Introduction to Communication and Civic Life COM 3 credits An overview of major approaches to the analysis and criticism of contemporary cultural concerns, situating these within the broader historical contexts of communication and cultural theory. Sophomore standing Credit for enrollment in approved study abroad programs.
Mesoamerican civilization The term Mesoamerica denotes the part of Mexico and Central America that was civilized in pre-Spanish times. In many respects, the American Indians who inhabited Mesoamerica were the most advanced native peoples in the Western Hemisphere.
The northern border of Mesoamerica runs west from a point on the Gulf coast of Mexico above the modern port of Tampicothen dips south to exclude much of the central desert of highland Mexico, meeting the Pacific coast opposite the tip of Baja Lower California.
On the southeast, the boundary extends from northwestern Honduras on the Caribbean across to the Pacific shore in El Salvador. Geographically and culturally, Mesoamerica consists of two strongly contrasted regions: The Mexican highlands are formed mainly by the two Sierra Madre ranges that sweep down on the east and west.
Lying athwart them is a volcanic cordillera stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The high valleys and landlocked basins of Mexico were important centres of pre-Spanish civilization. In the southeastern part of Mesoamerica lie the partly volcanic Chiapas—Guatemala highlands.
The lowlands are primarily coastal. Agriculture in Mesoamerica was advanced and complex. A great many crops were planted, of which corn, beans, and squashes were the most important. In the highlands, hoe cultivation of more or less permanent fields was the rule, with such intensive forms of agriculture as irrigation and chinampas the so-called floating gardens reclaimed from lakes or ponds practiced in some regions.
In contrast, lowland agriculture was frequently of the shifting variety; a patch of jungle was first selected, felled and burned toward the end of the dry season, and then planted with a digging stick in time for the first rains. After a few years of planting, the field was abandoned to the forest, as competition from weeds and declining soil fertility resulted in diminishing yields.
In addition, terraces were constructed and employed for farming in some lowland regions. Nevertheless, the demographic potential for agriculture was probably always greater in the highlands than it was in the lowlands, and this was demonstrated in the more extensive urban developments in the former area.
The extreme diversity of the Mesoamerican environment produced what has been called symbiosis among its subregions. Interregional exchange of agricultural products, luxury items, and other commodities led to the development of large and well-regulated markets in which cacao beans were used for money.
It may have also led to large-scale political unity and even to states and empires.
High agricultural productivity resulted in a nonfarming class of artisans who were responsible for an advanced stone architecture, featuring the construction of stepped pyramids, and for highly evolved styles of sculpture, pottery, and painting.
The Mesoamerican system of thought, recorded in folding-screen books of deerskin or bark paper, was perhaps of even greater importance in setting them off from other New World peoples. The religious life was geared to this cycle, which is unique to them. The Mesoamerican pantheon was associated with the calendar and featured an old, dual creator god; a god of royal descent and warfare; a sun god and moon goddess; a rain god; a culture hero called the Feathered Serpent; and many other deities.
Also characteristic was a layered system of 13 heavens and nine underworlds, each with its presiding god. Much of the system was under the control of a priesthood that also maintained an advanced knowledge of astronomy.
Some seven Mesoamerican language families and three language isolates were found in Mesoamerica. Most Mesoamerican languages are grouped in one of four families: The Mayan family contains a number of mutually unintelligible languages, at least some of which were spoken by the inhabitants of the great Maya ceremonial centres.
The modern Mexican state of Oaxaca is now the centre of the heterogeneous Otomanguean phylum; but the only linguistic groups of that family that played a great part in Mesoamerican civilization were the Mixtec and Zapotecboth of which had large, powerful kingdoms at the time of the Spanish conquest.Easier - Ancient Maya had a highly structured civilization that thrived in southern Mexico and Central America around year In the s, the Maya were discovered, conquered, and almost totally destroyed by invading Spanish.
Today's Maya are descendants of that American Indian tribe. Art historian Lori Boornazian Diel is contributing new understanding of how Aztecs perceived the loss of an empire. Photo by Robert W. Hart Written in Nahuatl, a native language, the Codex Mexicanus offers rare insights into how the Aztecs struggled to assimilate following the Spanish conquest in The Aztecs would then represent the suffix "icpa" with a drawing of yarn, which they called "icpa-tl" in the hieroglyphic Aztec translation.
Ideographic Image Usage Sometimes, scribes could not find a way to easily convey a word through phonetic or logical means. The Maya had advanced astronomy and their own forms of hieroglyphic writing. Mayan art utilized glyphs and stylized figures decorate architecture such as the pyramid temple of Chichén Itzá.
During a long reign of Pacal the Great () the Maya polity of Palenque saw the construction or extension of some of most notable surviving.
Maya Inca Aztec Writing Systems Petroglyphs or rock drawings are the earliest writing form found in the Western Hemisphere. Petroglyphs can be found all over North America. Artículos. Los señores de la entidad política de 'Ik'* Lords of a political entity: 'Ik' Erik Velásquez García* * Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, UNAM.
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