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Explain why ancient societies in the Americas are called "low energy" societies.
Technology was simple and effective domestic animals were largely absent. Primary reliance on human muscles powered by food energy in the new world palced serious constrains on the course of development of food production, transporation, trade, specialization and urbanizaation. Writing systems were present in Mesoameric but absent in the Central andes of south smerica.There wer eno major technological innocation that had transformed society. the evolution of social and political structure is not linked to changes in technology.
The region called Mesoamerica includes much of the area coverd by Modern Mexico, Guatemale, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. The nortern boundary of Mesoamerica lies just north of Mexico city (beyond it is too dry to support agro), the southern boundary runs through the mountinous zone spaning Honduras and ElSalvador making a continental linguistic boundary. Most langauges to the south were closesly related to those of South American and many of the Great Tradition elements failed to penetrate father south.
Mesoamerica lies entirely in the tropics but environmental variation is determined as much by latitude as by latitude. Most is dominated by rugged mountain systems, some very young with earthquakes and active volvanoes. Volvanoes produce obsidian and construction stone (basalt). Volcanic depbrit eventually weathers into unuually fertile soil. The altitude inflences climate and vegetation. Lowlands are hot with vegetation varying from scrub forest to tropical forest depending on rainfal. Elevatiosn of 1-2000 m, are temperate mountain valleys and basins. With sufficient rainfall support vegetion of grasses deciduous trees, evergreen oasks and pine. Some are arid have xerophyic vegetation. Precolumbian agriculture not planted about 2400 m because the frost free growing season was too short.
Weather patterns of wet summer and dry winter varied regionally, some recieving rain in each month of the year. Total rainfall between 500 and 4000 mm per year in dif parts of Mesoamerica. Can be locally quite unpredictable especially in arid or semiarid regions. Large rivers drian into gulf of mexico and pacific, but not like old world, not riverine-oriented.
Early hunting-gathering societies 12,000 BC. Changes in climate and vegetation and faunal extinctions - plant and animal resouces less diverse, depended more on a wide range of wild plants and small game. Early experiements in plant domestication probably took place in may regions, best evidence dry highland valleys where preservation is good. 7000 BC the bottle gourd had been domesticated primarily for use as a container. Maize was modified from the wild form by 5000 BC. During the next 3,000 years other plants were domesticated and moved into new areas with the result that complexes of energetically and nutritionally effective plants and animals such as dog and turkey, became widely available. Between 2000-1000 BC sedentary communities were established, based in part on agriculture and wild resources remained important. After about 800 BC a spurt in pop growth occured and agricultural settlements spread, possibly the result fo new maize hybrids which were more productive than earlier forms. First indications of largescale irrigation.
The same processes of evolution of food production took 5-6000 years because of lack of domesticated animals and because maize requires more genetic manipulation than wild weat to make it a productive staple.
Preclassic period- sedentary food processing pops sprad and after 1200 bc heirarchical societies.Olmec society was nonegalitarian. Olmec polities represent complex chiefdoms several at any given time suported by pops in the tousands. Shared a common culture, Distinctive Great Tradition but chiefdoms were politically independant and possible at war with eachother. Monumental sculpture, jade obsidian and mirros made of iron minerals. Include many motifs, symbols and themse found in later classic art, status symbols such as ear plugs, ball-game costumes, deptictions of animals such as serpants and jaguarsm hybrid human and animal figures, possibly early glyphs of calendrical symbols. This tradition is also charcteristic of certain classic societies
Describe the sequence of settlement, urbanization, an agricultural intensification in the Teotihuacan Valley (100 BC - 100 AD)
100 BC - 100 AD - Demise of Cuicuilco left Teotihuacan free to dominate. Expanded rapidly to an area of 20km. Populationa round 60,000 people. Drew from other large settlements resulting in the disappearance of mot other sizable communities. Southwestern section of the valey was virtually abandoned. Only 15,000 people remained outside of the city anywhere in the valey. Reorganization and subordination of entire basic, stressful and possible coerced reflected in overal population standardizing after uninterrupted growth. Would have required food supple close to city. Crops were only sexure if they were irrigated, intensification through channeling water from permanent springs. possibly managed by elite.
300-100 BC - Overal population doubles reaching 150,000. Changes in settlement patterns reflect adjustments in natural and social environment. 200 known sites. Show that new settlements are particularly common along the eastern side of the lake and in the Teotihuacan valley Some zones along western edge decline in population. There are twice as many large regional centers (12) as before. Two of these Cuicuilco and teotihuacan are larger than the others. Dominate complex hierarchies of smaller communities. Must of the growth resulted from the depopulation of smaller rural settlements. Cuicuilco 400 ha 20,000 people, massive circular pyramid temple 80m by 20m high.
