Civilzations Of The Americas Essay

727 words - 3 pages

Before the Europeans reached meso-america, there were three great empires. They are the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Incas. These early civilizations took up most of Central America and part of South America. Although, through the perspective of the Europeans the meso-americans were described as weak and uncivilized because of their appearance compared to them. However, the meso-americans were advanced in their own ways such as adapting to their geography, astronomy, and agriculture.
Meso-american civilizations were advanced prior to European contact in ways such as adapting to their geography. One example includes the Incas terrace farming. The purpose for this method is to collect rainwater because the Incas lived in mountainous regions such as the Andes Mountains. Terrace farming is when there are ridges cut into a mountain that resemble steps. It was a type of irrigation system that helped grow crops as well. Another example of how these early civilizations adapted to their environment is the Aztecs way of expanding land. When the Aztecs had run out of space to plant crops, they created artificial islands called chinampas, or Aztec gardens. Chinampas are large islands that are made up of matted weds, covered with mud, brought up from the lake floor, and then anchored to the bottom of the lake by growing weeds. Their purpose was to create more useable space for planting crops. The Mayans adapted to their environment through their slash and burn technique, terrace farming, and raised field farming. The Mayans carried out this technique by cutting down and burning trees, but this method exhausted the soil within two to three years. However, adapting to geography isn’t the only thing the meso-american civilizations were advanced in.
Mayan civilizations were greatly advanced in astronomy as well. They are acknowledged for their development in the sciences. There are indications that they studied the movements of celestial bodies, or the planets and stars. This was done in order to measure time, predict upcoming events such as eclipses, and set dates for sacrifices and major affairs. The Mayan priest’s astronomical knowledge was so thorough that it is presumed that it...

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