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Ancient Cultures of Central and South America: The Maya, Aztec, and Inca.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient Cultures of Central and South America: The Maya, Aztec, and Inca."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient Cultures of Central and South America: The Maya, Aztec, and Inca

2 Early Human Migrations

3 Mayan Map

4 The Mayans The culture's beginnings have been traced back to 1500 BC. The height of Mayan civilization was between 600 and 900 AD.

5 Chichen-Itza - Pyramid Mayan Government Priests were also the rulers in the Mayan government.

6 Chichen-Itza - Observatory

7 Mayan Cultivation of Maize Chac, God of Rain -->

8 Mayan Underground Granaries: Chultunes

9 Overview of Tikal (Guatemala)

10 Tikal: Temple of the Masks

11 Mayan Writing devised a complex style of hieroglyphic writing that has been deciphered in the last decade. Maya words are formed from various combinations of nearly 800 signs.

12 Mayan Glyphs

13 Maya Technology Advanced in mathematics and astronomy World's most accurate until this century. Could predict solar and lunar eclipses. The pyramid was used as a calendar: four stairways, each with 91 steps and a platform at the top, making a total of 365, equivalent to the number of days in a calendar year.

14 Agriculture The basis of the culture was farming, which included not only the cultivation of maize, beans, squash, and chili peppers, but also "cash crops" of cotton and cacao.

15 Mayan Economy Participated in long distance trade with many of the Mesoamerican cultures Farmers transported their cocoa beans to market by canoe or in large baskets strapped to their backs, Wealthy merchants traveled further, employing porters, as there were no horses, pack animals or wheeled carts in Central America at that time. Merchants and those surrounding trade become a middle class.

16 Religion Polytheistic The most revered deities (Gods) were: – Itzamna and Ix Chel, father and mother of all other gods – Chac - the rain god

17 Tikal - Wall Mask of the Rain God

18 The God of Wisdom & Learning Quetzalcoatl: The God of Wisdom & Learning

19 Social Roles Men’s Roles – Produce/grow food – Military training – Religious training Women’s roles – Process food to make edible – Weaving/textiles – Child rearing – Religious training

20 Downfall Insufficient food supply, earthquakes, pestilence, invasion by outsiders, internal rebellion or a combination of these factors have all been suggested as possible causes for the fall of the Mayan eminence. What appears certain is that by 900 AD the Maya's numerous ceremonial centers had been abandoned.

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