Berkeley HISTORY 2 - lecture4 (5 pages)

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Lecture 3 Society and Culture in the Americas Mexico and the Missisippi Valley Key Terms Watson Brake Three Sisters Monks Mound chinampas Aztl n Tenochtitl n Guiding Questions What conditions produced monumental building and early cities in North America culture environment religion social needs and suitable ecological conditions How did Mesoamerican civilizations overcome technological limitations in creating complex states Fusion of religious political to centralize exploit human labor power America s Native Peoples The Mound Builders and Cahokia Watson Brake LA built c 5400 5000 years ago earliest known mounds no written documentation no burials or materials that let us learn more about these people midden heaps wild vegetables animal bones remains of fruits harvested garbage can t say much people lived there besides feasting hunting and gathering Watson Brake s Significance pre agrarian pre ceramic hunter gathers NOT farmers coordinated labor not a permanent settlement pre date the Pyramids Mesoamerican civilizations making historians reconsider what hunter gather societies were capable of no evidence of permanent habitation not an early city or town people did built these mounds and come back to them and make additions to them over the centuries long term value theories mounds intended as territorial markers from one hunting group to another religious and ritual significance Poverty Point LA c 1700 1100 BE builders pre agricult l mass coordination of labor trade network Soapstone GA ore MA site for long distance exchange across the American southeast in modern Louisiana Why Build the Mounds not permanent settlement not burial mounds flood protection built close to major rivers that flood often trying to protect themselves from religious places due to flood damage annual assembly points territorial markers North America s Agrarian Transition Medieval Optimal global warming period 900 1350 led to the agricultural transition agriculture spreads across eastern N America humans can grow more further north expand and gained and domesticate crops knowledge of trade routes due to short growing seasons The Three Sisters squash maize beans 1 kernel of maize 200 kernels per harvest wheat 15 kernels per seed combined with animal proteins very nutritious diet vegetables work together and prevent weeds easy to grow and less labor nutritiously better profit continued sending out hunting combination create a healthy diet Agriculture and Gender Roles 3 sisters core food sources don t ruin the soil dealt with fairly limited agrarian supply farming household female kin groups seasonal hunting camps forest gendered as male females have more power politically and structurally from other places which creates a dual power structure for men The Mississippian Cultural Archipelageo refers of similar agriculture practices large mounds go together with the cultivation of the three sisters switch to settled life agrarian technology and social interactions spread Chaokia A Sacred Site c 1000 CE 1000 people 1100 30000 why the rapid boom religious boom town population explosion 20 000 to 30 000 importance of celestial events supernova event 1054 visible for about a month for the American midwest with the e ect to the people who saw it attract settlement regional religious movement religious revival movement change of how the people believed to the divinity Eastern North American Religious Beliefs astronomical events important in religious life interested in tracking astronomical changes like the supernova Cahokia s woodhenge found the goal post laid out to keep track of the stars and solar movements solar worship Great Suns leaders or leader that ruled the site called themselves with celestial power and events rulers oversaw rituals on Monk s Mound Cahokian Religious Practices Black Drink ca einated vomit inducing holly drink religious significance that you have when you ingest it for having spiritual interaction burning of ritual objects due to found charred material at sites spiritual interactions occasional human sacrifice found in a mound 52 skeletons of people who are sacrificed compressed them ensure fertility and during drought happened in a way for leaders to assert or reassure their authority leaders live on top of monk s mound power of life and death over the people in order to get the crop in and agricultural surplus Cahokia s Possible Trading Area Monks Mound Now and Then Monks Mound and Cahokia 1100 1200 20 30 000 inhabitants 100 ft high 16 acres at base Great Plaza 50 acres all built by human labor by transporting soil through woven baskets just be planned carefully for wider control and social coordination workers get food while they built this Cahokia s Decline upstream deforestation they have to continually expand land as more people come in agricultural villages were taken in place during the deforestation trees cut down for woodhenge and houses of the great suns as well as farming increased flooding catastrophic flooding river can overflow and damage anything nearby power of the leaders declined since they can t control agricultural fertility and flooding undermines rulers legitimacy failed due to the expanding of their place fortification of MM Grand Plaza started worrying about the people doing the farming and building and providing the sacrifices for the fertility power becomes endangered evidence starts to show that people are starting to move away from the area around Monks Mound rituals begin to be conducted in family houses instead in the Grand Plaza lost of central authority Abandonment site abandoned by 1400 where did they go no DNA sampling yet most likely scenario leaders did little to help people moved away since the settlement of Cahokia is voluntary no oral tradition no name named Cahokia since they lived around the site but they don t own it entwinement of cultural practices environmental situation Mesoamerican Civilizations Mesoamerican Civilizations Shared Traits sharp elite commoner divide priestly warrior elite subject peasantry temple based religion required a lot of social engineering threat of northern groups groups of nomadic northerns will invade and overthrow the civilization to adopt the religious and cultural ideas they found there The Toltecs c 900 1200 origins northern plains Chichimec migration to central valley c 800 900 cultural religious influence appeasing the gods predatory militarized state organizing labor and which neighboring group to attack


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