Olmec, Aztec, Maya, Inca

The Olmec

  • AKA “Rubber People”
  • Lasted from 1400 BCE to 100 BCE
  • Lived along the gulf of Mexico in a series of river valleys
  • Crops and main food sources-Maize, squash, beans, grains, gourds, avocado, white tailed deer, turtles, fish, dogs
  • Domesticated animals- Dogs
  • Huge monumental sculptures created by the Olmecs are an indication of a civilization with powerful leaders.

  • Most likely a chiefdom

  • Decline of Olmec civilization began in 100 BCE for reasons unknown

The Aztec

  • Civilization of Mexico

  • Lasted from 1325 through 1520

  • Located in Northern Mexico

  • Food source -food production from floating islands of soil, chinampas, held by willow trees.

  • Domesticated animals - Dogs and Turkeys were the only domesticated animals.

  • Agriculture geographic challenges - One challenge all farmers face is retaining nutrients in the soil where crops are planted.

  • Scientific advancements - Development of mathematics, canoe, Aztec calendar, and medicine.

The Maya

  • Mesoamerican civilization developed by Maya peoples

  • Archaic Period prior to 2000 B.C. saw the first developments in agriculture and earliest villages

  • Crops of the Maya diet includes, maize, squashes, and chili peppers.

  • First cities of the Maya were around 750 BCE and about 500 BCE they were possessed monumental.

  • 250 AD- period is defined by the Mayan monuments with long count dates created at this time

  • this period saw Mayan civilizations develop a large amount of city-states with a complex trade network linking them.

The Inca

  • Lasted from about 12th century AD To 1572
  • Located in Andes Region, in what is now southeastern Peru
  • Their main source of food was over forty varieties of potatoes, avocados, tomatoes, corn, beans, squash
  • The only domesticated animals were llamas, alpacas, guinea pigs
  • One challenge the Inca people faced was foreign diseases that ultimately became the death of them.