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Who were the earliest Americans?

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Presentation on theme: "Who were the earliest Americans?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Who were the earliest Americans?
The Americas

2 Guess how much the statue weighs!
Student who comes closest gets a prize (2 mins).

3 8 tons/16,000 pounds!!!!

4 Intro video

5 Aks 36 36a explain the rise and fall of the Olmec, Mayan, Aztec and Inca empires 36b compare the culture of the Americas including government, economy, religion, social structure, technology and the arts of the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas

6 Essential question Who were the Olmecs and what was their contribution to civilization in the Americas?

7 The earliest civilizations

8 How did they get here?

9 Review of effects of agriculture

10 How did people survive before settled agriculture?

11 The Olmec Early civilizations

12 Olmec civilazation Mesoamerica’s first civilization builders
What does “Mesoamerica” mean? Began carving out a society around 1200 BC in the jungles of southern Mexico Thrived BC San Lorenzo – the oldest site

13 Olmec heartland

14 What do you think the olmec environment was like?

15 Where was the olmec civilization located?

16 The environment Hot and humid and covered with swamps and jungles
Rainfall often caused rivers to flood Large deposits of salt and tar and clay to make….? Wood and rubber from rain forest Flooded plains near rivers provided…?

17 Olmec society Earthen mounds, courtyards, and pyramids
Planned ceremonial centers Stone symbols – writing? Ritual ball games Olmec society

18 What do you think these monuments, mounds, and colossal heads tell us about their culture?
May have represented particular Olmec rulers Elite ruling class Olmec culture

19 Olmec religion Believed to have prayed to a variety of nature gods
“The Jaguar Spirit” Half-human, half-jaguar Powerful rain god? Earth, fertility?

20 Olmec trade spanned north and south!!!
Trade spread Olmec influence Trade and commerce

21 Decline (by 400 BCE) What do you think happened to the Olmec?

22 Legacy/impact The Olmec left their mark
Olmec art and construction affected future cultures like the Maya Olmec developed ceremonial centers, ritual ball games, and ruling class Later cultures in Mesoamerica adopted Olmec ways Influenced Mayan writing system Origin of the Mayan calendar system

23 Summary 3 – things you learned
2 – things you want to find out more about 1 – question you have

24 The Mayans Who were the Mayan’s and what triggered their decline?

25 Engineering an Empire

26 The Mayans

27 Tikal Pyramids

28 Southern Mexico into northern Central America
Mayan Civilization Southern Mexico into northern Central America Includes dry scrub forest of the Yucatan Peninsula Also – dense, steamy jungles Maya took on Olmec influences and blended it with their local customs

29 Review What was the climate like for the Mayans?
Where was their civilization located?

30 Mayan Civilization (cont)
AD = “Classic Period” of Maya civilization Built many cities (Tikal) in northern Guatemala Each city-state Which means what for its government? Giant pyramids, temples, palaces, and elaborate stone carvings Tens of thousands of people surrounded the city center

31 Review How was each Mayan location set-up in terms of government?

32 recreation Each Maya city featured a ball court
What happened to the losers? Religious and political significance Maya believed the playing of this game would maintain the cycles of the sun and moon and bring rain recreation

33 Ball game gear

34 Members of the losing team might be sacrificed by beheading.
Exact rules and method of scoring are unknown. Inscriptions indicate that players could not use their hands or feet to move a solid rubber ball. Members of the losing team might be sacrificed by beheading.

