Chapter 11

Hannah Lee and Lucy Liu

Thesis: Although the civilizations of Mesoamerica, the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas, developed in geographic isolation which posed technological constraints, they were able to develop independently through building on the accomplishments of their predecessors.

  • Geographical isolation- distinct and independent civilization, technical disadvantages
  • Changes caused by growing population and settlements
  • Maya (500-900 CE)
    • Devised calendar + writing
    • Polytheistic Religion - sun
      • Influenced taxes, rules, education, and architecture
    • Empire with smaller politically independent states (ex) Teotihuacan
    • Trade: metal work, stone work, textiles,
  • Aztec (1325-? CE)
    • Built on Mayan elements
    • Agriculture and trade
    • Irrigation and canals
    • Polytheistic religion: gods of nature
      • Emphasized warfare and human sacrifices
    • Sustained power: collecting taxes and military intimidation
  • Inca (1350-? CE)
    • Complex empire: highly organized political system + infrastructure
    • Innovation + development driven by mountain geography
      • Self-efficiency limited trade
    • Diverse ethnicity + languages, large population
    • Animistic religion

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