Ancient Americas: A Brief History and Guide to Research - download pdf or read online

By Hanns J. Prem

ISBN-10: 058513359X

ISBN-13: 9780585133591

ISBN-10: 0874805368

ISBN-13: 9780874805369

Outlines the vastly lengthy and intricate cultural heritage of Mesoamerica, in addition to the Andean continuum. It combines an summary of pre-Columbian historic occasions and events with a attention of significant learn difficulties and efforts and areas the final flowering of indigenous complicated civizations inside of their respective geographic and sociocultural frameworks.

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Extra resources for Ancient Americas: A Brief History and Guide to Research

Sample text

However, as a special invention of their own, bottle-shaped hollows were sunk several meters deep into the limestone and served as storerooms in the southern lowlands and as cisterns in the northern lowlands. Page 16 LOCAL HISTORYDespite a large number of partially legible stone inscriptions with a historical content, it may still take a long time to write a descriptive history of these people and places. Even at a place like Yaxchilán on the Usumacinta river, the inscriptions of which have been analyzed the longest and the most intensively, the results (here summarized as an example) remain rather vague and bloodless.

When this influence ceased in the middle of the Preclassic, Cuicuilco on the southern shore had become the dominant center of the region. On earthen platforms, which were later faced with stone, there were temples made of perishable materials. In the following centuries, in a procedure used later as well, important platforms were refaced several times, among them the large round pyramid consisting of several flat cones piled one upon the other. The eruption of the small volcano Xitle, which buried a large part of the fields around Cuicuilco, forced the population of the site to abandon it.

It seems as if the Maya elite were aware of dangerous problems, but according to their contemporary world view saw causes that by modern standards were incorrect. Measures taken were therefore without effect. They seem to have consisted of constructing ever more buildings and erecting more and more stone monuments in more places; the impression is that by appealing to supernatural forces and by constant demonstrations of power and fame they could avert the threat of disaster. These efforts must have tied up more and more of the work force, which consequently were missing in more productive areas that were geared to secure the continuation of the population more effectively by intensifying agriculture.

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Ancient Americas: A Brief History and Guide to Research by Hanns J. Prem


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