American archaeologist and anthropologist, Stephen Plog, wrote an account of the pre-Columbian natives of the Americans titled Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest. Plog’s purpose is to communicate the cultural and ritualistic lifestyles of the prehistoric natives of the southwest, which spans across the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Nevada with some mention of trade with Mexico. The author has demonstrated an effective approach of an objective viewpoint on the lives of the prehistoric south westerners using sources from excursions from previous archaeologists such as, Paul S Martin and David R Wilcox among many others who excavated the vacant villages of the southwest.
The Olmec’s lived along muddy riverbanks and the Gulf of Mexico around 1500 B.C. Rigorous agricultural practices characterized the Olmec civilization, enabling them to provide food and resources for their families and generate income by selling their food to others around them. They also used the land to their advantage, using the mud to create elaborate earthen pyramids. Along with the cultivation of land, trade contributed to the success of the Olmec’s. They had many widespread trade routes extending into the surrounding areas. Their trade routes further helped to expand agriculture and grow the economy within this society due to the selling of agricultural products along these routes. To grow spiritually, the Olmec’s created religious rituals and a system of hieroglyphics that allowed the peoples to communicate effectively while also uniting the Olmec people as a whole. The Olmec’s’ use of their surrounding geography, combined with the economic growth brought about from extended trade routes and the societal unity brought about from the implementation of religious rituals allowed the Olmec’s to thrive during their time.
“The history of American Indians before European contact is broadly divided into three major periods: the Paleo-Indian period, the Archaic period (8000–1000 b.c.), and the Woodland period (1000 b.c.–1600 a.d.).”(DiNome) There is little known information about the Paleo-Indian period; however, the Paleo Indians are believed to be some of the first American Indians, not only in Florida, but in all of America. The Paleo Indians were believed to be nomads who fought and hunted with stone tools and clubs. During the Archaic period American Indians began to become more civilized. It was in the Archaic period that the American Indians began to establish a system of trading among their people. During this time the Indians also started developing migration routes to bring other Indians down to Florida from the Carolinas. Similarly to the Indians in the Paleo time period, the Indians in the Archaic period used stone tools for hunting and fighting, but they also began to utilize the use of bone tools during this time period. Another skill that the Indians started becoming more familiar with during this time period was basketry. The last period that we see in pre-contact Native American life is the Woodland period. It is called the Woodland period because during this time is when the Native Americans began farming. We see during this time the Indian settlements had begun moving closer to streams of water and rivers, because that is where the soil was good for successful
Dating to 1000 B.C., the Kolomoki complex near present-day Blakely is one of the best-known sites of these ancient civilizations. During the Mississippian Period (A.D. 800-1600), at least sixteen significant settlements dotted the Chattahoochee's banks south of the fall line. As these civilizations died because of exposure to European diseases, native survivors from other areas moved into the river valley below present-day Atlanta. (Lynn Willoughby)
The Hohokam culture of present day Arizona existed from 300 A.D. to 1200 A.D. The earliest Hohokam people lived in unusually large lodges possibly with their extended family. The Hohokam men, who were traditionally hunters, hunted large game with spears until the bow and arrow was introduced around 400-500 A.D. Throughout the culture’s lifespan, its geographical range expanded by at least three to four times. As the Hohokam culture expanded and their contacts with neighboring tribes increased, trade began to flourish. A surprising variety of products were
Mesoamerica have been connected the North and South America culturally and geographically throughout the history. Mesoamerican culture and aspects heavily influenced southwestern United States, being the frontier borderline between North America and Mesoamerica. It is very important to study the relationship between the Mesoamerica and American Southwest because American Southwest contains various elements of Mesoamerican culture and this provides fundamental information about human behaviors, history, interactions, and tradition in America. Our group has selected Agriculture, Architecture, Religion, and Trade as our categories to analyze the relationship between American southwest and Mesoamerica. Fair trade, we will focus on scarlet macaws and how it got traded from Mesoamerica in the American southwest and its significance. For architecture, we will compare the ball courts of Hohokam and that of Mesoamerica. Significance of ball courts and how it got introduced into the American southwest from Mesoamerica will be discussed as well. Religion will be analyzed by focusing on the cosmological beliefs of both groups and the similarities and differences between Mesoamerican cosmology and American southwest cosmology.
