“Pre-Historical” Geography Three Time Periods: 1. Pre-1492: Pre-Colombian – Columbus = Colon – Colon = Colonial? – Coincidence? 2. 1492 to 1532: Colonial Period* * Fall of Cuzco, Peru 3. Post-1532: Post-Colonial 1. Pre-Columbian People already here! But from where? • Ancient Vikings, Greeks, Egyptians, Celts, Chinese? • Lost Tribes of Israel? - (~1,000 B.C.: Biblical account of Assyrians taking over Israel redistributing the population elsewhere for security and control purposes) • Ancient Astronauts from Outer Space? - Erich Van Daniken’s theory based on mythological “gods” and supernatural phenomena mentioned in religious texts Bering Strait Theories • When ocean levels dropped, a land “bridge” formed between Alaska and Russia • Earliest migrations about 12,000 - 40,000 years ago • Similar artifacts found from Blackwater Draw, NM all the way to Chile • DNA similarities between Native Americans and Asians • Second migration about 4,500 years ago across Canada. • Contested by many Traditionalists / Natives! Beringia Native Origin Theories (“cosmologies” or “mythologies”) Yaqui: “The Creator made ocean animals and allowed some to emerge onto land. Some evolved into a short human form: the Surem. These are the early ancestors of the Yaquis. The Surem lived in a time out of mind and were a peace-loving, gentle people who had no need for government. Life in the Sonoran desert was a harmonious perfection for the Surem until God spoke through a little tree and prophesied about new horticultural techniques, Christianity, savage invaders, and disunity. The Surem became frightened about parts of this message and transformed into taller, defensive farming people called Yaquis (Hiakim) or Yo'emem (The People).” http://www.manataka.org/page129.html Many, many theories… Pre-Siberian American Aborigines Theory • Came from Pacific Islands • Sailed to Chile • Easter Island (faces west) • Thor Heyerdahl – Kon-Tiki: 1947 built and sailed a balsa boat from South America to Polynesia – Ra I and II: 1969-70 built and sailed a papyrus reed boat from Morocco to Barbados – What does this prove? Which current? Which tradewinds? Many Pre-Columbian Civilizations! 1,000’s!! Pre-1492 Estimates… • U.S. and Canada: 900,000 – 12.5m • Mexico: 3.2m – 37.5m • Central America: 150,000 – 13.5m • Caribbean: 200,000 – 550,000 • Andes: 3m – 27.5m • Rest of South Am: 1.5m – 11.25m Nobody knows! • For all of the Americas most estimates have placed the native population ranging anywhere from 8.4 million to 112.5 million. • Whichever answer you choose, there are HUGE sociopolitical ramifications! – – Pro-native? Anti-native? Watering down atrocities or overstating tragedy for personal / political gain? • Does it matter? 7 million killed or 50 million? Ancient Civilizations / Sites of Latin America Civilization Site Location • Olmec • Maya • • • • • • Teotihuacán Zapotec Mogollon Aztec Taíno / Arawak Inca San Lorenzo Tulum Palenque Tikal Copán Teotihuacán Monte Albán Tenochtitlan Machu Picchu Veracruz, Mex Yucatan, Mexico Eastern Mexico NE Guatemala Western Honduras Central Mexico Oaxaca, Mexico AZ, NM, TX Central Mexico Caribbean / Guianas ~Cuzco, Peru Mogollon Major Civilizations of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean Teotihuacán Carib Dry climate has too low of carrying capacity to support large civilizations! General Characteristics of PreColumbian Mesoamerican Settlements • Most developed in humid areas (not Mogollon) and along coastal plains • Coastal Plains = Fertile Soils, Humid • Nomadic Hunters / Gatherers became Farmers • Fairly localized (Maya expansive) • Most either died out, became mixed, or fled to less-desirable areas • New sites being “discovered” constantly Olmec • 1500 BC – 300 AD • Isthmus of Tehuantepec • Veracruz • “Mother Culture” of all Mesoamerican civilizations? • First Mesoamerican culture to develop hieroglyphic script • Farming: maize • Climate! Olmec San Lorenzo 1200-900 BC Maya • • • • • • • • 2000 - 1000 BC? – ?? Still around! Mexico to Costa Rica: debatable Yucatan, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, W Honduras in particular Developed writing, math and the calendar far beyond their origins Had “0” before Europe Urbanized Many historical sites! Maya 1. Chichen Itza 3. Tulum 6. Tikál 8. Copán Chichen Itza ~600 AD Voted as one of the new “Seven Wonders of the World” in 2007 Tulum ~500 AD (most from ~1200-1400) Tikal 400 BC (largest Mayan site) Copán: 900 BC http://www.livescience.com/32017-lost-city-honduras-images.html • • • • • • • • • 300 BC – 750 AD Civilization and City Centered around D.F. Multi-ethnic (Maya, Mixtec, Zapotec, etc.) “Urban Farmers” Canals, Irrigation Pyramids City >200,000: Largest in the world:150-450 AD City “disappeared” around 650 AD: Fire? Teotihuacán Teotihuacán 300 BC? Who built it? #1 most visited ancient site in Mexico Zapotec • • • • • Monte Albán (built over the course of 2,000 years) 600 BC – 1551 AD ? Artisans: Jewelry (Jade) Irrigation Oaxaca Monte Alban: First major city in the West (walled) • Developed syllables in language • Still up to 400,000 Zapotec in Mexico today Oaxaca Zapotec Monte Albán 600 BC Mogollon • 200 BC – 1400 AD • NW Mexico, SW U.S. • Evolved from bands of nomadic peoples • Lived in dry, mountainous region • “Cliff Dwellers” • Merged with other natives (Hohokam, Anasazi) • Pueblo, Zuñi, others • 1350 – 1521 AD Aztec • “from Aztlan” (mythical place in Northern Mexico) • Called selves “Mexica” • Oldest continuously inhabited city in the West? • Their sun god saw a vision where to build Tenochtitlan Tenochtitlan (1824: D.F.) The Aztec sun god told Aztec priests to settle where they “saw an eagle perched on a cactus full of fruits (Tenochtli) eating a snake” 1325: Tenochtitlán “Altepetl” = “Water Mountain” (“community”) Destroyed, dismantled, or buried under what is today Mexico City Caribbean Civilizations • Arawak (includes Taíno): – – – – Everywhere in Caribbean Largely in Greater Antilles Also on mainland South America (Colombia, Venezuela) Even joined with Spanish against Caribs • Carib: Rivals of Arawak – Particularly in Lesser Antilles – North Coast of South America (Venezuela, Guyanas) – “Cannibals:” Dubbed by Columbus (karibna = person) • Only cannibals could be taken as slaves • Very warlike • Veracity of label? (Taíno) Carib http://www.centrelink.org/KearnsDNA.html • Only ~3,000 “true” Caribs left (Dominica) Native Civilizations: South America Inca (altiplano) • Cuzco • Machu Picchu …and many Amazonian civilizations Incan Center of Cuzco: High up in the Andes (~12,000 feet!: Northern end of Altiplano) Machu Picchu: One of “The New Seven Wonders of the World.” Chichén Itzá, Mexico Christ the Redeemer, Brazil The Great Wall, China Machu Picchu, Peru Petra, Jordan Roman Colosseum, Italy The Taj Mahal, India #8: Easter Island •http://www.gadling.com/2010/01/15/stone-henge-machu-picchu-top-most-threatened-wonders-list/ Atlantis? • On trade route • Earthquake • Lower water levels • Pyramid? • Buildings? • Streets?