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Early American Civilizations Essay

794 words - 4 pages

Cultures had been flourishing thousands of years before the Europeans arrived to the New World. Great empires such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas inhabited the vast lands of Central and South America. These early Mesoamerican societies migrated into the Americas through The Bering Land Bridge during the Paleolithic age. They transitioned from nomadic hunters and gathers to settled, farming villages during the Neolithic age and where these people settle, their civilizations thrived. Although, others may believe that these civilization where inferior to the Europeans because they were savages in the eyes the Europeans because of their lifestyle. However, these three major powers were greatly advanced in the topics of agriculture, writing, economics, engineering and astronomy.

The ancient Mayans, a diverse group of indigenous people who lived in the Yucatan Peninsula, had one of the most sophisticated civilizations in the Western Hemisphere. They were responsible for a number of remarkable scientific achievements in agriculture, astronomy and communications.Early Mayans developed a farming society, they were able to adapted to their environment buy using a system of clearing the dense rain forests called slash and burn which made farming easier. their farming consisted of their most important crop, maize. They would also cultivated beans, squash, maize together they called this process the three sisters this was important to the Mayan because it was a nutritionally complete diet. Astronomy was one of the greatest achievements of the Mayan Empire, The Mayans knew how many days were in a year and also developed a calendar according to their knowledge of astronomy. Another great achievement of the Mayan Empire is their system of writing. They Mayans were the first people in the Americas who had developed a form of writing. This Mayan writing system was based on nearly 800 hieroglyphs, from this writing system they were able to write books. One of the most famous native text of the Mayan people is the Popol Vuh.

The Aztec empire were located int Central Mexico and the natives established their capital there.The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, was built on an island surrounded by Lake Texcoco . The Aztecs were able to cultivate around the Lake Texcoco by building Chinampas or floating islands. On these floating gardens, they raised squash, corn and beans. When the European arrived, Tenochtitlan was one of the largest and better...

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