Mesoamerican Civilization and Pre-Contact Andean Civilization

Sample Research Paper

Words 1,200

Anthropology and archeology reveal a very different picture of the past civilizations that were at their peak– the Mesoamerican civilization of the north and Central America, and the Pre-contact Andean Civilization, centered in Peru. This paper looks at both the civilizations.

Central and southern Mexico, Guatemala, and other parts of Central America, following long periods of an establishment of farming villages, numerous early states arose. Extraordinary achievements were the establishment of a calendar system and complex math, construction of pyramidal temples and sculpted stone monuments, hieroglyphic writing systems, and ritual sacrifice of blood, the earliest team sports.

Mayan culture grew along the Gulf Coast of Mexico; the expression is used for the art style and associated early culture that is sometimes seen as ancestral to all the later great Mesoamerican states. Their major characteristics are the huge carved basalt stone heads, stylistic attributes that highlight jaguar faces and jade carvings, and earthen pyramid complexes, as seen at San Lorenzo. Olmec sites date to between 1500 B.C. and A.D.1, and there is debate over whether they were multifaceted chiefly societies or the first true Mesoamerican civilization.

An early Mesoamerican civilization that lasted from about A.D. 250-900 in the Yucatan area of Mexico and the lowlands of Guatemala and Belize. Agricultural production to sustain great populations of large Maya centers was made possible through the construction of gigantic raised field complexes in the lowlands, which archaeologists often could not see without sophisticated remote sensing methods.

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