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Encyclopedia > Mesoamerica
Location of Mesoamerica in the Americas.
Location of Mesoamerica in the Americas.

Mesoamerica or Meso-America (Spanish: Mesoamérica) is a region in the mid-latitudes of the Americas, namely the culture area within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries.[1][2][3] The culture area extends from central Honduras and northwestern Costa Rica on the south to, in Mexico, the Soto la Marina River in Tamaulipas and the Rio Fuerte in Sinaloa on the north. Prehistoric groups in this area are characterized by agricultural villages and large ceremonial and politico-religious capitals [4] This culture area included some of the most complex and advanced cultures of the Americas, including the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Maya, and the Aztec. These cultures developed complex sociopolitical systems, reached advanced technological, scientific, and mathematical levels, and participated in long-distance interaction networks that resulted in the transmission of interrelated ideas and ideology. Look up Mesoamerica in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Look up Region in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... A cultural area is a region (area) with one relatively homogenous human activity or complex of activities (culture). ... The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the Americas continent. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... The Spanish colonization of the Americas began with the arrival in the Western Hemisphere of Christopher Columbus in 1492. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... Tamaulipas is a state in the northeast of Mexico. ... The Fuerte River is a river in the northwestern Mexican state of Sinaloa. ... Sinaloa is a state in northwestern Mexico. ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... Monument 1, one of the four Olmec colossal heads at La Venta. ... Teotihuacan was the largest Pre-Columbian known city in the Americas, and the name Teotihuacan is used to refer to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica. ... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico. ... Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ...


Mesoamerica may also refer to the contemporary region (largely coincident with the ancient region) comprising the countries of Central America and nine southeastern states of Mexico: Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz, and Yucatán. In addition to historical linguistic and cultural similarities, the territories within this region exhibit increasing socioeconomic integration.[5] For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ... The United Mexican States are a federation made up by thirty-one free and sovereign states. ... Location within Mexico Country Capital Municipalities 11 Largest City San Francisco de Campeche Government  - Governor Jorge Carlos Hurtado Valdez (PRI)  - Federal Deputies PRI:2  - Federal Senators PRI:2 PAN:1 Area Ranked 18th  - State 50,812 km²  (19,618. ... Location within Mexico Country  Mexico Capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez Municipalities 118 Largest City Tuxtla Gutiérrez Government  - Governor Juan José Sabines Guerrero ( PRD)  - Federal Deputies PRI: 7 PRD: 5  - Federal Senators PRI: 1 PRD: 1 PVEM: 1 Area Ranked 8th  - State 74,211 km²  (28,653 sq mi) Population (2005... Guerrero is a state in the United Mexican States. ... Catedral de Santo Domingo The Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca or simply Oaxaca   is one of the 31 states of Mexico, located in the southern part of Mexico, west of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. ... The Mexican state of Puebla is located in the center of the country, to the east of Mexico City. ... Quintana Roo is a state of Mexico, on the eastern part of the Yucatán Peninsula. ... Tabasco is a state in Mexico. ... The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that comprise Mexico. ... Yucatán is the name of one of the 31 states of Mexico, located on the north of the Yucatán Peninsula. ...

Contents

Etymology and definition

The term Mesoamerica – literally, "middle America" – was first used by the German ethnologist Paul Kirchhoff,[6] who noted that similarities existed among the various pre-Columbian cultures within the region that included southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, western Honduras, and the Pacific lowlands of Nicaragua and northwestern Costa Rica. In the tradition of cultural-history, the prevalent archaeological theory of the early to middle 20th century, Kirchhoff defined this zone as a culture area based on a suite of interrelated cultural similarities brought about by millennia of inter- and intra-regional interaction (i.e., diffusion). These included sedentism, agriculture (specifically a reliance on the cultivation of maize), the use of two different calendars (a 260 day ritual calendar and a 365 day calendar based on the solar year), a base 20 (vigesimal) number system, pictographic and hieroglyphic writing systems, the practice of various forms of sacrifice, and a complex of shared ideological concepts. Mesoamerica has also been shown to be a linguistic area defined by a number of grammatical traits that have spread through the area by diffusion. World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... Ethnologyis a genre of cultural anthropology and| anthropological study, involving the systematic comparison of the beliefs and practices of different societies. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the Americas continent. ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... “Pacific” redirects here. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Cultural history. ... Archaeological theory covers the debates over the practice of archaeology and the interpretation of archaeological results. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... The diffusion of ideas or artifacts from one culture to another is a well-attested and uncontroversial concept of cultural anthropology. ... Sedentism is the shift of people who live in non-permanent settlements to living in permanent settlements. ... This article is about the maize plant. ... A page from the Hindu calendar 1871-72. ... Solar year The period of time required for the earth to make one complete revolution around the sun, measured from one vernal equinox to the next. ... The vigesimal or base-20 numeral system is based on twenty (in the same way in which the ordinary decimal numeral system is based on ten). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... “Hieroglyphics” redirects here. ... Writing systems of the world today. ... Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome For other uses, see Sacrifice (disambiguation). ... A Sprachbund (German for language bond, also known as a linguistic area, convergence area, diffusion area) is a group of languages that have become similar in some way because of geographical proximity. ... // The Mesoamerican Linguistic Area is a sprachbund containing many of the languages natively spoken in the cultural area of Mesoamerica. ...


Mesoamerica is recognized as a near prototypical cultural area and the term is now fully integrated in the standard terminology of pre-Columbian anthropological studies. Conversely, the sister terms Aridoamerica and Oasisamerica, which refer to northern Mexico and the western United States, respectively, have not entered into widespread usage. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Aridoamerica is a term used to describe the northern region of Mexico, in contrast to Mesoamerica (the south). ... Oasisamerica was a broad cultural area in pre-Columbian North America. ...


Geography

Landscape of the Mesoamerican highlands
Landscape of the Mesoamerican highlands

Located on the isthmus joining North and South America between ca. 10° and 22° northern latitude, Mesoamerica possesses a complex combination of ecological systems, topographic zones, and environmental contexts. Archaeologist and anthropologist Michael D. Coe groups these different niches into two broad categories[cite this quote]: the lowlands (those areas between sea level and 1000 meters) and the altiplanos, or highlands (situated between 1000 and 2000 meters above sea level). In the low-lying regions, sub-tropical and tropical climates are most common, as is true for most of the coastline along the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The highlands show much more climatic diversity, ranging from dry tropical to cold mountainous climates, the dominant climate is temperate with warm temperatures and moderate rainfall. The rain fall varies, between the dry Oaxaca, and north Yucatan to the Humid southern Pacific and Caribbean lowlands. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1365x951, 618 KB) Farmers in their fields Men gather to talk after a day tending their fields in the state of Puebla, Mexico Source: http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1365x951, 618 KB) Farmers in their fields Men gather to talk after a day tending their fields in the state of Puebla, Mexico Source: http://www. ... The Isthmus of Panama connects North and South America. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... This article is about the geographical term. ... Archaeology or sometimes in American English archeology (from the Greek words αρχαίος = ancient and λόγος = word/speech) is the study of human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains, including architecture, artefacts, biofacts, human remains, and landscapes. ... See Anthropology. ... I dont know anything! ... Two lichenes species on a rock, in two different ecological niches In ecology, a niche is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in an ecosystem. ... For considerations of sea level change, in particular rise associated with possible global warming, see sea level rise. ... The metre, or meter (symbol: m) is the SI base unit of length. ... Subtropical (or semitropical) areas are those adjacent to the tropics, usually roughly defined as the ranges 23. ... Naples beach in Florida lined with coconut trees is an example of a tropical climate. ... Map of Central America and the Caribbean The Caribbean Sea (pronounced or ) is a tropical sea in the Western Hemisphere, part of the Atlantic Ocean, southeast of the Gulf of Mexico. ... Mountain climate (also highland climate) is something of a crude geographical term used for the kind of climate in the mountains and generally in the high country. ... For the usage in virology, see temperate (virology). ... Catedral de Santo Domingo The Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca or simply Oaxaca   is one of the 31 states of Mexico, located in the southern part of Mexico, west of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. ... The Yucatán Peninsula separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. ...


Topography

The Sierra Madre in Guatemala, showing the Atitlán and San Pedro volcanoes
The Sierra Madre in Guatemala, showing the Atitlán and San Pedro volcanoes

There is extensive topographic variation in Mesoamerica, ranging from the high peaks circumscribing the Valley of Mexico and within the central Sierra Madre mountains to the low flatlands of the northern Yucatán Peninsula. The tallest mountain in Mesoamerica is Pico de Orizaba, a dormant volcano located one the border of Puebla and Veracruz. Its peak elevation is 5,636 m (18,490 ft). Image File history File linksMetadata Guatemalahighlands. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Guatemalahighlands. ... Volcano Atitlan taken from above the village of San Antonio Palopo Atitlán is a large conical stratovolcano adjacent to the caldera of Lake Atitlán in the Highlands of Guatemala. ... San Pedro (9900 feet) is a stratovolcano in Guatemala, on the shores of Lago de Atitlán. ... The Valley of Mexico is a highlands plateau in central Mexico roughly coterminous with the present-day Distrito Federal and the eastern half of Estado de Mexico. ... This is a list of mountain ranges organized alphabetically by continent. ... In Mexico, El Pico de Orizaba is the highest volcano, and the third highest in North America at a height of 18, 490 feet, or 6,163 meters. ... Towering over the city of Naples, Vesuvius is dormant but certainly not extinct A dormant volcano is a volcano which is not currently erupting, but is believed to still be capable of erupting in the future. ... The Mexican state of Puebla is located in the center of the country, to the east of Mexico City. ... The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that comprise Mexico. ...


The Sierra Madre mountains, which consist of a number of smaller ranges, run from northern Mesoamerican south through Costa Rica. The chain is historically volcanic. In central and southern Mexico, a portion of the Sierra Madre chain is known as the Eje Volcánico Transversal, or the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. There are 83 inactive and active volcanoes within the Sierra Madre range, including 11 in Mexico, 37 in Guatemala, 7 in El Salvador, 25 in Nicaragua, and 3 in northwestern Costa Rica. According to the Michigan Technological University[1], 16 of these are still active. The tallest active volcano is Popocatépetl at 5,452 m (17,883 ft). This volcano, which retains its Nahuatl name, is located 70 km southeast of Mexico City. Other volcanoes of note include Tacana on the Mexico-Guatemala border, Tajumulco and Santamaría in Guatemala, Izalco in El Salvador, Momotombo in Nicaragua, and Arenal in Costa Rica. This is a list of mountain ranges organized alphabetically by continent. ... For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... The Trans-Mexican volcanic belt (Eje Volcánico Transversal) is a mountain range that extends 900 km from west to east across central Mexico. ... Popocatépetl (commonly referred to as El Popo or Don Goyo) (IPA: ) is an active volcano and the second highest peak in Mexico after the Pico de Orizaba (5,610m). ... Nahuatl is a native language of central Mexico. ... Nickname: Motto: Capital en movimiento Location of Mexico City in south central Mexico Coordinates: , Country Federal entity Boroughs The 16 delegaciones Founded c. ... . ... Volcán Tajumulco is the highest mountain in Guatemala and Central America, at 4,220 m (13,845 feet). ... Volcán Santamaría is a large active volcano in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, close to the city of Quetzaltenango. ... Izalco is a volcano in western El Salvador. ... Momotombo is a volcano in Nicaragua, not far from the city of León. ... The Arenal Volcano (Spanish: Volcán Arenal) is an active andesitic stratovolcano in north-western Costa Rica (10. ...


One important topographic feature is the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a low plateau that breaks up the Sierra Madre chain between the Sierra Madre del Sur to the north and the Sierra Madre de Chiapas to the south. At its highest point, the Isthmus is 224 meters (735 feet) above mean sea level. This area also represents the shortest distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean in Mexico. The distance between the two coasts is roughly 200 kilometers (120 miles). Although the northern side of the Isthmus is swampy and covered with dense jungle, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, as the lowest and most level point within the Sierra Madre mountain chain, was nonetheless a main transportation, communication, and economic route within Mesoamerica. Topography, a term in geography, has come to refer to the lay of the land, or the physiogeographic characteristics of land in terms of elevation, slope, and orientation. ... The Isthmus of Tehuantepec is an isthmus in Mexico. ... Sierra Madre del Sur The Sierra Madre del Sur is a mountain range in southern Mexico, extending 1000 km from southern Michoacán east through Guerrero, to the Istmo de Tehuantepec in eastern Oaxaca. ... Sierra Madre (known in Mexico as Sierra Madre de Chiapas) is a mountain range (located at ) which runs northwest-southeast from the state of Chiapas in Mexico across Guatemala and into El Salvador and Honduras. ... The Isthmus of Panama connects North and South America. ... Gulf of Mexico in 3D perspective. ...


Bodies of water

Outside of the northern Maya lowlands, rivers are common throughout Mesoamerica. A number of the more important ones served as loci of human occupation in the area. The longest river in Mesoamerica is the Usumacinta, which forms in Guatemala at the convergence of the Salinas or Chixoy, and La Pasion River and runs north for 970 km (480 km of which are navigable), eventually draining into the Gulf of Mexico. Other rivers of note include the Rio Grande de Santiago, the Grijalva River, the Motagua River, the Ulúa River, and the Hondo River. The northern Maya lowlands, especially the north portion of the Yucatán peninsula, are notable for its nearly complete lack of rivers (largely due to its absolute lack of topographic variation). Additionally, no lakes exist in the northern peninsula. The main source of water in this area, therefore, is sub-surface, and consists of water from aquifers that which is retained within cenotes. For other uses, see River (disambiguation). ... Categories: Stub ... Salinas is a Portuguese and Spanish word meaning saltworks, salt mines or salt pans. ... The Pasión River (Spanish: Río Pasión) is a river located in the western lowlands region of Guatemala. ... Gulf of Mexico in 3D perspective. ... The Río Grande de Santiago (not to be confused with the Rio Grande river forming part of the Mexico/United States border) is a river in Mexico with a length of 433 kilometers. ... Río Grijalva is a river in south Mexico. ... The Motagua River is a 400km long river in Guatemala. ... The Ulua River (in spanish, the Río Ulúa) is a river in western Honduras. ... Rio Hondo may refer to: Río Hondo, a town in the Guatemalan department of Zacapa. ... An aquifer is an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock or unconsolidated materials (gravel, sand, silt, or clay) from which groundwater can be usefully extracted using a water well. ... Sacred Cenote, Chichén Itzá Cenote in Quintana Roo, Mexico Cenote (pronounced in Spanish seh-no-teh and in English say-no-tay, plural: cenotes) is the name given in Central America and southern Mexico to a type of freshwater-filled limestone sinkhole. ...


