32 terms

Maya, Aztec, & Inca

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obsidian
natural volcanic glass used to make very sharp blades for spears and arrows (Maya)
slash & burn agriculture
farming method in which trees and other plants on a plot of land are cut down and burned
quetzal
colorful tropical bird whose feathers were traded and used in headresses
drought
prolonged period of little or no rainfall may be a reason for fall of Maya
hieroglyphic
symbol that stands for a word, idea, or sound the Maya had over 800 glyphs and the only writing system in the Americas
observatories
used for observing the sky, Maya astronomers observations were more accurate than those of European astronomers at that time - they used these to develop a complex system of calendars
basin
bowl shaped area of land - the Valley of Mexico was the center of the Aztec empire
chinampas
artificial islands built by the Aztec to increase their farmland
dike
wall to hold back water - used by the Aztecs to keep the fresh water in Lake Texcoco separate from the brackish water
absolute monarchy
system in which one person from a ruling family has unlimited powers
aqueducts
canals or pipes that carry fresh water across Lake Texcoco
Andes
mountain range along the western edge of South America
terraces
strips of level land that are planted with crops - allows farming on inclines or hillsides
quipu
record keeping device made of knotted strings used by the Incas to record numerical values
hierarchy
system for ranking members of a group according to their importance (class system)
ayllu
group of related families that pooled resources to meet people's needs (Incan society)
mita system
Inca system of paying taxes with labor instead of goods or currency
Maya Civilization dates
250 to 850 A.D. (C.E.)
Aztec Civilization dates
1200's to 1500's A.D. (C.E.)
Inca Civilization dates
1400's to 1500's A.D. (C. E.)
Maya locations
Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico (Yucatan peninsula)
Aztec location
Mexico (capital city Tenochtitlan in now Mexico City)
Inca location
S. America (Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Peru)
Maya decline
possibly drought or warfare ( Maya language survives to this day)
Aztec decline
conquered by Hernan Cortes in 1519 (Spanish)
Inca decline
conquered by Francisco Pizarro in 1533 (Spanish)
Maya government
independent city states ruled by kings
Aztec government
absolute monarchy - king was part of Triple Alliance with other kings shared troops and control of empire. These three kings controlled city states they conquered.
Inca government
Sapa Inca ruled over four governors. Each governor ruled a province. Incan government took responsibility for the well being of its people.
Maya religion
polytheistic - Gods represent nature - human sacrifice and bloodletting
Aztec religion
polytheistic - sacrificed thousands of victims annually to Huitzilopochtli & Tlaloc to ensure success in battle and sunrise
Inca religion
polytheistic - believe they were descended from the Sun god Inti - human sacrifice rarely

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