The innovation for recording information was particularly remarkable, and the term used to designate the area spanned present-day central Mexico to Nicaragua.
There were colored and knotted strings in the khipu.
Differences in color and type of knot, as well as the knots' order and placement, served as a system akin to a computer database.
Imperial rulers and local leaders were able to understand and manage complex data across a vast empire with the help of Khipus.
These were used by communities to store and communicate data.
The data recorded by the dyes, weaves, and knots made by their users was much like modern computer storage, allowing users to read information about populations, production, and tribute.
The peoples of the Americas used calendars.
The 260-day lunar calendar was based on the number thirteen and twenty, which were sacred to peoples of the Americas.
Twenty 13-day bundles were combined with thirteen 20-day bundles to complete annual cycles.
The solar calendar and these formed a cycle that was unparalleled in the premodern world.
It provided an incredibly intricate mechanism for following the solar and lunar years, as well as connecting these to aspects of daily life and religion.
Users were helped by the calendars.
The timing and route of the ancient settlers of the Americas are debated.
It is possible that the first settlers migrated from Russia to Alaska sometime between 15,000 and 13,000 B.C.E.
Archeologists have found settlements as old as 20,000-30,000 years ago along the Andes in South America.
Evidence suggests that seafaring migration may have occurred.
Like early settlers elsewhere in the world, the populations of the Americas could be divided into three categories: nomadic peoples, semi-sedentary farming communities, and dense agricultural communities capable of sustaining cities.
Two major regions were the center of urban settlement and empire formation.
The first area was around Lake Titicaca.
Lake Titicaca is the highest lake in the world at 12,500 feet high and the largest lake in South America at 3,200 square miles.
The Aztec Empire formed cities around Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico, the second area.
Growing urban populations were supported by the access to these large freshwater lakes.
Around 10,000 B.C.E., the earliest farming settlements emerged.
The origins of maize in the Americas are not known, but it became a centerpiece of the diet of the Americas.
Despite the scarcity of meat, the Mesoamerican peoples used to eat maize and beans.
The maize was boiled in a solution of water and mineral lime.
The masa could be used to make tamales.
In wheat-production cultures, tortillas were used as the basic building block of meals, they were light and easy to transport, and they could be stored.
The Aztec armies traveled long distances because they had tortillas for sustenance.
The communities were obligated to give tribute in tortillas along the army's route.
A mother shows her daughter how to make tortillas.
The masa was made with maize and lime.
The maize paste was enriched by the nixtamalization process.
The potato is a staple of the Americas.
Many different varieties of potatoes were produced by breeding.
potatoes became an important part of a complex system of cultivation Communities created a system of "vertical archipelagos" through which they took advantage of the changes of climate along the steep escarpments of the Andes.
Communities could engage in intense and varied farming in what would otherwise have been inhospitable territory if different crops were cultivated at different altitudes.
Communities raised multiple crops and engaged in year-round farming by working at different altitudes located within a day's journey from home.
The communities cultivated potatoes at higher altitudes.
Potato crops could sometimes be planted only every few years due to a lack of water in the altiplano.
The climate could be used to freeze-dry potatoes that could be stored indefinitely.
They were pack animals that helped farmers bring in their crops.
The animals' waste was used for farming at lower altitudes.
At the middle altitudes, communities used terraces to grow corn.
In the lowlands, communities cultivated a variety of plants, including beans, peppers, and coca.
Farmers chewed coca to alleviate the symptoms of strenuous labor at high altitudes.
Coca added calcium to the diet and played a role in religious rituals.
In the lowlands, they grew cotton, as well as harvesting fish and mussels.
sealskin was used to build inflatable rafts.
Communities have different types of production allowed.
The foundation for future empires was laid by the Olmec civilization.
The Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes of North America would one day be covered by the imprint of Olmec civilization.
The early part of a long cycle of centralization and decentralization was formed by the Chavin and Moche civilizations.
Technology, culture, and religion were spread by political and economic centralization.
The religion, trade practices, and technology of later civilizations were shaped by the early civilization.
They flourished in the coastal lowlands of Mexico from 1500 to 300 B.C.E.
The first cities of Mesoamerica were formed by the Olmecs and served as centers of agriculture, trade, and religion.
The Olmecs spread their culture and technology through longdistance trade, establishing beliefs and practices that became common to the civilizations that followed.
Olmec civilization flourished in the coastal lowlands of southern Mexico.
In the coastal lowlands, the Olmecs cultivated maize, squash, beans, and other plants.
They added fish and wild game to their diet.
