A research & teaching tool on Mesoamerica (2023)

P

Padre

(Spanish) Father, priest.

Padre

(español) Sacerdote.

panela

(Spanish) loaf of brown sugar.

panela

(español) rebanada de azúcar morena.

parentesco

vinculo por consanguinidad o afinidad (familiar). Relaciones familiares, basadas en criterios de relación culturalmente específicos (como la descendencia biológica, la cohabitación, el cuidado y apoyo, la subsistencia compartida, etcétera).

Passamaquoddy

a tribe of approximately 3,000 Indians (Native Peoples) in the eastern part of the state of Maine.

Passamaquoddy

tribu de aproximadamente 3,000 indios en la parte este del estado de Maine.

pasto malinalli

(del náhuatl manila, torcer) tipo de pasto.

patriline

(from Latin pater, "father") a genealogical line of descent traced through male relatives back to a common ancestor. See matriline, matriliny.

patrilínea

(del latín pater "padre") línea genealógica de descendencia que ubica a un ancestro común a través de los parientes hombres. Ver matrilínea, matrilineal.

patrimonio cultural

objetos y/o información que una cultura o una nación-estado juzga suyos y, por lo tanto, no se les puede quitar, ni por robo ni por compra. El Convenio de la UNESCO de 1970 sobre los Medios de Prohibir y Prevenir la Importación y Transferencia de Posesión Ilícita de Propiedad Cultural supone "la protección por medio de la prevención de la exportación desde el país de origen y la importación dentro de otros países. El Artículo nueve permite a los estados, cuyo patrimonio cultural está en peligro de robo o saqueo, llamar a los otros países participantes a concertar esfuerzos internacionales para controlar las exportaciones, importaciones, y comercio de objetos sujetos al pillaje" (UNESCO 1970). En términos de la ley de asuntos de propiedad cultural de los indios estadounidenses (NAGPARA), la "propiedad cultural se refiere a un objeto que tiene importancia central histórica, tradicional, o cultural para un grupo de indios estadounidenses o la cultura en sí misma, y no a la propiedad de un indio en lo individual; y por ello [la propiedad cultural] no puede, ser enajenada, apropiada, o transferida por ningún individuo sin importar si el individuo es miembro o no de la tribu india o de una organización de nativos de Hawai y tal objeto habrá de ser considerado inalienable por ese grupo de indígenas (nativos) estadounidenses al momento que ese objeto fue separado de ese grupo" (Ley Pública 3048, 101-601--16 de noviembre, 1990).

Paul Kirchhoff

(1900-1972) German-born Americanist scholar. Kirchhoff's geographic interests spanned the Caribbean, South America, and Mesoamerica, the last being a "culture area" he first proposed and defined in 1943. Kirchhoff lived in Mexico from 1940, where he worked at the Museo Nacional de Antropología and taught at both the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia and the Universidad Autónoma de México.

pencas

(Spanish) the pointed leaves of the maguey plant.

pencas

(español) hojas puntiagudas del maguey.

peregrinación

viaje de un lugar a otro.

peregrination

a journey from place to place.

Período Colonial

en Mesoamérica, el período que va de la Conquista o invasión española (1521) al final de las guerras de independencia (1810-1821) en el que el gobierno de la Nueva España fue controlado por la corona española en Europa.

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Período Nacional

el Período Nacional en la historia de México, de 1810 a la fecha, comienza con la Independencia de España y el establecimiento de México como un estado-nación.

petate

(Nahuatl petlatl) woven palm leaf mat. Illustration: Lady 10 Eagle and Lord 4 Eagle sit together on a petate at the top of page 2 of the Codex Selden.

petate

(del náhuatl petlatl) tapete tejido de hoja de palma. Ilustración Dama 10 Águila y Señor 4 Águila sentados juntos en un petate en la parte superior de la página 2 del Códice Selden.

philology

(from Greek philein, "to love," and logos "word, speech") the study of the history of languages, especially the changes in the form and meaning of words over time.

phylogeny

the sequence of events composing the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of plant or animal. Also, the historical growth of a group of people (a tribe or "race").

phytoliths

(from Greek phyton, "plant," and lithos, "stone") literally "stone (i.e. fossilized) plants," but more generally plant remains from the past, such as those recovered archaeologically.

piedra verde

(y jade) periodo Formativo, minerales verde y verde azulado de gran valor en las culturas mesoamericanas que simbolizaban al agua y a la fertilidad. Los términos "piedra verde," jade," "jadeita" y "jade social" han sido usados para describir de forma general esta categoríam de minerales. El "jade social" en Mesoamérica incluye a la jadeita (NaAlSi2O6), serpentina, bowenita, soapstone, albita y cuarzo.

