Archaic Period
 
Olmec, Were Jaguar Riding a Jaguar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zohapilco was the site where the oldest Middle American ceramic figure to date was found. Approximately 5000 years old and 5.7 cm long, it is an abstract figure of a pregnant woman broken at the torso. There are slight indentations for the eyes, a bulge for a nose, and an exaggerated swollen belly.
Female figurine, 2300 BC pottery.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hohle Fels
Venus of Hohle Fels (Germany) c. 35,000 BCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duality

Double-faced female figurine, early formative period, Tlatilco, c. 1500 – 1200 BCE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tlatilco figurine of a woman with a dog,  Tlatilco, c. 1200 – 600 BCE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mesoamerican Civilizations
 
Olmec = Gulf coast region
 
Zapotec and Mixtec = southwestern Mexico and Oaxaca
 
Teotihuacán, Toltec and Aztec = central plateau
 
Maya = West Mexico (Jalisco, Colima, Nayarit) Chiapas, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Campeche and Petén area of Guatemala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mesoamerican Civilizations
  • Did not use iron or the wheel
  • Ceremonial ball game
  • Calendar system based on 260-day sacred cycle
    • With solar year of 365 days
    • 52 year religious calendar
  • Extensive knowledge of astronomy
  • Maps
  • Hieroglyphic writing
  • Pictorial manuscripts - codices
    • Divinatory books
  • Complex pantheon
    • Concept of confession and penance
    • Ceremonial centers with pyramids
    • Temples built around plazas
    • Monumental sculpture
    • Wars to secure human sacrificial victims
    • Annual cycle of seasonal rites
Olmec, The Las Limas Figure, Veracruz, ca. 800 BCE. Carved from a single piece of Greenstone weighing 132 lbs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maize from the Tehuacan Valley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paleo-Indian
10,500 BCE - 7000 BCE
Archaic Period
Preclassic (Formative)
1800 BCE - 300 AD

Early

1800 BCE - 900 BCE

Olmec

Middle

900 BCE - 250 BCE

 

Late

250 BCE - 150 AD

Teotihuacan

Classic
300 - 900 AD

Early

250 - 600

Zapotec & Monte Alban

Late

600 - 900
Maya
Postclassic
900 - 1521
 

Early

900 - 1200
 

Late

1200 - 1521
Aztec

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2500 BC
2000 BC
1500 BC
1000 BC
500 BC
BC
AD
500
1000
1550
PRECLASSIC OR FORMATIVE
CLASSIC
POSTCLASSIC
Early
E1500 BC - 900 BCE
Middle
900 BCE - 250 BCE
Late
250 BCE -
AD 250
Early
250 - 600
Late
600 - 900
Early
900 - 1200
Late
1200 - 1521
West Mexican Cultures 1500 BC - AD 1530
Olmec 1200 BCE - 600 BCE
Tres Zapotes 900 BCE - 600 BCE
 
San Lorenzo 900 BCE - 600 BCE
 
La Venta 900 BCE - 600 BCE
 
Teotihuacan 150 BCE - AD 750
 
Zapotec 400 - 800
Monte Alban 400 - 800
Totonac 500 - 1521
   
Toltec 900 - 1200
   
Mixtec 1200 - 1525
   
Aztec 1350 - 1521
Tenochtitlan 1350 - 1521
 
Texcoco 1350 - 1521
 
Maya 250 BC - AD 1000
   
Cerros 250 BC - AD 200
   
Tikal 200 BC - AD 800
   
Piedras Negras 300 - 800
   
Uxmal 700 - 1000
 
Copan 600 - 800
   
Toltec - Maya 1000 - 1200
   
Chichen Itza 1000 - 1200