35 Agriculture and trade City-states exchanged their local products and craft goods No unifying currency, cacao (CHOCOLATE) beans sometimes served as one Maize, beans, and squash provided the basis for Maya life

36 King sat at the top and was regarded as a holy figure (hereditary)
Noble class (priests and leading warriors) Merchants and specialized skills Peasant majority Social structure

37 Religion What type of religion do you think they practiced?
Polytheism – gods of corn, of rain, of war, etc. How did they worship? Prayed, made offerings of food, flowers, incense Offered their blood to nourish the gods Human sacrifice – of captured enemies

38 Math and religion Mayans believed that time was a burden carried on the back of a god Very important to have an accurate calendar to know which god was in charge of the day 260 day religious calendar 365 day solar calendar

39 Mayan numerals

40 Written language 800 hieroglyphic symbols (glyphs)
Carved glyphs into a bark-paper book known as a codex (only 3 survive) Burned by Spanish priests in 16th century Popul Vuh – the Maya’s version of the story of creation “Before the world was created, Calm and Silence were the great kings that ruled. Nothing existed, there was nothing”

41 Mayan writing

42 Review Why was math and religion important to the Mayans?
Describe their social structure.

43 decline In the 800s, the Maya suddenly abandoned many of their cities
Invaders from the north moved into the lands. Reasons? Frequent warfare between kingdoms Population growth = needed more land decline

44 Use your creativity In one paragraph, write a short story about what you think happened to the Mayans?

45 The aztecs

46 Essential question Who were the Aztecs? How did their civilization function, thrive, and ultimately decline?

47 The aztecs

48 Setting the stage Greatest empire in Mesoamerica
Heart of civilization located around modern Mexico City Ancestors of the Olmec

49 location

50 Teotihuacán “City of the Gods”
First major city-state of Central Mexico Peak population ~150,000 – 200,000 Obsidian – Green or black volcanic rock used to make razor sharp weapons Abandoned by 750 AD

51 Teotihuacán

52 Preview

53 The Aztecs Arrived in the Valley of Mexico ~1200 AD
The god of sun and warfare told them to create a city Based power on military conquest Demanded tribute from their neighbors (gold, jade, maize, cacao)

54 Aztec social structure
Emperor Nobles: Military, Priests, Government Officials Merchants, Artisans, and Soldiers Merchants formed a subgroup of elite Enslaved People Aztec social structure

55 Tenochtitlan

56 Tenochtitlan Established by the early 1500’s
Population 200,000 – 400,000 (larger than London or other European Cities at the time) Built on an island surrounded by marshland/water

57 Tenochtitlan

58 Aztec religion Worshipped sun god
Human sacrifice was a way to please the gods Enslaved, war prisoners Without blood, the sun would not rise

59 Review Describe the beginning of the Aztecs.
What was their social structure? What was their religion? How did they decline?

60 Human sacrifice

61 decline Montezuma II became Emperor in 1502 and the Empire began to decline He called for more tribute and sacrifice The Spanish Conquistadors eventually arrived

62 Summary Describe: 3 traits of the civilization
3 strengths leading to power 3 weaknesses leading to decline

63 The Incas

64 Essential Question Who were the Incas and what were some of their social innovations unique to Pre-Columbian culture in the Americas?

65 Descended from many different civilizations in the region
Believed Incan ruler was descended from sun god Located in the Andes Mountains of Peru Founded capital Cuzco around 1100 AD Origins/Location

66 Incan government Governed by central bureaucracy?
What is bureaucracy? Roads tied the empire together The heart of the empire of the city of Cuzco Ayllu – extended families that performed tasks to large for a regular family A chief lead each group but they reported to the emperor

67 Roads (14,000 miles)

68 Welfare state Compared to modern socialism Mita – Annual labor tribute
Work on roads, make goods, etc Messages travelled on road system (postal system) No writing system Kept detailed numerical records using quipu Cared for entire population Welfare state

69 religion Incan king was considered a descendent of sun god
Worshipped sun, moon, rain, thunder gods Young men and women would be drafted into a lifetime of service Great cities – Machu Pichu Sun Temple (center), public buildings, central plaza

70 decline During the 1500’s the empire split between two sons after death of emperor Civil War ensured weakening the empire Spanish (Pizarro) arrived during the last days of the war

71 Summary 3 – Name 3 things you learned
2 – Things you want to find out more about 1 – Question you have! It is good to have questions!

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