Placa de Leiden

cinturón precolombino de adorno de jade tallado. Un lado representa a un gobernante maya parado; los jeroglíficos en el otro lado registran su asenso como gobernante de Tikal el 17 de septiembre del 320 d.C.

pochteca

(Nahuatl pochtecah) traveling merchants, long-distance traders, particularly associated with the Postclassic Aztecs.

pochteca

(náhuatl pochtecah) mercader ambulante, comerciantes que viajaban largas distancias, en particular están asociados con el periodo azteca posclásico.

polis

(del griego polis, "ciudad-estado") unidad política. Por ejemplo, la unidad política básica de los mixtecos se denominaba yuhuitayu.

polity

(from Greek polis, "city-state") a political unit. The basic Mixtec political unit, for example, was called a yuhuitayu.

Popocatépetl

(from Nahuatl pochtli, "smoke," and tepetl, "mountain," thus "Smoking Mountain") volcano (elevation 5,452 m/17,887 ft) to the southeast of Mexico City and to the west of Cholula and Puebla. "Twin volcano" to Ixtaccihuatl.

Popocatépetl

(del náhuatl pochtli, "humo" y tepetl "montaña," es decir "Montaña Humeante") volcán (elevación 5,452 m. / 17,887 pies) al sudeste de la Ciudad de México y al oeste de Cholula y Puebla. "Volcán gemelo" de Ixtaccihuatl.

Popol Vuh

(Quiché popol, "mat, council," and vuh, "book"; "Book of Council") Quiché Maya narrative of creation and elite genealogy, written in Maya in alphabetic script at Santa Cruz Quiché around 1555-1558.

Popol Vuh

(quiché popol, "tapete, concejo" y vuh, "libro"; "Libro del Concejo") en la narrativa maya quiché, es la creación y genealogía de la elite, escrita en maya en escritura alfabética en Santa Cruz Quiché alrededor de 1555-1558.

Posclásico

tercer y último periodo en la cronología precolombina, que abarca del 900 d.C. al 1521 d.C. (hasta la caída de la capital mexica de Tenochtitlán a manos de los españoles).

(Video) Early Mesoamerican Cities: Urbanism and Urbanization in the Preclassic Period, with Michael W. Love

Postclassic

the third and final main period in Precolumbian chronology, spanning ca. A.D. 900 to A.D. 1521 (the fall of the Mexica capital of Tenochtitlan to the Spaniards).

Pre-Hispanic

see Precolumbian, Spanish Conquest.

Precolombino

literalmente "antes [de la llegada] de Colón [al Nuevo Mundo]." Este término se utiliza por lo general para referirse al período (y prácticas culturales) anteriores a la llegada de los españoles, cuya fecha varía a través del Nuevo Mundo. Ver Conquista española.

Precolumbian

literally "before [the arrival of] Columbus [in the New World]," this term is used more generally to refer to the time period (and cultural practices) before the arrival of the Spaniards, the date of which varies throughout the New World. See Spanish Conquest.

prehispánico

ver Precolombino, Conquista española.

PRI

Partido Revolucionario Institucional, formed in 1946, when the name of the official Mexican political party was changed from the PRM (Partido de la Revolución Mexicana) to the PRI, signifying the notion of institutionalization of the Mexican Revolution. Since the Mexican Revolution, the PRM/PRI has dominated the national political scene in Mexico until 2000 when Vicente Fox was elected President of the republic.

PRI

(Partido Revolucionario Institucional) partido formado en 1946, cuando en nombre del partido de gobierno en México cambio de PRM (Partido de la Revolución Mexicana) a PRI, implicando la idea de institucionalización de la Revolución Mexicana. Desde la Revolución Mexicana, el PRM/PRI ha dominado el escenario político de la vida nacional en México hasta el año 2000 con las elecciones de Vicente Fox por presidente de la republica.

