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Chapters 9 & 16

The Americas

TermDefinition
Beringia the land bridge that developed during the last ice age and allowed people to migrate from Asia to the Americas
Ice Age a period of extreme cold climate world-wide that causes huge glaciers (ice sheets) to push out of polar regions lowering the sea levels; the last ended 12,000 years ago
maize corn; the most important crop grown in the Americas
Mesoamerica area from southern Mexico to northern Honduras where the first complex civilizations in America began
Olmec the first known civilization in Mesoamerica located in the jungles of southern Mexico around 1200 BC; because they influenced later cultures, they are called the "mother culture"
Olmec art & worship Olmecs carved giant stone head figures and worshiped the Jaguar gods
Monte Alban the first urban center in the Americas built around 500 BC in the mountains of Oaxaca by the Zapotec people, with a giant plaza with pyramids, temples, and stone palaces
Zapotec civilization in Oaxaca that developed hieroglyphic writings and calendar system, and were the first builders of cities
Chavin the first influential culture in South America that developed in the mountains of Peru from 900 to 200 BC and were a religious community
Nazca civilization that arose along the southern coast of Peru from 200 BC to 600 AD. Known for the Nazca lines- and underground irrigation systems; possible headhunters
Nazca Lines drawings created by scraping away stones to reveal lighter soil underneath that depicted birds, monkeys, and other creatures that can only be seen from the air in tribute to their gods
Moche civilization in northern Peru from 100 AD to 700 AD that used irrigation systems to grow corn, beans, squash, & peanuts; were a wealthy culture that created ceramic pottery
potlatch elaborate ceremonies of Northwest Coast tribes to display rank and prosperity by giving food, drink, and gifts to the community; modern term "pot-luck" originates from
Anasazi civilization in the American Southwest that lived in caves and pueblos, and disappeared mysteriously around 1200 AD
pueblos villages of large, apartment-style compounds made of stone and sun-baked clay
Mississippians mound-building culture in the woods of the Mississippi River Valley from 800 BC to 1500 AD that built earthen pyramids
Iroquois a group of eastern woodland tribes in the Great Lakes region that spoke similar languages and formed a confederacy to ensure protection of tribal lands
totems natural objects, such as a wooden pole, that clans identified with; they symbolized the unity of the tribe and defined behaviors and relationships
Tikal major Mayan city in Guatemala that served as a center for religious ceremonies and trade
glyph hieroglyphic symbol of Mayan writing; 800 in number
Mayan religion Mayans believed each day was a living god whose behavior could be predicted with calendars; they sacrificed humans by throwing captives into deep sinkhole lakes-cenotes
Mayan science Mayans predicted an accurate solar year, and the concept of zero in math
codex bark-paper book used by Mayans to record important historical events
Popol Vuh famous Mayan codex that tells the story of creation
obsidian a hard glassy green/black rock used to make razor sharp weapons by the people of Teotihuacan; the most valuable trade item
Quetzalcoatl the feathered serpent god of the Toltec culture; according to myth, was banished and arrival of Spaniards was sign of his return
Triple Alliance agreement between the Aztecs and the city-states of Texcoco and Tlacopan that allowed the Aztecs to gain control of the Valley of Mexico and create a powerful empire
Montezuma II ruler of Aztecs who weakened the empire by demanding more sacrifice victims from the provinces, and was captured by the Spanish conquistadors, then killed by his people as a traitor
Pachacuti Inca ruler who expanded the empire through conquest and diplomacy, from Ecuador to Chile/Argentina
ayllu community group that worked to build irrigation canals and terraces and stored food to distribute during hard times
mita labor tribute owed to the Inca government by the people to build irrigation, roads, bridges, and palaces;others farmed or produced crafts
quipu an Inca accounting system made of a set of knotted strings that could be used to record data such as crops or warriors
3 ways in which the Inca government was involved in daily life: the Inca government imposed a single language, created schools, required labor (mita), and cared for old & disabled
How Inca religion reinforced power of the state? Inca ruler was believed to be a descendant of the Inti, the sun god
How did Inca worship of the dead lead to expansion? dead Inca rulers and their descendants retained rights to their wealth and property they had acquired, so new rulers had to conquer new lands to create their own wealth
Why did Aztecs sacrifice humans? Aztecs believed the sun god needed blood to nourish his rise and journey across the sky on a daily basis
Why were Native American societies so diverse? the spread of Native groups across different environments forced them to adapt in different ways
What were 3 things Native Americans in the north had in common? they shared common trade, religious beliefs, and social patterns
Created by: wm0397