Ancient Civilizations Americas Facts, Information, Culture, History, Aztec, Incas, Mayan, Cortez, Mesa Verde, Clift Dwellers

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Ancient Civilization of The Incas, Aztec and Mayans

Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings

The Aztecs
  • First large –scale civilization in the New World to be conquered by Europeans
  • Aztecs migrated southward into Mexico , conquering and merging with the tribes they encountered
  • The Aztec calendar stone

The Incas

  • Capital was Cusco
  • Conquerors were hated by the people that they ruled over
  • The nation was a confederation of tribes, which in turn were composed of clans. Each tribe was ruled by a council of elders
  • The ruler was the Inca
  • Advanced in medicine and surgery
  • Supreme power was vested in the ruler ate apex of the pyramid

The Maya (300-900ad)

  • Remembered for art and mathematics, advanced calendar and astronomy
  • Settled on the Mexican Gulf coastal plain
  • Primitive methods of cultivation
  • Human sacrifices were sometimes offered to the rain god, typically by throwing a virgin into a well
  • areas of dense population were not cities but the sites of pyramids

Moche Civilization

  • A pre-Incan civilization that flourished on the northern coast of Peru  from about 200 B.C. to A.D. 600, known especially for its pottery vessels modeled into naturalistic human and animal figures.
  • Society was military and theocratic, with authority in the hands of warrior-priest
  • When warrior-priest died, he would be accompany by servants, and attendants which would became sacrificial victims

The Olmecs (1000bc)

  • Southern Mexico
  • First identifiable advance culture
  • Settled on the tropical gulf coast of Mexico between 1250 and 1150 BCE
  • Most striking remains of the olmec is a group of fourteen gigantic stone heads, each six to nine feet high and weighing ten to forty tone
  • Erected pyramids


  • Aztec city which is present-day Mexico City
  • Focal center of twenty federated tribes


  • South American Indian people in Peru who were formerly the ruling class of the Inca Empire
  • Helped create the chronicles


  • A record-keeping device of the Inca Empire consisting of a series of variously colored strings attached to a base rope and knotted so as to encode information, used especially for accounting purposes.


  • A god of the Toltecs and Aztecs, one of the manifestations of the sun god Tezcatlipoca and represented as a plumed serpent

New world



  • a major South American river; flows into the South Atlantic; the world's 2nd longest river (4000 miles)


  • Spanish leader, who conquered Aztec Mexico for Spain .

Diego Duran:

  • Served as priest through out central and Southern Mexico until his death
  • He mastered Nahuatl (language of the Aztecs)
  • In studies concluded that the bloody human sacrifices that were part of the Mesoamerican religion were evidence of the devil
  • He wrote 3 books- Book of the Gods and Rites, The ancient calendar, The history of the Indies of New Spain

Demographic Collapse

  • Die out of society
  • Slavery, war, and the mines could have been factors

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde is located near Cortez and Mencos Colorado. It is famous for its cliff dwellings. You can see 6 mountain ranges in 4 states from the Park Point which is a 21 mile road.

The climate here is low in humidity and it gets cool after sunset.

Mesa Verde is a plateau that borders the Colorado high mountain county of the Continental divide. There are prehistoric ruins, artifacts over 1000 years old, ruins from ancient Native American civilization (cliff dwellers), museums, views, horseback riding, amphitheater, campsites, Indian handicraft shop.

Mesa Verde is located off hwy 160 near the La Plata Range of the southern Rockies which are about 13000 ft high.

for more information, see Native American Indian History