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What was the environment of Central Mexico like during the Archaic Period?

Arid steppe, grassy, not a lot of trees


What were the Archaic people of Central Mexico eating?

Jackrabbit, deer, occasionally mastodon. They also began domesticating plants, including gourds, squash, tomatoes, avocados, beans, and teosinte


What was the role of teosinte in the origins of agriculture in Mexico?

Teosinte was in the process of being domesticated into what we know as modern-day corn. The Central Mexican people deliberately selected the best corn fruit to replant in order to produce better crop


When did the Archaic Period occur?

8000-2000 BC


What other agricultural crops had wild ancestors gathered during the Archaic Period?

They gathered agave, mesquite, prickly pear, and piñon nuts. They grew gourd, squash, beans, tomatoes, avocados, chili peppers


What was life like during the dry season in the Archaic Period?

People broke up into micro bands, with 4-8 people, usually family members. They lived nomadically


What was life like during the wet season in the Archaic Period?

People lived in macro bands, which consisted of 2-4 micro bands. The wet season was optimal for hunting and gathering. During this time together trading, marriages of people from different micro bands and rituals occurred.


What activities did the earliest rituals in Mexico involve?

Early rituals consisted of dances or games. They also consisted of human sacrifice, either hoping for a successful crop or thanking the gods for a previous successful crop


Why did Archaic people move across great distances over the course of the year?

They spent times in micro band and macro band camps throughout the year. During the dry season, it made more sense to live in small groups, as food was harder to come by, and providing for a small group was easier. During the wet season, they came together in macro bands, which consisted of 2-4 micro bands. In these large groups, they could better hold group hunts and perform rituals. They could also trade and marry.


When did the formative period occur?

Between 1600 and 850 BC


How does the domestication of corn relate to life in villages?

People could depend on corn to provide them food throughout the year, which allowed the nomadic people to settle and form permanent villages


What technology do people develop for the first time during the Early Formative?

During the Early Formative, the first homes were built as people adjusted from a nomadic lifestyle to a more permanent living site. As well as pottery


What are the associated changes in ritual activity in the Early Formative?

Ritual buildings could now be built. Rituals became more elaborate, as people could have ritual artifacts because they didn't have to carry them far distances


Clans - what are they and how did they serve as mechanism to organize society?

Clans were groups of people who claimed to have a common descent. These groups created an us versus them mentality in society, which lead to raiding. If someone was killed by someone from another clan, the clan of the person who had died would kill 1-2 people from the clan of the killer. This was seen as a way to exact revenge. These raids would sometimes consist of burning each other villages, included houses and men's houses. There is evidence of stockades built to defend from raids.


How is prestige acquired in an egalitarian society?

Any prestige was achieved by people during their life. Prestige was earned, not inherited


Are villages autonomous in an Egalitarian society? Why or why not?

Yes, villages are autonomous. Every village was separate politically, which goes along with the egalitarian view that everyone is born equal


What are the archaeological indicators of inter-village conflict?

Burn marks on artifacts can be found. For example, burn marks and remains of carbon from stockade walls in evidence of conflicts and raids


How is prestige acquired in a rank society?

Prestige was based on your family, people are born into prestige?


Are villages autonomous in a ranked society? Why or why not?

No, villages are not autonomous. We have evidence of this because there were ruins of villages that had builds made of stone that could only be found on the land of a smaller nearby village. Archaeologists also found figures of people in positions of authority and obedience. This suggests that some villages were considered better than others. Also, they found children buried with more sumptuary goods then they could have earned in their short lifetime. This gives the indication that these children were born into prestige.


What are sumptuary goods and how do they relate to rank? What are the specific sumptuary goods in Formative Mexico?

Sumptuary goods are valuable or rare goods that only elite people could afford or use. They directly relate to rank. Some sumptuary goods included jade, polished mirror or marine shells


What do women's ritual activities consist of and where do they take place during the Formative period?

Women's activities took place in the home. They would use figures to act out scenes, representing deceased relatives. These rituals consisted of the women asking their deceased ancestors to act upon their request?


