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Civilizations in the Americas
Terms in this set (48)
The homeland of the Maya stretched from southern Mexico into northern Central America.
The ______________ lie to the north. They include the dry scrub forest of the Yucatan Peninsula and the dense, steamy _________ of southeastern Mexico and northern Guatemala.
The _________________ are further south a range of cool, cloud-wreathed ________________ that stretch from southern Mexico to El Salvador.
lowlands, jungles, highlands, mountains
The period from A. D. 250 to 900 is known as the ________ ________ of Maya civilization. During this time, the Maya built spectacular cities such as ______, a major center in northern Guatemala. Other important sites included _________, ______________, ________, and ___________ _____
Classic Period, Tikal, Copan, Palenque, Uxmal, Chichen Itza
Each of these was an independent _____-_______, ruled by a ____-_______ and serving as a center for _____________ ceremonies and ________. Maya cities featured giant _____________, ____________, ___________, and elaborate stone carvings dedicated to the _______ and to important rulers.
city-state, god-king, religious, trade, pyramids, temples, palaces, gods
Although the Maya city-states were ___________________ of each other, they were linked through alliances and ______. Cities exchanged their local products such as salt, flint, feathers, shells, and honey. While the Maya did not have a uniform currency, _________ (chocolate) beans some-times served as one.
independent, trade, cacao
As in the rest of Mesoamerica, agriculture particularly the growing of ________, _______, and _________ provided the basis for Maya life.
maize, beans, squash
For years, experts assumed that the Maya practiced _______-____-______ agriculture. This method involves farmers clearing the land by burning existing vegetation and planting crops in the ashes. Evidence now shows, however, that the Maya also developed more sophisticated methods, including planting on raised beds above _________ and on ____________ __________.
slash-and-burn, swamps, hillside terraces
Rank the Maya society based on class.
Maya kings at the top, priests and warriors next, merchants and those with specialized knowledge, and at the bottom were peasants
The Maya believed in many gods. There were gods of ______, of ________, of _____, and of _____. Gods could be _______ or ______, and sometimes both. Gods also were associated with the four directions and with different colors: _______ for north, _______ for west, _________ for south, ____ for east, and ________ in the center. The Maya believed that each day was a __________ ____ whose behavior could be predicted with the help of a system of calendars.
corn, death, good, evil, white, black, yellow, red, green, living god
At Chichen Itza, they threw captives into a deep sinkhole lake, called a __________, along with gold, jade, and other offerings.
The Maya believed that time was a burden carried on the back of a god. At the end of a day, month, or year, one god would ___ ____ ________ ______ and another would ______ __ ___. A day would be lucky or unlucky, depending on the _________ of the god
burden, lay the burden down, pick it up, nature
The Maya astronomers were able to attain such great precision by using a math system that included the _________ __ ______.. The Maya used a _______ ________ for zero, dots for the numbers one to four, and a bar for five. The Maya number system was a ______-___ system. They used the numerical system primarily for ______________ and ________________ _____.
concept of zero, shell symbol, base-20, calendar, astronomical work
Maya peoples wrote down their history after the _______ __ ____ _________. The most famous of these books, the _________ ____, recounts the Highland Maya's version of the story of creation.
"Before the world was created, Calm and Silence were the great kings that ruled,"
reads the first sentence in the books.
"____________ existed, there was ____________."
arrival of the Spanish, Popol Vuh, Nothing, nothin
The remarkable history of the Maya ended in mystery. In the late 800s, the Maya suddenly abandoned many of their _______. Invaders from the north, the __________, moved into the lands occupied by the Maya. These warlike peoples from central Mexico _________ ___ ___________. The _____ _________________ of Maya cities like Tikal and Copan disappeared.
cities, Toltec, changed the culture, high civilization
By the 700s, ___________ had broken out among the various Maya city states. This disrupted _______ and produced ___________ _______________. In addition, ________________ _________ and ______-__________ may have damaged the environment, and this led to food shortages, famine, and disease. By the time the Spanish arrived in the early 1500s, the Maya were divided into small, weak city-states that gave little hint of their former glory.
warfare, trade, economic hardship, population growth, over farming
The _________ __ __________, a mountain basin about 7,500 feet above sea level, served as the home base of several powerful cultures. The valley had several large, shallow ________ at its center, accessible ____________, and _________ ______. These advantages attracted the people of ______________ and the _____________. They settled in the valley and developed advanced civilizations that controlled much of the area.
