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Chapter 6 Notes WHAP

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683 BCE Chan Bahlum 3 slits into penis obsidian knife
Paper made form tree bark inserted encouraged blood flow
Kan Xul did similar rite (brother) so did other family members
Bloodletting of Sept 683 BCE was political and religious ritual, act of deep
piety for Pacal (mayan king of Palenque in Yucatan) was father of Chan
Chan presided funeral
Maya believe shedding royal blood essential for worlds survival
Men commonly drew from penis
Women from tongue
Both occasionally from earlobes, lips, cheeks sometimes used cord thru
wound to increase blood flow.
Gods shed blood to water earth and nourish crops
Expected humans to follow
Humans hoped to please and ensure life giving water to bring harvest
Bloodletting essential to rain and agricultural survival
Product of distinct tradition
Humans moved to Americas and Oceania long after moving to E. Hemi.
but before agricultural experimentation
Migrations took place during ice age
Bridges emerged that didnt before and after Ice Age
Siberia Alaska
Australia New Guinea
Humans took adv. of bridges
Movements represent continuations of migratory flow that earlier resulted
into establishment of human communities thru E. Hemi.
8,00 years ago- water returned and covered low lying lands that
However, by then Americas, SE Asian islands, and Australia were
Return of high water didnt end migrations

Humans from Alaska fanned to N, C, and S America.

3000 BCE SE Asians built sailing canoes and inhabited island of Pacific
700 CE Humans settled everywhere possible
Made it hard to have ties
Didnt lead isolated lives
Had significant but sporadic contact from Asians to Pacific and Pacific to

The Olmecs

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Siberia to Alaska 13,00BCE large wave

Small waves may have crossed Bering land bridge early
Possible- migrants sailed or drifted to W Hemi
Few human groups made it to W. Hemi before large scale migration
(15,000 BCE)
9,500 BCE reached southernmost part of S. America
Earliest inhabitants lived exclusively by hunting and gathering
8000 BCE became hard to forage
7500 BCE several large animals road to extinction
The Olmecs
1) Early agriculture 8000-7000: beans, squashes, chilis; later, maize
became the staple (4000 B.C.E.)
Later added tomatoes
Agricultural villages appeared after 3000 B.C.E. By 2000 BCE
agriculture spread thruout MesoA.

No large domesticated animals, no wheeled vehicles

o Only had turkeys and small dogs (used as food)
o No animals to pull wheeled vehicles so no need
2) Ceremonial centers by the end of the second millennium B.C.E.
had monumental pyramids, temples, and palaces
Not cities
Ruling elite, priests, and few artisans and craftsmen lived
People went to observe rituals or trade goods
3) Olmecs, the "rubber people" lived near the Gulf of Mexico (1200

Earliest centers occurred near modern day Veracruz

Olmecs- First complex society of Americas
Many questions unanswered, study started 1940
Name is also unknown.
Influenced complex socites of Mesoamerica

First center 1200 BCE (modern day San Lorenzo) served as

capital for 400 years

La Venta (800-400 BCE)
Tres Zapotes (400-100 BCE)
Didnt need irrigation system
Had drainage system
4) Olmec Society
Thousands of people partook in construction of center
Had elaborate complex of

Stone sculptures

o Tombs
Commoners gave portion of harvest and provided labor
Distinct artistic creation: Colossal human heads likenesses of
rulers made of basalt rock
o Dragged boulders
o Floated them on rafts
o Dragged to point
o Positioned for sculptors

Influence reached to regions of modern Mexico , beyond to

Guatemala and El Salvador.
Spread influence partly by military force
Trade was prominent link
o Decorative jade
o Obsidian tools

Gave small works of art and animal skins for imports

Destroyed centers and deserted them possibly due to civil

conflicts and doubts of ruling classes
400 BCE fallen on hard times
Influence of Olmec: maize, ceremonial centers, calendar, human
sacrifice, ball game

Heirs of the Olmecs: The Maya

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About 100 BCE complex societies arose in other MesoA regions.

