Unformatted text preview: e, the narCity, was excavated at San Lorenzo. Carved of
south somewhat later. Other important
row coastal plain is one of the driest deserts
basalt, it may be a portrait of an Olmec ruler. Olmec
civilization thrived between 1500 and 800 B.C.E.
foods were potatoes (developed in the
in the world. The Andes rise abruptly from
Andes), manioc, squash, beans, pepthe coastal plain and then descend gradupers, and tomatoes. Many of these foods entered the diet of
ally into the Amazon basin to the east. Agriculture is possible
Europeans, Asians, and other peoples after the European conon the coast only in the valleys of the many rivers that flow
quest of the Americas in the sixteenth century C.E.
from the Andes into the Pacific. The earliest monumental arEventually four areas of relatively dense settlement
chitecture in the Andean region, built on the coast at the site
emerged in the Americas. One of these, in the Pacific Northof Aspero by people who depended on a combination of agriwest in the area around Puget Sound, depended on the region’s
culture and the Pacific’s rich marine resources, dates to about
extraordinary abundance of fish rather than on agriculture; this
2750 B.C.E., contemporary with the Great Pyramids of Egypt’s
area did not develop urbanized states. Another was the MissisFrom 800 to 200 B.C.E. a civilization associated with the
sippi valley, where, based on maize agriculture, the inhabitants
site of Chavín de Huantar in the highlands of Peru exerted
developed a high level of social and political integration that
great influence in the Andes. Artifacts in the distinctive Chavín
had collapsed several centuries before European contact. The
style can be found over a large area dating to this period, which
other two, Mesoamerica and the Andean region of South
archaeologists call the Early Horizon. In many areas, this was a
America, saw the emergence of strong, long-lasting states. In
time of technical innovation, including pottery, textiles, and
other regions with maize agriculture and settled village life—
metallurgy. Whether the spread of the Chavín style represents
notably the North American Southwest—food supplies might
have been too insecure to support the development of states.
Chapter 13 examines Mesoamerican and Andean civilization in detail. Here we give only a brief overview of their
development. Mesoamerica, which extends from the central part of modern Mexico into Central America, is a reEarly Civilizations of Mesoamerica
gion of great geographical diversity,
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ranging from tropical rain forest to
semiarid mountains (see Map 1–8). Ar200–750 C.E.
The Classic period in central Mexico.
chaeologists traditionally divide its preconquest history into
Dominance of Teotihuacán in the
three broad periods: Pre-Classic or Formative (2000
Valley of Mexico and Monte Alban in
B.C.E.–150 C.E.), Classic (150–900 C.E.), and Post-Classic
the Valley of O...
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- Spring '14