Mysteries of the Ancient Indian Tribes of the Americas
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Ancient Indian Tribes of the
Ancient Tribes of the Americas
Where were these ancient Indian tribes located?
The Aztec empire was located in the Valley of Mexico, which is the central part of the country. This area was surrounded by tropical rain forests, but the high altitude gave the region a mild climate.
The capital of the Aztecs was Tenochtitlan, one of their greatest cities. It was founded on an island in Lake Texcoco, the site of Mexico City, the modern capital of Mexico.
The Aztecs had one of the most advanced civilizations in the western hemisphere by the time Columbus made his 1st voyage to the Americas.
By the early 1400s, they gained control of their region and formed numerous city-states that had their own government and distinct culture. The 3 major city-states Tenochtitlan, Texaco, and Tlateloco – formed an alliance that became the Aztec Empire. http://apworld.wikispaces.com/Compare+the+Incas+and+Aztecs+in+terms+of+economic+exchanges
Nahuatl was the language spoken by the Aztecs. Many words used today came from this ancient language, such as tomato, avocado, chocolate, and Mexico.
This made their writing limited in what it could express. Some Pictures represented ideas; others stood for sounds.
The Aztecs did develop a form of picture writing. However, they did not develop an alphabet.
Aztec Society consisted of four main social classes. These 4 social classes were Nobles, Commoners, Serfs, and Slaves.
Nobles were the upper class who owned the land.
Commoners farmed the land or made crafts and gave tributes to the nobles in return for protection. Serfs simply farmed the land for the Nobles formed the third class. Slaves were the lowest class. They had either been captives in war, criminals, or citizens who were unable to pay their debts. http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://history.missouristate.edu/jchuchiak/aztecs40.gif&imgrefurl__
The greatest Aztec emperor, Montezuma I, ruled from 1440-1469. He expanded the empire from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts and from Central America to what is now Guatemala.
His grandson, Montezuma II, became emperor in 1502. He ruled the empire at its peak and at its fall. http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/58/19358-004-EE106B7C.jpg
The fall of the Aztec empire came when Spaniards, under the leadership of Hernando Cortes, invaded Mexico in 1519 in search of gold.
Many other small city-states helped the Spanish destroy the Aztec empire in 1521.
The culture of the Mayan Indians spread throughout southern Mexico and Central America.
Their empire included the Yucatan Peninsula to the north as well as today’s countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras.
Early Mayan settlements were fishing villages along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. They moved inland once they learned to plant crops. This land included rugged highlands as well as dense swamps.
The Maya built many great cities and majestic pyramid temples.
Tikal, the largest Mayan city, may have had a population of 100,000 or more.
Mayans had straight black hair, and many painted their bodies red, blue, or black. The Mayan people were short. The average height for a man was around 5 feet, while women were about 4 feet 8 inches tall.
Many Mayans valued crossed eyes. They would tie objects from their infants’ foreheads to encourage their eyes to cross. Some would even tie boards to the heads of their children to flatten their foreheads. http://www.mayacopan.info/images/4-crosseyes.gif
The Maya had three major eras: the pre-classic, the classic, and the post-classic. The pre-classic era lasted from about 2,500 B.C. to A.D. 250. The classic era continued from A.D. 250 to A.D. 900.
During the classic era, the Mayas developed an advanced mathematics and astronomy system as well as a writing system.
The post-classic era began with the collapse of the Mayan empire and lasted until the Spanish Conquest in the 1500s. Christopher Columbus met some Mayan traders on one of his voyages in 1502. This was the only ancient Indian tribe of the Americas that he had contact with.
One of the world’s greatest mysteries is what happened to the Mayan culture. The Mayans suddenly left their great cities and scattered throughout the countryside. No one knows exactly why the great Mayan civilization ended.
The early history of the Incas is a mystery. Since they never developed a system of writing, we must rely on the writings of their Spanish conquerors.
At its peak, the Incan empire spread through parts of what are now Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina. http://www.peru-travel-confidential.com/image-files/inca-civilization-map.jpg
Legend says that the Incas probably began as one of many small tribes in the Andes Mountains.
One early story of the Incas is that the sun god created the first Incan, Manco Capac, and his sister. The god told them to go establish a city and teach other Indians. Manco Capac and his sister found the city of Cuzco, which became the capital of the Incan empire. http://library.thinkquest.org/C005121/citetemp.html
The Incan empire was so large that they built a system of roads that stretched over 12,000 miles. This great road system was used for pedestrians, not wheeled vehicles. Only the road system of the ancient Romans was equal to that of the Incas.
The Incan road system covered terrain that included desert, fertile valleys, some rain forests, and the Andes Mountains.
The Incas also developed a counting system that used a base of ten. They used a cord called a “Quipus” to remember the numbers.
The “Quipus” had a main cord that was about two feet long.
They tied many colored strings to the main cord, and each string had knots tied in it. The color of the strings and the distance between the knots had special meanings.
The llama was an important animal for the Incan civilization.
The llama was tamed and used for transportation of men and materials. It also provided the Incas with wool and food.
The Incan Empire was at its peak when the Spanish arrived.
Spaniard, Francisco Pizarro, led Spanish invaders against the Incas and their king, Atahualpa. The Spanish conquered the empire after a series of fierce battles in 1533.