Primera Naciones

es un término usado por los pueblos indios (o pueblos nativos), especialmente de Canadá, para enfatizar las raíces aborígenes de su gente, su política, su organización social y su cultura. Los pueblos "indios" de Canadá actualmente prefieren ser conocidos como las primeras naciones, a excepción de algunos grupos, como los inuit, quienes prefieren ser conocidos como "inuits." Los pueblos de las primeras naciones son identificados en la Constitución de Canadá como una de las naciones fundadoras de ese país, junto con los ingleses y los franceses. Ver indios americanos, indígenas.

progressive aspect

in linguistics, "aspect" refers to whether or not an act is completed or is ongoing, and "tense" refers to when an event took place (past, present, or future). "Progressive" or "incompletive" aspect indicates that an act is still taking place. An example of the progressive aspect is: "I am going to school." "I used to go to school" is an example of the completive aspect.

propaganda

the technique of influencing human action by the manipulation of representation of a given set of information; by means of persuasion. This representation may take place via spoken, written, pictorial, or musical media, or any combination thereof since the advent of modern media. Both publicity as well as advertising fall into the category of propaganda. The word was first used most commonly by the Roman Catholic Church in reference to the dissemination of its doctrine, and was later appropriated and adapted by the Marxist theorists. The task of propagandists is to locate attitudes favorable to their purpose at hand, to reverse obstructive attitudes, to win over the indifferent voters/listeners/readers, or at least to prevent them from becoming antagonistic toward the propagandists' purpose.

propaganda

técnica para influencias la acción de los humanos a través de la manipulación de la representación de cierta información; utiliza como medio principal la persuasión. Se puede dar por vía oral, escrita, pictórica o musical, o cualquier combinación de las anteriores desde la llegada de los medios de comunicación modernos. Tanto la publicidad como los comerciales caen en la categoría de propaganda. La palabra se utilizó por primera vez de forma común en la Iglesia Católica Romana al referirse a la diseminación de su doctrina, y luego se utilizó y adaptó a las teorías marxistas. La tarea de los propagandistas es ubicar las actitudes favorables a su propósito, revertir actitudes negativas, vencer la indiferencia de votantes, escuchas y lectores, o al menos evitar que tomen actitudes antagónicas respecto de los propósitos de los propagandistas.

Puebla

contemporary Mexican state and its capital city, located 125 km/78 miles southeast of Mexico City.

Puebla

estado mexicano contemporáneo y su ciudad capital, localizado a 125 km /78 millas al sudeste de la Ciudad de México.

pueblo

(Spanish) town; village; people.

pueblo

N/A

pulque

a sweet, milky white alcoholic drink made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant.

pulque

una bebida alcohólica dulce lechosa de color blanco hecha de la savia fermentada del maguey.

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Q

qmi

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) four.

qmi

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) cuatro.

qualificadores

en la escritura mixteca, pequeños dibujos que se agregan a las señas del lugar, sustantivos, para especificar la locación que se está representando.

qualifiers

in Mixtec writing, small pictures added to place sign substantives to specify the location being represented.

Que'a Sina

(twentieth-century Jaltepec-Tilantongo Mixtec) Real Place that is Opened.

Que'a Sina

(mixteco de Jaltepec-Tilantongo del siglo XX, ) Lugar Real que está abierto.

quechquemitl

(Nahuatl) triangular women's cape. Maarten Jansen has suggested that the Mixtec term for this garment is dzico, a term which (depending on tonal pronunciation) may also mean "virtue," "fame," "goodness," "beauty." Thus quechquemitls in personal names in the Mixtec codices may be functioning as rebuses for these other meanings. Thus the name Lady 6 Monkey "Feathered Serpent Quechquemitl" may be better translated as Lady 3 Flint "Virtue of the Feathered Serpent."

quechquemitl

(náhuatl) capa triangular de las mujeres. Maarten Janses ha sugerido que el término mixteca para esta prenda es dzico, un término que (dependiendo de la pronunciación tonal) también puede significar "virtud," "fama," "bondad," "belleza." Así que los quechquemitls en los nombres personales según aparecen en los códices mixtecos pudieran referirse a estos otros significados. De manera que la Dama 6 Mono, "Serpiente Emplumada Quechquemitl" podría traducirse de mejor manera como Dama 3 Pedernal "Virtud de la Serpiente Emplumada."