They didn't have many other resources.
They carried stone for many miles for the construction of temples and for carving huge monuments in the shape of heads.
In exchange for obsidian, a volcanic glass that could be carved to a razor-sharp edge, the Olmecs traded rubber, cacao, pottery, and jaguars, as well as the services of artisans such as painters and sculptors.
The Olmecs and other communities have ties that spread religious practices.
The construction of large pyramid temples was included in these practices.
Olmec deities included gods and humans, as well as animal and human forms, and had both male and female identities.
The Olmec were-jaguar, a half-man, half-jaguar figure, was based on a fusion of human and spirit characteristics.
The Olmecs used a solar calendar.
The year 3114 B.C.E.
is unclear as to the significance of this date.
Most of the later civilizations used both of these calendars.
By 300 B.C.E., the Mexican trading networks extended into southwestern North America.
The Hohokam built platforms and played games with rubber balls that were traded over a long distance in exchange for turquoise and other precious stones.
Religious ideas included the belief in local divinities who created, preserved, and destroyed.
The god of the feathered serpent became important to desert peoples.
They planted desert crops that came from Mexico.
The Anasazi built settlements in this area using large sandstone blocks and masonry to protect them from the heat.
Mesa Verde, the largest Anasazi town, had a population of about twenty-five hundred people who lived in houses built into and on cliff walls.
Mesa Verde was connected to other Anasazi towns through roads.
The decline in the Hohokam and Anasazi cultures was caused by a number of factors.
Many North American groups used agriculture to increase the available food supply and allow more people to live in urban centers.
The Mississippian, Anasazi, and Hohokam are shown on the map.
The mound building began in eastern North America.
The Hopewell was one of the most important mound-building cultures.
The mounds were burial chambers.
There were mounds that formed geometric figures.
The canals included in the earthworks allowed trading networks to expand, bringing products from the Caribbean far into the interior.
More intensive agriculture was allowed to spread throughout the eastern woodlands of North America by those trading networks carrying maize.
Near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri River in Illinois, archaeologists have identified the largest mound complex in North America, which may have housed nearly forty thousand people.
Several hundred mounds inside and outside the fence were used as tombs and as the bases for temples and palaces.
The mound was one hundred feet high and one thousand feet long.
A large building was on the top of it.
Cahokia is the largest Mississippian settlement.
The pyramid is over 100 feet tall and over 1,000 feet long, making it the largest constructed structure in the north.
Cahokia trade went far across North America.
The Mississippian mound builders relied on agriculture to support their cultures, and by the time Cahokia was built, maize agriculture had spread to the Atlantic coast.
Along riverbanks and the coastline, fields of maize, beans, and squash surrounded large, permanent villages containing many houses, all encompassed by walls made of earth and timber.
Cahokia was the largest city in the north at one point.
The construction stripped the countryside of trees, which made spring floods worse and eventually destroyed the city.
The city was destroyed by an earthquake in the 13th century.
The ideas of spiritual kinship and patterns of production and trade were shaped by the social organization and religion of the Andes.
A spring or stone is a part of the landscape.
Members of an ayllu believed that their Huaca was more than a spirit, it was the center of community obligations such as pooling of labor, and it owned the lands the ayllu's farmers tended.
The basis of authority and guided food production were provided by Ancestor Worship.
They were both temporal and spiritual leaders of their ayllu.
Membership in an ayllu's ancestral kinship and participation in the broader community's shared farming across vertical climate zones gave rise to the identity of the Andean family.
People often worked together.
Archaeologists work in cycles of centralization and decentralization.
There were three great periods of centralization.
The Spanish conquest cut short the Late Horizon, which included the Inca Empire.
The weaving and dyeing of wool and cotton was done by the Chavin.
The most widespread means of recording and representing information was weaving.
The MOH-cheh civilization flourished along a 250-mile stretch of the northern coast between 100 and 800 C.E.
The Moche people raised cotton and food with irrigation systems.
Each Moche valley had a large ceremonial center with palaces and pyramids surrounded by settlements of up to ten thousand people.
Between 100 and 800 C.E., there was a Native American culture on the northern coast.
warfare was common among the small city-states of the Moche, which were organized into a series of small city-states rather than one unified state.
The Moche was 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 800-273-3217 Their urban population declined because they were not able to respond effectively to the disaster.
Wari's dominion stretched from the altiplano north of Lake Titicaca to the Pacific coast, drawing on Moche culture.
Goods and beliefs were exchanged between mountain and coastal regions.