With an area of 8264 km², Lake Nicaragua is the largest lake in Mesoamerica. Lake Chapala is Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, but Lake Texcoco is perhaps the most well-known as the location upon which Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec Empire, was founded. Lake Petén Itzá, in northern Guatemala, is notable as the location at which the last independent Maya city, Tayasal (or Noh Petén), held out until 1697. Other large lakes include Lake Atitlán, Lake Izabal, Lake Güija, Lemoa, and Lake Managua. To help compare orders of magnitude of different geographical regions, we list here areas between 1,000 km² and 10,000 km². See also areas of other orders of magnitude. ... Square kilometre (U.S. spelling: square kilometer), symbol km², is a decimal multiple of SI unit of surface area square metre, one of the SI derived units. ... Lake Nicaragua (Spanish: Lago de Nicaragua) or Lake Cocibolca (Lago Cocibolca) is a freshwater lake in Nicaragua and it is of tectonic origin. ... Lake Chapala (Spanish: Lago de Chapala) is Mexicos largest freshwater lake. ... Lake Texcoco is a lake in Mexico. ... Tenochtitlan, looking east. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico. ... Lake Petén Itzá is a lake in northern part of Guatemala. ... Flores is the capital city of El Petén department of Guatemala. ... Lago de Atitlán seen from the Space Shuttle. ... Lago de Izabal, , sometimes known as the Golfo Dulce, is the largest lake in Guatemala. ... Map of El Salvador Shaded relief map of El Salvador Satellite image of El Salvador in April 2002 Economic activity of El Salvador, 1980 Vegetation and land use, 1980 The geography of El Salvador is unique among the nations of Central America. ... Lemoa is a town and municipality located in the province of Bizkaia, in the autonomous community of Basque Country, northern Spain. ... Lake Managua from space, January 1986. ...


Biodiversity

The Maya Biosphere Reserve, showing the El Tigre Complex at El Mirador, Guatemala
The Maya Biosphere Reserve, showing the El Tigre Complex at El Mirador, Guatemala

There are almost all ecosystems in Mesoamerica, the more notorious are the Caribbean Coral Reef, the second largest in the world, and the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve, second in size to the Amazonas.[7] The Highlands present mix and conifer forest. The biodiversity is among the richest in the world, although the number of species in the red list of the IUCN is growing every year. Image File history File links El_mirador_tigre. ... Image File history File links El_mirador_tigre. ... Dense Tropical Rain Forest in El Mirador, Guatemala The Maya Biosphere Reserve (Reserva de la Biosfera Maya) is a nature reserve in Guatemala managed by Guatemalas National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP). ... El Mirador is a large pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, located in the north of the modern department of El Petén, Guatemala. ... In ecology, an ecosystem is a community of organisms (plant, animal and other living organisms - also referred as biocenose) together with their environment (or biotope), functioning as a unit. ... The Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in the northern part of Nicaragua is a hilly tropical forest designated in 1997 as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. ... Amazonas is the name of four subnational entities in various South American nations. ... The World Conservation Union or International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) is an international organization dedicated to natural resource conservation. ...


Cultural sub-areas

Mesoamerica and its cultural areas.
Mesoamerica and its cultural areas.

There are a number of distinct sub-regions within Mesoamerica that are defined by a convergence of geographic and cultural attributes. These sub-regions are more conceptual than culturally meaningful, and the demarcation of their limits is not rigid. The Maya area, for example, can be divided into two general groups: the lowlands and highlands. The lowlands are further divided into the southern and northern Maya lowlands. The southern Maya lowlands are generally conceptualized as encompassing northern Guatemala, southern Campeche and Quintana Roo in Mexico, and Belize. The northern lowlands cover the remainder of the northern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula. Other areas include Central Mexico, West Mexico, the Gulf Coast Lowlands, Oaxaca, the Southern Pacific Lowlands, and Southeast Mesoamerica (including northern Honduras). Image File history File links Mesoamerica_english. ... Image File history File links Mesoamerica_english. ... Location within Mexico Country Capital Municipalities 11 Largest City San Francisco de Campeche Government  - Governor Jorge Carlos Hurtado Valdez (PRI)  - Federal Deputies PRI:2  - Federal Senators PRI:2 PAN:1 Area Ranked 18th  - State 50,812 km²  (19,618. ... Quintana Roo is a state of Mexico, on the eastern part of the Yucatán Peninsula. ... The Yucatán peninsula as seen from space The Yucatán Peninsula separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. ... Catedral de Santo Domingo The Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca or simply Oaxaca   is one of the 31 states of Mexico, located in the southern part of Mexico, west of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. ...


Chronology and culture

The history of human occupation in Mesoamerica is divided among a number of stages or periods. These are known, with slight variation depending on region, as the Paleo-Indian, the Archaic, the Preclassic (or Formative), the Classic, and the Postclassic. The last three periods, representing the core of Mesoamerican cultural fluorescence, are further divided into two or three sub-phases. Most of the time following the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century is lumped into the Colonial period. Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... Paleo-Indians is an English term used to refer to the ancient peoples of America who were present at the end of the last Ice Age. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ...


The differentiation of early periods (i.e., up through the end of the Late Preclassic) generally reflects different configurations of socio-cultural organization that are characterized by increasing socio-political complexity, the adoption of new and different subsistence strategies, and changes in economic organization (including increased interregional interaction). The Classic period through the Postclassic are differentiated by the cyclical crystallization and fragmentation of the various political entities throughout Mesoamerica. Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... [[Image:Cultural evolution. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... Subsistence means living in a permanently fragile equilibrium between alimentary needs and the means for satisfying them. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ...


Paleo-Indian

Obsidian projectile point from Puerta Parada, Guatemala
Obsidian projectile point from Puerta Parada, Guatemala

The Mesoamerican Paleo-Indian period precedes the advent of agriculture and is characterized by a nomadic hunting and gathering subsistence strategy. Big-game hunting, similar to that seen in contemporaneous North America, was a large component of the subsistence strategy of the Mesoamerican Paleo-Indian. Evidence for this time period in Mesoamerica is sparse and the documented sites scattered Ca 10,500 DC. These include Chivacabé, Los Tapiales, and Puerta Parada in the highlands of Guatemala, Orange Walk in Belize, and the El Gigante cave in Honduras. [citation needed] This latter sites had a number of obsidian blades and Clovis style fluted projectile points. Fishtail points, the most common style in South America, were recovered from Puerta Parada, dated to ca. 10,000 BC, as well as other sites including Los Grifos cave in Chiapas (ca. 8500 BC) and Iztapan (ca. 7700 – 7300 BC), a mammoth kill site located in the Valley of Mexico near Texcoco. [citation needed] Image File history File links Obsidiana. ... Image File history File links Obsidiana. ... In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... This article is about a type of volcanic glass. ... Examples of Clovis points. ... In archaeology, a projectile point is an object that was hafted and used either as knife or projectile tip or both. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Location within Mexico Country  Mexico Capital Tuxtla Gutiérrez Municipalities 118 Largest City Tuxtla Gutiérrez Government  - Governor Juan José Sabines Guerrero ( PRD)  - Federal Deputies PRI: 7 PRD: 5  - Federal Senators PRI: 1 PRD: 1 PVEM: 1 Area Ranked 8th  - State 74,211 km²  (28,653 sq mi) Population (2005... This article is about the genus Mammuthus. ... Texcoco was a major site and city-state in the central Mexican plateau region of Mesoamerica during the Late Postclassic period of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican chronology. ...

Archaic

The Archaic period (8000-2000 BC) is characterized by the rise of incipient agriculture in Mesoamerica. The initial phases of the Archaic involved the cultivation of wild plants, transitioning into informal domestication and culminating with sedentism and agricultural production by the close of the period. Archaic sites include Sipacate in Escuintla, Guatemala, where maize pollen samples date to ca. 3500 BC. [citation needed] The well known Coxcatlan cave site in the Valley of Tehuacán, Puebla, which contains over 10,000 teosinte cobs (an antecedent to maize), and Guila Naquitz in Oaxaca represent some of the earliest examples of agriculture in Mesoamerica. The early development of pottery, often seen as a sign of sedentism, has been documented as a number of sites, including the West Mexican sites of Matanchén in Nayarit and Puerto Marqués in Guerrero. La Blanca, Ocós, and Ujuxte in the Pacific Lowlands of Guatemala yielded pottery dated to ca. 2500 BC. [citation needed] In the 8th millennium BC, agriculture becomes widely practiced in the Fertile Crescent and Anatolia. ... (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events 2064 – 1986 BC -- Twin Dynasty wars in Egypt. ... Agriculture in Mesoamerica dates to the Archaic period of Mesoamerican chronology (8000-2000 BC). ... Sedentism is the shift of people who live in non-permanent settlements to living in permanent settlements. ... Escuintla (sometimes spelled Esquintla) is a small city in south central Guatemala. ... This article is about the maize plant. ... SEM image of pollen grains from a variety of common plants: sunflower (Helianthus annuus), morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea), prairie hollyhock (Sidalcea malviflora), oriental lily (Lilium auratum), evening primrose (Oenothera fruticosa), and castor bean (Ricinus communis). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... List of caves in Mexico Archaic Era Guila Naquiz Cave(Oaxaca,ca. ... Tehuacán is the second largest city in the Mexican state of Puebla, nestled in the Southeast Valley of Tehuacán, bordering the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz, with a population of 360,000. ... The Mexican state of Puebla is located in the center of the country, to the east of Mexico City. ... species ssp. ... This article is about the maize plant. ... List of caves in Mexico Archaic Era Guila Naquiz Cave(Oaxaca,ca. ... Matanchen is the name of both the bay and one of the small towns located just south of San Blas, Nayarit, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. ... Nayarit is one of Mexico’s 31 states and is located on the central west coast, bordering the Pacific Ocean. ... Guerrero is a state in the United Mexican States. ... La Blanca is a Pre Columbian and large site of predominately Middle Preclassic (1300-600 BC) date, located on the western Pacific coast of Guatemala, and being the most important polity on the Pacific coast of Mesoamerica until 600 BC when the dominance pass to the Ujuxte, 13 Km north. ... The site of Ujuxte (Ramon tree or breadnut tree) (uh-hush-te) is the largest Pre Classical site to be discovered in Pacific coast, Guatemala. ... This article is about the country in Central America. ...


Preclassic/Formative

See also: Olmec influences on Mesoamerican cultures
A Middle Preclassic palace structure at Nakbé, the Mirador Basin

The first complex civilization to develop in Mesoamerica were the Olmec, who inhabited the gulf coast region of Veracruz throughout the Preclassic period. The main sites of the Olmec include San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes. Although specific dates vary, these sites were occupied from roughly 1200 to 400 BC. Remains of other early cultures, possibly related to, or interacting with, the Olmec, have been found at Takalik Abaj, Izapa, and Teopantecuanitlan, and as far south as in Honduras. [citation needed] Research in the Pacific Lowlands of Chiapas and Guatemala suggest that the Monte Alto Culture may have preceded the Olmec. Radiocarbon samples associated with various sculptures found at the Late Preclassic site of Izapa suggest a date of between 1800 and 1500 BC. [2]PDF (10.1 KiB). It is, however, unclear to what extent the Monte Alto culture had developed at this point, as the majority of archaeological information from the area pertains to the Middle and Late Preclassic (i.e., contemporaneous with the Olmec). The major centers of the Olmec heartland (in yellow) as well as artifact finds unassociated with habitations (smaller circles, in red). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Nakbe_str. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Nakbe_str. ... Map of Mesoamerica During the Classic Period. ... The Mirador Basin is a geographically defined elevated basin found in the remote rain forest of the northern department of Petén , Guatemala. ... Monument 1, one of the four Olmec colossal heads at La Venta. ... The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that comprise Mexico. ... Front and side views of Colossal Head 1 now located at Museo de Antropología de Xalapa in Xalapa, Veracruz. ... The Grandmother, La Venta (reproduction) La Venta is the name of a Pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Olmec civilization. ... Tres Zapotes is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the south-central Gulf Lowlands of Mexico in the Papaloapan river plain. ... Takalik Abaj is an archeological site, formerly a site of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... // Overview Izapa was a very large pre-Columbian site located in Chiapas, Mexico, often placed in the Late Formative period. ... // Teopantecuanitlan Teopantecuanitlan is a very important site illustrating the development of complex societies within the Mexican state of Guerrero. ... Monte Alto is an ancient site in what is now Guatemala. ... Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring isotope carbon-14 (14C) to determine the age of carbonaceous materials up to about 60,000 years. ... // Overview Izapa was a very large pre-Columbian site located in Chiapas, Mexico, often placed in the Late Formative period. ... “PDF” redirects here. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to...