quedze

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) olla, jar.

quedze

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) olla, frasco.

quetzal

(from Nahuatl quetzalli, "quetzal bird") a tropical bird, Pharomachrus mocinno , with iridescent green feathers, red breast, and 24-inch long iridescent green tail feathers appended to a 14 to 15-inch body. Habitat: highland cloud forests from Chiapas south to Panama. Its tail feathers were prized throughout Mesoamerica from the Formative period on; the Aztecs compared these feathers to the leaves of the maize plant. Illustration: a quetzal is drawn in the waters of the river drawn at the bottom of page 33 of the Codex Nuttall. The so-called Moctezuma headdress was made of quetzal feathers. See Debate section on Cultural Property, Christian Feest.

quetzal

(del náhuatl quetzalli, "pájaro quetzal") pájaro tropical, pharomachrus mocinno, cuyo plumaje es verde iridiscente, pecho rojo, que mide entre 14 y 15 pulgadas y que tiene un plumaje en la cola de 24 pulgadas de largo y de un verde iridiscente. Habitat: altiplano del bosque de nubes de Chiapas hasta Panamá. Las plumas de su cola eran vistas como un premio a lo largo de la Mesoamérica del periodo formativo y en adelante; los aztecas comparaban estas plumas con las hojas de la planta del maíz. Ilustración: un quetzal es arrastrado por las aguas del río en la parte inferior de la página 33 del Códice Nuttall. El penacho de Moctezuma estaba hecho de plumas de quetzal. Ver la sección del debate sobre Propiedad Cultural, contribución de Christian Feest.

Quetzalcoatl

(Nahuatl quetzalli, "quetzal bird," and coatl, "serpent" or "twin") Aztec name for an important feathered serpent deity found in religious traditions throughout Mesoamerica, associated with wind, rain, and rulership. In Aztec narratives, Quetzalcoatl is also the name of a possibly mythical ruler at the site of Tula. See Kukulcan.

Quetzalcoatl

(náhuatl quetzalli, "pájaro quetzal," y coatl, "serpiente" o "gemelo") nombre azteca de la importante deidad representada en la serpiente emplumada que se encuentra entre las tradiciones religiosas a lo largo de Mesoamérica. También se relaciona con el viento, la lluvia y el reinado. En las narrativas aztecas, Quetzalcoatl también es el nombre de un gobernante mítico en Tula. Ver Kukulcan.

qui

(sixteenth-century Mixtec, ritual calendrical vocabulary) nine.

qui

(mixteco de siglo XVI, vocabulario del calendario ritual) nueve.

Quiché

Maya group living in the highlands to the northwest of Guatemala City; a language subgroup the Quichean language family. The Popol Vuh is a sixteenth century document written in Quiché.

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Quiché

grupo maya que vive en el altiplano al noroeste de la ciudad de Guatemala; una lengua dentro de la familia del idioma quiché. El Popol Vuh es un documento del siglo XVI escrito en Quiché.

Quirigua

Classic Maya site in northwest Honduras with a political history closely linked to the nearby site of Copan. Quirigua's inscriptional record spans A.D. 478-A.D. 810.

Quirigua

sitio arqueológico maya clásico al noroeste de Honduras con una historia política estrechamente ligada a Copán. Los registros escritos de Quirigua abarcan de 478 d.C. a 810 d.C.

quivi

(sixteenth-century Teposcolula Mixtec) days.

quivi

(mixteco de Teposcolula del siglo XVI) días.

R

Rain God

known as Chac in Mayan, Tlaloc in Nahuatl, and Dzahui in Mixtec, this deity is often shown with blue rings (or "goggles") around his eyes and a blue bar, downturned at both ends, above his mouth.

rebozo

(Spanish) shawl.

rebozo

(español) chal.

reina-reinado

ver yuhuitayu.

repatriar

la devolución de gente y/o artículos culturales a su país, pueblo o nación de origen. Por ejemplo, repatriar obras de arte, materiales culturales, gente y huesos a los pueblos y/o países de origen. Ver NAGPARA y patrimonio cultural.

