By Kathleen Kuiper
From the Mayan calendar to the Toltec structure at Chichn Itz, the bequests of historical Mesoamerican civilizations have persevered lengthy after the societies that created them declined. The highbrow and cultural achievements of Pre-Columbian the US rivaled these of old Rome and Egypt, and drastically enriched the panorama of present-day Mexico and principal the United States. The traditions, social enterprises, languages, and concepts that formed every one of those cultures are tested during this interesting quantity.
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Extra resources for Pre-Columbian America : Empires of the New World The Britannica Guide to Ancient Civilizations
The Remojadas tradition dates to the Late Formative and lasts until the Early Post-Classic. Figurines are hollow and largely mold-made in the Late Classic, while they were fashioned by hand in the Early Classic. The bestknown Classic representations are the “smiling figures” of grinning boys and girls wearing loincloths, skirts, or nothing at all. All kinds of genre scenes are represented, including even lovers in swings, as well as more grim activities such as the heart sacrifice of victims tied down in what look like beds.
In this and other buildings at El Tajín, the dominant architectural motif is the stepand-fret. There are a number of other temple pyramids at the site, as well as palacelike buildings with flat, concrete roofs, a tour de force of Mesoamerican engineering knowledge. El Tajín’s three major ball courts are remarkably important for the reliefs carved on their vertical playing surfaces, for these give valuable information on the religious connotations of the sacred game. Like Xochicalco, El Tajín was in some way linked to the destiny of the lowland Maya, and the collapse of Maya civilization around 900 may have been reflected in the demise of the Veracruz centre.
Thus, an increase in number of house mounds could just as easily indicate a declining population in which the death rate exceeded the birth rate. Second, the appearance of even such a tremendous centre as Tikal is quite different from that of such true cities as Teotihuacán. An ordinary Maya family typically occupied two or three houses arranged around a rectangular open space. These were grouped into unplanned hamlets near good water and rich, well-drained soils. A survey of Petén has shown that for every 50 to 100 dwellings there was a minor ceremonial centre; this unit has been called a zone.