The Middle and Late Preclassic witnessed the rise of the Maya in the southern Maya highlands and lowlands and at a few sites in the northern Maya lowlands. The earliest Maya sites coalesced after 1000 BC, and include Nakbe, El Mirador, and Cerros. Middle to Late Preclassic Maya sites include Kaminaljuyú, Cival, Edzná, Cobá, Lamanai, Komchen, Dzibilchaltun, and San Bartolo, among others. This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... // Overview Nakbe is an ancient lowland Mayan city that is located in the Peten region of Guatemala. ... El Mirador is a large pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, located in the north of the modern department of El Petén, Guatemala. ... Cerros is a Mayan temple dating from the late formative period (330BC-1AD), located on a peninsula overlooking Chetumal Bay in Belize. ... Kaminaljuyu is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, in highland Guatemala, now within modern Guatemala City. ... Cival is an archaeological site in the Petén department of Guatemala, formerly a major city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... Edzná is a ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Campeche, Mexico. ... Coba (Cobá in the Spanish language) is a large ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. ... Lamanai (from Lamaan Ai, submerged crocodile in Yukatek Maya) is a Mesoamerican archaeological site, and was once a considerably sized city of the Maya civilization, located in the north of Belize, in Orange Walk District. ... Komchen is pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site located in the northwestern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula. ... Dzibililchaltùn is a maya ruin in the Yucatan Province of Mexico, approximately 10 miles north of Merida. ... San Bartolo is a municipality in the Totonicapán department of Guatemala. ...


The Preclassic in the central Mexican highlands is represented by such sites as Tlapacoya, Tlatilco, and Cuicuilco. These sites eventually gave rise to Teotihuacán, an important site which would eventually dominate economic and interaction spheres throughout Mesoamerica. The settlement of Teoithuacan is dated to later portion of the Late Preclassic, or roughly A.D. 50. Clay Bowl, pigmented, 1200–900 BC, from the Raymond and Laura Wielgus Collection, Indiana University Art Museum. ... A piece of ceramic art recovered from Tlatilco. ... Cuicuilco was an ancient Mexica city (circa 700 B.C. to A.D. 150) and is a significant archaeological site in the central Mexican highlands, near the southeastern portion of the valley of Mexico. ... Teotihuacán[1] was, at its height in the first half of the 1st millennium CE, the largest pre-Columbian city in the Americas. ...


In the Valley of Oaxaca, San José Mogote represents one of the oldest permanent agricultural villages in the area, and one of the first to use pottery. During the Early and Middle Preclassic, the site developed some of the earliest examples of defensive palisades, ceremonial structures, the use of adobe, and hieroglyphic writing. Also importantly, the site was one of the first to demonstrate inherited status, signifying a radical shift in socio-cultural and political structure. San José Mogote would eventual be overtaken by Monte Albán, the subsequent capital of the Zapotec empire, during the Late Preclassic. San José Mogote is a pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Zapotec, a Mesoamerican culture which flourished in the region of what is now the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. ... Palisade and Moat A palisade is a Medieval wooden fence or wall of variable height, used as a defensive structure. ... Renewal of the surface coating of an adobe wall in Chamisal, New Mexico Adobe is a natural building material composed of sand, sandy clay and straw or other organic materials, which is shaped into bricks using wooden frames and dried in the sun. ... Mesoamerica is one of the relatively few places in the world where writing has developed independently throughout history. ... Ascribed status is a social position a person is given from birth or assumes involuntarily later in life. ... Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. ... Extent of the Zapotec civilization The Zapotec civilization was an indigenous pre-Columbian civilization that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca of southern Mesoamerica. ...


Classic

Early Classic

The Classic period is marked by the rise and dominance of several polities. The traditional distinction between the Early and Late Classic are marked by their changing fortune and their ability to maintain regional primacy. Of paramount importance are Teotihuacán in central Mexico and Tikal in Guatemala – indeed, the Early Classic’s temporal limits generally correlate to the main periods of these sites. Monte Alban in Oaxaca is another Classic period polity that expanded and floresced during this period, but the Zapotec capital exerted less interregional influence than the other two sites. For other uses, see Tikal (disambiguation). ...


During the Early Classic, Teotihuacan participated in and perhaps dominated a far-reaching macro-regional interaction network. Architectural and artifact styles (talud-tablero, tripod slab-footed ceramic vessels) epitomized at Teotihuacan were mimicked and adopted at many distant settlements. Pachuca obsidian, whose trade and distribution is argued to have been economically controlled by Teotihuacan, is found throughout Mesoamerica. Obsidian was an important part of the material culture of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. ...


Tikal came to politically, economically, and militarily dominate much of the southern Maya lowlands during the Early Classic. An exchange network centered at Tikal distributed a variety of goods and commodities throughout southeast Mesoamerica, such as obsidian imported from central Mexico (e.g., Pachuca) and highland Guatemala (e.g., El Chayal, which was predominantly used by the Maya during the Early Classic), and Jadefrom the Motagua valley in Guatemala. Carved inscriptions at the site attest to direct interaction with individuals adorned in Teotihuacan-styled dress ca 400 AD. [citation needed] However, Tikal was often in conflict with other polities in the Petén Basin, as well as with others outside of it, including Uaxactun, Caracol, Dos Pilas, Naranjo, and Calakmul. Towards the end of the Early Classic, this conflict would lead to Tikal’s military defeat at the hands of Caracol in 562 and a period commonly known as the Tikal Hiatus. Obsidian was an important part of the material culture of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. ... A selection of antique, hand-crafted Chinese jade (jadeite) buttons Unworked Jade Jade is used as an ornamental stone, the term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals. ... The Petén Basin is a geographical subregion of Mesoamerica, located in the northern portion of the modern-day nation of Guatemala, and essentially contained within the department of El Petén. ... Uaxactun (pronounced Wash-ak-toon) is an ancient ruin of the Maya civilization, located in the Peten department of Guatemala, some 40 km (25 miles) north of Tikal. ... Caracol or El Caracol is the name given to a large ancient Maya site located in the Cayo District of the nation of Belize. ... Dos Pilas is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, located in what is now Peten, Guatemala. ... Inscription relating to the reign of king Itzamnaaj Kawil, 784-810. ... Calakmul is the name of both a municipality and a major archeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche, in the central part of the Yucatán Peninsula. ... For the area code 562 see Area Code 562 Events Nan Xiao Ming Di succeeds Nan Liang Xuan Di as ruler of the Chinese Nan Liang Dynasty. ... For other uses, see Tikal (disambiguation). ...


Late Classic

The Late Classic period (beginning ca. AD 600 until AD 800/850 [varies]) is characterized as a period of interregional competition and factionalization among the numerous regional polities in the Maya area. This largely resulted from the decrease in Tikal’s socio-political and economic power at the beginning. It was during this time that a number of other sites, therefore, rose to regional prominence and were able to exert greater interregional influence, including Caracol, Copán, Palenque, and Calakmul (who was allied with Caracol and may have assisted in the defeat of Tikal), and Dos Pilas Aguateca and Cancuén in the Petexbatún region of Guatemala. Around 710 DC, Tikal arouses again and started to build strong alliances and defeating its worst enemies. In the Maya area, the Late Classic ended with the so-called Maya "collapse," a transitional period coupling the general depopulation of the southern lowlands and development and fluorescence of centers in the northern lowlands. Location of Copán The Pre-Columbian city now known as Copán is a locale in extreme western Honduras, in the Copán Department, near to the Guatemalan border. ... The Palace, Ruins of Palenque Palenque is a Maya archeological site near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, located at about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen (see map). ... Dos Pilas is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, located in what is now Peten, Guatemala. ... Aguateca is a Maya site located in western Guatemalas Petexbatun Basin. ... Cancuén is an archaeological site of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the Pasión subregion of the central Maya lowlands in the present-day Guatemalan Department of El Petén. ... Petexbatún Lake, near Aguateca, in Petén, Guatemala Petexbatún, is a small lake that is formed by the river with the same name, that splits from La Pasion river in Sayaxché, located in the south area of the Departament of Petén, Guatemala. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Terminal Classic

Generally applied to the Maya area, the Terminal Classic roughly spans the time between AD 800/850 and ca. AD 1000. Overall, it generally correlates the rise to prominence of Puuc settlements in the northern Maya lowlands, so named after the hills in which they are mainly found. Puuc settlements are specifically associated with a unique architectural style (the "Puuc architectural style") that represents a technological departure from previous construction techniques. Major Puuc sites include Uxmal, Sayil, Labna, Kabah, and Oxkintok. While generally concentrating within the area in and around the Puuc hills, the style has been documented as far away as at Chichen Itza to the east and Edzna to the south. General boundaries of the Puuc region. ... Panorama of Uxmal Uxmal (, ) is a large Pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. ... Palace of Sayil Sayil is a ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. ... Gateway at Labna, as drawn by Catherwood. ... The name Kabah can refer to: The holy building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia; see: Kaaba A Maya civilization city in Yucatán, Mexico; see: Kabah, Yucatán This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Map of NW Yucatan, showing major ecological zones and the location of Oxkintok Oxkintok is a pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site on the Yucatán Peninsula, located at the northern tip of the Puuc hills - a few kilometers to the east of the modern town of Maxcanú, Yucatán, Mexico. ... Temple of the Warriors Chichen Itza is the largest of the Pre-Columbian archaeological sites in Yucat n, Mexico. ... Edzná is a ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Campeche, Mexico. ...


Chichén Itzá was originally thought to have been a Postclassic site in the northern Maya lowlands. Research over the past few decades has established that it was first settled during the Early/Late Classic transition but rose to prominence during the Terminal Classic and Early Postclassic. During its apogee, this widely known site economically and politically dominated the northern lowlands. Its participation in the circum-peninsular exchange route, possible through its port site of Isla Cerritos, allowed Chichén Itzá to remain highly connected to areas such as central Mexico and Central America. The apparent “Mexicanization” of architecture at Chichén Itzá led past researchers to believe that Chichén Itzá existed under the control of a Toltec empire. Chronological data refutes this early interpretation, and it is now known that Chichén Itzá predated the Toltec; Mexican architectural styles are now used as an indicator of strong economic and ideological ties between the two regions.


Postclassic

The Postclassic (beginning AD 900-1000, depending on area) is, like the Late Classic, characterized by the cyclical crystallization and fragmentation of various polities. The main Maya centers were located in the northern lowlands. Following Chichén Itzá, whose political structure collapsed during the Early Postclassic, Mayapán rose to prominence during the Middle Postclassic and dominated the north for ca. 200 years. After Mayapán’s fragmentation, political structure in the northern lowlands revolved around a number of large towns or city-states, such as Oxkutzcab and Ti’ho (Mérida, Yucatán), that competed with one another. Mayapan (in Spanish Mayapán) is a Pre-Columbian Maya site in the state of Yucatán, Mexico, about 40 km south-east of Mérida and 100 km west of Chichen Itza. ... Cathedral on the Plaza Mayor, the oldest in North America [1]. Mérida is the capital city of the Mexican state of Yucatán. ...


Toniná, in the Chiapas highlands, and Kaminaljuyú in the central Guatemala highlands, were important southern highland Maya centers. The latter site, Kaminaljuyú, is one of the longest occupied sites in Mesoamerica and was continuously inhabited from ca. 800 BC to around AD 1200. Other important highland Maya groups include the K'iche' of Utatlán, the Mam in Zaculeu, the Poqomam in Mixco Viejo, and the Kaqchikel at Iximche in the Guatemalan highlands. The Pipil resided in El Salvador, while the Ch'orti' were in eastern Guatemala and northwestern Honduras. Tonina (Toniná in the Spanish language) is a Pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization located in what is now the state of Chiapas, Mexico, some 13 km east of the town of Oscosingo. ... Kaminaljuyu is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, in highland Guatemala, now within modern Guatemala City. ... The Kiche (or Quiché in Spanish spelling), are a Native American people, one of the Maya ethnic groups. ... Gumarcaj, sometimes rendered as Cumarcaj or Kumarcaaj, is an archeological site in El Quiché department of Guatemala. ... The Mam are a Native American people of the highlands of western Guatemala. ... Ceremonial center of Saqulew, ballcourt in front center Zaculeu (traditional spelling) or Saqulew (modern Maya spelling) is a Pre-Columbian archeological site in the highlands of south western Guatemala, a short distance outside of the city of Huehuetenango. ... Poqomam is a Mayan language, closely related to poqomchí. It is spoken by ca. ... Mixco Viejo is an archaeological site in the north east of the Chimaltenango district of Guatemala, some 50 km to the north of Guatemala City. ... The Kaqchikel (in modern orthography; formerly also spelled Cakchiquel) are one of the indigenous Maya peoples of the midwestern highlands in Guatemala. ... General View of Iximché, Guatemala Iximché is a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican archaeological site in the western highlands of Guatemala. ... The Pipil are a loose confederation of Nahua indigenous peoples known for prehistoric migrations who currently live in El Salvador. ... The Chorti people (alternatively, Chorti Maya or Chorti) are one of the indigenous Maya peoples, who primarily reside in communities and towns of souteastern Guatemala and west-northern Honduras. ...


In central Mexico, the early portion of the Postclassic correlates with the rise of the Toltec and an empire based at their capital, Tula (also known as Tollan). Cholula, initially an important Early Classic center contemporaneous with Teotihuacan, maintained its political structure (it did not collapse) and continued to function as a regionally important center during the Postclassic. The latter portion of the Postclassic is generally associated with the rise of the Mexica and the Aztec empire. One of the more commonly known cultural groups in Mesoamerica, the Aztec politically dominated nearly all of central Mexico, the Gulf Coast, Mexico’s southern Pacific Coast (Chiapas and into Guatemala), Oaxaca, and Guerrero. The Atlantes – columns in the form of Toltec warriors in Tula. ... Tula is a town of about 10,000 in Hidalgo State, central Mexico, some 57 miles to the north north-west of Mexico City. ... Tollan or Tolan or Tolán is the name used for the capital city of two empires of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica; first for Teotihuacan, and later for the Toltec capital of Tula. ... The Roman Catholic church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios overlooks the town of Cholula from atop the Great Pyramid. ... The word Aztec is usually used as a historical term, although some contemporary Nahuatl speakers would consider themselves Aztecs. ... The word Aztec is usually used as a historical term, although some contemporary Nahuatl speakers would consider themselves Aztecs. ... Guerrero is a state in the United Mexican States. ...


