EXPLORATION AND COLONIZATIONPre-Columbian to 1763 (Enforcement of Navigation Act by Grenville)PRE-COLUMBIAN NORTH AMERICA33,000 AD to 1492First inhabitants probably cross the Bering Strait around 33,000 BC.Indians in North/Central AmericaAztecs Indians were the major power in MexicoBuilt large civilizationsAgricultural society based on corn (maize)Central AmericaMayasSouth AmericaIncasCIVILIZATIONS IN THE CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AMERICASSouth AmericaIncas6 MillionRoad buildersCentral AmericaMayasWritten languageNumber systemCalendarAgricultural SystemAztecsPresent Day MexicoThe conquered the area of central Mexico. And were fairly new comers when the Spanish arrived.Tenochtitlan, Aztec capital and became Mexico City. Population of 100,000 larger than any European city at that time.Many of the gathered plants eventually became domesticated by the Aztec. These crops include cocoa, vanilla, bananas, squash, pumpkin, beans, chili, tobacco, onions, red tomatoes, green tomatoes, sweet potatoes, jicama, huautli and maize. Vanilla, extracted from the pods of a species of orchidIn modern times, the Aztec are best known for human sacrifices. On special occasions, a slave was sacrificed. His flesh would be elaborately dressed and would be the center ornament of the banquet. Cannibalism was not a daily occurrence in the Aztec life, but it was common on special religious and social occasions. Human sacrifices were necessary to honor the gods and to perpetuate human existence. They believed that humans were responsible for the pleasure or displeasure of the gods and, therefore, they aimed to make sure that the deities were happy. Twenty to fifty thousand people were sacrificed yearly.What were the Europeans doing during this time? Witch burnings and the Inquisition? North American Indians These civilization was also based on corn production as their staple.