South of the lake, the city-state of Tiwanaku extended its influence.
Ancestor worship was practiced by both Wari and Tiwanaku, and the religion centered on the figure of the god of the sun and storms, who was identified with the sun and storms.
Changes in climate, particularly abrupt changes brought by El Nio, could ruin whole civilizations, which is why storms and climate shifts were important to the Quechua people.
The decline of Wari and Tiwanaku was caused by El Nio.
Between 1000 and 1200 C.E., the cities of Tiwanaku and Wari lived on a smaller scale.
The Intermediate Periods were times of decentralization in which local cultures and practices came back to life.
New centralizing empires would emerge out of these local developments.
The governing family of the largest and last empire was called the Incas.
The idea of a unified people stretching in all directions is what the empire was called Tawantinsuyu.
The Pan-Andean influences waned in the Late Intermediate Period.
Lake Titicaca has city-states around it.
The strongest ones came back again.
The legacy of Moche and Wari was claimed by the Chimu.
The city of Cuzco became the hub of a growing kingdom under the control of the Incas.
Powerful tools that helped them build their empire were the ways in which the rulers adapted techniques from Wari and Titicaca.
The Andean peoples settled in vertical archipelagos to take advantage of the stark mountain landscape.
Farming and herding took place at higher and lower altitudes.
In the 1420s, the first Inka leader to attempt permanent conquest was Viracocha.
Rivals invaded his territories around 1438 and he fled.
His son, Pachacuti, was the one who fought off the invaders.
He began a campaign of conquest after being crowned emperor.
The beliefs and practices of the northern civilization were incorporated by the Pachacuti Inka.
The empire was expanded after Pachacuti conquered the Chimu.
Tawantinsuyu became one of the largest empires in the world after he combined the worship of his ancestors with the Chimu system.
The dead emperor's spirit was venerated through his mummy as part of the system of ancestor worship.
The dead emperor retained all the lands he had conquered, commanded the loyalty of his subjects, and continued to receive tribute.
A basic structure of the empire's organization was Chimu split inheritance.
The corpse of the ruler was kept in a sacred and magnificent chamber and preserved as a mummy.
He was buried in a large new clay urn, with his body very well dressed.
A golden image made to look like him was placed on top of his tomb.
The people who went there were supposed to worship the statue in place of him.
They sang about the things the Inka did in his life when they brought it out.
The descendants of dead rulers used their income to care for their mummy, maintain their cult, and support themselves, all at great expense.
One of the ruler's sons was named the new emperor.
He received the title, but not the lands and tribute, nor the direct allegiance of the nobility, bound as it was to the deceased ruler.
The new emperor conquered new lands to build his power and wealth.
The logic and impulse for expanding power were provided by the combination of ancestor worship and split inheritance.
Courageous nobles who succeeded in battle and gained new territories for the state could expect to receive lands, additional wives, servants, herds of llamas, gold, silver, and other status symbols.
Common soldiers who distinguished themselves could be rewarded.
The area of 350,000 square miles was extended by warfare to the frontier of present-day Argentina in the south and to the frontier of present-day Brazil in the north.
16 million people came under the control of the Inka.
They spread their language and gods in order to conquer the regions.
The temples had images of these gods.
Priests sacrificed humans during natural disasters and military victories.
Millions of people still speak Aymara along with another major Andean language, Quechua.
The Empire was strained by pressure for growth.
The tropical Amazon forest east of the Andes was chosen as the location of the Incas' attention because of the scarcity of conquerable lands.
Inka armies engaged in hand-to-hand combat in massed formation.
In dense jungles armies were not able to maintain order against enemies who used guerrilla tactics.
Rebellions among subject peoplesconquered territories were a source of stress.
The system of roads couldn't keep up with the needs of the empire.
As the empire grew, so did the distances the communication needed to cover.
An emperor might have to make decisions on incomplete or out-of-date information if he had to make a round trip from Cuzco to Quito.
The empire was stretched too thin.
The steep valley of the Urubamba River contains the ruins of Machu Picchu.
The site was abandoned after the Spanish conquest.
The Empire spanned over 2,600 miles.
Sustaining an empire with that reach and built so fast required extraordinary resourcefulness.
The local culture was adapted to meet imperial needs.
The ayllus, the local communities with shared ancestors, were demanded to include imperial tribute in the rotation of labor and the distribution of harvests.
The Inca emperor used local systems of labor and organization to mobilize his people and resources as he conquered new lands.
The emperor relocated families or whole villages to consolidate territorial control or quell unrest as a result of the development of satellite communities.