The Tarascans (also known as the P'urhépecha) were located in Michoacan and Guerrero. With their capital at Tzintzuntzan, the Tarascan state was one of only ones to actively and continuously resist Aztec domination during the Late Postclassic. Other important Postclassic cultures in Mesoamerica include the Totonac along the eastern coast (in the modern-day states of Veracruz, Puebla, and Hidalgo). El Tajín, initially built during the end of the Late Preclassic, was an important Totonac city. The Huastec resided north of the Totonac, mainly in the modern-day states of Tamaulipas and northern Veracruz. The Mixtec culture, centered at Mitla, inhabited Oaxaca. The Tarascan state was a state in precolumbian Mesoamerica roughly covering the geographic area of the present day mexican state of Michoacan. ... Purhépecha men reeling cord for nets and making nets, 1899. ... Other Mexican States Capital Morelia Other major cities Lázaro Cárdenas list of municipalities Area 59,928 km² Ranked 16th Population (2000 census) 3,979,180 Ranked 7th Governor (2002-08) Lázaro Cárdenas Batel (PRD) Federal Deputies (13) PRD = 9 PRI = 2 PAN = 1 disputed = 1 Federal... Tzintzuntzán is a ruined Pre-Columbian city, capital of the Native American Tarascan or Purépecha nation. ... The Totonac people resided in the eastern coastal and mountainous regions of Mexico at the time of the Spanish arrival in 1519. ... The state of Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave is one of the 31 states that comprise Mexico. ... The Mexican state of Puebla is located in the center of the country, to the east of Mexico City. ... Hidalgo is a state in central Mexico, with an area of 20,502 km². In 2000 the state had a population of some 2,231,000 people. ... El Tajín is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site near the city of Papantla, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. ... Huastec statue from the Tampico Region, 14th–16th centuries The Huastec, also rendered as Huaxtec, Wastek and Huastecos, are an indigenous people of Mexico, historically based in the states of Hidalgo, Veracruz, San Luis Potosí and Tamaulipas concentrated along the route of the Panuco River and along the coast of... Tamaulipas is a state in the northeast of Mexico. ... Codex Zouche-Nuttall, a pre-Columbian piece of Mixtec writing, now in the British Museum The Mixtec (or Mixteca) are a Native American people centered in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. ... Mitla is a town in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, famous for its pre-Columbian Mesoamerican buildings. ...


The Postclassic ends with the arrival of the Spanish and their subsequent conquest of the Aztec between 1519 and 1521. It should be noted that many other cultural groups did not acquiesce until later. For example, Maya groups in the Petén area, including the Itza at Tayasal and the Ko'woj at Zacpeten, remained independent until 1697. Aztec empire The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire was one of the most important campaigns in the Spanish colonization of America. ... The Maya are people of southern Mexico and northern Central America (Guatemala, Belize, western Honduras, and El Salvador) with some 3,000 years of history. ... Flores is the capital city of El Petén department of Guatemala. ... the Kowoj (also recorded as Coguo, Cohuo, Kobow, Kobox, and Kowo) were a Maya group and polity, from the Late Postclassic period (ca. ... Zacpetén: This site shows a long occupation, it was most heavily occupied during the Middle Preclassic (1000 BC to 300 BC), and Late Classic through Terminal Classic (AD 600 to AD 950), and a late Late Post Classic occupation by the Kowoj Maya, through Contact (AD 1200 to...


Some Mesoamerican cultures never achieved dominant status or left impressive archeological remains but should be mentioned as noteworthy. These include the Otomi, Mixe-Zoque groups (which may or may not have been related to the Olmecs), the northern Uto-aztecan groups, often referred to as the Chichimeca, that include the Cora and Huichol, the Chontales, the Huaves, and the Pipil, Xincan and Lencan peoples of Central America. The Otomí are a Native American people living in the central plateau region of Mexico. ... The Mixe-Zoque languages are a language family spoken in and around the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico. ... Pre-contact distribution of Northern Uto-Aztecan languages (note: this map does not show the distribution in Mexico) Uto-Aztecan (also Uto-Aztekan) is a Native American language family. ... The Chichimeca are a group of nomads in northern Mexico. ... approximation of the extension of the Cora habitat The Cora are an indigenous ethnic group of Western Central Mexico that live in the Sierra de Nayarit and in La Mesa de Nayar in the mexican states of Jalisco and Nayarit. ... The Huichol are an indigenous ethnic group of Western Central Mexico that live in the Sierra Madre Occidental, in the states of Nayarit and Jalisco. ...

Period Timespan Important cultures, cities
Summary of the Chronology and Cultures of Mesoamerica
Paleo-Indian 10,000-3500 BC Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, obsidian and Pyrite points, Iztapan, Mexico circa 7,500 BC
Archaic 3500-2000 BC Agricultural settlements, Tehuacán
Preclassic (Formative) B.C. 2000-250 AD Unknown culture in La Blanca and Ujuxte, Monte Alto Culture
Early Preclassic B.C. 2000-1000 Olmec area: San Lorenzo Tenochtitlan, La Venta,Chalcatzingo. Valley of Oaxaca: San José Mogote. The Maya area: Nakbe, Cerros
Middle Preclassic B.C. 1000-300 Olmec area: Tres Zapotes; Maya area: El Mirador, Izapa, Lamanai, Xunantunich, Naj Tunich, Takalik Abaj, Kaminaljuyú, Uaxactun; Valley of Oaxaca: Monte Albán
Late Preclassic B.C.E.300-250 AD Maya area: Uaxactun, Tikal, Edzná, Cival, San Bartolo, Altar de Sacrificios, Piedras Negras, Ceibal, Rio Azul. Central Mexico: Teotihuacan
Classic 250-900 AD Classic Maya Centers, Teotihuacan, Zapotec
Early Classic 250-600 AD Maya area: Calakmul, Caracol, Chunchucmil, Copán, Naranjo, Palenque, Quiriguá, Tikal, Uaxactun, Yaxha; Teotihuacan apogee; Zapotec apogee; Gulf Coast: El Tajín
Late Classic 600-900 AD Maya area: Uxmal, Toniná, Cobá, Waka', Pusilhá, Xultún, Dos Pilas, Cancuen, Aguateca. Central Mexico: Xochicalco, Cacaxtla,
Terminal Classic 800-900/1000 AD Maya area: Puuc sites - Uxmal, Labna, Sayil, Kabah
Postclassic 900-1519 AD Aztec, Tarascans, Mixtec, Totonac, Pipil, Itzá, Ko'woj, K'iche', Kaqchikel, Poqomam, Mam
Early Postclassic 900-1200 Cholula, Tula, Mitla, El Tajín, Tulum, Topoxte, Kaminaljuyú, Joya de Cerén
Late Postclassic 1200- 1519 AD Tenochtitlan, Cempoala, Tzintzuntzan, Mayapán, Ti'ho, Utatlán, Iximche, Mixco Viejo, Zaculeu
Post Conquest Until 1697 AD Central Peten: Tayasal , Zacpeten

In the History of Mesoamerica, the stage known as the Paleo-Indian period (or alternatively, the Lithic stage) is the era in the scheme of Mesoamerican chronology which begins with the very first indications of human habitation within the Mesoamerican region, and continues until the general onset of the development... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... Tehuacán is the second largest city in the Mexican state of Puebla, nestled in the Southeast Valley of Tehuacán, bordering the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz, with a population of 360,000. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... La Blanca is a Pre Columbian and large site of predominately Middle Preclassic (1300-600 BC) date, located on the western Pacific coast of Guatemala, and being the most important polity on the Pacific coast of Mesoamerica until 600 BC when the dominance pass to the Ujuxte, 13 Km north. ... The site of Ujuxte (Ramon tree or breadnut tree) (uh-hush-te) is the largest Pre Classical site to be discovered in Pacific coast, Guatemala. ... Monte Alto is an ancient site in what is now Guatemala. ... Front and side views of Colossal Head 1 now located at Museo de Antropología de Xalapa in Xalapa, Veracruz. ... The Grandmother, La Venta (reproduction) La Venta is the name of a Pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Olmec civilization. ... // Overview Chalcatzingo was an Olmec culture center in the Valley of Morelos, which is in the southern portion of the Central Highlands of Mexico. ... San José Mogote is a pre-Columbian archaeological site of the Zapotec, a Mesoamerican culture which flourished in the region of what is now the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. ... // Overview Nakbe is an ancient lowland Mayan city that is located in the Peten region of Guatemala. ... Cerros is a Mayan temple dating from the late formative period (330BC-1AD), located on a peninsula overlooking Chetumal Bay in Belize. ... Tres Zapotes is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the south-central Gulf Lowlands of Mexico in the Papaloapan river plain. ... El Mirador is a large pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, located in the north of the modern department of El Petén, Guatemala. ... // Overview Izapa was a very large pre-Columbian site located in Chiapas, Mexico, often placed in the Late Formative period. ... Lamanai (from Lamaan Ai, submerged crocodile in Yukatek Maya) is a Mesoamerican archaeological site, and was once a considerably sized city of the Maya civilization, located in the north of Belize, in Orange Walk District. ... Xunantunich (shoo-NAHN-too-nich) is a Maya archaeological site in western Belize, about 80 miles (130 km) west of Belize City, in the Cayo District. ... The discovery of Naj Tunich caves, in Poptún southern Petén, Guatemala, in 1980 initiated the interest for Cave Archeology among the Mayanist. ... Takalik Abaj is an archeological site, formerly a site of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... Kaminaljuyu is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, in highland Guatemala, now within modern Guatemala City. ... Uaxactun (pronounced Wash-ak-toon) is an ancient ruin of the Maya civilization, located in the Peten department of Guatemala, some 40 km (25 miles) north of Tikal. ... Monte Albán is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. ... Uaxactun (pronounced Wash-ak-toon) is an ancient ruin of the Maya civilization, located in the Peten department of Guatemala, some 40 km (25 miles) north of Tikal. ... For other uses, see Tikal (disambiguation). ... Edzná is a ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Campeche, Mexico. ... Cival is an archaeological site in the Petén department of Guatemala, formerly a major city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... San Bartolo is a municipality in the Totonicapán department of Guatemala. ... Altar de Sacrificios is a ceremonial center and archaeological site of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, situated near the confluence of the Pasión and Salinas Rivers (where they combine to form the Usumacinta River), in the present-day department of Petén, Guatemala. ... Piedras Negras is the name for more than one place. ... Seibal (sometimes rendered as Ceibal) is a ruined site of the Maya civilization located in the south of the Peten department of Guatemala. ... Rio Azul is a site of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization in what is now Guatemala. ... Teotihuacan was the largest Pre-Columbian known city in the Americas, and the name Teotihuacan is used to refer to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... Calakmul is the name of both a municipality and a major archeological site in the Mexican state of Campeche, in the central part of the Yucatán Peninsula. ... Caracol or El Caracol is the name given to a large ancient Maya site located in the Cayo District of the nation of Belize. ... Map of Northwest Yucatan, showing major ecological zones and archaeological sites related to Chunchucmil Chunchucmil was a large, sprawling pre-Columbian Maya city located in the western part of what is now the state of Yucatán, Mexico. ... Location of Copán The Pre-Columbian city now known as Copán is a locale in extreme western Honduras, in the Copán Department, near to the Guatemalan border. ... Inscription relating to the reign of king Itzamnaaj Kawil, 784-810. ... The Palace, Ruins of Palenque Palenque is a Maya archeological site near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, located at about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen (see map). ... Quiriguá is an ancient Maya site in the Izabal department of Guatemala. ... For other uses, see Tikal (disambiguation). ... Uaxactun (pronounced Wash-ak-toon) is an ancient ruin of the Maya civilization, located in the Peten department of Guatemala, some 40 km (25 miles) north of Tikal. ... Yaxhá is a site of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in what is now Guatemala. ... Teotihuacan was the largest Pre-Columbian known city in the Americas, and the name Teotihuacan is used to refer to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica. ... The Zapotec are an indigenous people of Mexico. ... El Tajín is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site near the city of Papantla, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. ... Panorama of Uxmal Uxmal (, ) is a large Pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. ... Tonina (Toniná in the Spanish language) is a Pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization located in what is now the state of Chiapas, Mexico, some 13 km east of the town of Oscosingo. ... Coba (Cobá in the Spanish language) is a large ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. ... Carved Altar in Waka, Peten Guatemala El Perú, known as Waka in ancient times, is an archeological site containing Pre-Classic and Classic ruins of a city-state of the Maya civilization. ... Dos Pilas is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, located in what is now Peten, Guatemala. ... Cancuén is an archaeological site of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, located in the Pasión subregion of the central Maya lowlands in the present-day Guatemalan Department of El Petén. ... Aguateca is a Maya site located in western Guatemalas Petexbatun Basin. ... Xochicalco is a pre-Columbian archeological site in the western part of the Morelos, Mexico. ... The Gran Basamento, protected by its sheet-metal roof View over the top of the Gran Basamento Cacaxtla is an archaeological site located near the southern border of the Mexican state of Tlaxcala. ... General boundaries of the Puuc region. ... Panorama of Uxmal Uxmal (, ) is a large Pre-Columbian ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. ... Gateway at Labna, as drawn by Catherwood. ... Palace of Sayil Sayil is a ruined city of the Maya civilization in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. ... The name Kabah can refer to: The holy building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia; see: Kaaba A Maya civilization city in Yucatán, Mexico; see: Kabah, Yucatán This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Mesoamerican chronology The chronology of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica is usually divided into the following eras: Paleo-Indian Period c. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico. ... The Tarascan state was a state in precolumbian Mesoamerica roughly covering the geographic area of the present day mexican state of Michoacan. ... Codex Zouche-Nuttall, a pre-Columbian piece of Mixtec writing, now in the British Museum The Mixtec (or Mixteca) are a Native American people centered in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. ... The Totonac people resided in the eastern coastal and mountainous regions of Mexico at the time of the Spanish arrival in 1519. ... The Pipil are a loose confederation of Nahua indigenous peoples known for prehistoric migrations who currently live in El Salvador. ... Templo de los Guerreros (Temple of the Warriors) at Chichen Itza. ... the Kowoj (also recorded as Coguo, Cohuo, Kobow, Kobox, and Kowo) were a Maya group and polity, from the Late Postclassic period (ca. ... The Kiche (or Quiché in Spanish spelling), are a Native American people, one of the Maya ethnic groups. ... The Kaqchikel (in modern orthography; formerly also spelled Cakchiquel) are one of the indigenous Maya peoples of the midwestern highlands in Guatemala. ... Poqomam is a Mayan language, closely related to poqomchí. It is spoken by ca. ... Michèle Alliot-Marie Michèle Alliot-Marie (born 10 September 1946) is the French Minister of Defence and Veterans Affairs. ... The Roman Catholic church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios overlooks the town of Cholula from atop the Great Pyramid. ... Tula is a town of about 10,000 in Hidalgo State, central Mexico, some 57 miles to the north north-west of Mexico City. ... Mitla is a town in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, famous for its pre-Columbian Mesoamerican buildings. ... El Tajín is a Pre-Columbian archaeological site near the city of Papantla, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Topoxté is a site of the Maya civilization in what is now El Petén, Guatemala. ... Kaminaljuyu is a Pre-Columbian site of the Maya civilization, in highland Guatemala, now within modern Guatemala City. ... Joya de Cerén ( meaning Jewel of Cerén in the Spanish language) is an archaeological site in El Salvador, a pre-Columbian Maya farming village preserved remarkably intact under layers of volcanic ash. ... Tenochtitlan, looking east. ... Cempoala (or Zempoala was an important MesoAmerican city as the largest city on the Gulf of Mexico and the capital of the kingdom of Totnicapan occupied by the Totonac people. ... Tzintzuntzán is a ruined Pre-Columbian city, capital of the Native American Tarascan or Purépecha nation. ... Mayapan (in Spanish Mayapán) is a Pre-Columbian Maya site in the state of Yucatán, Mexico, about 40 km south-east of Mérida and 100 km west of Chichen Itza. ... Gumarcaj, sometimes rendered as Cumarcaj or Kumarcaaj, is an archeological site in El Quiché department of Guatemala. ... General View of Iximché, Guatemala Iximché is a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican archaeological site in the western highlands of Guatemala. ... Mixco Viejo is an archaeological site in the north east of the Chimaltenango district of Guatemala, some 50 km to the north of Guatemala City. ... Ceremonial center of Saqulew, ballcourt in front center Zaculeu (traditional spelling) or Saqulew (modern Maya spelling) is a Pre-Columbian archeological site in the highlands of south western Guatemala, a short distance outside of the city of Huehuetenango. ... Flores is the capital city of El Petén department of Guatemala. ... Zacpetén: This site shows a long occupation, it was most heavily occupied during the Middle Preclassic (1000 BC to 300 BC), and Late Classic through Terminal Classic (AD 600 to AD 950), and a late Late Post Classic occupation by the Kowoj Maya, through Contact (AD 1200 to...

