Dai fatti alla Storia - volume 1

M2 American Indian Cultures When Christopher Columbus landed on the island of San Salvador, he met a few, poor natives, but the continent that would be named America was inhabited by 80 million people. Tenochtitl n Yucat n Tikal The aboriginal American Indian cultures, or pre-Columbian civilizations, evolved in Mesoamerica and in the Andean region prior to Spanish exploration and conquest in the 16th century. The Maya were an indigenous people who had continuously inhabited the Yucatan peninsula. Their political organization was based on city-states, metropolises of enormous size and influence. They were built around ceremonial centres, characterized by elaborate and highly decorated architecture, including temple-pyramids, palaces and observatories, that were built without metal tools. Caribbean Sea A ma z on The Maya, the Aztecs and the Inca had different social, political and economic organizations, but shared some characteristics. They practised sedentary village farming that was based on few products: corn, tomatoes and potatoes. The presence of state organizations was visible in their impressive public works, such as monumental buildings for religious use and networks of roads and canals used to transport food and handicrafts. Atlantic Ocean Gulf of Messico R iv e r Cajamarca Cuzco Pacific Ocean Aztec civilization Maya civilization Inca civilization Ancient American civilizations. The Maya developed astronomy, a calendrical system that calculated 365 days in a year and hieroglyphic writing. When the Europeans arrived in the American continent, the Maya civilization was in decline. From the beginning of the 14th century the Aztecs had settled in central Mexico, and had founded their capital city, whose name was Tenochtitl n, today called Mexico City. At its greatest extent the Aztec Empire covered most of northern Mesoamerica from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts, and included around 25 million inhabitants. The imperial title was hereditary and the society had a strict hierarchical structure. The sovereigns and the nobles had absolute supremacy in the communities that were formed by clans. War had a dominant role in the Aztec Empire. The Aztecs often moved war against close populations because war prisoners were sacrificed to feed the gods. The Inca Empire extended across western South America down the Pacific coast and along the Andes. The state had a complex organization. A great number of governors administered the territory for the Emperor who controlled the army, religion and economic affairs. The entire society was founded on rural communities where self-sufficient farmers grew corn and potatoes and bred llamas and alpacas. ACTIVITY 4.D Pair work. Look at the map above of North and South America. Then compare it to a modern map from an atlas and list the countries where the American Indian cultures evolved. ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 582 77636R_0000E01_INTE_BAS@0582.pgs 15.09.2021 15:02

Dai fatti alla Storia - volume 1
Dai fatti alla Storia - volume 1
Dal Medioevo all'Età moderna