repatriate

the return of people and/or cultural items to the country or people or nation of origin. For example, to repatriate art works, cultural materials, people, and bones to the originating peoples and/or country/nation. See NAGPARA and cultural patrimony.

reservación

pedazo de tierra separado por el gobierno federal para los indios americanos. En los Estados Unidos y Canadá, la reservación se refiere a la tierra que se destina o se reconoce en el ámbito federal o estatal como territorio de una tribu india; en este territorio, la tribu tiene el derecho de ejercer cierto grado de soberanía. En Estados Unidos, la tierra de las reservaciones no puede ser enajenada sin el consentimiento del Congreso de los Estados Unidos.

reservation

a tract of land set aside by the federal government for Native Americans. In the United States and Canada, reservation refers to land set aside or recognized by the federal or state government as the territory of an Indian tribe and within which a tribe is recognized as having the right to exercise at least some degree of sovereignty. In the United States, reservation land cannot be alienated without the consent of the United States Congress.

Revolución Mexicana

período de la guerra civil de 1910 a 1917 que estableció el gobierno de un solo partido durante el siglo veinte. La Revolución Mexicana fue disparada por numerosas quejas contra el gobierno y la sociedad establecida (el estatus quo), especialmente la incapacidad del gobierno para apoyar los intereses locales. Entre los conflictos que contribuyeron a su estallido están el de los campesinos contra los terratenientes, el de los mineros y las fabricas contra los dueños, y el de las elites locales y nacionales excluidas contra las elites nacionales e internacionales, así como la caída económica de la nación en la primera década del siglo veinte.

ritual calendar

260-day calendar used throughout Mesoamerica, composed of twenty day signs combined with thirteen numeric values. The adjective "ritual" refers to the use of this calendar in divination and in naming.

Rivera, Diego

Mexican artist (1889-1956) most known for his mural paintings which he began to paint in the 1920s in Mexico directly following the Mexican Revolution. He was known as a "revolutionary painter" and was a member of the Communist Party. In addition to his murals with revolutionary themes, he also painted and became famous for his portraits of patrons and lovers and for his great murals of the industrial era (e.g., the automobile industry). He painted a number of murals in the United States. All of Rivera's paintings are considered cultural patrimony by the Mexican government.

Rivera, Diego

artista mexicano (1889-1956) mejor conocido por sus pinturas murales que comenzó a pintar durante los veinte en México después de la Revolución Mexicana. Era conocido como el "pintor revolucionario" y fue miembro del Partido Comunista. Además de sus murales con temas revolucionarios, también pintó y ganó fama por sus retratos de patrones y amantes y por sus grandes murales de la era industrial (por ejemplo, sobre la industria automovilística). Rivera pintó varios murales en los Estados Unidos. Todas las pinturas de Rivera son consideradas por el gobierno mexicano como patrimonio cultural.

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roman nouvelle

refers to a style of novel developed in France in the 1950s that was interior oriented and introspective with interior dialogue. It was not focused on outside reality or naturalism.

roman nouvelle

(novela romana) se refiere al estilo de novelas que se dio en Francia durante los cincuenta; este género se enfocaba en el interior y en un diálogo introspectivo. No se centraba en la realidad externa o en el naturalismo.

FAQs

What kind of tools did the mesoamericans use? ›

The prismatic blade was the most common tool, usually made of obsidian, which was the most important tool stone in the region (see “Extra: Obsidian in Mesoamerica”). Flake tools and biface implements, like projectile points and knives, were also used throughout Mesoamerica.

What are the 5 most important Mesoamerican cultures? ›

Some of the most well-known Mesoamerican cultures are the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, Mixtec, and Mexica (or Aztec).

What 3 main civilizations were found in Mesoamerica? ›

Aztecs, Maya, and Inca
  • Aztecs. The Aztec Empire was located in central Mexico. ...
  • Maya. The Maya civilization began as early as 2000 BC and continued to have a strong presence in Mesoamerica for over 3000 years until the Spanish arrived in 1519 AD. ...
  • Inca.

What are the 4 major civilizations of Mesoamerica? ›

For thousands of years, this area was populated by groups such as the Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Toltec, and Aztec peoples.

What are the tools that the ancient people used are made of? ›

The Early Stone Age began with the most basic stone implements made by early humans. These Oldowan toolkits include hammerstones, stone cores, and sharp stone flakes. By about 1.76 million years ago, early humans began to make Acheulean handaxes and other large cutting tools.