General Characteristics

Subsistence

See also: Maya diet and subsistence
Examples of the diversity of maize.
Examples of the diversity of maize.

By roughly 6000 BC, hunter-gatherers living in the highlands and lowlands of Mesoamerica began to develop agricultural practices with early cultivation of squash and chiles. The earliest example of maize comes from Guila Naquitz, a cave in Oaxaca, that dates to ca. 4000 BC. It should be noted, however, that earlier maize samples have been documented at the Los Ladrones cave site in Panama, ca. 5500 BC[3]PDF. Slightly thereafter, other crops begin to be cultivated by the semi-agrarian communities throughout Mesoamerica.[8] Although maize is the most common domesticate, the common bean, tepary bean, scarlet runner bean, jicama, tomato and squash all become common cultivates by 3500 BC. At the same time, cotton, yucca and agave were exploited for fibers and textile materials.[9] By 2000 BC corn is the staple crop in the region and would remain so up through modern times. The Ramón or Breadnut tree (Brosimum alicastrum) was an occasional substitute for maize in producing flour. Fruit was also important in the daily diet of Mesoamerican cultures. Some of the main ones consumed include Avocado, Papaya, Guava, Mamey, Zapote, and Anona, among others. Agriculture in Mesoamerica dates to the Archaic period of Mesoamerican chronology (8000-2000 BC). ... The diet and subsistence strategies of the ancient Maya were varied and extensive. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1794x2670, 671 KB) Seven ears of corn. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1794x2670, 671 KB) Seven ears of corn. ... In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... The term highland is used to denote any mountainous region or elevated mountainous plateau. ... This article is about the maize plant. ... “PDF” redirects here. ... Agrarian has two meanings: It can mean pertaining to Agriculture It can also refer to the ideology of Agrarianism and Agrarian parties. ... Species Pachyrhizus ahipa Pachyrhizus erosus Pachyrhizus ferrugineus Pachyrhizus panamensis Pachyrhizus tuberosus Ref: ILDIS Version 6. ... For other uses, see Tomato (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ... Species many, see text Yucca filamentosa in New Zealand Yucca decipiens in Zacatecas, Mexico Joshua Trees growing in the Mojave Desert. ... Species see text. ... For other uses, see Textile (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Brosimum alicastrum The breadnut (Brosimum alicastrum) is a Brosimum tree species under the Moraceae family of flowering plants, whose other genera include fig and mulberries. ... Binomial name Brosimum alicastrum The breadnut (Brosimum alicastrum) is a Brosimum tree species under the Moraceae family of flowering plants, whose other genera include fig and mulberries. ... Binomial name Mill. ... Binomial name Carica papaya L. The papaya (from Carib via Spanish), is the fruit of the tree Carica papaya, in the genus Carica. ... Species About 100 species, see text. ... Binomial name Mammea americana Mammea americana, commonly known as Mammee, mammee apple, mamey apple, San Domingo apricot or South American apricot, is a evergreen tree of the family Clusiaceae, whose fruit is edible. ... Binomial name Manilkara zapota (L.) P. Royen Sapodilla (Manilkara zapota) is a long-lived, evergreen tree native to the New World tropics. ... Species See text. ...


Mesoamerica lacked animals suitable for domestication, most notably domesticated large ungulates and poultry, and as a result, the inhabitants of the region had to rely on hunting up until the Spanish arrived. There was, however, some domestication of other animals, including duck, deer, dogs, and turkey that were raised for meat. Turkey was the first of the four animals to be domesticated, occurring around 3500 BC.[10] Dog was clearly an important supplement to the diet of ancient Mesoamericans, as dog bones are common in midden deposits throughout the region. These animals were typically eaten around the age of one. The lack of larger animals for domestication was likely the result of climate change, as certain species of horse and cattle previously living in the region had gone extinct. Additionally, and related to this fact, Mesoamerican cultures lacked pack animals to assist in transportation; this is one notable difference between Mesoamerica and the cultures of the South American Andes. Ungulates (meaning roughly hoofed or hoofed animal) make up several orders of mammals, of which six survive: Artiodactyla: even-toed ungulates, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, antelope, and many others Cetacea: whales and dolphins (which evolved from hoofed land animals) Perissodactyla: odd-toed ungulates such as horses and rhinos Proboscidea: elephants... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Subfamilies Dendrocygninae Oxyurinae Anatinae Aythyinae Merginae Duck is the common name for a number of species in the Anatidae family of birds. ... This article is about the ruminant animal. ... Trinomial name Canis lupus familiaris The dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domestic subspecies of the wolf, a mammal of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. ... Dogs and sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated. ...


Mesoamerican cultures that lived in the lowlands and coastal plains settled down in agrarian communities somewhat later than did highland cultures due to the fact that there was a greater abundance of fruits and animals in these areas which made a hunter-gatherer lifestyle more attractive.[11] Fishing also was a major provider of food to lowland and coastal Mesoamericans creating a further disincentive to settle down in permanent communities.


Societies of this region did hunt certain wild species to complement their diet. These animals included deer, rabbit, birds and various types of insects. They also hunted in order to gain luxury items such as cat fur and bird plumage.[12] This article is about the ruminant animal. ... Genera Pentalagus Bunolagus Nesolagus Romerolagus Brachylagus Sylvilagus Oryctolagus Poelagus Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world. ... For other meanings of bird, see bird (disambiguation). ...


Architecture

Mesoamerican architecture is the set of architectural traditions produced by pre-Columbian cultures and civilizations of Mesoamerica, traditions which are best known in the form of public, ceremonial and urban monumental buildings and structures. ...

Political organization

K'inich Kan B'alam II, the Classic period ruler of Palenque, as depicted on a stela

Ceremonial centers were the nuclei of Mesoamerican settlements.[cite this quote] They gave rise to urban development, in that towns were literally planned around the temple, being nothing more than an extension of the holy center, which for its part constituted the heart of the sacred space. The temples provided spatial orientation, which was imparted to the surrounding town. The cities with their commercial and religious centers were always political entities, somewhat similar to the European city-state, and each person could identify themself with the city in which they lived.[cite this quote] King Chan Bahlum II of Palenque. ... King Chan Bahlum II of Palenque. ... Kinich Kan Balam II, from the Temple of the Cross, Palenque (illustrated by Frederick Catherwood). ... The Palace, Ruins of Palenque Palenque is a Maya archeological site near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas, located at about 130 km south of Ciudad del Carmen (see map). ... Stele is also a concept in plant biology. ... A city-state is a region controlled exclusively by a city. ...


The ceremonial centers were always built to be visible. The pyramids were meant to stand out from the rest of the city, to represent its gods and their powers. Another characteristic feature of the ceremonial centers is historic layers. All of the ceremonial edifices were built in various phases, one on top of the other, to the point that what we now see is usually the last stage of construction. Ultimately, the ceremonial centers were the architectural translation of the identity of each city, as represented by the veneration of their gods and masters.[cite this quote] Stelae were common public monuments throughout Mesoamerica, and served to commemorate notable successes, events and dates associated with the rulers and nobility of the various sites. Ancient Egyptian funerary stela A stela (or stele) is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected for funerary or commemorative purposes, most usually decorated with the names and titles of the deceased inscribed, carved in relief or painted onto the slab. ...


Economy

See also: Trade in Maya civilization

Given that Mesoamerica was broken into numerous and diverse ecological niches, none of the societies that inhabited the area in were self-sufficient[cite this quote]. For this reason, from the last centuries of the Archaic period onward, regions compensated for the environmental inadequacies by specializing in the extraction of certain abundant natural resources and then trading them for necessary unavailable resources through established commercial trade networks. During the height of the Maya civilization, trade was a crucial factor in maintaining cities. ... In the sequence of North American pre-Columbian cultural stages first proposed by Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips in 1958, the Archaic period was the second period of human occupation in the Americas, from around 8000 BC to 1000 BC although as its ending is defined by the adoption of...


The following is a list of some of the specialized resources traded from the various Mesoamerican sub-regions and environmental contexts:

For other uses, see Cotton (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Dactylopius coccus Costa, 1835 Synonyms Coccus cacti Linnaeus, 1758 Pseudococcus cacti Burmeister, 1839 Cochineal is the name of both crimson or carmine dye and the cochineal insect (Dactylopius coccus), a scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the dye is derived. ... For the town in French Guiana, see Cacao, French Guiana. ... Vanilla pods Vanilla is a flavouring derived from orchids in the genus Vanilla native to Mexico. ... For other uses, see Jaguar (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Quetzal (disambiguation). ... Genera Ara Anodorhynchus Cyanopsitta Primolius Orthopsittaca Diopsittaca For other uses, see Macaw (disambiguation). ... For the Mexican American Zoot Suit subculure, see Pachuco. ... Obsidian was an important part of the material culture of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. ... Obsidian was an important part of the material culture of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. ... Obsidian was an important part of the material culture of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. ... The mineral pyrite, or iron pyrite, is iron sulfide, FeS2. ... A selection of antique, hand-crafted Chinese jade (jadeite) buttons Unworked Jade Jade is used as an ornamental stone, the term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals. ... The Motagua River is a 400km long river in Guatemala. ... For other uses, see Salt (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Fish (disambiguation). ... Various seashells Danielle A shell is the hard, rigid outer covering, or integument, allanimals. ... Look up dye in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Currency

Sea shells from both coastal areas were used as currency during the Preclassic [citation needed]. Later, cacao was used as a standard currency used in diverse commercial transactions. At the time of conquest, a well made cotton tunic or shirt in the main markets would sell for about 30-50 cacao beans. [citation needed] Gold was not used as valuable object until the Postclassic, but even then, 1 load of Jade was worth 4 loads of Gold.[citation needed] GOLD refers to one of the following: GOLD (IEEE) is an IEEE program designed to garner more student members at the university level (Graduates of the Last Decade). ... A selection of antique, hand-crafted Chinese jade (jadeite) buttons Unworked Jade Jade is used as an ornamental stone, the term jade is applied to two different rocks that are made up of different silicate minerals. ...


