18 terms

AP World History/Geography: Chapter 6 Vocabulary

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Austronesian peoples
People who, as early as 2000 b.c.e., began to explore and settle islands of the Pacific Ocean basin. They were skilled seafarers who were known to be the earliest inhabitants of New Guinea, and relied on foraging for food like the aboriginals of Australia. Throughout the ages, these peoples soon used their excellent seafaring skills to trade with indigenous peoples and establish their own communities outside of New Guinea.
Bloodletting ritual
These rituals were the most important of all sacrifices as it involved the shedding of human blood, which the Maya believed would prompt the gods to send rain to water their crops of maize. Bloodletting rituals involved decapitation of victims and the laceration of their bodies to cause copious blood flow- in turn, this testifies the depth of Mayan convictions where gods and deities expected both honor and reverence.
Chavín cult
This term refers to the mysterious but very popular South American religion (1000-300 B.C.E.). It was theorized to have started after maize cultivation, and devotees produced intricate stone carvings representing deities. This specific religion was designed to promote fertility and abundant harvests.
Chichén Itzá
A sizable, Mayan state located in the northern Yucatan peninsula. This specific state seemed to dampen hostile instincts between all Mayan small kingdoms and established a larger political framework for Mayan society.
Ex: They believed captives should be integrated within their own society over annihilation.
Colossal human heads
The most distinctive artistic creations of the Olmecs, sculpted from basalt rock ad made possibly in likenesses of rulers. These sculptures stood almost 10 feet and weighed in at around 20 tons- plus, because of the lack of draft animals, human laborers dragged the enormous borders and placed them on rafts to point near their intended destinations.
Kaminaljuyú
Located on the site of modern Guatemala City, this cite housed the most prominent of Olmec permanent villages. This city, similar to other Olmec capitals, was primarily a ceremonial center, and it dominated the life of other communities in the region. It fell, however, in the fourth century C.E. after economic and political dominance from other neighboring cities.
Lapita
This term describes the earliest Austronesian migrants to sail into the Pacific Ocean and establish settlements in the Pacific islands. The name itself is derived from a beach in New Caledonia, where a multitude of artifacts were discovered by historians. This civilization established agricultural villages, supplementing their crops and domesticated animals with fish and seaweed from nearby waters, and maintained extensive networks of trade and communication across vast stretches of open ocean. Moreover, they placed high value on objects from distant islands, such as obsidian, in exchange for their high quality pottery. Over time, the descendants of these peoples built strong, chiefly societies, and the emergence of a social class allowed the aristocratic peoples to become divine/semi divine in the commoners' eyes.
Maize
Technical or chiefly British term for corn; this crop was essential in early Mesoamerican culture as it allowed for the emergence of agricultural villages after 3000 B.C.E.
Maya
Brilliant Central American society (300-1100) known for math, astronomy, and a sophisticated written language. These peoples, descendants and heirs of the Olmec, created permanent villages after 3000 B.C.E. based around agriculture, specifically cotton, cacao, and maize, and built more than eighty large ceremonial centers within the lowlands of Mesoamerica. Political organization was based on small-city kingdoms that constantly fought with one another.
Maya ball game
A game in which Maya peoples used a hard rubber ball to propel through a ring without using their hands. Often used for ritual and ceremonial purposes, victims who fell to these games were generally war captives high in ranking.
Mayan calendar
This specific Mayan invention was the most elaborate calendar of the ancient Americas, and was comprised of two kinds of year: a solar year of 365 days governing the agricultural cycle, and a ritual year of 260 days governing daily affairs, with twenty months of thirteen days apiece organizing time.
Mesoamerica
The area between South America and North America; present-day Central America that contains countries such as Honduras and Mexico; the region from the central portion of modern Mexico to Honduras and El Salvador where a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas.
Mochica
Pre-Incan South American society (300-700) known for their brilliant ceramics. This state had its base in the valley of the Moche River, and dominated the coasts and valleys of northern Peru during the period about 300 to 700 C.E. To add, this society was only one of several large states that dominated the central Andean region during the first millennium C.E, as geographic features presented challenges that ancient technology and social organization simply could not meet.
Oceania
Term referring to the Pacific Ocean basin and its lands, alongside the Austronesian' first migration land.
Olmecs
Early Mesoamerican society (1200-100 b.c.e.) that centered on sites at San Lorenzo, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes that influenced later Maya. Known as the "rubber people", these societies constructed elaborate drainage systems, an authoritarian society, and elaborate complexes, such as temples, pyramids, altars, and more, setting the stage for future mesoamerican civilizations.
Popol Vuh
Mayan creation epic that taught that the gods had created humans out of maize and water: the ingredients that became human flesh and blood. This shows how Mayan religion reflected the fundamental role of agriculture in their society.
Teotihuacan
Central American society (200 b.c.e.-750 c.e.); its Pyramid of the Sun was the largest structure in Mesoamerica. This society housed a thriving metropolis with scores of temples, palatial residences, and diverse neighborhoods comprised of apartments, markets, and workshops. This specific society was said to be some sort of theocracy, and the society included rulers and priests, cultivators, artisans, and merchants who distinctively utilized obsidian and orange pottery.
Tikal
Maya political center from the fourth through the ninth century. This political center was a wealthy and bustling city that boasted enormous paved plazas and temples, pyramids, palaces, and public buildings.

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