Ceramic making is still a popular tradition today in the Americas, especially on Native Indian Reservations, like in Western, North Carolina. The use of ceramics, however, is quite different than the way it was used by the natives during the Middle Woodland Period. Today, pottery is mainly made for decoration or art purposes by modern day Americans, but according to Wallis (2011), about 3,000 years ago the use of pottery became a very common use and practiced tradition among the native people who lived during that time period. The Swift Creek culture and the Cherokee Indians had very similar methods in formulating ceramics. The archaeological findings of these artifacts states that one group had been more advanced designs on their vessels. This reason is most likely because of the materials that one group was able to access in their area that the other group did not have available. One group was also more traditional and spiritual in making their vessels, which caused them to create more complex designs and methods while designing their ceramics (Block 2005). By looking at the similarities of both groups pottery styles, archaeologists were able to determine the minor but very distinctive differences, that one group processed in their art, than the other. By comparing each group’s ceramics by looking at
Caddoan Mississippian peoples, irregardlesss of differences, were still linked to the larger Mississippian world to the east and other cultures to the southwest by trade networks which traversed the North American continent. Artifacts found in Craig Mound at the Spiro site in the Arkansas River Valley encompassed such items as: basketry, copper, woven fabric, lace, feathers, fur, and carved stone statues. Some artifacts originated as far away as Cahokia in Illinois, Etowah and Ocmulgee in Georgia, and Moundville in Alabama. Many items displayed the ornate symbolism of the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex, a multiregional and pan-linguistic trade and religious network. Exotic material discovered at Caddoan Mississippian sites included colored
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles offers a surface level depiction of Mesoamerican civilization and culture. It excludes essential information and instead gives a shallow representation that offers implications of a barbaric civilization.
In the Early Post-Classic Period archaeologists can see where alliances and trade patterns existed with the two styles of Mazapan/Totlan, and Black-on-Orange Aztec I ceramics. The Mazapan/Totlan style is found in the Eastern and Northern Basin while the Black-on-Orange Aztec I ceramics are found in the southern Chalco-Xochimilco area, in the north-central Basin, and farther east (Nichols). The distribution of these styles and the fact that they generally are not found in the same areas suggests that they were exchanged in relation to ethnic and/or political ties. In the Middle Post-Classic Period ceramic exports from both the Texcoco, and Tenochtitlan regions increased. During this time Black-on-Orange Aztec II ceramics were produced in both the Texcoco and the Tenochtitlan regions. Black-on-Orange Aztec II ceramics from the Texcoco region are found at Cerro Portezuelo, while Black-on-Orange Aztec II ceramics from the Tenochtitlan region are found in Chalco and Xaltoca (Nichols). Both of these examples support historical data that both the Texcoco and the Tenochtitlan regions were spreading their political affiliations during that period of
The Haudenosaunee lived in balance with nature that they imposed, while Europeans lived in competition with nature, attempting to control it fully. This vastly different method of farming is an important part of American history as it is the reason for the famous Great Plains. It also gives insight into the nature of the Native Americans and their livelihoods. The mound building engineers who built Cahokia’s Monks Mound show us that even though the Indians lived centuries ago, they were just as able as other ancient civilizations and even modern ones. The monks mound was built on clay which is prone to swelling and by insulating and watering the mound, it still exists today (Mann 260). Just as the Ancient Egyptians are studied for their pyramids, the Cahokians should be studied as part of Ancient U.S. History demonstrating their engineering ability. Finally, an achievement of Native Americans that makes them worthy of inclusion in U.S. History is the invention of terra preta, an unusually fertile soil found in Amazonia that is anthropogenic. Indians likely used the technique, slash-and-char to create charcoal
The ancient world of Mesoamerica entered a long period of change that soon led to the development a mammoth city that would serve as a regional center for more than 600 years. Beginning in about 1000 B.C. the majority of the people in the Valley of Mexico relocated to one of two primary sites, that of Cuicuilco in the southwest corner and Teotihuacan in the northeast. By about 300 B.C., Cuicuilco dominated the region, but its heyday would soon diminish. (Sabloff 2000, p 60)
Massive temples hidden in the jungles of the Yucatan, mysterious stone stelas, and cryptic calendars eluding to advanced knowledge of the stars and mathematics are just some of the artifacts originating from the “Classic Maya” period (200 CE-900 CE). However, these popular items should not be the only defining characteristics of a society that dominated the Mesoamerican region for nearly a millennia. Dynastic lines, similar to those found in European houses, were important elements during this period in places like Palenque, Tikal, and Calakmul. Additionally, the Maya experienced violent and consistent warfare between localized powers and the backbone of their society, agriculture, suffered through several multi-year droughts. These factors
A mound at Dainzú provides evidence of the inhabitants of the site engaging in a ball game. The slabs that were found in the mound are the most important findings since they each have figures engraved on them. The figures that are depicted contain humans or half human and half man images. There are three different groups of figures. The figures have their hands protected by gloves and use knee pads to cover their legs as well. Each figure also holds a small ball only in their right hand. This article fits into Mesoamerica because it gives an insight into a different ball game that is not from the Classic period. It also can see that ball games did not necessarily need a special court to play it in. It can show a correlation between cultures.