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Thread: Maya to Aztec - Ancient Mesoamerica

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    Default Maya to Aztec - Ancient Mesoamerica

    In recognition that racism, gossip, slander, libel, bigotry, petty grudges, and imaginary grievance are the most popular topics on jpp dot com, this is my contribution to improving the internets.

    Maya to Aztec - Ancient Mesoamerica

    Five hundred years ago, Spanish conquistadors searching for gold and new lands to settle stumbled on a group of independent city-states in Mesoamerica, a region extending for more than a thousand miles from the desert of northern Mexico to the rain forest of Central America. Sophisticated beyond the Spaniards’ wildest imaginings, these people were the Aztecs, the Maya, and related cultures that shared common traditions of religion, government, social organization, the arts, agriculture, engineering, and trade.

    In many ways more advanced than European nations, these societies were the equal of the world’s greatest civilizations, with remarkable achievements including the following >>

    Cities: The Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, was more populous than any city in Europe and featured unprecedented public amenities, among them one of the largest public markets in the world.
    Time-keeping: The Maya created a calendar that could record their history down to the day over spans of thousands of years—a feat achieved by few other early civilizations.
    Writing: Writing was independently invented just five times in the history of the world—once by the Maya, whose elaborate writing system was only deciphered in the late 20th century.
    Mathematics: Maya mathematics is so complex that we don’t yet know all it can do. The system is among the first ever to use zero, which is indispensible for practical and advanced calculations.

    Furthermore, ancient Mesoamerica was a crossroads of many different cultures:

    Olmec: Famed for colossal stone heads, the Olmecs flourished more than 3,500 years ago and were one of Mesoamerica’s first complex societies. Study their beautiful and inscrutable art for clues about their way of life.
    Zapotec: The Zapotecs established one of the earliest major cities in Mesoamerica, Monte Alban, located on a strategic mountaintop overlooking the spectacular Valley of Oaxaca. Take a tour of the well-preserved ruins at this fascinating site.
    Mixtec: In 1932 an archaeologist at Monte Alban discovered a tomb as rich as an Egyptian pharaoh’s. But this was not a Zapotec grave; it belonged to a later people called the Mixtec. Learn about their culture and their powerful ruler called Eight Deer Jaguar Claw.
    Toltec: Revered by the Aztecs and more recently the purported source of mystical teachings, the Toltecs are one of the great question marks of Mesoamerican history. Investigate what is actually known about this enigmatic culture.
    Tarascan: A rival power to the Aztecs, the Tarascans have traits that connect them to the Inca in Peru. Discover that they are not the only Mesoamerican civilization with intriguing links to peoples far to the south and north.

    Olmec civilization is today recognized as one of six cradles of civilization in modern Iraq, the Shang cultures of China, the Indus Valley civilization of India, and the northern coastal cultures of Peru.

    Maya collapse: Why would a civilization at the height of power systematically abandon its cities? We discuss the leading theories and then looks at evidence that the Maya obsession with cycles of time may have been the decisive factor.

    Human sacrifice: No subject so shocked outside observers, including the ruthless conquistadors, as human sacrifice. The key is to see this ritual in its broader religious context, which included auto-sacrifice—or self-mutilation—practiced by the ruling elite

    The Maya calendar: The elaborate time-keeping inscriptions of the Maya have sparked many sensational interpretations, such as a purported end of world in 2012. Dr. Barnhart shows that the true meanings involved rebirth, a cyclical view of history, and major turning points in Maya civilization.



    Source credit: Professor Edwin Barnhart, Ph.D., Maya Exploration Center

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    In recognition that racism, gossip, slander, libel, bigotry, petty grudges, and imaginary grievance are the most popular topics on jpp dot com, this is my contribution to improving the internets.
    There is a new type of photography which reveals structures that once existed showing the cities were much larger and connected than previously realized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash View Post
    There is a new type of photography which reveals structures that once existed showing the cities were much larger and connected than previously realized.
    Too right you are.

    LIDAR. A remote sensing technique using lasers that allows visual penetration of jungle canopy, and perhaps even dirt and soil I think. It is possible we are entering a new era of archaeological discovery as more Maya cities will perhaps be found; cities far larger and vaster than anything we previously imagined.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    In recognition that racism, gossip, slander, libel, bigotry, petty grudges, and imaginary grievance are the most popular topics on jpp dot com, this is my contribution to improving the internets.
    Now why you wanna go dissin' your fellow traveler, pruno, like that?
    Liberalism always generates the exact opposite of its stated intent

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    My major at NMU is Native American Studies; my minor is anthropology. AN is divided into cultural/social and physical. I intended to study both. In my mind I will be correlating what I hear from my current NAS profs (some of whom do not care for anthropologists too much) and what I hear from my future profs in AN. Maybe I might learn some stuff.

