Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

6 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Temple of the Inscriptions?
Village Farmers:
Ancient Mesoamericans (Mayans, etc.) practiced slash & burn (aka swidden) farming & gardening; their primary crops were maize & beans.
-S&B farming involves cutting down vegetation & burning it so that ash & charcoal act as fertilizer for the soil.
-S&B gardens called milpas
-Remained fertile & productive for about 2 years & have to lie fallow for 4-7 years.
-S&B adaptive for relatively small pop. but burden on landscape when pop. grew large.
-S&B not only technique; Mesoamericans also used raised fields, canals, drained swamps, & terraced slopes to water fields & to grow crops;; in Oaxaca, pot irrigation used; In Valley of Mexico floating gardens or chinampas used.
Preclassic Mesoamerica:
-By 2000B.C., sedentary farming villages had been well established in Mesoamerica
-By 1500B.C. or so, the first signs of social & political complexity emerge- preclassic period.
-Signs of emerging social ranking included differences in house size & design, the appearance of small shrines, differences in grave goods, & the appearance of prestige goods.
-This pattern of emerging social differentiation emerged throughout Mesoamerica from the Olmec Gulf Coast & Maya lowlands (e.g., the early Maya site of Cuello), to the Zapotec highlands of the Oaxaca & elsewhere.
Where was the first evidence for public or ceremonial architecture?
Oaxaca Valley
The Middle Preclassic: The Olmec:
-On the Gulf Coast lowlands, the Olmec thrived from ca. 1500-500 B.C.
-They are sometimes called the "Mother Culture" (erroneously) of Mesoamerica & built some of the earliest monumental architecture & developed an early form or writing wwhich appears to be antecedent to the Maya script
-had distinctive art style which commonly depicted "were-jaguar" figures of infants
-Carved jade, jadeite & serpentine and enormous blocks of volcanic stone into famous Olmec giant stone heads
-Major Olmec sites were located at San Lorenzo (1250-900 B.C.), La Venta (800-400 B.C.) and Tres Zapotes.
Rise of Complexity in Oaxaca:
-Olmec motifs shows up in the highlands of Mexico (e.g. Oaxaca) 1150-650 B.C. (there is some debate about whether the motifs originate in Olmecland or the highlands)
-By 1200-1150 B.C, San Jose Mogote emerges in the Valley of Oaxaca as the largest settlement in the valley.
-Longer established famiies or clans come to have greater prestige than more recent or younger families through spiritual connection to an ancestral figure; leading men of these prestigious families ome to be chiefs and eventually rulers or kings.