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Early Societies in the Americas and Oceania

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1 Early Societies in the Americas and Oceania
Chapter 6 Early Societies in the Americas and Oceania

2 The Olmecs ( B.C.E.) Olmecs (means “rubber people”) are named after trees from the region in which they flourished Maize was the staple crop The centers of their society were san Lorenzo, La Venta and Tres Zapotes in Central America Sufficient amounts of rain fall allowed for the construction of drainage, and irrigation systems led to abundant harvests Traded jade and obsidian

3 The Olmecs (continued)
Strict rule led to the creation of extensive public work projects, including altars, temples, pyramids, and tombs They were famous for their sculptures of gigantic human heads The decline of the Olmecs occurred when ceremonial centers were systematically destroyed by 400 B.C.E.

4 The Maya (300-900 C.E.) Successor of the Olmecs
Lived in the highlands of Guatemala Cultivated maize, cotton, and cacao Most important political center was at Tikal Had a hierarchical society where kings, priests and nobility were at the top Merchants came from the ruling class and were also considered ambassadors Peasants and slaves made up a majority of the population

5 The Maya (continued) Maya priest constructed an elaborate calendar that had both solar and ritual years interwoven Gods maintained agricultural cycles in exchange for sacrifices and honors. Such as blood letting rituals honored gods for rains. Warriors won prestige for captives in warfare and these captives were slaves or sacrificial victims to Maya gods Conflicts between small kingdoms caused tension within Mayan society

6 The Maya and Chichén Itzá
Rulers of the Chichén Itzá believed in integrating their captives into society Chichén Itzá organized a loose empire that brought a measure of stability to the northern Yucatan peninsula. By about 800 B.C.E many problems combined caused the population to decline, people to abandon their cities, and long distance trade with central Mexico to stop The only area not in full decline was in the Northern Yucatan, where the Chichén Itzá still flourished

7 Teotihuacan (400-650 C.E.) Successors or the Olmecs
City was in the highlands of Mexico Important pyramid were made based on the moon and sun Had a population of two hundred thousand at their high point, in which two thirds of those people worked in fields during the daytime Merchants traded largely There is no sign of military organization or conquest The city began its decline in 650 C.E. then was sacked and destroyed by the mid eighth century

8 Early Andean Society (300-700 C.E.)
12,000 B.C.E. hunting and gathering peoples came to South America; in 8,000 B.C.E. agriculture began Complex societies appeared in the Andean region by 1000 B.C.E The Cavín Cult ( B.C.E.) -complexity of society increases -discovered gold, silver, and copper metallurgy -cities started to appear after The Cavín Cult -devised techniques of producing fishing nets and cotton textiles Andean societies were located in modern day Peru and Bolivia like Mochica in northern Peru Andean states had irrigation, trade military ceramics, paintings on pottery, but no writing

9 Early Oceania Hunting and gathering peoples lived on New Guinea and Australia, traveling between the two lands until ten thousand years ago when rising seas separated them Australia continued hunting and gathering until the nineteenth and twentieth century C.E. when Europeans came Mariners visited North Coast of New Guinea where they traded with the native peoples and established communities New Guinea turned to agriculture around 3,000 B.C.E. with root crops and herding animals

10 Early Oceania (the Pacific Islands)
Outrigger canoes enabled Austronesian people to sail to the Pacific islands Austronesian migrants then went to Bismarck, Solomon islands, Micronesia and Madagascar Lapita Society ( B.C.E.) -large network of trade -agricultural villages -after 500 B.C.E. the trade network declined and cultures developed independently -until hierarchical chiefdoms caused tensions which led to migrations away from the society

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