Mesoamerican Civilizations

Mexico and Peru were home to two of the world’s independentagricultural civilizations. In Peru, there was the Mayancivilization. The Maya of in Mesoamerica was arguably more literatethan the then European civilization. As early as 1000 B.C, the Mayanshad devised advanced agricultural communities, which helped theirsociety to be more settled than the rest ((Adler &amp Pouwels,2015). The Mayans’ dominance had led to the decline of thepreviously dominant Olmecs. Besides having a well-developedliterature, the Mayans had superior mathematical knowledge. Theircities were also highly populated, and they had well-organizedreligious and administrative centers. Just as the Olmecs, theirpolitical and social power was organized. They also had anastonishingly accurate calendar, which was influenced by theirextensive knowledge of astronomy. However, the prosperity of theMayans led to their defeat, mainly because of overpopulation andecological mismanagement. Present knowledge of the Mayan civilizationis dependent on historical studies in the nineteenth and twentiethcenturies.

TheMayans had a unique culture, highlighted by entities such as the mainavenue at Teotihuacan. This avenue had several pyramids, which servedimportant social and religious functions. The Mayans, same like theOlmecs, had powerful priests and nobles, who overlooked thesefunctions. They were mainly found at Teotihuacan, which was a centralhub of commerce, trade and worship. Before being destroyed in 650C.E., the Teotihuacan was a major military society that had a richcultural heritage (Adler &amp Pouwels, 2015).

Following the fall of the Teotihuacan, the Aztec civilization rose.These were majorly nomadic people, who also had a huge military. Thetriple alliance had dominated the present day Mexico by about 1500.The Aztec society was highly segmented into classes. The highestclass was comprised of the ruling elite. A greet number was made upof free people, who did most of the usual work in the society (Adler&amp Pouwels, 2015). The bottom group was made up of serfs, who werelike European slaves. Upper-class women also had a special place inthe society, as they had the rights and freedom of the then Europeanwomen. While the elite women were involved in some administrativepositions, the lower-class women’s place was cultivation and marketvending.

TheInca Empire was another major civilization that existed south ofMexico. They shared some similar cultural practices with the Aztec,such as the building of pyramids. Additionally, the Inca Empire washighly militarized (Adler &amp Pouwels, 2015). These people also hada strong tradition of art, which made them have some of the bestmetallurgists and potters of the age. Like most of the othercivilizations in the ancient and pre-modern era, the Incans used toraid the less fortunate and claim their lands as part of theirexpansive empire. One of the most outstanding rulers of the empirewas Pancacuti Inca, who created an entirely new cult, with the sundeity at the center of the magical power.

TheIncan had almost similar methods of maintaining power like the Aztec.After conquering their neighbors, they assimilated them and providedthem with security from other hostile clans. They also used thestrategy of appointing leaders for their conquered tribes, who weredirectly answerable to the central administration. The Incans alsohad a well-established organizations and administration, wherebytaxes could be collected to maintain the society (Adler &ampPouwels, 2015). The leaders were aware that keeping the civilizationalive entailed taking care of the people’s needs.


Adler,P.J. &amp Pouwels, R.L. (2015). World civilizations. CengageLearning.