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Empires of the South The Maya, Aztec, and Inca established flourishing civilizations. Achievements of the Maya in science and math? How trade and conquest.

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Presentation on theme: "Empires of the South The Maya, Aztec, and Inca established flourishing civilizations. Achievements of the Maya in science and math? How trade and conquest."— Presentation transcript:

1 Empires of the South The Maya, Aztec, and Inca established flourishing civilizations. Achievements of the Maya in science and math? How trade and conquest made the Aztec a powerful people? How Inca leaders unified the people of their empire? AD 1200 The Aztec AD 250 The Maya AD 1300 The Inca

2 Empires of the South

3 The Olmec The first signs of complex society in Mesoamerica are that of the Olmec Civilization wh were prominent in Mesoamerica from as early as 1500 BCE through 100 BCE, although there is evidence that the Olmec culture existed into the Common Era. The Olmec heartland is an area on the south coast of the Gulf of Mexico coastal plain of southern Veracruz and Tabasco, is thus called because of the concentration of a large number of Olmec monuments as well as the greatest Olmec sites. The area is about 125 miles long and 50 miles wide (200 by 80 km), with the Coatzalcoalcos River system running through the middle. These sites include San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, Laguna de los Cerros, Tres Zapotes, and La Venta is one of the greatest of the Olmec sites.

4 The Olmec

5 The Olmec The Olmec architecture at San Lorenzo, for example, includes both public-ceremonial buildings, elite residences, and the houses of commoners. Olmec public-ceremonial buildings were most typically earthen platform mounds, some of which had larger house-like structures built upon them.


7 Olmec

8 The Maya


10 The Maya About 3,000 years ago, a small group of farmers began clearing land in the southern part of present-day Mexico and the northern part of Central America. With only simple tools, they cut thick jungles full of snakes and insects to turn small villages into a empire that covered nearly 12,000 square miles. The population soared to more than 10 million people!

11 The Maya

12 The Maya: Skilled Farmers
Much of the Maya’s growth resulted from their skill in farming. They grew corn, beans, squash, sweet potatoes, and avocados. They drained marshlands to create more farmland. They built Terraces-leveled off strips of land-so they could farm on hillsides. They hauled rich soil from the riverbanks and river bottoms to make their fields more productive. Terrace…Step Farming

13 The Maya

14 The Maya: City Builders
The Maya were master builders. At the center of most of their cities were tall pyramids built of limestone block. On top of the pyramids were temples where Mayan priests conducted religious ceremonies. Rulers and priests lived in the city in large homes. Common people lived in one room houses near the fields in the countryside. They visited cities to trade or attend religious ceremonies.

15 The Maya: Religion and Science
Priests were the most important people in the Mayan empire. The priests helped please the gods. Gods were thought to control the sun, rain, and other forces of nature. The Maya believed if the gods were pleased with them, they would favor the people with a favorable crop.

16 Maya

17 The Maya: Cultural Achievements
The Maya developed a system of writing using symbols instead of letters. These symbols are called hieroglyphs. The Maya carved their writings on the walls of their temples to tell stories of Mayan rulers and priests.colorful paintings, created

18 The Mayan Decline The Mayan empire was at its height from about 250 to 900. By 900, however, the people began deserting their cities and moving into other areas. Archeologists believe the people moved to escape drastic climate changes because their farmland was no longer fertile. By the mid-1500s, the Spanish had taken over the Mayan strongholds. The Mayan culture survives today through more than 2 million descendants that continue to live in Mexico and Central America.

19 The Aztec

20 The Aztec: Message From the Gods
The Aztec built their empire between 1300 and Their center was present-day Mexico west and north of where the Mayan empire had been. The early Aztec were hunter-gatherers. (Story of eagle that guided the Aztec to the location of their homeland) The Aztec site later became home to over 100,000 people. They named the city Tenochtitlan

21 Empires of the South Tenochtitlan was the capitol of the Aztec empire, a Native American civilization that developed in present day Mexico. A civilization is a group of people with an advanced culture. In addition to hunting and fishing, it has some type of writing and keeping records. A civilization has an organized government and regions, cities, and social classes. It also has specialized workers, or those who only have one kind of work, such as teaching or jewelry making. The Aztec were just one of three great cultures that grew up in Mexico, Central America, and South America.

22 Aztec Building

23 The Aztec The Aztec built many incredible structures including causeways and aqueducts. The Aztec workers built stone pyramids for the priests. The cities had well-stocked outdoor markets, parks, schools, barbershops, and a zoo. (floating gardens) The Aztec built their wealth and power on trade and conquest. Their warriors were fierce and well trained. They took thousands in battle. Conquered people became members of the Aztec society, but were faced to pay tribute, or a special tax for goods and services.

24 Aztec

25 The Aztec Aztec Warrior

26 Aztec Religion Montezuma II 1410 AD-1469
Religion was very important to the Aztec. The most sacred God was the god of the sun and war, but the Aztec worshipped at least 1,000 others. In addition to worship, Aztec priests kept records of the Aztec people. Priests were also teachers. They taught their students: history, crafts, and religious traditions. Montezuma and the Aztec Decline: Spanish Conquistadors Killed by a stone….? Montezuma II 1410 AD-1469

27 Montezuma

28 The Inca The largest empire in the Americas was one created in South America by the Inca. The Inca began to expand their rule over others about By the 1400’s, their empire spread out over 2,500 miles along the Andes Mountains-through present-day Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and parts of Argentina and Chile. The Incan empire was extremely well organized. The Inca conquered by peaceful means.

29 The Inca Empire

30 The Inca of South America

31 The Inca The ruler of the Inca held great power over his empire. He controlled all goods and services they produced and made decisions for them. Incan armies stationed throughout the empire maintained peace. Newly conquered people were required to learn and speak the Incan language and practice the Incan religion. Incan farmers terraced the steep hillsides and built irrigation canals to grow crops. They grew corn, beans, cotton, and squash in the valleys. In the mountains, they grew potatoes and raised herds of Llama and alpaca for meat and wool. The government owned all the food that was grown. Most people had to work on projects for the government. Workers cleared trees, moved huge boulders, dug tunnels, and built bridges. In the early 1500’s, the Incan ruler died, and there was a bitter fight for the throne. In the following years, unrest spread throughout the empire. When the Europeans arrived in the 1500’s, they found a weakened civilization.

32 Inca Natural Resources
Llama Alpaca

33 The Inca AD

34 The Inca

35 Native American Adaptations
Inca and Maya Terrace Farming Aztec Floating Farms

36 Ideas of Mesoamerica Olmec- 1st Mesoamerican Group for Civilization. Giant heads. Maya-Terrace Farming, Cut out of jungles. Ritualized killing. Aztec-warrior people who took what they wanted. Floating farms, Conquistadors devastated. Small Pox. Montezuma. Inca- Communism at play, Andes Mountains, llama, Alpaca, Terrace Farming

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