People of the Oaxaca Valley For centuries, lived in scattered villages throughout fertile valley with mild climate 1000 BCE San Jose Mogote: emerges as main power in region Facial similarities to the Olmec seen in sculptures
Zapotec Culture Markers Stone platforms, temples, monument sculptures 500 BC early forms of writing and a calendar system A funerary urn in the shape of a "bat god" or a jaguar, from Oaxaca, dated to CE 300–650. Height: 9.5 in
Monte Alban : 1 st urban center in Americas 500 BC on a mountain top, could view the entire valley Home to about 15,000-25,000 people Giant plazas paved with stone, pyramids, temples, and palaces, observatory for stars Residential space around city center
Zapotec Decline Sometime after 600 CE Possibly from loss of trade or other economic difficulties Jade Zapotec warrior's mask from, Monte AlbanMonte Alban Palace of Columns, Mitla, Oaxaca
Time out! What did the Zapotec have in their urban center that will remain in future urban development? What are some similarities between the Olmec and Zapotec? What geographic features made the Oaxaca Valley suitable for the Zapotec?
Early City-state: large urban centers Population 150,000- 200,000 people Central avenue with 20 pyramids for various gods People lived in apartment block buildings Thriving trade network: obsidian, green or black volcanic glass used to make sharp weapons Pyramid of the Sun: 200 feet tall
There is no evidence that Teotihuacan conquered its neighbors or tried to create an empire but their art and religion is spread throughout Mesoamerica Teotihuacan declines from either internal conflict of ruling class or outside invasion Teotihuacan Decline
Toltec Warrior Gods Toltecs worshipped many warrior gods, based on conquest Warrior god demanded blood and sacrifice from his followers Stone pillars, pyramids and temples for warrior gods
Topiltzin Changes Religion Sometime after 1000 BCE, ruler name Topiltzin tries to end human sacrifice and encourage worship of Quetzalcoatl: “feathered serpent” Followers of the war gods rebelled and Topiltzin and Quetzacoatl were banished They become a legend and are supposed to return and bring light and peace to the people
Time out! On what was Teotihuacan’s power and wealth based? What is believed to be the decline of Teotihuacan? Why would a ruler try to change a state religion? Who was the thought to be the return of the legendary Topiltzin and Quetzalcoatl?
Tenochtitlan Under modern day Mexico City (leveled by Spaniards Extraordinary urban center by 1500 CE, population between 200,000 and 400,000 (larger than London or any other European capital at the time!) Great Temple dedicated to the Sun God and Rain God
Aztec Power Based on military conquest Loose government run by local officials, emperor is supreme Tribute: in the form of gold, maize, cacao beans, cotton, jade and other products If you refused to pay, the Aztecs responded brutally
Geography Geniuses Raised roads (causeways) to connect island to mainland Farming done on chinampas: farm plots built on marsh
Religion Rules Aztec Life Worshipped 1,000 gods, including Quetzacoatl from the Toltecs Elaborate public ceremonies to communicate with gods in order to please them
Human Sacrifice Sun god: Huitzilopotchli made the sun rise every day. When the sun set, he had to battle evil to bring about the next day. To make him strong, the Aztec people offered human blood. If they did not do this, the sun would not rise. Priests carved out hearts with obsidian.
Time out! How did the Aztecs rule their empire? How did the Aztecs overcome geographic problems? Why did the Aztecs see human sacrifice as necessary? How did the need for human sacrifice lead to overpopulation and problems controlling the empire?
Montezuma and Aztec Decline 1502 Montezuma II: empire begins to weaken because ruler wants more tribute and sacrifice Leads to unrest and rebellion Aztecs predict bad things will happen: lightning strikes temple, solar eclipse…the Spanish I will get my revenge!!!