What do men's ritual activities consist of and where do they take place during the Formative period?

Men's activities took place in specially made men's houses. These houses were painted a white color using lye, and have a pit of limestone in the center of them. Archaeologists found lyme and tobacco mixed in the pit. This was used ritualistically and had a slightly hallucinogenic effect. Men used the men's houses for initiations, to plan raids or to talk about plans for their villages made a white color and had a pit of limestone in them


Which two deities are represented on pottery in the Formative period?

The two deities represented on pottery were on the deities of the sky and earth. They were often represented as the sky serpent and earthquake man.


What time period was the Early Formative?

1150-850 BC


What time period was the Middle Formative?

850-500 BC


What is a chiefdom?

A chiefdom is the territory controlled by a hereditary chief


How is the position of chief normally passed on?

The position of chief was typically passed on within a family, who claimed to have supernatural descent


What are administrative tiers in a chiefdom? How many are there?

There are typically 2-3 levels of the hierarchy. There was a village where the chief lived, surrounded by several satellite villages. These secondary villages were run by relatives of the chief. There was then sometimes a tier of tertiary villages


How are chiefly alliances created?

The village of the chief received raw materials for building from satellite villages, in return the chief arranged marriage between one of his female relatives and an important male in the satellite village. They also strengthened alliances by holding feasts for the satellite villages also.


How are chiefdoms internally unstable?

When a chief died, there was not always a clear cut decision on who should become the next chief?


How are chiefdoms externally unstable?

Chiefdoms were fairly close to one another, and there was natural competition between these nearby chiefdoms


What do the colossal heads in San Lorenzo inform us about chiefly competition?

These heads were made of basalt, imported from far away and required a lot of man power to transport to San Lorenzo. The ability to do this was a great display of power


What was found at the La Venta chiefdom?

Here we found a basalt column tomb, which was imported and showed the importance of the person buried there. We also found jade figurines in the tomb, found in a scene. Also in La Venta we see signs of social inequality in terms of the type of stingray spine people were using to ritualistically cut their tongues or earlobes to get flowing blood


What was found at the Chalcatzingo chiefdom?

This chiefdom was located right near a diorite mountain. Along the entire hillside, they created sort of drains to get irrigation from the runoff down the mountain. At this site we found a monument of pumas or jaguars attacking humans


What was found at the Teopantecuanitlán chiefdom?

Here we found the sunken court. They also had an amphitheater that collected water via canal irrigation


Under what conditions do states emerge?

States emerged via military force when rival chiefdoms conquered one another. They eventually grow too large for a single chief to act over, so it becomes a state


How many administrative tiers does a state have? What are they?

A state has 4 administrative tiers:
1. The Capital, where the king lives
2. The Administrative Centers
3. Lower Level Administrative Centers
4. Villages with no Administrative Centers


How does the ruler of a state control such a large territory?

The territory is broken into provinces, which were governed by family members of the king


Where does the ruler live?

Mesoamerican Kings lived in palaces


How does the ruler/state collect wealth

The state collects wealth from the administrative centers


How can archaeologists tell when a class of full-time priests starts to exist?

The evidence of two-room temples becomes present. The outer room was where worshippers could come, while inner rooms were considered more sacred, and was only for priests


What other kinds of full-time specialists are there in states?

Permanent Military Offices were now built in the states


What are the name of the three chiefdom in the Valley of Oaxaca?

San José Mogote, Yegüih and Tilcajete


How did the three chiefdoms in the Valley of Oaxaca interact?

They were chiefdoms living nearby in the Oaxaca Valley, they were competing for political dominance, and often took part in raids in each other


Which of the three chiefdoms in the Valley of Oaxaca gained an early advantage over the others?

The San José Mogote chiefdom


Where does San José Mogote community relocated to, and what do they do once they get there?

The community relocated to a 1500 foot mountain buffer zone in which no one had settled previously as they believed it was unsafe. Once there, they built a 3 kilometer defensive wall on the sides that could be climbed


Once the capital is established at Monte Albán, how do they unify the Valley of Oaxaca?