Common characteristics of Mesoamerican culture

Calendrical systems

See also: Maya calendar and Aztec calendar
"Head Variant" or "Patron Gods" glyphs for Maya days
"Head Variant" or "Patron Gods" glyphs for Maya days

For agriculturally-based people, historically the year has been divided into four seasons. These included the two solstices and the two equinoxes which could be thought of as the four "directional pillars" that support the year. These four times of the year were, and still are, considered important as they indicate seasonal changes which obviously had a direct impact on the lives of an agricultural society. In the case of the agricultural Maya, the seasonal markers were avidly watched and duly recorded. They prepared almanacs recording past and recent solar and lunar eclipses, the phases of the moon, the periods of Venus and Mars, the movements of various other planets, and conjunctions of celestial bodies. These almanacs also made future predictions concerning celestial events. These tables are highly accurate and indicate a significant level of knowledge among Mesoamerica astronomers. [4]PDF (46.8 KiB) The Pre-Columbian people of Mesoamerica kept track of time with calendars which had ritual and religious meaning. ... The Maya calendar is actually a system of distinct calendars and almanacs used by the Maya civilization of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and by some modern Maya communities in highland Guatemala. ... The Aztec calendar was the calendar of the Aztec people of Pre-Columbian Mexico. ... Image File history File links Maya_days. ... Image File history File links Maya_days. ... Solstice is an astronomical term regarding the position of the Sun in relation to the celestial equator. ... In astronomy, an equinox is defined as the moment when the sun reaches one of two intersections between the ecliptic and the celestial equator. ... An eclipse occurs whenever the Sun, Earth and Moon line up exactly. ... This article is about Earths moon. ... Adjectives: Venusian or (rarely) Cytherean Atmosphere Surface pressure: 9. ... Adjectives: Martian Atmosphere Surface pressure: 0. ... An astronomer or astrophysicist is a person whose area of interest is astronomy or astrophysics. ... “PDF” redirects here. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to...


Among the many types of Maya calendars which were maintained, the most important included a 260-day cycle, a 365-day cycle which approximated the solar year, a cycle which recorded lunation periods of the Moon, and a cycle which tracked the synodic period of Venus. Philosophically, the Maya believed that knowing the past meant knowing the cyclical influences that create the present, and by knowing the influences of the present one can see the cyclical influences of the future. The 260 cycle was used as a tool to govern agriculture, observe religious holidays, and mark the position of the stars, but was mainly used for divinatory purposes, and to give names to newborns [cite this quote]. The orbital period is the time it takes a planet (or another object) to make one full orbit. ...


The names given to the days, months, and years in the Mesoamerican calendar came, for the most part, from animals, flowers, heavenly bodies and cultural concepts that held symbolic significance in Mesoamerican culture. This calendar was used throughout the history of Mesoamerican by nearly every culture. Even today, several Maya groups in Guatemala, including the K'iche', Q'eqchi' and Kaqchikel, and the Mixe people of Oaxaca, continue using modernized forms of the Mesoamerican calendar. The Kiche (or Quiché in Spanish spelling), are a Native American people, one of the Maya ethnic groups. ... The Qeqchi language is spoken in Belize and Guatemala. ... The Kaqchikel (in modern orthography; formerly also spelled Cakchiquel) are one of the indigenous Maya peoples of the midwestern highlands in Guatemala. ... The Mixe are an indigenous group of people who live in the eastern highlands of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. ...

Page 9 of the Dresden Codex (from the 1880 Förstermann edition)
Page 9 of the Dresden Codex (from the 1880 Förstermann edition)

Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (325x676, 320 KB) Maya civilization- image from the Dresden Codex (page 9). ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (325x676, 320 KB) Maya civilization- image from the Dresden Codex (page 9). ... Maya codices (singular codex) are books written by the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, using the Maya hieroglyphic script. ...

Writing systems

See also: Mesoamerican literature and Maya script
The emblem glyph of Tikal (Mutal)

The Mesoamerican scripts deciphered to date are logosyllabic combining the use of logograms with a syllabary, and they are often called hieroglyphic scripts. Five or six different scripts have been documented in Mesoamerica but archaeological dating methods make it difficult to establish which was earliest and hence the forebear from which the others developed. The best documented and deciphered Mesoamerican writing system, and hence the most widely known, is the classic Maya script. Others include the Olmec, Zapotec, and Epi-Olmec systems. An extensive Mesoamerican literature has been conserved partly in indigenous scripts and partly in the postconquest transcriptions in the Latin script. Mesoamerica is one of the relatively few places in the world where writing has developed independently throughout history. ... The traditions of indigenous Mesoamerican literature extend back to the oldest-attested forms of early writing in the Mesoamerican region, which date from around the mid-1st millennium BCE. Many of the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica are known to have been literate societies, who produced a number of Mesoamerican... Maya glyphs in stucco at the Museo de sitio in Palenque, Mexico The Maya script, commonly known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently the only deciphered script of the Mesoamerican writing systems. ... Image File history File links Tikalemblem. ... Image File history File links Tikalemblem. ... Maya glyphs in stucco at the Museo de sitio in Palenque, Mexico The Maya script, commonly known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently the only deciphered script of the Mesoamerican writing systems. ... A Logosyllabary is a type of writing system whose symbols (or graphemes) are mostly composed of both syllables and logograms. ... A Chinese logogram A logogram, or logograph, is a single written character which represents a word or a morpheme (a meaningful unit of language). ... A syllabary is a set of written symbols that represent (or approximate) syllables, which make up words. ... “Hieroglyphics” redirects here. ... Maya glyphs in stucco at the Museo de sitio in Palenque, Mexico The Maya script, commonly known as Maya hieroglyphs, was the writing system of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently the only deciphered script of the Mesoamerican writing systems. ... The traditions of indigenous Mesoamerican literature extend back to the oldest-attested forms of early writing in the Mesoamerican region, which date from around the mid-1st millennium BCE. Many of the pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica are known to have been literate societies, who produced a number of Mesoamerican... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world, the standard script of the English language and most of the languages of western and central Europe, and of those areas settled by Europeans. ...


The other glyphic writing systems of Mesoamerica, and their usage, have been the subject of much debate. The ongoing discussion is whether or not non-Maya Mesoamerican writing systems can be considered examples of true written language or whether it is best understood as a pictographic convention used to express ideas, specifically religious ones, but not representing the phonetic reality of the language in which they might be read. variant glyphs representing the character a (allographs of a) in the Zapfino typeface. ... Pictogram for public toilets A pictogram or pictograph is a symbol which represents an object or a concept by illustration. ...


Mesoamerican writing was practiced on a number of different mediums, including large stone monuments such as stelae, carverd directly onto architecture, carved or painted over stucco (e.g., murals), and on pottery. The Maya codices were produced on amate paper produced from bark. No Mesoamerican society has had widespread literacy, and literacy and use of writing systems have been restricted to the classes of scribes and painters, and the nobility. Ancient Egyptian funerary stela A stela (or stele) is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected for funerary or commemorative purposes, most usually decorated with the names and titles of the deceased inscribed, carved in relief or painted onto the slab. ... A mural is a painting on a wall, ceiling, or other large permanent surface. ... Unfired green ware pottery on a traditional drying rack at Conner Prairie living history museum. ... Page 9 of the Dresden Codex (from the 1880 Förstermann edition) Maya codices (singular codex) are folding books stemming from the pre-Columbian Maya civilization, written in Maya hieroglyphic script on Mesoamerican paper, made from the inner bark of certain trees, the main being the wild fig tree or... Part of the Huexotzinco Codex, printed on amatl Amatl (from the Nahuatl paper) or Amate (Spanish) is a type of paper developed in Pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ...


The ballgame

Main article: Mesoamerican ballgame
A small cermonial ballcourt at Uaxactun
A small cermonial ballcourt at Uaxactun

The ballgame is one of the more important cultural characteristics of Mesoamérica[cite this quote]. Although its name may lead some to believe it was a sport, it was actually more of a ritual, and the field where it was played was always located between ceremonial centers. This game had a cosmic essence, related to the movement of the sun and the universe[cite this quote]; this movement was imagined with the aid of the ball, which was made of hardened rubber that was removed from the sap of a fig tree; they used mainly this material because of its capacity to bounce. The oldest accurately dated Ball Court is that of Nakbe in Peten's Mirador Basin, at circa 500 BC. Ballcourt at Monte Alban Ballcourt at Uaxactun The Mesoamerican ballgame[1] was a sport with ritual associations played for over 3000 years by the peoples of Mesoamerica in Pre-Columbian times. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Uaxactunballcourt. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Uaxactunballcourt. ... Uaxactun (pronounced Wash-ak-toon) is an ancient ruin of the Maya civilization, located in the Peten department of Guatemala, some 40 km (25 miles) north of Tikal. ... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ... A ceremony is an activity, infused with ritual significance, performed on a certain occasion. ... For other uses, see Universe (disambiguation). ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... // Overview Nakbe is an ancient lowland Mayan city that is located in the Peten region of Guatemala. ... El Petén is a department of the nation of Guatemala. ... The Mirador Basin is a geographically defined elevated basin found in the remote rain forest of the northern department of Petén , Guatemala. ...


The game had many rules, which changed from region to region. There was one version that could be played only with the hands, another one which used the hips and the elbows, and a version in which only a bat was used. For each type different playing fields were used: one with sidewalks so that the ball bounced to the height of the hip, and another with the ground dug up. In general all the fields had the form of a letter "I" and on the ends one could find heads of birds, as in Copán, or in the Post Classic a large ring which the ball had to pass through, as in Xochicalco. Occasionally the ceremonial ballgame may have concluded with a human sacrifice; it is not known if the one sacrificed was the captain of the winning team or of the losers; in most of the cases the players were prisoners of war[cite this quote]. A playing field is a field used for playing sports or games. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Location of Copán The Pre-Columbian city now known as Copán is a locale in extreme western Honduras, in the Copán Department, near to the Guatemalan border. ... Xochicalco is a pre-Columbian archeological site in the western part of the Morelos, Mexico. ...


Medicine and science

Medicine

Mesoamerican science and learning can be thought of as existing along two principal axes: those of the magical mind and the logical mind, which, despite being distinct, managed to coexist[cite this quote]. In the field of medicine there were two schools: one was the shamanist tradition, where shaman is understood as being a priestly healer who dealt with certain ailments, the most common of which was the loss of the soul. In order to cure his patients, the shaman turned to psychotropic drugs (peyote, tobacco, red beans mixed with mescaline) and magical manipulations (incantations, offerings). Shamanism is a range of traditional beliefs and practices that involve the ability to diagnose, cure, and sometimes cause human suffering by traversing the axis mundi and forming a special relationship with, or gaining control over, spirits. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Shredded tobacco leaf for pipe smoking Tobacco can also be pressed into plugs and sliced into flakes Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the fresh leaves of plants in genus Nicotiana. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


The other school of medicine consisted of pragmatic knowledge[cite this quote]. In Mesoemerica there were healers who knew how to deal with fractures, treat and dress wounds, and were even able to perform certain obstetric procedures. They also knew how to treat using plants, and successfully used the active ingredient in aspirin, which at that time was already known, and extracted from willow bark. Medicine was practiced by priests who inherited their position and received extensive education. The Mayas sutured wounds with human hair, reduced fractures, and used casts. They were skillful dental surgeons and made prostheses from jade and turquoise and filled teeth with iron pyrite. Three clinical diseases, pinta, leishmaniasis, and yellow fever, and several psychiatric syndromes were described. Tuberculosis, although wide spread both in North and South America, has not been documented in Mesoamerica, with the exception of 3 skeletons near today's Mexico City, it can be due to a wide spread of Iron deficiency common among the Mesoamericans, according to a recent (2006) study by AK Wilbur, JE Buikstra, from Arizona State University. The ceramic figurines depicting dwarfs, and other diseased people are common, as well as maternal brest feeding and pregnancy. [cite this quote] This article needs cleanup. ... This article is about the drug. ... This article is about the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. ... Replica of the Pinta The Pinta (the Painted) was fastest of of the three ships used by Christopher Columbus in his first voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492. ... Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that studies and treats mental and emotional disorders (see mental illness). ... In medicine, the term syndrome is the association of several clinically recognizable features, signs, symptoms, phenomena or characteristics which often occur together, so that the presence of one feature alerts the physician to the presence of the others. ... Tuberculosis (abbreviated as TB for tubercle bacillus or TuBerculosis) is a common and deadly infectious disease caused by mycobacteria, mainly Mycobacterium tuberculosis. ...

The Maya arithmetic system was, like most Mesoamerican systems, based on the number 20.
The Maya arithmetic system was, like most Mesoamerican systems, based on the number 20.

Image File history File links Mayannumbersystem. ... Image File history File links Mayannumbersystem. ...

Arithmetic

See also: Maya numerals

Mesoamerican arithmetic treated numbers as having both literal and symbolic value, the result of the dualistic nature that characterized Mesoamerican ideology.[cite this quote]. As mentioned, the Mesoamerican numbering system was vigesimal (i.e., based on the number 20). Mayan numerals. ... Arithmetic tables for children, Lausanne, 1835 Arithmetic or arithmetics (from the Greek word αριθμός = number) is the oldest and most elementary branch of mathematics, used by almost everyone, for tasks ranging from simple day-to-day counting to advanced science and business calculations. ... For other uses, see Number (disambiguation). ... The term dualism is the state of being dual, or having a twofold division. ...


In representing numbers, a series of bars and dots were employed. Dots had a value of one, and bars had a value of five. This type of arithmetic was combined with a symbolic numerology: '2' was related to origins, as all origins can be thought of as doubling; '3' was related to household fire; '4' was linked to the four corners of the universe; '5' expressed instablity; '9' pertained to the underworld and the night; '13' was the number for light, '20' for abundance, and '400' for infinity. The concept of zero was also used, and its representation at the Late Preclassic occupation of Tres Zapotes is one of the earliest uses of zero in human history. For other senses of this word, see zero or 0. ... Tres Zapotes is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in the south-central Gulf Lowlands of Mexico in the Papaloapan river plain. ...


One of the great contributions to arithmetic, above all that of the Mexica, was the invention of the nepohualtzitzin, an abacus used to quickly carry out mathematical operations. The device, made of wood, string, and grains of maize, is also known as the "Aztec computer". It has been suggested that Abax be merged into this article or section. ...