What were ancient tools used for? ›

As technology progressed, humans created increasingly more sophisticated stone tools. These included hand axes, spear points for hunting large game, scrapers which could be used to prepare animal hides and awls for shredding plant fibers and making clothing. Not all Stone Age tools were made of stone.

What is the origin of Mesoamerica? ›

The founding culture of Mesoamerica appeared along the southwestern curve of the Gulf of Mexico, near the present city of Veracruz. This culture emerged in a series of river valleys, as Uruk did in Mesopotamia. Called the Olmecs (the “rubber people”), this culture lasted from about 1400 BCE to 100 BCE.

What is another name for Mesoamerica? ›

Middle America often refers to a larger area in the Americas, but it has also previously been used more narrowly to refer to Mesoamerica.

What was the first Mesoamerican culture? ›

The first civilization in Mesoamerica was that of the Olmec. They lived from 1200-400 BCE. There are very few written records to help historians fully understand this civilization. From what we do know, the Olmec thrived in the fertile lands of south-central Mexico.

When was Mesoamerica created? ›

Mesoamerican civilization, the complex of indigenous cultures that developed in parts of Mexico and Central America prior to Spanish exploration and conquest in the 16th century.

What did Mesoamerica invent? ›

Calendars – calendars were developed by indigenous Americans throughout North America, Mesoamerica, and South America. They are known to have been in use since 600 BCE. Some calendars were so precise, that by the 5th century BCE, they were only 19 minutes off.

What did Mesoamerica produce? ›

Prominent crops in Mesoamerica eventually included avocados, cacao, chili peppers, cotton, common beans, lima beans, corn, manioc, tomatoes, and quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa). The principal domestic animals were the turkey, dog, and Muscovy duck.

When did Mesoamerica begin and end? ›

Archaeologists divide Mesoamerican civilizational development into three major time periods: the PreClassic or Formative period extending from 1500 B.C. - A.D. 300, the Classic period extending from A.D. 300-950, and the PostClassic period extending from A.D. 950-1521.

What were the most important characteristics of the Mesoamerican? ›

The most important shared characteristics of Mesoamerican cultures in the classic period were their relationship with the gods and their environment.

What was the largest empire in Mesoamerica? ›

The Aztec Empire (c. 1345-1521) covered at its greatest extent most of northern Mesoamerica. Aztec warriors were able to dominate their neighbouring states and permit rulers such as Montezuma to impose Aztec ideals and religion across Mexico.

What were the first tools used by humans and what were they used for? ›

Archaeologists have found Stone Age tools 25,000-50,000 year-old all over the world. The most common are daggers and spear points for hunting, hand axes and choppers for cutting up meat and scrapers for cleaning animal hides. Other tools were used to dig roots, peel bark and remove the skins of animals.

How did the early humans make tools What were these tools used for? ›

The early Stone Age (also known as the Lower Paleolithic) saw the development of the first stone tools by Homo habilis, one of the earliest members of the human family. These were basically stone cores with flakes removed from them to create a sharpened edge that could be used for cutting, chopping or scraping.

What are the types of tools of history? ›

They include written documents, such as letters, diaries, and official records. They also include spoken interviews as well as objects, such as photos, paintings, clothing, and tools.

What is the oldest known tool? ›

Researchers unearth simple cutting stones dated to 3.3 million years ago—before the genus Homo arose. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—Researchers at a meeting here say they have found the oldest tools made by human ancestors—stone flakes dated to 3.3 million years ago.

What is the history of tools? ›

Undoubtedly, the first tools were made from stone. These early stone-made tools developed at least 2.6 million years ago. In those days, stone tools were mainly used for hunting and survival. Even if the term was coined in the 12th century, tools have always been with people.

Why is tool making important? ›

The development of sophisticated stone tools, including sturdy cutting and sawing edges, is considered a key moment in human evolution, as it set the stage for better nutrition and advanced social behaviours, such as the division of labour and group hunting.

Who created Mesoamerica? ›

Olmec. The Olmec society is regarded as the first major Mesoamerican civilization due to their development of the first known writing and numerical systems in the region. Circa 1,200 B.C.E. Olmec groups of villages formed into a more unified society around the Gulf of Mexico.

