures

500 AD - 1000 AD

Late San Agustín cultures

500 AD - 1600 AD

Ica Cultures

700 - 1470

Manteño Cultures

800 AD - 1500 AD

Sonso cultures

800 AD - 1600 AD

Nariño Cultures

800 AD - 1600 AD

Milagro, Quevedo, and Manteño cultures

800 AD - 1600 AD

Cañari chiefdoms

800 AD - 1469 AD

Sicán cultures

800 - 1250

Late Quimbaya Cultures

900 AD - 1600 AD

Muisca Chiefdoms

1000 AD - 1550 AD

Tairona Chiefdoms

1000 AD - 1550 AD

Zenú Chiefdoms

1000 AD - 1550 AD

Popayán Cultures

1000 AD - 1600 AD

Early Inca Cultures

1000 - 1438

Chimu Kingdom

1150 - 1450

-Mirror frame made of wood (9th-12th century)
-Carving style is influenced by Southern Wari cultures which indicates trade and communication have sustained between the many cultures
-Human like figure is standing on a raft with a war club in hand
-Boat theme in Chimu Art was prevalent which shows that maritime activity was prominent and depended on.

-Pair of Earflares worn by the elite (12th-15th century)
-The central image is of a distinguished Chimú lord wearing an enormous fanned-out headdress and big circular ear flares.
-Highly Stratified labor force/ society
-Warrior elite with the

Chincha cultures

1150 - 1450

Cajamara cultures

1250 - 1450

Wanka cultures

1250 - 1450

City of Cuzco

1400 - 1532

Inca State

1438 - 1532

-Emperor Pachacutic

Island of the Sun

1470 - 1532

Spanish Arrive in Guajira Peninsula


Exploration of Caribbean Colombia

1501 - 1502

Started building city in Santa Marta


Franciso Pizarro


Battle of Cajamarca


"Pizarro Seizing the Inca of Peru" John Everett Millais, 1846
-John Everett Millais was an English painter from the Romantic Era.
-A piece completed 300 years, romantically depicts Pizarro seizing the Incan Emperor, Atahualpa

-Pizarro is glorified as a savior, justified by divine right of Christianity signified by the cross held by a priest behind him.

-The Seizure of Atahualpa at Cajamarca
- Published between 1760 and 1810

- Both depictions are produced by European artists 200 to 300 years after the event.
- These European artists clearly have positive sentiments which justify the Seizure of Atahualpa. The painting rarely show any bloodshed, only seizure and subordination.

Conquest Period

1532 - 1542

Viceroyalty of Perú

1542 - 1824

Cuzco School

1550 - 1700

-Cuzco school was a group of European and indigenous painters active in Cuzco, Peru, from the 16th through the 18th century.
- Juan Iñigo de Loyola, one of the first members and Spanish painters who arrived in 1545, trained indigenous artists in the style of Spanish

Viceroyalty of New Granada

1600 - 1700

Lands comprising modern Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, and Venezuela
-Calvary Scene (18th Century)
-Although carved in a larger scale, this Crucifixion scene features figures whose garments display the same style of polychromy as the smaller Nativity scenes nearby. The broad swaths of background color derive their glow from the layer of silver leaf underlying the colored glazes, evidence of a technique called achinado. The carving of the figures' heads and faces closely resembles the work of the best known Quiteño sculptor, the mestizo Manuel Chil, called Caspicara.

Viceroyalty of La Plata

1600 - 1816

(Lands comprising modern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Bolivia separated from Viceroyalty of Peru)
-Painted by Incan native who adapted European portrait style techniques.
-However paintings such as these were merely illustrations that were imagined in the minds of the Incans. They did not serve the purpose of documentation.
-They were revered by the remaining Incan royalty.
-Dominated by European painting technique, signifies the compromise and loss of Incan culture

-Woman's shoulder mantle, Peru, 16th - 17th century. Cotton, silk, metallic yarns.
-Made of Cumbi, a type of cloth that was highly valued, woven by specialists, and used for the garments of the king.
-Symbolic of intercontinental trade, made of : Spanish silver threads with the Chinese silk (only available through trade from Philippines to Lima)

Monstrance, 1646
-Material: Silver gilt, enamel
-The inscription indicates that this monstrance was made for Pedro de Urraca, a Spanish-born Mercedarian friar who spent most of his life in Ecuador and Peru, where he was revered for the holiness of his ministry.

-Frieze Fragment (18th century)

Brazil Ruled by Portugal

1640 - 1822

Policies of Economic Dependence on Europe

1800 - 1900

-Commercial and industrial development exacerbates class division.
-Upper-class Latin Americans receive Arts education abroad in Italy and France.
-Influence from impressionist styles of art from France are evident in Argentinian art

La Patria Boba (Foolish Fatherland)

1810 - 1816

-The period between 1810 and 1816 in the New Kingdom of Granada (today Colombia) was marked by such intense conflicts over the nature of the new government or governments that it became known as la Patria Boba (the Foolish Fatherland)
-Sovereignty from Spain
-Diminishing power of the Catholic Church
-Reign of terror

Flag of Cartagena and Barranquilla

Flag of the United Provinces

Independence throughout Vice Royalty of New Granada

1810 - 1825

Republic of Paraguay

1811 - Present

Republic of Chile

1818 - Present

-Being With 1946
-Surreal Art
-Matta received arts education in Paris and worked for the modernist architect Le Corbusier

Republic of Peru

1821 - Present

Panorama of Machu Picchu 1930s
-Martín Chambi (Peruvian Artist)

Independence of Bolivia

1825 - Present

Aftermath of Independence/ Formation of Nations (New Granada)

1826 - 1879

Eastern Republic of Uruguay

1828 - Present

Republic of Equador

1830 - Present

Bovarian Republic of Venezuela

1830 - Present

Reign of Empeor Dom Pedro II in Brazil

1849 - 1889

Republic of Argentina

1853 - Present

Republic of Colombia


-Dancers of Colombia 1980
-Fernando Botero (Colombian Artist)
-Studied art in Florence, Italy
-Inspired by Goya and Picasso

Independence of Brazil

1889 - Present