Mayas, Aztecs and Incas from the Global History Regents
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Between 300-1500 three advanced civilizations developed in Central and South America. Ruins from the Mayan civilization remain even today in southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. The Aztecs, who conquered most of Mexico, built a highly developed civilization in the 1400’s. At the same time, the Incas were building an empire in Peru.
The Mayans were clearly very skilled architects that could create wonders with their resources. Document 1 pictures a Mayan pyramid temple in Tikal, which was the tallest structure in the Americas until the twentieth century. This temple evidenced that the Mayans had great skill when it came to architecture and the building of great structures. Mayan architects would build large palaces and pyramid shaped temples like the one in Tikal. The pyramid pictured is a Mayan step pyramid, which was used for worship. Many of these pyramids were built and many of them still stand today in cities such as Yucatan, Mexico, and Tikal.
The Aztecs were experts at trading goods and selling goods in their capital city of Tenochtitlan. According to document 3 products such as food, jewels, gold and silver, lead, brass, copper, zinc, bones, shells and feathers were sold. In Tenochtitlan there was a certain area in which 60,000 people bought and sold their goods daily. All kinds of merchandise could be found and bought in the market places.
The Incas were great farmers that used their architectural skill to get all of their crops correctly irrigated. Document 6 pictures the use of step farming, which would bring water to all crops that were planted and needed water. This engineering technique was known as irrigation and it was a significant achievement because the Incas lived on a Mountain so all the crops could not be correctly planted. With their system they could easily water all the crops evenly. Document 6 provides a picture of Machu Picchu, which evidences that the Incas were great farmers.
Every Mesoamerican civilization had great success in their time, which led the way to modern success. Every civilization clearly survived by using the resources they had available to them.