A community practice became a tool of imperial expansion.
The daughters of elite families were married to rulers and nobles.
The means for building the infrastructure of empire were provided by tribute paid in labor.
The vast empire was able to extend over the most difficult terrain because of the rotation of laborers.
The movement of armies and the rapid communication of royal orders were aided by an excellent system of roads.
A woman is weaving cloth on a loom.
The woman is "weaving for tribute" and would have paid tribute to the Spaniards in Poma de Ayala's time.
Like Persian and Roman roads, these feats of engineering linked an empire.
Inka officials, tax collectors, and accountants traveled throughout the empire using elaborate khipus to record financial and labor obligations, the output of fields, population levels, land transfers, and other numerical records.
The colonial Spaniards destroyed khipus because they thought they might contain religious messages that conflict with their efforts to impose Christianity.
Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala's father was a Spaniard and his mother was from a noble indigenous family.
He spoke Quechua, Aymara, and Spanish and was a Christian.
As an assistant to a Spanish friar and a Spanish judge, he witnessed the abuses of the Spanish authorities.
A handwritten book of almost eight hundred pages of text and nearly four hundred line drawings addressed to the king of Spain was written and illustrated by him in the early 17th century.
He wanted to send the book to Spain to convince the king to make reforms that would bring about the "good government" of the book's title.
In the following section, Guaman Poma sets out the traditional age-group categories of men and women, which he calls "paths."
The soldiers of war were the first path.
They were thirty-three years of age when they left this path.
The brave men were held apart and distinguished.
Some Indians were selected to serve in the wars of the Inka ruler.
He kept his kingdom secure by having them serve as overseers.
The Indians of the watch were from eighteen to twenty years old.
They were the messenger boys between one pueblo and another.
They accompanied the Indians of war and the great lords and captains.
They were also carrying food.
Boys from five to nine years old were on the Eighth Path.
They served their mothers and fathers in many ways, and bore many whippings and thumpings, as well as playing with the toddlers and watching over the babies in cradles.
They were thirty-three years old when they married, and they were virgins until then.
The wives of brave men were not free from tribute obligations.
Their fathers, mothers, and grandmothers were served by them.
The great ladies were served so they could learn to spin yarn and weave delicate materials.
Their hair was cut when they were married and given a largesse of their destitution and poverty.
The flower pickers were called the Seventh Path.
The girls were from nine to twelve years old.
They don't do anything, but others serve them.
They should be served by their mothers because of the work they do raising their children.
Their mothers have to carry them, and never let them go.
The one with the highest status is the "First Path" among both men and women.
Guaman Poma wrote this about eighty years after the Spanish conquest.
The work is copyrighted by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
All rights belong to the person.
There were long- lasting city-states in the 300 C.E.
The Valley of Mexico was a major center of trade during the 300 C.E.
The classical period was followed by a postclassical Empire.
The culture of the Mesoamericans is centered in the peninsula of Mexico.
The Maya lived in the highlands and peninsula of Mexico.
Two features of Maya society were shaped by their physical setting.
They were able to build monumental architecture because of the abundance of high-quality limestone.
Cenotes became important religious and spiritual sites.
This pyramid was used as the temple to Kukulkan, the Maya expression of the Feathered Serpent deity known to the Aztecs as Quetzalcoatl.
The center of the city of Chichen Itza was 180 feet across and 80 feet tall.
The Maya region may have had as many as 14 million inhabitants.
The sites of Uxmal, Uaxactun, Copan, Piedras Negras, Tikal, Palenque, and Chichen Itza were ruled by hereditary kings.
These cities had ornate temples, engraved pillars, palaces for nobles, and courts for ball games.
A hereditary nobility owned land, exercised political power, and directed religious rituals.
The social level was made up of artisans and sceptics.
The latter included prisoners of war, as well as farmers, laborers, and slaves.
The Maya built a network of roads and rivers.
The media of exchange at Maya markets included jade, obsidian, beads of red spiny oyster shell, lengths of cloth, and cacao beans.
A common language and extensive trade among Maya communities promoted unity among the peoples of the region.
Merchants traded with the Zapotecs of Monte Alban in the Valley of Oaxaca, as well as with the Teotihuacanos of the central valley of Mexico.
The long-distance trade was conducted by high nobles or members of the royal family, since it was an important part of international relations.
The most complex writing system in the Americas was developed by the Maya.
Important events and observations were recorded in books made of bark paper and deerskin, on pottery, on stone pillars, and on buildings.
Maya leaders stress the ancient ancestry of their families.