Teotihuacan 600-800 ha, 20,000-40,000. only 10% of Teotihuacan pop lived outside this center. Public architecture largely covered by later consruction.
Concentration of this pop into these 2 cities reflects political antagonism and warefare. Extensive systems of agriculture remained light but various forms of sophisticated irrigation. Terracing to hold moisture and retard erosion. Around 100 bc a series of volcanic lave flows covered countryside of Cuicuilco reducing its agro productivity. Ceased to be political rival and dwindled to small regional center. (200 AD another flow destroyed community)
650-300 BC - Great change. Population increased rapidly to about 80,000 people. More settlements filled already occupid areas especially along eastern side of the lake and Teotihuacan Valley. Large village on western side of lake, substantial houses and presence of maize and beans (and other domesticates) and many food storage facilities. continued use of some wild foods. Farming well established. New kinds of settlement appeared, large regional centers in the southern part of the basin. Have pyramid mounds (templ platforms) and one Cuiscuilco may have had population of 5-10,000. Some tendancy for regional clusters and centers such as Cuilcuilco must have served as an administative central place dominating many smaller villages and hamlets.
1,150-650 BC - more sites (75), more large villages. Most still clustered in southwestern. Small pioneer settlements further north along both shores of lake. First small hamlets in Teotihuacan Valley. still substantial distance between comunications. No clustering and no public architexture. Increas in population (20,000) heavier reliatnce on food production. Grown along lakeshore where moisture was high and clearings on hillsides with sufficient rainfall. Few places evidence of floodwater irrigation (where runoff was caught in small streams after rains and channeled into fields by small canals).
1,500-1,150 BC - few sites (19), southern and western parts of the basin, within distance of the lakeshore. Small rural hamlets, may not have been permenantly occupied. Larged had several hunderd people. No sign of community clustering (supracommunity politcal system) or public architecture. Most attractive zones of valley for early agriculture and exploiting wild plans and animals of freshwater lakes. Domesticated plants including maize less important than wild. mixed economy. 4-5,000 people total.
1. Early colonists settled in the area with least risk for crops and where wild resources were most abundant. Only gradually were riskier more marginal zones colonized.
2. As settlements multiplie and spread, population tended to concentrate in the largest settlements.
3. Population growth characterised most of the sequence as more productive areas became ully settle, more marginal regions were colonized as well. pop growth was high.
4. As pop increased, hierarches emerged, land use became more intensive and competition between political systems developed.
5. urban growth fed on, and reduced the rural population
6. expansion of irriagion overcame the problem of transport costs in low endergy societ allowing the buildup of a dense urban population.
Pyramid of the sun indicates tremendous centralization of political power and authority. Variation among the citys houses reflects political centraliation and stratification. Compounds could hold up to 100 people, extended family households. Vary in quality of construction. Differences in access to labor consistent with social stratification.
Many burials beneath city room floors and apartment complex patios. Most are quire simple, elaorate burial propaly representing family heads. No royal found yet but recent excavations around pyrami have revealed 200 apparent sacrificial victims. Adult males with weapons and other indicators of status buried hands tied behind backs in shallow tranches surrounding and under pyramid. large caity in interior may be remains of royal tomb.
concentrated population, labor force for construction may reflect religious devotion more than coercive political policy. Teotuican potent sacred landscape of hills and caves, crosscut by flowing waters of rive ded by springs. May be earthly representation of feathered serpant god. Religious authority seems to be centralized. Temples were its most impressive building, residencelike rooms were asociated with them and evidence of craft specialization (obsidian). May have served economic and political roles as well. Resident priests supported by temples resources. Pilgrimage center.Increasing obvious military in Teotihuacan art and burials toward its end suggest warefar stimulatd political centralization.
100-700 AD settlement system normalized. outlying settlements were reestablished and pop grew again to 250,000 people. by 500-600 dominated region of 25,000 km. pop between 300,00-500,000. City had a wide influence. Depicted in the art of contemporary classic states.
Economic Specialization - must have included at least part time farmers, also specialized. Over 800 of apartments have evidence of specialized exonomic activity like obsidian.
Trade - Teotihuacan objects are found over more of mesoamerica (obsidian and ceramics). Other forms of exchange such as gifts betwen elites may account for distribuion of other items.
Marked stratification and well organized state religioun. Bureaucratic management of irrigation resouces, elite warrior groups and militarism. Large population (125,000), high density (5-7000ésqkm), internal diversity and multiplicity of functions accompanied by a distinctive Great Tradition.
