Mesoamerica - MESOAMERICAN MESOAMERICAN CIVILIZATION...

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MESOAMERICAN  MESOAMERICAN  CIVILIZATION CIVILIZATION 2000 BC – AD 1519 2000 BC – AD 1519 (Olmec – Spanish arrival) (Olmec – Spanish arrival)
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Hallmarks of Mesoamerican  Civilization The Mesoamerican “package” (p.595) Kings and lords Dynastic genealogies Calendar systems (365 and 200 day cycles – Maya Long  Count) Taxes and tribute Complex agricultural landscapes Corn, bean, and squash Stone palaces, temples, ball courts Complex settlement near political centers Merchants and markets Gold, jade, chocolate, obsidian, ceramics, etc. Writing systems Carved stone monuments (stelae and altar) Divisions of the world (at least 4) Creation mythology (Popol Vuh) Cranial deformation, teeth shaping (filing) and inlays, and 
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Mesoamerican geography: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El  Salvador Shared ideological beliefs and practices Shamanism, calendar systems, and a  fascination for green stone (Jade and  obsidian)
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Hunting Gathering Agriculture Permanent settlement Growth in complexity General Model of Civilization Mesoamericans were not  ethnically unified but rather  went through similar  processes within varied  landscapes over thousands  of years. (p.595)
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Not  present in Mesoamerica prior  to the arrival the Spanish Wheel Pulley Draft Animals Cows, Sheep, Horses, or  Llama Sails Complicated machines This does not mean that  they were not complex. The technologies and  construction methods they  did use stayed relatively  constant over time.
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The Olmec (1200 – 400 BC) Early Horizon Olmec refers first to an art style then to a  culture. The Olmec “heartland” Gulf Coast of Mexico Early Horizon (1000-400 BC) Shared ideological (symbolic)  system
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Major Olmec Sites San Lorenzo (ca. 1200-900 BC) The Red Palace Elite residence Ceremonial ponds Water ways with ritual significance Wooden effigies and rubber balls Causeway like features that linked settlements La Venta (after 900 BC) Began to rise after the decline of San Lorenzo Thought to be a vacant ceremonial center Tombs provide evidence of social ranking Tres Zapotes (900-600 BC)
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La Venta Altar4 Sacred mountain
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Hallmarks of Olmec Civ. Art depicting emergence from cave Colossal heads Perhaps represented rulers? Massive earth and stone construction Early writing system (not deciphered) Almost nothing is known about the  common people  that lived during the  Olmec period
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Laguna de los Cerros
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Olmec Controversy “Mother Culture” debate Material culture and influence from  Central Mexico to El Salvador
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Mesoamerica - MESOAMERICAN MESOAMERICAN CIVILIZATION...

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