The Valley of Mexico, lakes, resources, fertile soil, Teotihuacan, Toltecs
The first major civilization of central Mexico was _________________, a city-state whose ruins lie just outside Mexico City. The heart of the city was a central avenue lined with more than 20 _____________ dedicated to various gods. The biggest of these was the giant _____________ __ ___ _____.
Teotihuacan, pyramids, Pyramid of the Sun
Teotihuacan became the center of a thriving trade network that extended far into Central America. The city's most valuable trade item was ____________, a green or black volcanic glass found in the Valley of Mexico and used to make razor-sharp weapons. Evidence of ____ ________ and ____________ ________ from Teotihuacán have been found throughout Mesoamerica.
obsidian, art styles, religious beliefs
After centuries of growth, the city abruptly declined. Regardless of the causes, the city was virtually abandoned by 750. The vast ruins astonished later settlers in the area, who named the site Teotihuacán, which means "_______ __ _____ _______."
City of the Gods
For the next three centuries, the Toltecs ruled over the heart of Mexico from their capital at ______. The Toltecs were an extremely ___________ people whose empire was based on ______________. They worshiped a fierce war god who demanded blood and _________ ____________ from his followers. Sometime after 1000, a Toltec ruler named _____________ tried to change the Toltec religion. He also encouraged them to worship a different god, __________________ , or the Feathered Serpent.
Followers of the war god rebelled, however, forcing Topiltzin and his followers into exile on the ______________ ______________.
Tula, warlike, conquest, human sacrifice, Topiltzin, Quetzalcoatl, Yucatan Peninsula
According to one of the Aztec legends, the god of the sun and warfare, __________________ , told them to found a city of their own.
They found such a place on a small island in Lake Texcoco, at the center of the valley. There, in 1325, they founded their city, which they named ___________________
Over the years, the Aztecs gradually increased in ______________ and number. In 1428, they joined with two other city-states Texcoco and Tlacopan to form the ___________ ____________. This alliance became the leading power in the _________ __ __________ and soon gained control over ______________ _________.
strength Triple Alliance, Valley of Mexico, neighboring regions
The Aztecs based their power on __________ ___________ and the ___________ they gained from their conquered subjects. The Aztecs generally exercised loose control over the empire, often letting local rulers govern their own __________. The Aztecs did demand tribute, however, in the form of _______, __________, cacao beans, cotton, jade, and other products. If local rulers _____________ __ ____ _________, or offered any other kind of resistance, the Aztecs responded brutally. They destroyed the rebellious ___________ and captured or slaughtered the inhabitants.
military conquest, tribute, regions, gold, maize, failed to pay tribute, villages
At the height of the Aztec Empire, ___________ leaders held great power in Aztec society. Along with ______________ _________ and ____________, these military leaders made up the noble class. Many nobles owned vast ___________, which they ruled over like lords, living a life of great wealth and luxury.
military, government officials, priests, estates
There were two other broad classes in Aztec society, _________________ and ____________ _________. _______________ included merchants, artisans, soldiers, and farmers who owned their own land. The ______________ formed a special type of elite. They often traveled widely, acting as spies for the emperor and gaining great wealth for themselves. The lowest class, ______________ __________, were ____________ who did many different jobs.
commoners, enslaved, commoners, owned their own land, merchants, enslaved persons, captives
The _____________ sat atop the Aztec social pyramid. Although he sometimes consulted with top generals or officials, his power was _____________.