Compare Preclassic political evolution in the Maya lowlands to that in the Basin of Mexico.
Early Preclassic - 2500-1250 BC
Early Maya farmrs used and domesticated plants native to lowland tropical forests. But staples were diffused into the lowlands by trade or immigration or both. First farming villages Cuello small hamlet of potteryusing maize farmers 1500-1000 bc. Scattered over much of the lowlands by 800 bc. Located around riverine areas with rich alluvial soils. Mixed subsistence economies in which wild were extreemly important. Settlements and pop were small and scattered and basically egalitarian.
Middle Preclassic - 1250-450 BC
Settlements became more numerous and widespread but similar to early ones. Publci spaces and small civic structures found at sites such as Cuello, egalitarian though. Products originating both in lowland and beyond were traded
Late Preclassic - 450 BC - 300 AD
Population growth was rapid. Spread of Maya populations, uniform ceramic types. Traces of late preclassic remains underlie classic centers. Perhaps new more productive maise and other cultigens, increasing food production and birth rates. Extensive slash and burn cultivation.
Political evolution, emergence of hierarchal political systems. Large scale public architecture appeared, usuually in form of temples. More labor and organization required. Some centers reached sizes comparable to later Classic Maya centers. Tikal had several high civic ceremonial complexes. Public structures were often ornamened with plaster sculpture and paint. Motifs often prefigure iconographic conventions. the mat symbol indicated MAya royal authority just as the throne did for European monarchs. Maya calandrics nd writing first appeared (direct evidence sparce) Expanded hoursehods of emerging maya elites inlcuding smalle centers with hundred or even thousands.
Believe that class structured societies with powerful kings emerged at polities such as Mirador. Large scale warfare was present at the end of PreClassic. Evidence includes artistic depictions, burials of mass sacrifices of young captives, one of the largest defensive systems at Becan.
More goods circuled than before especially elite and ritual items of jade, shell, stingray spines. indicates skilled artisans at least part time economic specialists.
Describe the Great Tradition element that define the Classic Maya.
Calendrics and writings appear in MAya low lands late, were imported and reworked and integrated with a set of political forms and institutions which evolved in the lowlands themselves.
Art - sculpture and painting portrays Mesoamerican spiritual entities: Water Goddess, Feathered serpant and others. Gods and priests garbed in jaguars or puma.
Common features at the Maya Classic centers are temples, palaces, ball courts, causeways and resevoires.
Maya centers had smaller, less dense populations, less economic complexity and a narrower range of functions that cities in other areas. Major palace complexes occupied by royal familes and their retainers but overall densities light (higher than their surrounding rural areas). Commonly site cores are surrounded by lighter settlement. Smaller centers distributed around alrger ones, rural reside in small dispersed clusters of houses. Continuous gradient of settlement density, no sharp boundary.Slash and burn agriculture encouraged dispersed settlement patterns. As pop grows and becomes denser fields must be cultivated longer and fallowed shorter periods. Mature forest does not reestablish. Results in more work for less return and destroys soil dertility, accelerates leaching and erosion. Works best when population densities are low. During Classic as pop densities up t 800 people per km are too high to be supported, so hillside terracing, new and more productive cultigens and draining swamps. Use the landscape more intensively and stably. indicats these and other innovations were tried but argue about time and contribution. Mix resulted from local processes of intensification as land quality declined and population rose. Long distance transport was lacking so centers were mainly supported by local production
Explain why archaeologists disagree about the degree of stratification within Maya society.
1. details of social organization are not found in the inscriptions
2. Maya polities showed so much variation. Although scores of centers are known, they were never integrated into a single political system. Largest centers functiond as politcal capitals, royal households with administrative and religious places where political authority emanated. Large centers sometimes dominated smaller ones but no lasting political system incorporated all or even a majority. Great variation in number, size, complexity and relation. Inscription offer no clear evidence.
Kingship supported political centralization and stratification. Maya rulers had special titles AHAW, denote nobility not just kindship. Dynastic continuitiy indicated by royal inscription. By late Classic, titles were borne by governors of centers subject to more powerful capitals. Highly situational, reflected archaeologically in the discontinuous episodes of architextural activity and monument erection at individual royal centers. Reigns of strong rulers are interspersed by periods of royal weakness and stagnation lasting as long as a century.
3. Arch research only recently focused on all levels of Maya society
Most Maya were femers and humble rank. Maya had complex hierarchical socio-political organization. Not only were there kinds but many other less elites. Debate whether ranked or stratified.
1. well stratified
2. less characterized by class structure than by priniples of complex ranking with kinship still very important as integrating mechanism crosscutting heirarchical differences between individuals and subgroups.
