Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12 Classic Period Mesoamerica WHAP 2013 Society Political institutions Inventions Culture/religion Economic system."— Presentation transcript:
Chapter 12 Classic Period Mesoamerica WHAP 2013
Society Political institutions Inventions Culture/religion Economic system
Introduction/Review “Mesoamerica” means “Middle America” in Greek. Chapter 4 introduced “pre-classical” Mesoamerican civilizations. Olmecs in Mexico BCE Chavin in Peru BCE “Classic civilizations” built on great traditions created by earlier cultures
Maya 250 CE CE Teotihuacan 100 BCE CE Olmec 1200 BCE BCE
Human Sacrifice All Mesoamerican groups practiced human sacrifice A sacred duty towards the gods and essential to the well being of society.
Over 60 victims found during the excavation of the Temple of Quetzalcoatal in TeotihuacanOver 60 victims found during the excavation of the Temple of Quetzalcoatal in Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan First civilization of Classic Period Founded 100 BCE CE largest city in the Americas with 125,000 to 200,000 inhabitants. Religious and commercial center. Teotihuacan Overview
Politics Ruled by an oligarchy = from the Greek words " ὀ λίγος" "a few” and the verb " ἄ ρχω” "to rule, to govern, to command". Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next. Oligarchy = Rule by a fewOligarchy = Rule by a few
Historians believe Teotihuacan was ruled by alliances of wealthy families, or by weak kings who were controlled by wealthy families
Economy Subsistence farming and regional trade Main trade items obsidian stone and pottery. 2% of population made obsidian weapons and tools history of ceramics
Economy 2/3 of population worked in agriculture. Swamps drained Irrigation and container gardens used Invented Chinampas - artificial islands used to create year- round agriculture.
Religion Polytheistic Sun, moon, storm- god. Quetzalcoatl - feathered serpent god of agriculture and art. Quetzalcoatl
Society 4 level society Elites/priests Warriors Craftsmen Peasants Elite families lived in separate housing compounds.
Society Peasants and artisans lived in apartments of stone. No paintings or statues of rulers have been found.
Architecture Religiously inspired Large pyramids dedicated to the sun and moon. Over 20 smaller temples to other gods lined a central avenue.
Pyramid of the Moon
Built without the wheel, iron tools or draft animals!
travel Teotihuacan travel Teotihuacan
Education Without a written language, historians can only guess. Religion Trade Farming Crafts ??????????? Mesoamerican WSU site
Military Weapons included spears, obsidian knives, shields made of woven reeds Codex - obsidian edged flat club bow and arrow and throwing spear Woven armor could include stone tiles
Military No walls around city before 500 CE No murals of military conquest Not an imperial state Probably used to expand trade into Mayan region
Decline 650 CE WE DON”T KNOW WHY! Clues: After 500 CE population declines and walls around city are built. Murals depict a violent time Temples and buildings pulled down religious images defaced Internal conflict or external attack?
Mayan Politics 250 CE early classic period
Mayan Religion A Mayan Religion
End of the Maya For some reason the city was abandoned around If the Spanish had not made it policy to kill all the Mayan Priests and burn all their books when they arrived in Mexico, we would all have more answers.