By the early 1500s, Tenochtitlan had become an extraordinary _________ _________. To connect the island to the mainland, Aztec engineers built three raised roads, called _______________, over the water and marshland.
urban center, causeways
__________ and broad avenues connected the city center with outlying residential districts. The _______ that intersected with these roadways allowed canoes to bring people directly into the city center. Canoes also brought ________ from the farthest reaches of the empire to the economic heart of the city, the huge market of _______________
streets, canals, goods, Tlatelolco
Visitors to the market also found a great deal of local ________________ __________ on display, including avocados, beans, chili peppers, corn, squash, and tomatoes. Most of the fruits and vegetables sold at the market were grown on _______________, farm plots built on the marshy fringes of the lake. These plots, sometimes called
"___________ ____________," were extremely productive
agricultural produce, chinampas, floating gardens
At the center of the city was a massive __________ ____________, filled with palaces, temples, and government buildings. The main structure in the complex was the _________ _________. This giant pyramid with ______ ____________ at the top, one dedicated to the ____ _____ and the other to the _____ ___, served as the center of Aztec religious life.
walled complex, Great Temple, twin temples, sun god, rain god
Aztec religious practices centered on elaborate public ceremonies designed to ________________ _____ ____ ______ and win ________ ________. At these ceremonies, priests made offerings to the gods and presented ritual dramas, songs, and dances featuring masked performers. The Aztec ceremonial calendar was full of religious festivals, which varied according to the _____ __________ _______________.
communicate with the gods, their favor, god being honored
According to Aztec belief, __________________ made the sun rise every day. When the sun set, he had to _________ ____ _________ __ ______ to get to the next day. To make sure that he was strong enough for this ordeal, he needed the nourishment of __________ __________. Without regular offerings of it, Huitzilopochtli would be too weak to fight. The sun would ____ ______, the world would be plunged ______ ____________, and all life would perish. For this reason, Aztec priests practiced __________ _____________ on a massive scale.
Huitzilopochtli, battle the forces of evil, human blood, not rise, into darkness, human sacrifice
Sacrificial victims included ___________ ___________, criminals, and people offered as tribute by conquered provinces. ________________ __ _____, however, were the preferred victims. As a result, the priests required a steady supply of war captives. This in turn pushed the Aztec military to carry out ____ ____________. In fact, the Aztecs often went to war not to conquer new lands, but simply to capture _____________ ____ ___________. They even adapted their battle tactics to ensure that they took their _________________ _________.
enslaved persons, prisoners of war, new conquests, prisoners for sacrifice, opponents alive
Under _________________, the Aztec Empire began to weaken. Now, with the population of Tenochtitlán growing ever greater, Montezuma called for even more ___________ and ______________. A number of _____________ rose up against Aztec oppression. This began a period of unrest and rebellion, which the military struggled to put down.
Montezuma, tribute, sacrifice, provinces
Over time, Montezuma tried to lessen the ____________ __ ____ __________. For example, he reduced the demand for tribute payment by cutting the number of ___________ __ ____ ________ ________________. Many Aztecs saw _____ ________ in every unusual occurrence. The most worrying event, however, was the __________ __ ____ __________. For many Aztecs, these fair-skinned, bearded strangers from across the sea brought to mind the legend of the return of ___________________.
pressure on the provinces, officials in the Aztec government, bad omens, arrival of the Spanish, Quetzalcoatl
During this early period, the Inca developed traditions and beliefs that helped launch and unify their empire. One of these traditions was the belief that the Incan ruler was descended from the sun god, ______, who would bring prosperity and greatness to the Incan state. Only men from one of __ _________ ____________ believed to be descendants of the sun god could be selected as Incan leaders.
Inti, 11 noble lineages
Under his leadership, the Inca conquered all of ______ and then moved into neighboring lands. By 1500, the Inca ruled an empire that stretched 2,500 miles along the __________ _______ of South America. The Inca called this empire
"_______ __ ____ ______ _____________."
