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Origins

- between 100,00 and 80,00 years ago the last ice age produced low sea levels
o land bridge in the bering strait created
- Small communities from Asia crossed the land bridge
- Most likely hunters who were pursuing herds
North America
Inuit
- Moved into the north west about 3000 BCE
- Learned to survive the cold and harsh environment
- Settled along the coast in the tundra
- Hunted seal, caribou and fish
- Built homes of stone and turf
- Created igloos for use during traveling
Eastern Woodlands: Hopewell
- Appeared around 1000 BCE – Great Lakes to Gulf of Mexico
- Grew crops and gathered food
- Best known are the mound builders – Hopewell from the Ohio river valley
- Shifted to full time farming in 700
- Cities of more than 10,000 began to appear – but disappear in the 13th century
Eastern Woodlands: Iroquois
- North East of the Hopewell
- Lived in villages consisting of long houses
o Woodpoles covered in bark
o 150 – 200 feet long
o Housed a dozen families
- Men hunted deer, bear, caribou and small animals
o Also warriors
- Woman gathered plants and grew crops – “3 sisters” corn, beans, and squash
“child care”
- Wars between the groups were common
- Great peace – during the 1500
- Iroquois league created
o Alliance of 5 groups
o 13 laws
o Council of representation 150 leaders
o Clan mothers chose the male- member
o Ben Franklin might have used this model
Great Plains
- West of the Mississippi River Basin
- Cultivated beans, corn and squash
- Every summer the men left to hung buffalo
o Ate the meat
o Used the skin for clothing
o Made tools form bones
o Stretched the skins over poles to make tepees
Southwest
- present day new Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado
- Dry area with some section having enough rain for agriculture
- Used adobe bricks to pueblos (multistoried structures)
Olmec
- Appeared around 1200 BCE
- Located in hot swampy lowlands along the coast
- Farmed along the muddy river banks
- Had large cities that served as centers for religious rituals – la Venta
- Declined around 400 BCE
Teotihuacan
- 100 BCE to 750 CE
- Main city located 30 miles NE of modern day Mexico City
- Largest city in the America between 450 and 600 (125,000-200,000 ppl)
- Worshipped many gods and believed in human sacrifice- viewed as a sacred duty
to the gods
- Apartment like stone buildings created as popl grew
- No ev, of a single ruler – ruled by an alliance among the elite families
- No walls or defensive structures before 500
- Historians are unsure what caused the civilization to collapse but know the last
decades were violent
Toltec – origins
- 960-1156
- Little is know of their origins – mayb a satellite of Teotihuacán’s
- Borrowed culture form Teotihuacan
- Created the 1st conquest state based on milit power
Toltec leadership
- capital tula north of mexico city (968)
- 2 cheiftains ruled together
- Fight for power led to the downfall of the toltecs
- Northern invaders overran tula in 1156
Maya Overview
- located where Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, and Southern Mexico is today
- problems due to poor soil and climate
- never unified politically – rival kingdoms
- civilization declined between 800-900
Maya – construction
- covered almost all public buildings with bas- relief and bright colors
- created carved altars and stone monoliths
- construction occurred with out the wheel or metal tools (obsidian tools)
- ry swamps and built elevated fields
- not every household had a garden
Mayan – Technology
- invented the concept of zero
- Hieroglyphic writing – aspects of life were recorded on bark books, deer sking,
and buildings
- Invented 2 calendars
o 260 days (13/20) ritual cycle
o 365 day 18/20 months ) solar cycle
o 2 calendars converged every 52 years
o Started calendar 3114 BCE
Aztecs
- pushed into central America when Tula collapsd
- built twin capital 1325 Tenochtitland and Tlaxcala
- Clan based political structure at first
- Moved to a monarchal system as it grew
- Leaders did not have absolute powers
- By 1500 great inequalities existed
- Constructed a 5.5 mile long and 23 feet wide dike to separate the fresh and salt
water parts of lake texcoco
- Believed in human sacrifice – the sun god required a diet of human hearts (mainly
war captives or criminals)
- Conquered by Hernan Cortez 1519
Overview
- UNlikeley environment for development of a rich and powerful civilization
- Large scale drainage, irrigation, and terracing the hillsides increased agricultural
development
- Members of clans or ayllu held land communally
- Work was divided along gender lines
Moche
- started about 200 CE
- cultivated maize, beans, manioc, sweet potatoes
- had a complex network of canals and aqueducts as far as 75 miles
- elite lived above the commoners
- high quality textiles, ceramics, and metallurgy
Chimu
- took over the area controlled by the MOche in 800
- controlled 625 miles of Peruvian coast
- lsot to the incas about 1465
Inca
- started expanding around 1430
- 6 million ppl by 1525
- Called their area the land of four corners
- Large professional military
- Early incas were pastoral
- Cuzco was the capital 30,000 ppl
- Royal family claimed to descend from the sun – primary god of the Inca
- Each new king was expected to expand the boundaries
- 1525 Inca ruler Huayna Capac Died
- His two sons fought for power – civil war
- 1531 Francisco Pizarro from Spain arrived with 180 men