Berkeley HISTORY 2 - lecture3 (9 pages)

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Week 3 Reading The Americas untouched by the connections reverberating across Afro Eurasia navigators couldn t cross the large oceans that separated the Americas from other lands commercial and expansionist impulses fostered closer contact among peoples who lived there Andean States growth and prosperity led to the formation of the Chimu Empire in South America South America s first empire developed early in the second millennium in the fertile Moche Valley bordering the Pacific Ocean the Moche people expanded their influence across valleys and ecological zones from pastoral highlands to rich valley floodplains to the fecund fishing grounds of the Pacific Coast geographical reach grew increased their wealth the China regime lasted until the Incas invaded and incorporated the Pacific state into their empire in the 1460s A Thriving Lowland Economy Chimu economy successful because it was commercialized especially through agriculture complex irrigation systems expanded production of food turned the arid coast into a string of fertile oases capable of feeding an increasingly dispersed population cotton became lucrative export to distant markets along the Andes llamas and porters lugged commodities up and down the steep mountain chains that are the spine of South America between 850 and 900 CE the Moche peoples founded the biggest city of Chan Chan with walls roads and palaces core population of 30 000 inhabitants An Inventive Highland State highland empire formed on the shores of Lake Titicaca by the Tiwanaku people extensive evidence of long distance trade between highlands and semitropical valleys highlanders migrating to the lowlands to produce agrarian staples for their kin in the mountains dried fish and cotton came from the coast fruits and vegetables came from lowland valleys trade was active enough to sustain an enormous urban population of 115 000 people Connections to the North additional hubs of regional trade developed farther north The Toltecs in Mesoamerica Mesoamerica saw the rise and fall of several civilizations Toltecs at Teotihuanc n hybrid of migrants and refugees from the southand farmers from the north relied on a maize based economy merchants provided status goods Tula was a commercial hub but also a political and ceremonial center temples made of giant pyramids ball courts for real and ritual sport The Cahokians in North America Cahokia was the largest city in North America part of the Mississippian culture farmers and hunters settled in the region around 600 CE attracted by its rich soil woodlands for fuel and game and its access to the trading artery of the Mississippi landscape dominated by mounds palisade around the city protected the metropolis from marauders city outgrew its environment Cahokia represented the growing networks of trade and migration across North America success bred its downfall woodlands fell to the axe arable soil lost nutrients timber and food became scarce lacked a means to ship bulky items over long distances since its river canoes could carry only limited cargoes in contrast to the sturdy dhows of the Arabian Sea and the bulky junks of the China Sea Cahokia s commercial networks met their limits water system couldn t keep up with demand 1350 city was partially empty representation of the ability of how North America could organize vibrant commercial societies and powerful states remarkable center of exchange while it lasted growing networks of trade and migration Finding North America s Lost Medieval City huge pyramids and earthen mounds stood majestic urban architecture towered over the swampy Mississippi River floodplains blotting out the region s tiny villages many people visited for feasts and rituals lured by the promise of a new kind of civilization many decided to stay Monk s Mound center of downtown allowed people to spend loudly which could be heard across the Grand Plaza simple culture known as Mississippian region was inhabited by the Cahokia tribe from Illinois Confederation after the city had been abandoned Europeans decided to name the ancient city after them despite the fact that the Cahokia themselvess claimed no connection to it booming in 1050 and population disappeared by 1400 left behind a landscape completely geoengineered by human hands Cahokians used clay to construct their mounds building foundations trash pits cryptic remains of public rituals graves in some places Annalee Newitz went on an archaeological dig to figure out what happened to Cahokia showed how the social structure was undergoing a radical transformation East St Louis Palimpsest ancient city s elevated walkways and mounds were covered over by suburban developments magnetometry map revealed distinctive pattern of promising dark rectangular spots shapes and positions too precise to be natural floors of homes arranged in a semi circle courtyard many structures were built in the same place over time overlapping building floors one area of darker clay ended abruptly in a diagonal line like a wall uniformly colored area of clay studded with charcoal and artifacts weren t modest little homes public area full of special use structures political debates and social gatherings spiritual practices and party venues The Mississippians mound cities are an ancient tradition in North America going back millennia before Cahokia first earthworks Louisiana mounds appear so abruptly in the archaeological record that it s as if they were built directly on top of a constellation of small towns that belonged to people known today as Woodland Indians farms full of maize and other starchy seeds spread outward from Cahokia into the Illinois uplands as the city grew Pauketat believes that something like a religious revival spurred the city s sudden appearance revival movements were common among Native Americans of the southeast groups would come from miles around to hear the leader s teachings and set up temporary camps for feasting and celebration inspired by astronomical events How to Dig Up a Lost City American Bottom crazy quilt ecosystems along the Mississippi River rain and floods fill the area with a seasonal ponds and swamps surrounding blu s give way to prairies perfect for growing food staples like maize and other starchy needs Heterarchy wondered how so many people performed backbreaking labor in the broiling humidity Cahokia s heterarchy might have been a lot of di erent groups making decisions and governing themselves Troubled Times in Cahokia city and its


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