Peru, western coast, Land of the Four Quarters
The Inca had a ____________ _________ but used force only when necessary.
Before attacking, they typically offered enemy states an ___________ ___________. They would allow them to keep their own customs and rulers in exchange for __________ to the Incan state. Because of this treatment, many states gave up ____________ ____________. Even when force was used, the Inca took a similar approach. Once an area was defeated, they made every effort to ______ _____ __________ of the newly conquered people.
powerful military, honorable surrender, loyalty, without resisting, gain the loyalty
To control the huge empire, the rulers divided their territory and its people into _____________ ______, governed by a central bureaucracy. The Inca created an efficient ____________ ________ to support the empire and an extensive road system to tie it together. They also imposed a single official language, ____________, and founded schools to teach Incan ways. Certain social groups were identified by officially dictated __________ __ __________.
manageable units, economic system, Quechua, patterns on clothing
To exercise control over their empire, the Inca built many _______ in conquered areas. The architecture of government buildings was the ______ ___ ______ the empire, making the presence of the government apparent. All roads ____ __ ____ _________, Cuzco. The heart of the Incan empire, Cuzco was a splendid city of temples, plazas, and palaces.
cities, same all over, led to the capital
The ________, or extended family group, undertook tasks too big for a single family. These tasks included building ______________ ________ or cutting agricultural terraces into steep hillsides. The ayllu also stored ______ and other supplies to distribute among members during _____ _______.
allyu, irrigation canals, food, hard times
The Inca incorporated the ayllu structure into a governing system based on the _________ ____________. They divided families into groups of 10, 100, 1,000, and 10,000. A _________ led each group. He was part of a chain of command. That chain stretched from the community and regional levels all the way to _________, where the Incan ruler and his council of state held court.
decimal system, chief, Cuzco
The main demand the Incan state placed on its subjects was for tribute, usually in the form of _________. The labor tribute was known as ______. It required all able-bodied citizens to ______ ___ ____ ________ a certain number of days every year.
labor, mita, work for the state
The most spectacular project was the Incan ______ __________. Along the roads, the Inca built _____________________ to provide shelter for weary travelers. A system of runners, known as ___________, traveled these roads as a kind of _________ __________, carrying messages from one end of the empire to the other.
road system, guesthouses, chasquis, postal service
For numerical information, the Inca created an accounting device known as the __________, a set of knotted strings that could be used to record data. The knots and their position on the string indicated ______________. Additionally, the colors of the strings represented different ___________________ __ ___________________ important to the government. However, the meanings of the colors changed depending on the general purpose of the quipu.
quipu, numbers, categories of information
The primary Incan god was a creator god called _____________. Next in importance was the sun god, _____. Because the Incan ruler was considered a descendant of Inti, sun worship amounted to worship of the ______.
Viracocha, Inti, king
Incan priests led the sun-worship services, assisted by young women known as _______________, or
"virgins of the sun." These women, all _____________, were drafted by the Inca for a lifetime of ____________ ___________. Young men, known as _____________, also served as full-time workers for the state and in religious activities. Sacrifice of ___________ and exchange of _________ were a part of the religious activities.
mamakuna, unmarried, religious service, yamacuna, llamas, goods
The __________ __ ____ _____ in Cuzco was the most sacred of all Incan shrines. It was heavily decorated in gold, a metal the Inca referred to as
"_________ __ ____ ____."
In fact, _______ was a common sight throughout Cuzco.
Temple of the Sun, sweat of the sun, gold
After his death, the empire was split between his sons, Atahualpa and Huascar. Atahualpa received ___________, about one-fifth of the empire. The rest went to Huascar. At first, this system of dual emperors worked. Soon, however, _______________ laid claim to the whole of the empire. A bitter civil war followed. ________________ eventually won, but the war ______ ________ ____ ____________.
Ecuador, Atahualpa, Atahualpa, tore apart the empire
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