What was life like in Mesoamerica? ›

The typical Mesoamerican citizen lived in highly communal hunter-gatherer or agrarian groups. Due to diverse ecological conditions between communities, the exchange of goods was an essential activity, which required strong leadership to coordinate.

Who developed the concept of Mesoamerica? ›

When Mexican historian Paul Kirchhoff first introduced the term “Mesoamerica,” he defined it as a cultural zone where the indigenous inhabitants spoke as many as sixty different languages, but were united by a common history and shared a specific set of cultural traits that made their civilization unique in the world.

Who defined Mesoamerica? ›

The term “Mesoamerica,” which in Greek translates to “middle America,” was defined by German-Mexican anthropologist Paul Kirchhoff as a region that shared many cultural characteristics throughout most of pre-Columbian history, and included the area of central and southern Mexico and northern Central America.

What is Mesoamerica technology? ›

In Meso-America the Maya civilization made the greatest progress in science and technology. Among its innovations were the position-value number system with zero, the development of the most accurate known calendar,the invention of rubber and the corbelled arch.

How did the Mesoamerican civilization influence the world? ›

The Native Americans supplied the Europeans with tobacco, maize, beans, tomatoes, and potatoes. These newly discovered foods had a stunning impact on the Old World, and their presence permanently changed the European diet. Not only did these crops change the European diet, they impacted the entire world.

How old is Mesoamerican? ›

HISTORY OF MESOAMERICAN CIVILIZATION. The first civilization in central and north America develops in about 1200 BC in the coastal regions of the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico.

Is Mesoamerica ancient? ›

Ancient Mesoamerica (modern-day Mexico and Central America) witnessed an extraordinary flourishing of cultures from the beginnings of the Olmec civilization around 1200 BCE, through the Maya civilization and on to the catastrophic fall of the Aztec civilization in the 16th century CE.

What resource was most important to Mesoamerica? ›

The most important plant in ancient Mesoamerica, was, unarguably, maize.

What did the mesoamericans use for money? ›

The embodiment of value in Mesoamerican currency

Though both cacao and cotton textiles were eventually used as money in Mesoamerica, neither was initially a commodity. In other words, neither was originally bought, sold, or bartered in the marketplace.

What did Mesoamerica eat? ›

Corn (maize) was the central food in their diet, along with vegetables such as beans and squash. Potatoes and a tiny grain called quinoa were commonly grown by the Incas. Avocados and tomatoes were mainly eaten by the Aztecs and Maya, along with a wide variety of fruit.

What did Mesoamerican trade? ›

Aztec merchants were called pochteca and they traveled all over Mesoamerica, carrying their goods on their backs. They walked through the empire and beyond, buying and selling luxury goods like turquoise, quetzal feathers, cacao, obsidian, and jade. Pochteca also carried information.

What were four natural resources found in Mesoamerica? ›

Mesoamerica is home to many natural resources, including basalt, obsidian, cacao, and wild squash. These resources supported both biological and social life.

What type of religion did most mesoamericans practice? ›

Mesoamerican religion is a complex syncretism of indigenous beliefs and the Christianity of early Roman Catholic missionaries. A hierarchy of indigenous supernatural beings (some benign, others not) have been reinterpreted as Christian deities and saints.

What was the first powerful Mesoamerican culture? ›

The Olmecs (/ˈɒlmɛks, ˈoʊl-/) were the earliest known major Mesoamerican civilization. Following a progressive development in Soconusco, they occupied the tropical lowlands of the modern-day Mexican states of Veracruz and Tabasco.

What are the two most important contributions of the Mesoamerican civilizations to the world? ›

The two most important areas of study, however, were architecture and astronomy. All three cultures created buildings that were huge in size and scale, called monumental architecture.

What is Mesoamerican revolution? ›

One of the great agricultural revolutions in human history took place in the valleys and river drainages of central Mexico, beginning in the 7th millennium BCE. By 1500 BCE village life based on agricultural food production spread in the Valley of Mexico and communities began to grow.

Who conquered Mesoamerica? ›

Soon after the Spanish colonization of Cuba in 1519, a small army led by Hernán Cortés (1485-1547) conquered Mexico from the Aztecs.