Human pop increased
Centers popped up far from Olmec heartland

evolved into cities

Attracted large amount of permanent residents
Ambitious projects of construction
Maintained large markets

Increasing specialized labor

Networks of long distance trade linked new urban centers

Priests devised written language and astronomical knowledge within cities

1) The Maya lived in the highlands of Guatemala

permanent villages 200 BCE
prominent village: Kaminaljuy (Guatemala City)
o More like center than city

o Products traveled to C Mexico

Fell under Teotihuacan, larger city from C Mexico. 300 CE
After 300 CE Maya flourished in MesoA lowlands
o Poorly drained
o Made terraces due to soil with less fertility
Besides maize, they also cultivated cotton and cacao
o Cacao precious commodity used by nobles
o Used cacao as money

2) Tikal
300-900 CE built over 8 centers in lowlands plus small

Some centers turned into cities

important was Tikal

300-800 CE political center
Height: 600-800 CE
Wealthy, bustling. Population: 40,000

o Temple of the Giant Jaguar (47 meters, stepped

3) Maya

Surrounding regions population was 500,000
Other cities: Palenque and Chichen Itza
o Smaller kingdoms 10,000-30,000 population
Maya kingdoms constantly fought
Victors took over centers
Most captives ended up as slaves or sacrificial victims
High ranks went ritual torture and sacrifice in public

4) Chichen Itza
800 CE came to power
established larger political framework

preferred to absorb and integrate captives

800-1000 CE organized loose empire that brought some stability
to N Yucatan

5) Maya Decline
800 CE Maya populations began to desert cities

within century they were in full decline except N Yucatan

o possibly invasion from Mexico
o internal war
o failure of water control
o ecological problems
o spread of epidemic diseases
o catastrophes

Maya Society and Religion

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Hereditary nobility owned most land cooperated with kings and priests by
organizing military forces and participating in religious rituals.
Merchants- ruling and noble classes
Acted as both merchants and ambassadors
Traded in luxury items such as
o Animal skins
o Cacao
o Fine art
Professional architects and sculptors oversaw construction
Artisans specialized in pottery tools and cotton
Large classes of peasants and slaves fed the society and provided
physical labor
Built upon Olmec
Studied astronomy and math
Devised calendar and writing
Could predict eclipses and plot planetary cycles
Invented zero

Came up with solar year - 365.242 days (seventeen seconds

shorter than figure by modern astronomers)

1) The Maya Calendar

used solar year for agriculture
made ritual year with twenty months with 13 days
each day was characterized by attributes of the day of solar and
ritual calendar

2) Maya

18,980 combinations 52 year period

believed end of period =- end of world

included ideographs and symbols for syllables.
Started to decipher in 1960s
Wrote works of history, poetry, myth, genealogy, administration,
and astronomy.
Most writing survives from inscriptions
Only four books survive dealing with astronomy and calendar

3) Maya Religious Thought

Popul Vuh- Maya creational myth
o Gods made humans out of maize and water
o Represents how important agriculture was in society
o Priests also said gods kept world going and agricultural
cycle for honors and sacrifices
4) Bloodletting Rituals
most important of rituals

blood shedding would prompt gods to release rain

also used captives for bloodletting

5) The Maya Ball Game

object: score points by propelling rubber ball through ring or

onto marker without using hands
baked rubber ball heavy and hard could cause concussion
extremely popular
used for bets
captives were pit against each other where loser was sacrificed

Heirs of the Olmecs: Teotihuacan

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1) The City of Teotihuacan Near Mexico city modern day

500 BCE large agricultural village
200 BCE expanded rapidly
0 BCE population- 50,000

100 BCE- colossal sun and moon pyramids dominated skyline

o Pyramid of the Sun- largest single structure in

Almost as big as Khufu

400-600 CE population- 200,000

Books perished when city declined

City was theocracy of sorts

Priests were crucial since they kept calendar and ensure planting
and harvesting took place

2) The Society of Teotihuacan

population also included cultivators, artisans, and merchants

2/3 of city worked in fields around city

artisans famous for obsidian tools and pottery
merchants traded all over Mesoamerica
no sign of military organization till 500 CE
had more manufacturing influence rather than military influence

3) Cultural Traditions
played ball games

used Olmec calendar

expanded on Olmec graphic symbols into complete system of

books perished
believed in earth god and rain god
definitely carried out human sacrifices

4) Decline
experienced military pressure from outside 500 CE
650 CE entered decline