They began a military campaign against both Yegüih and Tilcajete, raiding both of them and taking over their chiefdoms. These chiefdoms eventually became a s`tate.


What chiefdom was Teotihuacán's Rival?



How did Teotihuacán defeat its rival?

Through the use of military force


How was the layout of the city of Teotihuacán organized?

The city of Teotihuacán was incredibly well organized and thought out. Before people began to inhabit the city, streets were laid out that stretched for miles


What was the relationship between commoner compounds and craft specialization?

Commoners often lived in the same compounds as those with similar specializations. They lived that way so that they could live near the people they worked with, and perform their work easier and faster


How can archaeologists detect the presence of ethnic enclaves at Teotihuacán

The Oaxaca barrio is evidence of this. Within Teotihuacán, there was found an area that had pottery and other artifacts that resembled those of the people from the Zapotec state


What is the Oaxaca barrio? What does it tell us about the main capital states?

The Oaxaca barrio was a place where people from the Zapotec state lived within the area controlled by Teotihuacán. These people who lived here continued to practice pottery and make crafts in similar style to those in Monte Albán


Why was a large open space left between the territories of Monte Albán and Teotihuacán?

They created a buffer zone between their two territories to keep peace


Why was the Lápida de Bazán such a significant clue in understanding the Teotihuacán-Monte Albán interaction?

The Lápida de Bazán was a treaty between Teotihuacán and Monte Albán. Because these states were so big, they agreed not to fight, and kept diplomats in each others territory. Fighting would cause great destruction. There was monuments of people from the other state in their own state. Archaeologists found pottery also


How do 2nd gen states compare to 1st gen states in power and stability?

Second gen states are significantly less powerful and stable, but they had more opportunities to become states. They were smaller and often formed through the alliance of chiefdoms. When these two parties could no longer live in perfect harmony, conflict was a result and the separation of this alliance occurred.


Xochicalco and Cacaxtla emerged after the decline of ___



How does factionalism contribute to the decline of the 2nd-gen state

The political alliances that formed to create the states eventually breaks down, leading to sometimes one of the groups packing up and leaving the state, leaving it too weak to defend itself


Tula's territory and exchange networks?

Tula was trading with people as far away as modern day New Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. As we have evidence of chocolate in New Mexico (something that was not native there), and turquoise in Tula, which was found in Costa Rica and Nicaragua naturally


What was the "coatepantli" and which later Mexican civilization adopted it?

Coatepantli was a serpent wall, which separated the sacred and secular parts of the cities. It was adopted by the Aztecs


Rival political factions at Tula were each associated with a god: ____ vs ____

Quetzalcoatl versus Tezcatlipoca


Tula was burned by

Chichimecs, or Mexica people. These people were the founders of the Aztec empire


After the collapse of the Toltec state, small petty arose including ___, ____ and ____

Azcapotzalco, Colhuacan, Texcoco


Which 1st Generation state had twin temples?



Which 1st Generation State built using standardized units of measurement?



Which 1st Generation generation state used hieroglyphic writing?

The Zapotec


Which state did the Nahuatl language originate in?

The Toltec (Tula)


Why did the Mexica originally go to Tenochtitlan?

They sacrificed the princess of Colhuacan, done out of respect, but were misunderstood and driven out of the Basin of Mexico


Who formed the triple Alliance?

Texcoco, Tlacopan, and Tenochtitlan


What is a chacmool?

An altar-like vessel used to hold sacrificial offerings, often human hearts


What are Chinampas?

An Aztec agricultural technology - they grew crops in raised lakebed, and used soil cleaned out of the canals in-between to keep the fields fertile


Who were pochteca?

Merchants who travelled long distance to trade Aztec goods


What was the capital of the Aztec Empire?



To which gods was the Templo Mayor (Great Temple) dedicated?

Huitzilipochtli and Tlaloc


How were the Spanish conquistadors able to conquer the Aztec empire?

They had advanced weaponry, and they had help from the Tlaxcalans, a rival state of the Aztecs