Presentation on theme: "Ancient Latin American Civilizations"— Presentation transcript:
1 Ancient Latin American Civilizations Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas
2 Maya CivilizationArrived in (present-day) northern Guatemala around 1000 BCThe Mayas are BEST known for:Studying the stars and planets (led to a calendar being created)Developing a system of writing called HIEROGLYPHSThe Maya also lived in southern Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Belize.
3 Maya Origins and Religion Early Maya lived in small, isolated villagesVillages soon began TRADING with each other---as TRADE increased, villages GREWTRADE, not RULERS, linked the Maya’s citiesReligion:Worshipped MANY godsEXS: sun god, moon goddess, and maize (corn) godBelieved each god controlled a different part of everyday lifeWanted to please the gods---believed them to be BOTH HELPFUL and HARMFUL
4 AdvancementsStudied math and astronomy extensively (With a lot of detail)Created calendars based on various movementsEx.: 260-day calendar for sacred days and a 365-day calendar based on the sun’s movementsMaya calendar was MORE accurate than any calendar used by Europeans until the 1700s.
5 HIEROGLYPHS Created a system of writing called Hieroglyphs Best developed written language in ancient Latin AmericaExample of Maya hieroglyphs from the Museo de sitio in Mexico.
6 The Mayans Disappear? Early AD 900s, the empire began to decline People stopped building structures and left the cities, moving back to the countrysideThere are MANY theories (ideas) as to why the Maya empire collapsed, but one thing is for sure---by the time the Spanish arrived in the 1500s, the Mayas had faded.
7 Aztec Civilization Arrived in the Valley of Mexico in the 1100s The Aztecs were made up of a number of wandering warriors, most from the Mexica tribeAll the “good” land was taken, so they settled on a swampy island in the middle of Lake TexcocoHad little land to farm on, so the Aztecs built floating gardens called CHINAMPAS
8 Aztecs Expand1325: began building their capital, Tenochtitlan, and conquering nearby townsCame to power mainly due to war and the conquest of other peoplesThe Aztecs forced those conquered to pay TRIBUTES (taxes)How could tributes be paid?Food, cotton, gold, or slavesTributes allowed the Aztecs to grow very rich
10 Aztec Society The MOST important member of society was the EMPEROR Chose trusted nobles to oversee his demands regarding trade, payment collections, and warfareAll men, including PRIESTS, had to join Aztec army for 2 reasons: (1) help maintain a powerful empire and (2) religious.
11 ReligionReligion:Worshipped MANY gods, believed the gods controlled nature and human activities.Exs.: Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, and HuitzilopochtliHuman sacrifices were regularly made by priests to please the gods(mostly SLAVES and those captured in battle were sacrificed)
12 Aztec Achievements Sculpted stone pyramids and statues Like the Maya, studied astronomy and made a calendarLike the Mayans, used HIEROGLYPHS for their writings and kept detailed records of historical informationHad a strong oral tradition
13 End of Aztec Empire Late 1400s: Spanish arrive Are looking for (1) Adventure, (2) Riches, and (3) Converts to Catholicism1519: Group was led by conquistador (conqueror) Hernan CortesAztec’s are taken over by Cortes and the SpanishHernan Cortes vs. Montezuma II story
14 Incas1200: Settled in Cuzco, which is a village in the Andes (South America)Began as a small tribe in the AndesCuzco eventually became the capital cityMid 1400s: Inca ruler, Pachacuti, began to expand Inca territory (some conquering)Other leaders soon followed his exampleEmpire eventually stretched from (present-day) Ecuador to central ChileAbout 12 million Incas lived in the empire
15 Inca Government To rule effectively, built a strong CENTRAL government Pachacuti removed local leaders from conquered lands because he wanted to remain the MAIN leader/rulerCreated an official language (Quechua) to UNIFY the peopleGovernment also told households what work to do.
16 Social DivisionsInca had NO Slaves, didn’t practice this idea.
17 Incan Religion Worshipped many gods Inti, the sun god was the most importantIncas thought their rulers were related to the SUN god (their most important) and that they never really died.Inca had ceremonies with sacrifices, but didn’t use humans like the Maya and Aztec.Those outside of Cuzco worshipped other gods as well and at other “sacred” locationsMountaintops, rocks, and springs
18 Inca Achievements Excellent farmers, builders, and managers Cuzco (capital) was the center of government, trade, learning, and religionBuilt more than 19,000 miles of roadsWhy?Roads allowed the Incas to better govern their empire; they could get to other areas easier
19 Achievements continued The Incas also built canals and aqueductsWhat is an AQUEDUCT?Pipe or channel designed to carry water from a distant sourceWhy did the Incas feel that canals and aqueducts were important?Allowed the Incas to irrigate (dampen) land that was otherwise too dry to grow crops
20 Inca Language? Had NO written language Recorded info. using a QUIPUS (kee-pooz)What is a Quipus?A “writing” system of knotted strings where the knots=numbers and the different color strings represent info. about crops, land, and other important topicsWhen Spanish arrived, they had Inca stories/historical info. written in Spanish
22 The End of the Inca Empire Late 1520s: Civil War breaks out amongst the Incas—2 brothers both want to be NEW rulerAtahualpa (ah-tah-WAHL-pah) vs. Huascar1532: Atahualpa wins, but the fighting has weakened the Inca armyOn the way to his crowning, Atahualpa learns of a Spanish group in the area; led by Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish attackAtahualpa is captured (and later killed) and the Incas are defeated