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Week 14 Notes - ANTH 102

by: vscobee2

Week 14 Notes - ANTH 102 ANTH 102


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These notes cover Week 14 material - Mesoamerican Empires
Intro to Archaeology
Rory Dennison
Class Notes
25 ?




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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by vscobee2 on Friday April 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 102 at University of Illinois at Chicago taught by Rory Dennison in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 39 views. For similar materials see Intro to Archaeology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Date Created: 04/15/16
Week 14 Notes ANTH 102 Notes are on every other page, excluding the first Maya – (Hieroglyphics Video)  Europeans Impact o Tried to destroy Mayan writing system and convert Mayans – their writing was deemed demonic and devil-worship o Mayans tortured for their “devil-worship” o Scribes were forced to learn European script o Centuries before Mayan could be read again  Modern Mayans still make offerings to their ancient gods o They were cut off from the written words of their ancestors for centuries – this is now changing  Mayan Empire o Extended from South Mexico to Central America o Dense jungle o 200AD = built great cities like Tikal and Palenque o There were warrior athletes o Intricate and complex art o Height of glory during Europe’s Dark Ages o 9 century AD = they abandoned many of their cities (mystery!)  1000 years after abandonment, Europeans discovered Palenque o They thought that other known civilizations built the city  Modern Era Discoveries o 1810 = Rediscover Mayan books that survived Spanish conquest – used to decipher hieroglyphics o 1880s = able to take pictures of glyphs and art for the 1 time o Discovered Mayan calendar – used for astronomy (eclipses, movement of Venus)  Marked when Mayans thought the universe was created o Eric Thompson claimed Mayans were primarily focused on gods  He dominated Mayan archaeological studies o Tatiana Proskouriakoff made detailed reconstruction drawings  She figured out that the stelae placed in front of temples marked kings’ lives and important dates (life stories) o Yuri Knorozov discovered that hieroglyphics consisted of some word signs, but mostly phonetic signs  Thompson discredited this entire method o “Lord Shield” was an important Mayan ruler that appeared in many glyphs o David Stuart = glyphs that Thompson thought were telling dates were actually telling stories o Maya became an extremely violent society (sacrifice, bloodletting, etc.) and that appeared in changing hieroglyphics Mesoamerica/Olmec  Mesoamerican States: o Olmec o Teotihuacan o Maya o Moche o Inca o Aztec  Decline/European Contact: o Hernan Cortes made contact in 1519AD o Cortes got permission to lead the 3 expedition to the mainland, but he left anyway and found the Aztec capital (Tenochtitlán) o He conquered the Aztecs in the name of Spain  Organized neighboring societies to join to fight against/end the Aztec Empire  Spanish siege of Tenochtitlán  Mexico City lies on top of the ruins of the ancient Aztec city  Shared Traits of Mesoamerican States: o 1. Food Staples: maize, beans, squash, chili peppers PAGE LEFT BLANK o 2. Hieroglyphic Writing: inscriptions on walls and stelae  Codex = book on animal skins or bark paper o 3. Calendar and Astronomy o 4. Base 10 Systems o 5. Ballgames: Mayan ball at Chichen Itza, Aztec ball game depicted in Borgia Codex  Ball could weigh up to 9 lbs. and cause injuries  Players used hips, elbows, and heads to hit ball  Ball games were a form of meditation  El Tajin, Veracruz = losers sacrificed o 6. Market Economies o 7. Warfare and Blood Sacrifice: human sacrifice and autosacrifice (self-sacrifice) through blood letting o 8. Pantheon of Deities  Quetzalcoatl (Tialoc)  Xiuhtecuhtli (Huitzilipochtli)  Xipe Totec o 9. Lack of Old World ‘advances: wheeled transport, beasts of burden (like oxen or horses), and metal tools  Environmental Setting: o Mexican highlands – Sierra Madre, Basin of Mexico o Lowlands – Gulf Coast; Yucatan Lowlands; Peten Lowlands o Regional Differences:  Mayans cover the Yucatan Peninsula  Agriculture and Civilization: 1 domesticates appeared in interior highlands in the Archaic period, but earliest complex societies appeared in the coastal lowlands o Lowlands = slash-and-burn agriculture o Highland agriculture = Chinampas “Floating Gardens”  Small stationary wetland farm plots made by draining swamps or creating landfills on the margins of lakes PAGE LEFT BLANK  Mesoamerican Chronology: o Preclassic or Marmative Period (2000BC – 300AD) o Classic Period (300 – 900AD) o Postclassic Period (900- 1519AD) (Spanish conquest)  Olmec Horizon: o Called a horizon because not quite a