Geography determined early settlement patterns of America’s earliest settlers Physical Features - Mountains - Rivers - Natural resources
8-10,000 years ago - Asians crossed Bering Strait -Hunters and food gatherers Most North American societies were stone-age cultures at the time of European contact Inuit -Migrated about 3,000 years ago - Settled Arctic tundra
- Hopewell -1000 B.C.E Built mounds -- Ohio Valley -- Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico
The Serpent Mound twists to a length of 411 m (1,348 ft) near the town of Peebles in southern Ohio. It is believed to have been built by the Adena, whose culture flourished in the first millennium BC. Archaeologists are unsure as to the purpose of this mound.
This artist’s rendition depicts a scene in the daily life of the ancient Mississippian city of Cahokia, located near present-day St. Louis, Missouri. Mississippian peoples established far-flung trading networks to exchange ceramics, copper, seashells, salt, stone hoes, and many other commodities. Mississippian culture flourished from about AD 800 until European explorers arrived in the Americas.
800-400 B.C.E. Economy: - Farming: maize, tomatoes, beans, chili peppers, avocadoes, squashes, gourds - Trade 2 major cities: - La Venta - Tres Zapotes - San Lorenzo
Olmec society Trade in jade and obsidian Decline and fall of Olmec society The cause remains a mystery The Olmecs systematically destroyed their ceremonial centers Most likely, civil conflict ruined their society By 400 B.C.E., other societies eclipsed the Olmecs Influence of Olmec traditions Maize, ceremonial centers were common to later societies Other legacies: Calendar, rituals of human sacrifice, ballgame Olmecs did not leave written records
Authoritarian in nature Stratified The colossal human heads - possibly likenesses of rulers Rulers' power as shown in construction of huge pyramids Adornment & clothing possibly indicated social status
Scientific research = accurate and impressive calendars Large pyramids Didn’t raise large animals No writing system No wheeled vehicles They left a powerful religious & cultural influence on other Native American civilizations The Olmecs disappeared without a trace around 400 B.C.E. How did they move these massive heads?????
Teotihuacan -1 st Century = the 1 st major civilization of central Mexico - City-state near Mexico City - Built pyramids, apartment- block houses - Thriving trade network from Mexico to Central America - Abandoned by 750 Pyramid of the Sun
300-900 C.E. Yucatan Peninsula City-states Complex society - Rulers claimed divine right to rule - Heredity ruling class - Scribes = possible priests - skilled artisans, officials, merchants - peasant farmers - slaves
Very aggressive -- waged war for slaves and conquest
Based on hieroglyphs Codices were made of bark covered with jaguar skin, jade, clay, bone, & stone monuments Spanish thought the writing was evil Spanish burnt several books 4 bark books remain
In the 800’s, the Maya suddenly abandoned several cities Theories: increased warfare, economic hardship, over- farming exhausted the land, famine, or disease By 1500, Maya was divided Popol Vuh – - describes the Highland Maya’s version of creation - Written after Spanish contact
“Before the world was created, Calm and Silence were the great kings that ruled… Nothing existed, there was nothing… Then let the emptiness fill they said. Let the water weave its way downward so the earth can show its face! Let the sky fill up with the yellow light of dawn! Let our glory be a man walking on a path through the trees! ‘Earth!’ The Creators called. They called only once, and it was there, from a mist from a cloud of dust, the mountains appeared instantly.” Excerpt from the Popul Vuh, McDougall Littell, World History Patterns of Interaction, 449 Creation Illustration for Popol Vuh by Diego Garcia, 1931
rules are unknown some indication that players couldn’t use hands or feet losing team possibly beheaded or sacrificed