Chapter 06 - The Americas

World History

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CHAPTER 6: THE AMERICAS I. THE PEOPLING OF THE AMERICAS i. Several millennia ago, Amerindians crossed the Bering Strait into N and S America 1.Lived by hunting, fishing, and food gathering ii. 2000 B.C.E., those in central and S America began cultivation of agriculture organized societies in: 1.Plateau of central Mexico 2.Lowland regions along Gulf of Mexico into modern Guatemala 3.Central Andes Mountains next to Pacific coast of S America a.Others beginning to form in river valleys and Great Plains of N America iii. Next two thousand years, developed in isolation from counterparts in other parts of world 1. No contact no access to technological and cultural developments in Asia, Africa, and Europe a.Did not know how to use the wheel and language was rudimentary compared with others b. Lacked knowledge of firearms Spanish conquistadors would destroy Aztecs, Maya, and Inca b.THE FIRST AMERICANS i. During period of Christopher Columbus (1492-1504), Europeans believed natives reached America by crossing the Atlantic Ocean 1.Lost tribes of Israel? Phoenician seafarers from Carthage? Refugees from Atlantis? ii. Mid-19 th century, new Darwinian theory of evolution peopling of America much earlier as a result of migration of small communities across Bering Strait 1.Physical similarities between Americans and NE Asians a.However, controversy remains on when the migrations began i. Louis Leaky believes hominids arrived in America 100,000 years ago ii. Others believe the first were Homo sapiens sapiens who crossed from Asia by foot 10,000-15,000 years ago in pursuit of food moved into grazing land at the end of last ice age iii. Evidence from Cactus Hill , Virginia human habitation 15,000 years ago iv. Genetics 29,000 years ago v. Other evidences came from Africa instead of Asia iii. Generally accepted that humans were living in Americas 15,000 years ago 1.Gradually spread throughout N America and penetrated to S tip of S America by 10,000 B.C.E. a.First were hunters and food gatherers who lived in nomadic communities close to food source b.At least 8000 B.C.E., cultivated beans and squash i. 5000 B.C.E., cultivated maize (corn) in Tehuacán valley in central Mexico
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1. Same in lowland regions near Veracruz and Yucatán peninsula E region called Mesoamerica II. EARLY CIVILIZATION IN THE CENTRAL AMERICA i. 1000 B.C.E., first signs of civilization in Mesoamerica 1. Olmecs lived in swampy lowlands along coast of Gulf of Mexico S of Veracruz a.Intensive agriculture along muddy riverbanks b. Carved stone ornaments, tools, and monuments at San Lorenzo and La Venta i. La Venta, 30-foot-high earthen pyramid c.Wide trading networks, carried on religious rituals, and developed a hieroglyphics system similar to Mayan ii. Consisted of several classes 1.Skilled artisans – produced massive stone heads 2.Supported themselves mainly through farming of corn and beans a.Also fished and hunted 3. Played ceremonial game on a stone ball court
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Chapter 06 - The Americas - CHAPTER 6: THE AMERICAS I. THE...

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