How did the environment affect life for early people in Mesoamerica? ›

Answer and Explanation: The environment influenced Mesoamerican peoples by determining which crops could support their various civilizations. Crops that grew successfully in Mesoamerican climates included maize, beans, and squash, meaning that these became the dominant crops throughout the entire area.

Did Mesoamericans use metal tools? ›

Metallurgy only appears in Mesoamerica in 800 CE with the best evidence from West Mexico. Much like in South America, fine metals were seen as a material for the elite.

What did the Aztecs use for tools? ›

It's also believed that the Aztecs used sleds, levers, and ropes to pull heavier loads and primitive tools like chisels, stones, and blades were used also for construction. A volcanic stone called tezontle was used to form the foundations of their construction since it was easy to cut.

What kind of tools did the Mayans use? ›

Answer. The Maya did not have metal tools, instead they used mainly flint (chert) and obsidian. Chert is a hard stone used to make fire and tools such as spearpoints. Obsidian is a volcanic glass formed by the rapid cooling of lava from volcanoes.

What technology did Mesoamerica use? ›

In Meso-America the Maya civilization made the greatest progress in science and technology. Among its innovations were the position-value number system with zero, the development of the most accurate known calendar,the invention of rubber and the corbelled arch.

What were Mesoamerican weapons made of? ›

Tools made from obsidian fragments were used by some of the earliest Mesoamericans. Obsidian used in ceramic vessels has been found at Aztec sites. Obsidian cutting knives, sickles, scrapers, drills, razors, and arrow points have also been found.

What did Mesoamericans invent? ›

Ancient Mesoamericans were the first people to invent rubber balls (Nahuatl languages: ōllamaloni), sometime before 1600 BCE, and used them in a variety of roles.

What are Aztec tools made of? ›

Mesoamerica: Maya, Inca, and Aztec

The tools that they had to work with were very simple. They used tools such as fire and basalt axes on wood. Fire was very unpredictable so they switched to basalt axes for a little more precision. On stone they used tools made of flint, obsidian, granite, limestone, and quartzite.

How were the Aztec tools made? ›

The Aztecs had no iron or bronze with which to make their tools and weapons. Therefore, the ancient Aztec people had to develop a means for creating effective tools and weapons without the benefit of these metals. For this reason, many Aztec tools were made with obsidian and chert.

What was used to make Aztec weapons and tools? ›

Southern Mexico was richly endowed with obsidian. Anthropologists now think the huge and mysterious pre-Aztec city of Teotihuacan, near Mexico City, was the center of an obsidian industry. Aztec swords were made with rows of small obsidian teeth. They were murderous weapons for cutting an enemy.

What tools did the Aztecs use for agriculture? ›

In terms of Aztec agriculture, in order to grow all this food, the Aztecs used two main farming methods: the chinampas and terracing. Chinampas were essentially man-made islands, raised bed gardens on the surface of Lake Texcoco's shallow waters.

What tools did the Mayans use for agriculture? ›

According to historians, the Maya used "simple wooden digging sticks to till the soil and plant crops." A primitive hoe was also used (a flat stone head attached to a wooden shaft) but the Maya lacked tools "capable of turning over soil impregnated with deeply rooted grass."

What tools did the Mayans use for hunting? ›

The Maya people did not have guns and this made hunting quite difficult They would use spears or blowpipes which shot hard pellets my from clay. They eventually developed bows and arrows and this made the hunting easier. The wild animals hunted by the Maya were deer, ducks, armadillos, agouti, partridges and pigeons.

What tools were used to build the Mayan pyramids? ›

They made tools such as hammers and chisels but also gauges for measuring, axes for felling trees and tools for farming such as hoes. Many of the Maya tools are the same shape as our modern tools and seemed to have been used in the same way except they were using them a long time before we did.

Why Mesoamerican civilization is important? ›

Mesoamerican civilizations had a vast knowledge in mathematics and astronomy, and they used this knowledge to build observatories, in archaeological sites such as Monte Albán or Chichén Itzá. These observatories were used to study the movement of the stars and the trajectory of the planets.

What did Mesoamerica contribute? ›

Mesoamerica was the site of two of the most profound historical transformations in world history: primary urban generation, and the formation of New World cultures out of the long encounters among indigenous, European, African and Asian cultures.

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