Mythology and worldview

See also: Aztec religion, Olmec mythology, Maya religion, and Maya mythology

The shared traits in Mesoamerican mythology are found characterized by their common basis as a shamanistic religion that although in many Mesoamerican groups developed into complex polytheistic religious systems, maintained a basic reliance on shamanistic principles.[cite this quote] Aztec religion was a Mesoamerican religion combining elements of polytheism, shamanism and animism within a framework of astronomy and calendrics. ... The mythology of the Olmec people significantly influenced the social development and mythological world view of Mesoamerica. ... The indigenous religious beliefs and practices of the ancient and modern Maya vary greatly over space and time, but certain common features can be discerned, all of which are consistent with other Mesoamerican religions. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ...


The great breadth of the Mesoamerican pantheon of deities is due to the incorporation of ideological and religious elements from the first primitive religion of Fire, Earth, Water and Nature. Astral divinities (the sun, stars, constellations, and Venus) were adopted, and represented in anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, and anthropozoomorphic sculptures, and in day-to-day objects. A pantheon (from Greek Πάνθειον, temple of all gods, from πᾶν, all + θεός, god) is a set of all the gods of a particular religion or mythology, such as the gods of Hinduism, Norse, Egyptian, Shintoism, Greek, vodun, Yoruba Mythology and Roman mythology. ... This list of deities aims at giving information about deities in the different religions, cultures and mythologies of the world. ... Categories: Animal stubs ...


The qualities of these gods and their attributes changed with the passage of time and with cultural influences from other Mesoamerican groups. The gods are at once three different cosmic entities, and at the same time just one. An important characteristic of Mesoamerican religion was the dualism among the divine entities. The gods represented the confrontation between opposite poles: the positive, exemplified by light, the masculine, force, war, the sun, etc.; and the negative, exemplified by darkness, the feminine, repose, peace, the moon, etc.[cite this quote]

The xoloitzcuintle is one of the naguales of the god Quetzalcóatl. In this form, it helps the dead cross the Chicnahuapan, a river that separates the world of the living from the dead.
The xoloitzcuintle is one of the naguales of the god Quetzalcóatl. In this form, it helps the dead cross the Chicnahuapan, a river that separates the world of the living from the dead.

The typical Mesoamerican cosmology sees the world as separated into a day world governed by the sun and an underworld to which the dying sun goes at night to be reborn again the following morning, and united by a Ceiba tree (Yaxche' in Mayan). The geographic vision is also tied to these concepts and the cardinal points as well as certain geographical features in nature are linked to different parts of this cosmovision. For example caves are extremely important geographical features as are mountains and cenotes (natural wells), because they are seen as connecting the upper and the nether worlds. The influence of this cosmovision on most mesoamerican societies was so strong as to be crucial in cityplanning and architecture. [cite this quote] The Popol Vuh believed to be a Postclassic Quiché Mythology book, based in the Bible, but later proven to be the Maya Myth of the Creation, as seen in the Pre Classic murals in San Bartolo, describes very well how they see the world. Group of three xoloitzcuintles (Mexican hairless). Museo Dolores Olmedo, Xochimilco, DF. 640x444 px. ... Group of three xoloitzcuintles (Mexican hairless). Museo Dolores Olmedo, Xochimilco, DF. 640x444 px. ... Common nicknames Xolo Country of origin Mexico Classification Breed Standards (external links) FCI, UKC Notes The AKC foundation stock service (FSS) is a registration service for breeds not yet recognised by the AKC. A Xoloitzcuintli or Xoloitzcuintle (the initial x is pronounced as an sh), also known as Tepeizeuintli or... Nagual or Nahual (both pronounced [nawal]) is a word used in the study of the religion, mythology, folklore and anthropology of Mesoamerican peoples and which is used with different definitions. ... Quetzalcoatl (feathered snake, in Nahuatl: Ketsalkoatl, in Spanish: Quetzalcóatl) is the Aztec name for the Feathered-Serpent deity of ancient Mesoamerica, one of the main gods of many Mexican and northern Central American civilizations. ... Species About 10-20 species, including: Ceiba aesculifolia Ceiba glaziovii Ceiba insignis Ceiba pentandra Ceiba speciosa Ceiba trichistandra Ceiba is the name of a genus of many species of large trees found in tropical areas, including Central and South America, The Bahamas,the Caribbean, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. ... A Cenote or Cenotes (plural)is the name given in the south part of Mexico and centro-america for a large, subacuatic cave, (or series of) usually a Cenote has a mayan-linkage, because these was a important part of their rites. ... Mesoamerican architecture is the set of architectural traditions produced by pre-Columbian cultures and civilizations of Mesoamerica, traditions which are best known in the form of public, ceremonial and urban monumental buildings and structures. ... The Popol Vuh (Quiché for Council Book or Book of the Community; Popol Wuj in modern spelling) is the book of scripture of the Quiché, a kingdom of the post classic Maya civilization in highland Guatemala. ... This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from mythologein to relate myths, from mythos, meaning a narrative, and logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... San Bartolo is a municipality in the Totonicapán department of Guatemala. ...


Sacrifice

Among the Mesoamerican cultures, sacrifice was a deeply symbolic and highly ritualized activity with strong religious and political significance. The various kinds of sacrifice were performed within a range of cultural contexts, from mundane everyday activities to those activities performed by elites and ruling lineages, the aim of which were the maintenance of sociocultural and political structure. Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome For other uses, see Sacrifice (disambiguation). ...


Sacrifice symbolized the renewal of the divine cosmic energy and the continuation of life. Its ability to do so is based on two intertwined concepts that are common to most Mesoamerican belief systems (in one form or another). The first is the notion that the gods had given life to mankind by sacrificing parts of their own bodies. The second is that blood, which often signified life among Mesoamerican belief systems, was partially made up of the blood of the gods (who sacrificed it and gave it to humans while creating life). Thus, in order to maintain the order of their universe, most Mesoamerican groups believed that blood and life had to be given back to the gods. Human blood smear: a - erythrocytes; b - neutrophil; c - eosinophil; d - lymphocyte. ...


As mentioned, blood signified life, and was the liquid that satisfied the thirst of the gods (which varied depending on the culture) and revitalized them. Blood would not only revitalize the gods, but also the earth, plants (especially the maize harvest), and animals (e.g., the jaguar and the eagle, both highly symbolic animals). Blood was viewed as necessary for life as water, both in the terrestrial world and the world of the gods, and to replenish it to the gods was an obligation. [cite this quote] The jaguar played an important role in the culture and religion of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. ... Genera Several, see below. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ...


Generally, sacrifice can be divided into two types: autosacrifice and human sacrifice. The different forms of sacrifice are reflected in the imagery used to evoke ideological structure and sociocultural organization in Mesoamerica. In the Maya area, for example, stele depict bloodletting rituals performed by ruling elites, eagles and jaguars devouring human hearts, jade circles or necklaces that represented hearts, and plants and flowers that symbolized both nature and the blood that provided life. [cite this quote] Imagery also showed pleas for rain or pleas for blood, with the same intention – to replenish the divine energy. Bloodletting was a ritual of the Maya people, which dates back to ancient Mesoamerica. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Autosacrifice
See also: Bloodletting rituals in Maya culture

Autosacrifice, also called bloodletting, is the ritualized practice of drawing blood from oneself. It is commonly seen or represented through iconography as performed by ruling elites in highly ritualized ceremonies, but it is easily practiced among mundane sociocultural contexts (i.e., non-elites could perform autosacrifice). The act was typically performed with obsidian prismatic blades or stingray spines, and blood was drawn from piercing or cutting the tongue, earlobes, and/or genitals (among other locations). Another form of autosacrifice was conducted by pulling a rope with attached thorns through the tongue or earlobes. The blood produced was then collected on paper held in a bowl. Bloodletting was a ritual of the Maya people, which dates back to ancient Mesoamerica. ... Ancient Greek painting in a vase, showing a physician (iatros) bleeding a patient. ... This article is about a type of volcanic glass. ... In archaeology, a prismatic blade is a long, narrow, specialized lithic flake with parallel margins. ... For other uses, see Stingray (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Stingray (disambiguation). ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... On the ear of humans and many other animals, the earlobe (lobulus auriculæ, sometimes simply lobe or lobule) is the soft lower part of the external ear or pinna. ... A sex organ, or primary sexual characteristic, narrowly defined, is any of those parts of the body (which are not always bodily organs according to the strict definition) which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in an complex organism; namely: Male: penis (notably the glans penis...


Autosacrifice was not limited to male rulers, as their female counterparts often performed these ritualized activities. They are typically shown in performing the rope and thorns technique. A recently discovered queen's tomb in the Classic Maya site of Waka (also known as El Perú) had a ceremonial stingray spine placed in her genital area, suggesting that women also performed bloodletting in their genitalia. [citation needed] Carved Altar in Waka, Peten Guatemala El Perú, known as Waka in ancient times, is an archeological site containing Pre-Classic and Classic ruins of a city-state of the Maya civilization. ...


Human Sacrifice
See also: Human sacrifice in Aztec culture

What importance did the sacrifice have in the social and religious aspects of Mesoamerican Culture? First, it showed death transformed into the divine. [cite this quote] Death is the consequence of a human sacrifice, but it is not the end; it is but the continuation of the cosmic cycle. Death creates life – divine energy is liberated through death and returns to the gods, who are then able to create more life. Secondly, it justifies war, since the most valuable sacrifices are obtained through conflict. The death of the warrior is the greatest sacrifice, and gives the gods the energy to go about their daily activities, such as the bringing of rain. Warfare and the capturing of prisoners became a method of social advancement, and a religious cause. Finally, it justifies the control of power by the two ruling classes, the priests and the warriors. The priests control the religious ideology, and the warriors supply the sacrifice. Human sacrifice is known to have been an aspect of Aztec culture, although the extent of the practice is debated by scholars. ...


Astronomy

Mesoamerican astronomy included a broad understanding of the cycles of planets and other celestial bodies. Special importance was given to the sun, moon, and Venus as the morning and evening star. For other uses, see Astronomy (disambiguation). ... Sol redirects here. ... This article is about Earths moon. ... Adjectives: Venusian or (rarely) Cytherean Atmosphere Surface pressure: 9. ... Wikipedia articles with Morning Star, morning star or morningstar in the title include: Morning star (weapon), a spiked mace Morning Star (chief), a Cheyenne leader, also known as Dull Knife The Morning Star, a newspaper published in the U.K. since 1930 The Morning Star (19th century U.S. newspaper... Evening Star may be: Venus as a brilliant Evening Star as seen near the cresent moon The planet Venus BR 92220 Evening Star, a BR standard class 9F locomotive and the last steam locomotive to be built by British Railways. ...


Observatories were built at a number of sites, including the round observatory at Ceibal and the “Observatorio” at Xochicalco. Often, the architectural organization of Mesoamerican sites was based on precise calculations derived from astronomical observations. Well-known examples of these include the El Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza and the Observatorio at Xochicalco. A unique and common architectural complex found among many Mesoamerican sites are E-Groups, which are aligned so as to serve as astronomical observatories. The name of this complex is based on Uaxactun’s “Group E,” the first known observatory in the Maya area. Perhaps the earliest observatory documented in Mesoamerica is that of the Monte Alto culture. This complex consisted of 3 plain stelae and a temple oriented with respect to the Pleiades. Seibal (sometimes rendered as Ceibal) is a ruined site of the Maya civilization located in the south of the Peten department of Guatemala. ... Xochicalco is a pre-Columbian archeological site in the western part of the Morelos, Mexico. ... El Castillo, Chichen Itza West side of El Castillo Plumed Serpent Ballcourt, from El Castillo El Castillo (Spanish for The Castle) is the nickname of a spectacular Mesoamerican step-pyramid that dominates the center of the Chichen Itza archaeological site in the Mexican state of Yucatán. ... Xochicalco is a pre-Columbian archeological site in the western part of the Morelos, Mexico. ... E-Groups are unique architectural complexes found among a number of ancient Maya settlements. ... Uaxactun (pronounced Wash-ak-toon) is an ancient ruin of the Maya civilization, located in the Peten department of Guatemala, some 40 km (25 miles) north of Tikal. ... Monte Alto is an ancient site in what is now Guatemala. ... Pleiades refers to: Pleiades (star cluster) an open cluster of stars in the constellation Taurus. ...


The symbolism of space and time

The Avenue of the Dead in Teotihuacan, an example of a Mesoamerican settlement planned according to concepts of directionality.

It has been argued that among Mesoamerican societies the concepts of space and time are associated with the four cardinal compass points and linked together by the calendar (Duverger 1999). Dates or events were always tied to a compass direction, and the calendar specified the symbolic geographical characteristic peculiar to that period. Resulting from the significance held by the cardinal directions, many Mesoamerican architectural features, if not entire settlements, were planned and oriented with respect to directionality. Download high resolution version (1024x768, 342 KB)View of Avenue of the Dead at Teotihuacan. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 342 KB)View of Avenue of the Dead at Teotihuacan. ... Teotihuacan was the largest Pre-Columbian known city in the Americas, and the name Teotihuacan is used to refer to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica. ... Teotihuacan was the largest Pre-Columbian known city in the Americas, and the name Teotihuacan is used to refer to the civilization this city dominated, which at its greatest extent included most of Mesoamerica. ... Space has been an interest for philosophers and scientists for much of human history. ... Look up time in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Cardinal directions or cardinal points are the four principal directions or points of the compass, north, east, south and west. ... A page from the Hindu calendar 1871-72. ...


In Maya mythology, each cardinal point was assigned a specific color and a specific jaguar deity (Bacab). They are as follows: This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

  • Hobnil - Bacab of the East, associated with the color red and the Kan years.
  • Can Tzicnal - Bacab of the North, assigned the color white and the Muluc years,
  • Zac Cimi - Bacab of the West, associated with the color black and the Ix years.
  • Hozanek - Bacab of the South, associated with the color yellow and the Cauac years.