Sociopolitical organization was segmental, powerful elite groups could compete with the royal dynasty. Nobles had own resources and titles not derived from royal affiliations. However many larger maya societies exhibited features of stratification, seperation of the royal lineages from other subgroups. Transitional case.
Between the commoners and top ranking titled elites, another group privelaged above the commoners not having the birthright, or means to lvie as a noble. Special artisans retained by elite to provide prestigous goods. some may have been full time in service or even noble themselves. Recently deciphered inscriptions include names of individual artisans sometimes coupled with the title ahaw indicative of elite status.
Early Classic spread stela culture, with allof its associated royal and ritual imagery and insriptions. Well defined set of epigraphic, iconographic, calendrical, architectural and ritual conventions untied mya centers throughout the lowlands.
Great tradition elite elements express the close social ties among Maya elites that crosscut local political boundaries. Elite families were related through blood lines and marriage. Common values, symbols and behaviours strongly portrayed in the art of major centers.
Bulk comodities such as food were consumed close to where they were produced and full time specialization invovled very small numbers of people. Most of the widely traded raw or finished products tended to be light weight and intended for a small elite set of consumes 0 feathers of birds, fpr crowns, insignia, and constumes.
Foraging cultures spread through the Andes by 10-14,000 ya. Experiments in food production began and cultigens include 2 forms of beans as eaerly as 8500-5500 bc. Mixed economies persisted for a long time. By 2000 BC root crops such as manioc may have been grown along rivers. By 6000 BC coastal populations were quite dence: particularily fish, foragers earliest domesticated cotton and gourds (for nets). Maize by 2000 BC.
Well established and substantial foraging and fishing communities inhabitted the Peruvian coast by 3000 BC. After this point populations began to rise, some settlemnts have large complexes of buildings, clusters of rooms and courts raised on terraced platforms. Agriculture was less important in the coastal villages, more important in the highlands of Peru. By 1800 BC ritual buildings appear at several sites notable Kotosh. Hishland products are often foudn in coastal sites, these seems to ahve been some kind of exchange.
Describe the main characteristics of the six chronological periods of Andean civilization. (early and initial)
Initial period - 1800-800 BC
Spread of ceramics. Coasta sites are well in land have more plentiful remains of domestic plants. Greater dependence on agriculture and irriagtion. Huge constructions appear, Huaca Floria, platform around 1700 bc near Lima. Linear arrangements of platforms and courts typical of later civic architexture. Many residential sites sround coastal centers.Earliest traces of metalwork in gold.
Early Horizon - 800 BC -1 AD
Distinctive art style with iconographic themes such as jaguars, eagles, serpents and humans. Humans often protray with highly stylized attributes of felines and serpeants such as fangs. May reflect older shamanistic tradition of identification with supernatural animal helpers. Complex, flowing, curvilinear representation carved on stone, clay facades, hammered on gold objects, ceramic vessels and woven into textyles. Staff God becomes important. Many different centers were emerginging contriuting to the Chavin tradition, modifying and expressing in their own way. Sechin Alta single monumental stone faced platform surround by many other structres. No sign of large scale political unification.
Early Intermediate Period - 1-600 AD
Chavin style art gradually disappeared. Striking regional culturea Nazca (south) and Moche (north). Nazda elaborate grave, textiles, wood and other organic material. Large temples and associated residential sructures ut no info on settlement system. Famous for huge patterns (lines, geometric motifs, and enimal effigies hundreds of meters long). Created in the desert by sweeping coarse gravels away to expose underlying smoother soil. Moche flourished along 400 km of the coast between 100-700 AD. Exploited abundant sea resources, irrigation extended 50 km inland, 40,000 ha of agro fields. total population more than 50,000. Each valley lso boasted major civic constrtuctions (adobe pyramids made of mudbricks). Rich burials containing lavish offerings of pottery, cloth, shell, copper, silver and goldand human and animal sacrifices. Not sure if politically unificed or multiple contemporary political systems. Declined 600-700 AD increased warfare or earthquake, disrupting irrigation. Did not bring population decline.
Middle Horizon 600 - 1000 AD
Unification marked by shared art styles and burial practices particularily in central and southern regions. Maybe military conquest from Huari, evidence seen in sudden establishment of highly regimented centers. Pikillacta Enclased wall, multistory buildings and larg eopen courts but no monumental religious structures. Had 502 stoarge structures. Prototype of late inca admin centers. Not completely unified, version of Moche on north coast.
Late Intermediate Period - 1000-1476 AD
Late Horizon 1476 - 1532 AD
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