    This side of the globe has a very rich history of human life and culture and language that far predates what we have been taught as kids. Hope I have many more years of life to explore it all. Thanks for posting this, Cypress.
    Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. -- Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatOwlWoman View Post
    My major at NMU is Native American Studies; my minor is anthropology. AN is divided into cultural/social and physical. I intended to study both. In my mind I will be correlating what I hear from my current NAS profs (some of whom do not care for anthropologists too much) and what I hear from my future profs in AN. Maybe I might learn some stuff.

    This side of the globe has a very rich history of human life and culture and language that far predates what we have been taught as kids. Hope I have many more years of life to explore it all. Thanks for posting this, Cypress.
    Enjoy your scholarly endeavors!

    Our Euro-centric public education left me with some major voids in the history of the Paleo-Americas, the Far East, South Asia, and Africa. I think it could take me a lifetime to attempt to fill those voids, but it should be more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    Enjoy your scholarly endeavors!

    Our Euro-centric public education left me with some major voids in the history of the Paleo-Americas, the Far East, South Asia, and Africa. I think it could take me a lifetime to attempt to fill those voids, but it should be more fun than a barrel of monkeys!
    That's true. Unless you took the elective World History in h.s., you didn't learn much about the rest of the world. It's almost as though history didn't start till the Europeans got here. lol
    Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. -- Gandhi

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    Quote Originally Posted by countryboy View Post
    Now why you wanna go dissin' your fellow traveler, pruno, like that?
    I could invest the time to dig up old posts of mine, calling down lefties for misogynistic posts referring to Melania Trump as a "whore", and posts calling out a certain lefty who employs anti-Jewish or even anti-Semitic rhetoric.

    The problem with that is, even if I invested the time finding the proof, you would never apologize and express the slightest remorse for suggesting I am a world class hypocrite.

    I have also had righty beg me to condemn Guno. When I ask them to give me a concrete example of his racism, they invariably point to his use of the word "goyim".

    I discovered that while this may be an off-color description of non-Jews, it is not - and never has been - considered racist or even an off-the-charts slur. So after righty misled me and deceived me on the term goyim, I am not sympathetic to listening to any more begging to condemn Guno and his use of Goyim. I have stated that I do not like the use of the word cracker, but white guys are kind of allowed to use it. I probably have used it myself. I do not make the rules of society, I just follow them. It would be a much different matter if Al Sharpton was calling white people "cracker".


    After that diversion, this gets things back on track.

    Ethnic studies is vital. California must get the curriculum right
    "U.S. history books did not talk about the Toltecs, Olmecs, Mayans, Aztecs"


    California is in the process of developing an ethnic studies model curriculum in response to a 2016 state law that requires providing a guide to high schools interested in offering such courses.

    Research shows that thoughtful courses in ethnic studies can help students think more deeply about history and society and feel more connected to school, improving graduation rates. California is committed to getting this work right. We will not accept a curriculum that fails to address difficult issues or does not promote open-mindedness and independent thought.

    My Chicano students took my U.S. history classes, but they also took my Mexican American and Latin American history courses. They did this so they could learn their own history and the contributions their ancestors made not only to American history but also world history.

    Their U.S. history books did not talk about the Toltecs, Olmecs, Mayans, Aztecs, the war that made them Chicanos, the Community Service Organization, Mendez vs. Westminster, Cesar Chavez or the American G.I. Forum. No one taught them of the struggles of their parents and grandparents. A whole generation had to wait until it got to college to learn what students did.

    https://www.latimes.com/opinion/stor...rk-in-progress

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    In recognition that racism, gossip, slander, libel, bigotry, petty grudges, and imaginary grievance are the most popular topics on jpp dot com, this is my contribution to improving the internets.
    Read this book! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_(novel)

    It is a modern masterpiece of historical fiction. The research and time that went into this novel is extraordinary.
    You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mott the Hoople View Post
    Read this book! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_(novel)

    It is a modern masterpiece of historical fiction. The research and time that went into this novel is extraordinary.
    That sounds right up my alley.

    A lot of people did not like that Mel Gibson movie Apocalypto - but I thought it was bloody awesome. A Mad Max-of sorts, set in the jungles of the Mayan Empire of Mesoamerica.