Later cultures such as the Kaqchikel and Quiché maintain the association of cardinal directions with each color, but utilized different names. This is a list of Maya gods and supernatural beings. ... The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST, internally called HT-7U) is a project being undertaken to construct an experimental superconducting tokamak magnetic fusion energy reactor in Hefei, the capital city of Anhui Province, in eastern China. ... This is a list of Maya gods and supernatural beings. ... Compass rose with north highlighted and at top Look up North in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This is a list of Maya gods and supernatural beings. ... A compass rose with west highlighted This article refers to the cardinal direction; for other uses see West (disambiguation). ... This is a list of Maya gods and supernatural beings. ... A compass rose with South highlighted South is most commonly a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography. ... The Kaqchikel (in modern orthography; formerly also spelled Cakchiquel) are one of the indigenous Maya peoples of the midwestern highlands in Guatemala. ... The Kiche (or Quiché in Spanish spelling), are a Native American people, part of the Maya ethnic group. ...


Among the Aztec, the name of each day was associated with a cardinal point (thus conferring symbolic significance), and each cardinal direction was associated with a group of symbols. Below are the symbols and concepts associated with each direction:

  • Eastcrocodile, the serpent, water, cane, and movement. The East was lnked to the world priests and associated with vegetative fertility, or, in other words, tropical exuberance.
  • Northwind, death, the dog, the jaguar, and flint (or chert). The north contrasts the east in that it is conceptualized as dry, cold, and oppressive. It is considered to be the nocturnal part of the universe, and includes the dwellings of the dead. The dog (xoloitzcuintle) has a very specific meaning, as it is the one who accompanies the deceased during the trip to the lands of the dead and helps them cross the river of death that leads into nothingness.
  • West - the house, the deer, the monkey, the eagle, and rain. The west was associated with the cycles of vegetation, specifically the temperate high plains that experience light rains, and the change of seasons. * South – rabbit, the lizard, dried herbs, the buzzard, and flowers. It is related on the one hand to the luminous Sun and the noon heat, and on the other with rain filled with alcoholic drink. The rabbit, the principal symbol of the west, was associated with farmers and with pulque.
  • Southrabbit, the lizard, dried herbs, the buzzard, and flowers. It is related on the one hand to the luminous Sun and the noon heat, and on the other with rain filled with alcoholic drink. The rabbit, the principal symbol of the west, was associated with farmers and with pulque.

Genera Mecistops Crocodylus Osteolaemus See full taxonomy. ... Serpent can be any of the following: The reptile commonly called snake. ... Impact from a water drop causes an upward rebound jet surrounded by circular capillary waves. ... For other uses, see Wind (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the sedimentary rock. ... Chert Chert (IPA: ) is a fine-grained silica-rich cryptocrystalline sedimentary rock that may contain small fossils. ... Common nicknames Xolo Country of origin Mexico Classification Breed Standards (external links) FCI, UKC Notes The AKC foundation stock service (FSS) is a registration service for breeds not yet recognised by the AKC. A Xoloitzcuintli or Xoloitzcuintle (the initial x is pronounced as an sh), also known as Tepeizeuintli or... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the ruminant animal. ... Approximate worldwide distribution of monkeys. ... Genera Several, see below. ... This article is about precipitation. ... Genera Pentalagus Bunolagus Nesolagus Romerolagus Brachylagus Sylvilagus Oryctolagus Poelagus Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world. ... For other uses, see Lizard (disambiguation). ... Herbs: basil Herbs (IPA: hə()b, or əb; see pronunciation differences) are seed-bearing plants without woody stems, which die down to the ground after flowering. ... Genera Cathartes Coragyps Gymnogyps Sarcorhamphus Vultur The New World vultures family Cathartidae contains seven species found in warm and temperate areas of the Americas. ... For other uses, see Flower (disambiguation). ... Pulque, or octli, is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of the maguey, and is a traditional native beverage of Mesoamerica. ... Genera Pentalagus Bunolagus Nesolagus Romerolagus Brachylagus Sylvilagus Oryctolagus Poelagus Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world. ... For other uses, see Lizard (disambiguation). ... Herbs: basil Herbs (IPA: hə()b, or əb; see pronunciation differences) are seed-bearing plants without woody stems, which die down to the ground after flowering. ... Genera Cathartes Coragyps Gymnogyps Sarcorhamphus Vultur The New World vultures family Cathartidae contains seven species found in warm and temperate areas of the Americas. ... For other uses, see Flower (disambiguation). ... Pulque, or octli, is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of the maguey, and is a traditional native beverage of Mesoamerica. ...

Political and religious art

See also: Maya art
Art with ideological and political meaning: depiction of an Aztec tzompantli (skull-rack) from the Ramirez Codex.
Art with ideological and political meaning: depiction of an Aztec tzompantli (skull-rack) from the Ramirez Codex.

Mesoamerican artistic expression was conditioned by ideology and generally related to focusing on themes of religion and/or sociopolitical power. This is largely based on the fact that most works that survived the Spanish conquest were public monuments. These monuments were typically erected by rulers who sought to visually legitimize their sociocultural and political position; by doing so, they intertwined their lineage, personal attributes and achievements, and legacy with religious concepts. As such, these monuments were specifically designed for public display and took many forms, including stele, sculpture, architectural reliefs, and other types of architectural elements (e.g., roofcombs). Other themes expressed include tracking time, glorifying the city, and veneration of the gods – all of which were tied into explicitly aggrandizing the abilities and the reign of the ruler who commissioned the artwork. Maya art is considered by many to be the most sophisticated and beautiful of the ancient New World. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (810x580, 183 KB) Summary depiction of a tzompantli (skull rack), right half of image; associated with the depiction of Aztec temple dedicated to the deity Huitzilopochtli. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (810x580, 183 KB) Summary depiction of a tzompantli (skull rack), right half of image; associated with the depiction of Aztec temple dedicated to the deity Huitzilopochtli. ... The Aztecs is a term used for certain Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples of Mexico. ... A stake used to display the heads of victims or defeated Mesoamerican ball game opponents. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... This article is about the philosophical concept of Art. ... Political Ideologies Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An ideology is an organized collection of ideas. ... Much of the recent sociological debate on power revolves around the issue of the constraining and/or enabling nature of power. ... Ancient Egyptian funerary stele Suenos Stone in Forres Scotland A stele (or stela) is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected for funerary or commemorative purposes, most usually decorated with the names and titles of the deceased or living—inscribed, carved in relief (bas... “Sculptor” redirects here. ... In the art of sculpture, a relief is an artwork where a modelled form projects out of a flat background. ...


Another type of pre-Hispanic art that was produced for its inner, rather than outward, meaning. It is differentiated from the first type in that its value is related not so much in what is visually depicts, but rather in what it represents. Earthenware (ceramic vessels) are an example of this type of artistic expression, and were symbolic due to the origin of their source material; they were often in burial rituals and as the invisible faces of statues.[citation needed] Fixed Partial Denture, or Bridge The word ceramic is derived from the Greek word κεραμικός (keramikos). ...


See also

Middle America For other uses, see Middle America (disambiguation). ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ "Meso-America." Oxford English Reference Dictionary, 2nd ed. (rev.) 2002. (ISBN 0-19-860652-4) Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; p. 906.
  2. ^ http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/007299634x/student_view0/glossary.html
  3. ^ (2000): Atlas del México Prehispánico. Revista Arqueología mexicana. Número especial 5. Julio de 2000. Raíces/ Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia. México.
  4. ^ http://www.uapress.arizona.edu/onlinebks/hohokam/Glossary.htm The University of Arizona
  5. ^ OECD. 2006. [http//www.oecd.org/document/48/0,2340,en_33873108_33873610_36222192_1_1_1_1,00.html OECD Territorial Reviews: The Mesoamerican Region: Southeastern Mexico and Central America] (ISBN 92-64-02191-4). Retrieved 24 February 2007.
  6. ^ Mesoamerica: Our Region. Mesoamerica. Retrieved on 2006-12-19. “Paul Kirchhoff coined the term, Mesoamerica in 1943 from the Greek mesos or "center" and America from Amerigo Vespucci who claimed to have discovered the continent (Christopher Columbus thought he had reached Asia).”
  7. ^ http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2006/1718459.htm
  8. ^ O'Brien (2005), p.25.
  9. ^ Diamond (1999), pp.126-127.
  10. ^ Diamond (1999) p.100.
  11. ^ O'Brien (2005), p.25
  12. ^ Diamond (1999).

The Oxford English Dictionary print set The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP), and is the most successful dictionary of the English language, (not to be confused with the one-volume Oxford Dictionary of English, formerly New Oxford Dictionary of English, of... The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), (in French: Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques; OCDE) is an international organisation of those developed countries that accept the principles of representative democracy and a free market economy. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 353rd day of the year (354th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Look up meso-, meso in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454 - February 22, 1512) was an Italian merchant, explorer and cartographer. ... Animated, colour-coded map showing the various continents. ... Christopher Columbus (1451 – May 20, 1506) was a navigator and colonialist who is one of the first Europeans to discover the Americas, after the Vikings. ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ...

References

  • Carmack, Robert M.; Janine L. Gasco and Gary H. Gossen (1996). Legacy of Mesoamerica, The: History and Culture of a Native American Civilization. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-337445-9. 
  • Coe, Michael D. [1962] (1994). Mexico: from the Olmecs to the Aztecs, 4th edition, Revised and Enlarged, New York: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0-500-27722-2. 
  • Duverger, Christian (1999). Mesoamérica, arte y antropología.. Paris.: CONACULTA, Landucci Editores.. ISBN 970-18-3751-7.  (Spanish)
  • Fernández, Tomás; and Jorge Belarmino (2003). La escultura prehispánica de mesoamérica. Barcelona: Lunwerg Editores. ISBN 84-9785-012-2.  (Spanish)
  • Fuente, Beatrice de la (2001). De Mesoamérica a la Nueva España. Oviedo, Spain: Consejo de Comunidades Asturianas. ISBN 84-505-9611-4.  (Spanish)
  • Gamio, Manuel (1922). La Población del Valle de Teotihuacán: Representativa de las que Habitan las Regiones Rurales del Distrito Federal y de los Estados de Hidalgo, Puebla, México y Tlaxcala, 2 vols. in 3, Mexico City: Talleres Gráficos de la Secretaría de Educación Pública.  (Spanish)
  • Kirchhoff, Paul (1943). "Mesoamérica. Sus Límites Geográficos, Composición Étnica y Caracteres Culturales". Acta Americana 1 (1): pp.92–107.  (Spanish)
  • Kuehne Heyder, Nicola; and Joaquín Muñoz Mendoza (2001). Mesoamérica: acercamiento a una historia. Granada, Spain.: Diputación Provincial de Granada. ISBN 84-7807-008-7.  (Spanish)
  • López Asutin, Alfredo; and Leonardo López Luján (1996). El pasado indígena. Mexico City: El Colegio de México. ISBN 968-16-4890-0.  (Spanish)
  • Miller, Mary Ellen (2001). El arte de mesoamérica. "Colecciones El mundo del arte".. Barcelona.: Ediciones Destino.. ISBN ISBN 84-233-3095-8..  (Spanish)
  • O'Brien, Patrick (General Editor) (2005). Oxford Atlas of World History. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  • Palerm, Ángel (1972). Agricultura y civilización en Mesoamérica. Mexico: Secretaría de Educación Pública. ISBN 968-13-0994-4.  (Spanish)
  • Sahagún, Bernardino de (1950-82). in Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (eds.): Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain, 13 vols. in 12, Santa Fe: School of American Research. ISBN 0-87480-082-X. 
  • Weaver, Muriel Porter (1993). The Aztecs, Maya, and Their Predecessors: Archaeology of Mesoamerica, 3rd ed., San Diego: Academic Press. ISBN 0-01-263999-0. 
  • West, Robert C.; and John P. Augelli (1989). Middle America: Its Lands and Peoples, 3rd ed., Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-582271-8. 
  • Wolf, Eric Robert (1967). Pueblos y culturas de Mesoamérica. Biblioteca Era.  (Spanish)
  • Several Authors (1999). Historia General de Guatemala. ISBN 84-88522-07-4. 

I dont know anything! ... Jared Mason Diamond (b. ... Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies cover Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of physiology at UCLA. It won the Pulitzer Prize for 1998, as well as the Aventis Prize for best science book in the... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Mary Miller is the master of Saybrook College at Yale University and the Vincent Scully Professor of the History of Art. ... Bernardino de Sahagún (1499-1590) was a Franciscan missionary to the Aztec (Náhua) people of Mexico. ... Page 51 of Book IX from the Florentine Codex. ...

External links



  Results from FactBites:
 
Mesoamerica - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (4782 words)
Mesoamerica is also the name of a linguistic area or sprachbund comprising the languages native to roughly the same geographical area.
Mesoamerica is distinguished by being the first region in the Americas to develop complex civilizations.
Mesoamerica remains today a region with an extremely rich cultural and linguistic diversity and the indigenous peoples of modern Mesoamerica carry on many of the traditions of their predecessors, in spite of 500 years of heavy pressure from the modern European civilization.
Mesoamerica - Facts, Information, and Encyclopedia Reference article (327 words)
Mesoamerica is the region extending from central Mexico south to the northwestern border of Costa Rica that gave rise to a group of stratified, culturally related agrarian civilizations spanning an approximately 3,000-year period before the European discovery of the New World by Columbus.
Mesoamerica is also a canonical example of a Linguistic area: all of the major Mesoamerican languages show some subset of a pool of common traits, despite being made up of many different language families.
Mesoamerica's economy and geopolitics benefited from extensive use of a lingua franca, the Nahuatl language, at least since the 7th century, and perhaps even going as far back as 2,000 years.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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