state; horizon: a common artifact style shared broadly across a region o Formative Period (1150 – 400BC) – flourished o Culture contained seeds of later hallmarks of Mesoamerican civilization o Ball game, calendar, and hieroglyphic writing o Colossal carved stone heads o Alters and stelae – large stone blocks with depictions on them o Greenstone and jade carvings – carved celt o Material Symbolism: Were-Jaguars  Mix of human and animal traits  Some were-jaguars depicted as infants (creation myth, ruler with genetic defects, future victory?) o Not centralized under one power, but shared characteristics o Widespread trade network of elite goods – jade, shale, obsidian, stingray spines, shell, shark’s teeth, pottery o San Lorenzo Site (1150-900BC):  Famous for large stone heads – intentionally defaced, destroyed, and buried  100s of monuments, mounds, and Lagunas (held water, typically for bathing)  Early ball court o La Venta Site (900-400BC)  Built on an island, in a swamp  Lots of earthen pyramids  Several colossal heads, altars  Monuments mutilated in the past PAGE LEFT BLANK o Olmec Questions:  Were they a state-level society?  Bureaucratically organization? Was trade organized?  Are sites densely “cities”?  What were the population sizes? What about their daily life?  We know mostly about religious centers and that elites were present? o Olmec Firsts:  Hieroglyphics (carved)  600-400BC at La Venta  Ballgame  El Manati, Veracruz (1600BC) – rubber ball South America/The Inca Empire  Geography: Andes Mountains st o Incans were not the 1 empire/society in this area – Incans built upon these models o Environmental zones = desert coast (lots of marine resources but very arid); valleys (near rivers and upslope); grassland plateaus (puna; in between mountains); eastern slopes (montañas; lots of rain) o Lake Titicaca o Domesticates:  Camelids (llamas and alpacas)  Beasts of burden (transport)  Wool and leather (secondary materials)  Food  Beans, squash o Andean Chronology:  Late Horizon (1476-1534AD) – Inca  Late Intermediate Period (1000-1476AD) – Wari; Chimú  Middle Horizon (600-1000AD) – Wari; Tiwanaku  Early Intermediate Period (200-600AD) – Moche; Nazca: Tiwanaku  Early Horizon (900BC-200AD) – Chavín; Paracas PAGE LEFT BLANK  Initial Period (1800/1500-900BC)  Preceramic Period (before 1800/1500BC) *Andeans never one unified culture (horizons)  Chavín Horizon o Chaví de Huántar Site  Used for pilgrimage – people didn’t live there permanently – large religious center  El Castillo Platform: large platform structures o Emergent social inequality – seen in diet, location/size of houses, burial goods o Shared style/ideology  Art = feline faces and staff god images  Early Intermediate Period – Nazca o Nazca Confederacy (200-600AD):  Nazca and Ica River drainages  Independent, allied cities – shared stylistic trends, some competition o Pottery:  Polychromes (many colors) and extremely ornate  Occupational specialization – organized bureaucratically? o Nazca Lines:  Geoglyphs (kind of like crop circles)  Shapes = geometric, simple, plants, animals (monkey images proof of long-distance travel/trade)  Made by removing dark parts of desert pavement (top soil) – fairly easy  Visible at ground-level from a distance or from foot hills – not just from the sky o Ritual Paths in Andes:  Ceque System from Incan capital of Cuzco  Sajama Lines, Bolivia  Nazca Lines  Used for pilgrimage  Possibly walked along lines? PAGE LEFT BLANK  Early Intermediate – Moche o 300-600AD – overlap with Nazca o Coastal Peru o Cerro Blanco (Moche) Site:  Powerful center – more centralized than others o Very powerful  Controlled religious iconography  Huacas: things imbued with life force (mountains, temples)  Temples built with mud bricks o Put 100s of stamps on bricks (maker’s marks?) o Early form of labor tax? o Pottery:  Distinctive ceramics  Sacrifice scenes o Influence:  Peak 300-400AD  Moche pottery replaced other local styles  Moche craft – metalwork and ceramics  Mostly used precious metals (like gold) o Sipán Site:  At edges of territory  Very impressive tombs  Social stratification: o Precious materials (gold, turquoise) o Buried with attendants  Warrior/Sacrifice ceremony o Decline:  600BC  Drought, weather patterns (El Niño)  Cerro Blanco abandoned  Loosely-connected city-states – less important, smaller PAGE LEFT BLANK  Simultaneous Wari (Huari) Empire and Tiwanaku Empire o Tiwanaku  Tiwanaku City – Lake Titicaca (increasingly important as center of civilization)  400-1000AD  Foreshadows Inca Empire  Economic colonies – trade goods  Roads and llama caravans  Inca claimed descent from Tiwanaku  Iconography, architecture – continued 100s of years after decline  Did this to legitimize their authority/empire * Continuity between these groups is very important!


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