MesoAmerica Brochure

By: Arielle Janssens


The Mayans lived in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras. The Mayans built large pyramids to honor the gods, but they were smaller than Egyptian and Kush pyramids. They were also much detailed and decorative; contained arches. The Mayans developed hieroglyphics-style writing to record astronomic observations, calendar calculations, and historical information. The Mayans had four structures. The first one was the ruling class, the nobles, peasants, and then slaves. They created accurate calendars with 365 day days that could accurately predict eclipse and finding the day of the week many thousands of years in the past or future. They also developed a system of mathematics and number system based on 20 and 0. When the Mayans farmed, they used the method of slash and burn. After the Mayans have harvested, they would cut and then slashed it. Finally, when that is done, they burn it. This would help fertilize it.


The Inca Empire began in the mid-1400s and was located to the western coast of South America. The Inca Empire extended more than 2,500 miles and include present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina-huge territory covered deserts, mountains, and rain forests. The Incas built suspension bridges and one of the largest and wealthiest empires in the world. The most famous city was Machu Picchu. They also had excellent goldsmiths. Incas cut flat surfaces on mountains, and then they planted crops there. They also used terraced mountain irrigation streams for farming. These people were the 1st civilization to harvest potatoes. Incas had no writing, but created record systems called quipu( knots tied to colored rope of varied sizes). The Incas had preformed surgery and blood transfusions. They also built 10,000 miles of roads. Inca has a tightly controlled government,


The Aztecs were founded by the Mexica, and came from the west Mexico. Their civilization was created on lake Texcoco-strategic with abundant food supplies and water ways for transportation. The Aztec Empire began and lasted from 1427 to 1521, and was conquered by Spanish conquistadors. The capital, Tenochtitlan was located on the present-day site of Mexico city. When captured by the Spanish conquistadors, Tenochtitlan was possibly the largest city in the world. Farming was the basis of the Aztec economy, but land was not large enough to produce enough food for the entire population. So, the Aztecs created chinampas. Chinampas are floating gardens. They were put together by placing mud on huge mats made of woven reeds. Then they were placed on lakes. Some important crops for the Aztecs were the cacao or chocolate, and the maize or corn. The Aztecs made books called codices using hieroglyphics. The Aztec culture focused on war and thought it was a sacred duty to fight.