750 CE got raped

Early Andean Society and the Chavn Cult9/18/2014 4:46:00 AM

12,00 BCE hunters and gatherers made it into South America

They hunted
Cool moist climate provided natural harvests of squashes, gourds, and
wild potatoes.
8000 BCE- climate became warm and dry. Put pressure on natural food
Began to experiment with agriculture
1000 BCE- created complex societies parallel to those of MesoA.
Heartland is modern day Peru and Bolivia
Didnt communicate due to lack of animals and tech
Maize and Squashes went down to Andean civilization
Gold, silver, and copper metallurgy moved up to MesoA.
Transportation between valleys became very difficult.
Nevertheless, powerful Andean states sometimes overcame difficulties
and influenced human affairs as far away as modern Ecuador and
Colombia to the north and northern Chile to the south.
2500-2000 BCE Early Andean heartland came under cultivation;
permanent settlements dotted coast
relied on beans, peanuts, and sweet potatoes as main food crops. Also
Varieties of potatoes supported agricultural communities in highlands
after about 2000 BCE
1800 BCE- Andean regions had begun to fashion distinctive styles of
pottery and to build temples and pyramids in large centers

1) The Chavlin Cult

After 1000 BCE, new religion appeared in C Andes
Popular 900-800 BCE
Vanished 300 BCE
No information survives to indicate the precise significance of the
Named after Chavin de Huantar, most prominent sites.
Probably designed to promote fertility and abundant harvests.
Large temple complexes and elaborate works of art accompanied

Society became complex in era of Chavin cult
Inspired the building of ceremonial centers rather making of true
Cities appeared shortly after chavin cult
200 BCE- Huari, Pucara, and Tiahuanaco. Exceeded 10,00
didnt make use of writing

Early Andean States: Mochica

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Regional states appeared with cities

Arose in many valleys on the W. side of mountains
Conquerors unified valleys and organized them into integrated
High Region
o Potatoes
o Llama meat
o Alpaca wool

Central Valleys
o Maize
o Beans
o Squashes

o Sweet potatoes
o Fish
o Cotton
Deliberately did this
Didnt hesitate to use force
Relied heavily on arms
1) The Mochica State
didnt use writing
o beliefs, values, and way of life remind largely hidden
used art
Moche River Valley (Northern Peru) 300-700 CE
Painted largely on pottery vessels

Ceramics take form of portraits of individuals heads.

Others represent major gods and various subordinate deities and


All states couldnt come under one rule.

Many regional differences

Early Societies in Australia and New Guinea9/18/2014 4:46:00 AM

People entered Australia and New Guinea 60,000 years ago or earlier;
used watercraft or land with no water covering it
5,000 years ago SE Asia people went to New Guinea for trading purposes
some settled
many ventured on
Mid of 1st millienium people inhabited all possible islands of Pacific Ocean
Humans reached Australia and New Guinea before anyone cultivated or
Migrations between Au and NG stopped 8000 BCE
Australia: hunting and gathering until the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries C.E.
New Guinea: Turned to agriculture about 3000 B.C.E.
Austronesian peoples from southeast Asia were seafarers to New Guinea,
3000 B.C.E.
Remarkable seafaring skills
Sailed open ocean in large canoes with outriggers
Paid attention to winds, currents, stars, cloud formations, and
other natural indicators
Established their own communities
Austronesian introduced yams, taro, pigs, and chickens to the island
Few centuries it spread

The Peopling of Pacific Islands

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Early hunters and gatherers had also settled in Bismarck and Solomon
(east of New Guinea)
Austronesians went past Solomons due to maritime tech and agricultural
expertise. Outrigger canoes allowed them to sail safely over long
distances of open ocean.
First arrived to New Guinea to establish settlement, then went forward to
explore and populate more areas.
1500 BCE mariners arrived at Vanuatu and New Caledonia
1300 BCE at Fiji
1000 BCE at Tonga and Samoa
Late centuries of first millennium got to Tahiti and Marquesas.
Went to even more remote outposts
Reached Hawaii Early centuries CE
300 CE Easter Island
700 CE New Zealand
Other branches explored Micronesia and Madagascar

Earliest known Austronesian migrants to make settlements in Pacific are

known as Lapita
1500-500 BCE maintained communication and exchanged
networks throughout New Guinea and Bismarck to Samoa and
Wherever they settled they established agricultural villages with pigs and
chickens. Supplemented crops and animals with fish and seaweed
Killed off most of large land animals and birds

Evidence of civilization: pottery with stamped geometric designs

Maintained extensive trade networks
Would bring high quality obsidian from far far away.
500 BCE trade networks declined because they could self sustain and
wanted to focus on own development; developed chiefdom
leadership passed from chief to eldest son. Contest for power caused
turmoil but they could set sail and find new land. Also population
pressures led to more exploration.
Lapita built strong chiefly societies on large island.
Eventually, chiefly and aristocratic classes became extremely powerful
and divine