    Blood, human sacrifice, hand to hand combat, exotic Mayan cities -- what's not to like?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    That sounds right up my alley.

    A lot of people did not like that Mel Gibson movie Apocalypto - but I thought it was bloody awesome. A Mad Max-of sorts, set in the jungles of the Mayan Empire of Mesoamerica.

    Blood, human sacrifice, hand to hand combat, exotic Mayan cities -- what's not to like?
    Ive read a lot of historical fiction and Aztec by Gary Jennings is the best I’ve ever read. It has everything Apocalypto had and more.
    You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    That sounds right up my alley.

    A lot of people did not like that Mel Gibson movie Apocalypto - but I thought it was bloody awesome. A Mad Max-of sorts, set in the jungles of the Mayan Empire of Mesoamerica.

    Blood, human sacrifice, hand to hand combat, exotic Mayan cities -- what's not to like?
    I enjoyed Apocalypto but it did have some major historical inaccuracies. For example the ecological crisis the movie referenced happened about 600 years before the events in the movie. That’s just one example. Another is that Mayan culture was far advanced of a hunter/gatherer culture and was an advanced agricultural society. So that part of the movie was whole cloth fabrication.

    Another part that was whole cloth fabricated was the mass human sacrifice scenes. This happened in the Mexica/Aztec society more than 500 years later but there’s no record of these types of sacrifices in Mayan culture.

    In defense of Mel Gibson he did not intend the Movie as a historical document but as a dramatization of ecological degradation leading to societal collapse.

    A good movie but typically Hollywood in terms of historical accuracy.

    If you ever read one book I suggest Aztec is the one. Not even historical fiction writer par excellence, James Michener, wrote anything as good as Aztec.
    You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mott the Hoople View Post
    I enjoyed Apocalypto but it did have some major historical inaccuracies. For example the ecological crisis the movie referenced happened about 600 years before the events in the movie. That’s just one example. Another is that Mayan culture was far advanced of a hunter/gatherer culture and was an advanced agricultural society. So that part of the movie was whole cloth fabrication.

    Another part that was whole cloth fabricated was the mass human sacrifice scenes. This happened in the Mexica/Aztec society more than 500 years later but there’s no record of these types of sacrifices in Mayan culture.

    In defense of Mel Gibson he did not intend the Movie as a historical document but as a dramatization of ecological degradation leading to societal collapse.

    A good movie but typically Hollywood in terms of historical accuracy.

    If you ever read one book I suggest Aztec is the one. Not even historical fiction writer par excellence, James Michener, wrote anything as good as Aztec.
    I have your book suggestion on my library reading list now.

    I certainly think Apocalypto should come in for criticism for historical inaccuracies. I would also not begrudge anyone for objecting to the excessive violence.

    It was nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable move to me - a sort of reprise of Mad Max Road Warrior set in the Mayan jungle.

    A real risk for Gibson to film the entire move in the native Mayan language, and employ native Mayan actors. That is the kind of risk a director takes that should be saluted for sheer balls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypress View Post
    I have your book suggestion on my library reading list now.

    I certainly think Apocalypto should come in for criticism for historical inaccuracies. I would also not begrudge anyone for objecting to the excessive violence.

    It was nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable move to me - a sort of reprise of Mad Max Road Warrior set in the Mayan jungle.

    A real risk for Gibson to film the entire move in the native Mayan language, and employ native Mayan actors. That is the kind of risk a director takes that should be saluted for sheer balls.
    I couldn’t agree more I loved it too but it probably would have reached a broader audience had it been in English but I thought the use of the Mayan language was great.
    You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic!

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    A very interesting factoid I just recently learned.

    The only reason we are even able to read Mayan heiroglyphics today, is because a Russian soldier saved the Dresden Codex from the Dresden national library just before the Americans bombed the city to rubble. The Dresden Codex was one of the only surviving Mayan books that had not been destroyed by the Spanish in the colonial period during their attempt to obliterate Mayan cultural heritage.

    Yuri Knorosov, a scholar of Egyptian heiroglyphics, was the man who first broke the code of Mayan heiroglyphics. A Russian soldier during World War II, Knorosov saved books from the Dresden national library during American bombing raids. One of the books he saved was a copy of the Dresden Codex. He survived the war, took home those books, and returned to his studies in Moscow.

    Source credit: Professor Edwin Barnhart, Ph.D., Maya Exploration Center

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