Last Updated 03 Mar 2020

Civilizations of the Americas

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The Mayans, Aztecs, and Incas were three of the most advanced civilization in the Americas. They each brought major accomplishments to the world during their period of reign and some of these accomplishments are still used to this very day. Each one of these civilizations were influenced by foreign countries including: Europe, Asia, and parts of the Middle East. Some of these accomplishments included agriculture, architecture, writing, and trade. These accomplishments led each of these civilizations into being the most advanced in the world during their time of rule.

The Mayans were the first civilization of the three and reached its greatest height between 250 and 900 CE. The Mayan civilization was located in the areas known today as Guatemala, Belize, Chiapas, and the Yucaton Peninsula, which had rich and fertile soil. Being the first civilization didn’t hold back the Mayans from being advanced in architecture, math, astrology, and writing. In the Mayan civilization, there was one major city called Tikal. Tikal was located in Guatemala and became a major Mayan center. The Mayan pyramid in Tikal was the tallest pyramid until the twentieth century (Document 1).

This structure showed that the Mayans were advanced in architecture without several different inventions that were used in future societies including the wheel. The Mayans used characters or symbols as a writing system. They used glyphs (symbols) to write necessary things down on stelae. Each glyph either represented a sound or a word. Glyphs were put together to make sentences or represent the Mayan calendar (Document 2). The Mayans used a 364-day solar calendar with 18 months and 20 days in each month. These accomplishments prove that the Mayan civilization was one of the most advanced in the Americas.

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