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Early Societies in the Americas and Oceania Ch. 6.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Societies in the Americas and Oceania Ch. 6."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Societies in the Americas and Oceania Ch. 6

2 Peopling the Americas and Oceania n Land bridges n Overseas migration as well n Left Asia before Neolithic Revolution

3 Mesoamerica n c. 13,000 BCE large scale migration from Siberia to Alaska n By 7000 BCE hunted most large game into extinction n Agricultural & fishing became more prominent

4 Early Agricultural n Experiment w/ag c. 8000-7000 BCE n corn./maize c. 4000 BCE n Villages dev. C. 3000 BCE n More interest in cultivation than domestication n No beasts of burden, no wheel

5 Ceremonial/Religious Centers n Large ceremonial centers that served a number of villages in an area n few inhabitants lived full time in ceremonial centers n Large gatherings for religious days or market days

6 Olmecs n True name unknown n C. 1200 BCE – San Lorenzo – major ceremonial center n Abundant rainfall – cooperative projects were for drainage

7 Olmec Society n Likely autocratic n Commoners – paid taxes in the form of crops and labor n Co-operative projects – architecture & decoration as well as agriculture n Giant Stone Heads – large stone sculptures n Huge pyramids (La Venta)

8 Decline of the Olmecs n By 400 BCE – Olmecs in decline n Demise still uncertain n Intentional destruction of ceremonial centers n Revolution ?, civil war ???, invasion???? n Foundation for later Mesoamerican cultures

9 The Maya (300 BCE-900 CE) n Large population growth n Huge cities (Tikal – largest) n Long distance trade n Dev. of written language n Priestly class dominated n Terrace farming – -Maize, cotton, cacao beans

10 Mayan Warfare n Chronic – mostly with other Mayans n More important to capture than kill n Brief imperial period – 800-1000’s CE Chichen Itza gained control over other cities n By 800 CE population decline, began to abandon cities

11 Mayan Societies n dominate priestly class n Hereditary aristocracy – landowners, organized the military n High status for merchants n Educated professionals n Skilled workers n Large class of peasants n Slaves

12 Mayan Accomplishments n Sophisticated calendar (combined solar year with “traditional” 260 day year), 52 year cycle n System of writing – prolific writers – both practical and literature n Concept of zero, probability, n Solar year (only 17 seconds off)

13 Ritual Bloodletting n Would prompt gods to bring rain and productivity n Sacrifice of captives with large amounts of blood flow n Self- “donations” of blood for a variety of rituals

14 The Fathers of Soccer? n Early ball game for both recreation and religion n Had to propel ball through small goal using only feet n Almost all villages and towns had a “pitch”

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