Mesoamerican civilization The term Mesoamerica denotes the part of Mexico and Central America that was civilized in pre-Spanish times. In many respects, the American Indians who inhabited Mesoamerica were the most advanced native peoples in the Western Hemisphere. The northern border of Mesoamerica runs west from a point on the Gulf coast of Mexico above the modern port of Tampicothen dips south to exclude much of the central desert of highland Mexico, meeting the Pacific coast opposite the tip of Baja Lower California.
Uniqueness[ edit ] A quipu Andean civilization was one of five civilizations in the world deemed by scholars to be "pristine", that is indigenous and not derived from other civilizations.
First, and perhaps most important, Andean civilizations did not have a written language. Instead, their societies used the quipua system of knotted and colored strings, to convey information. Few quipus survive and they have never been fully deciphered.
Scholars differ on whether the knotted cords of the quipu were able only to record numerical data or could also be used for narrative communication, a true system of writing.
The earliest civilizations were on the hyper-arid desert coast of Peru. Agriculture was possible only with irrigation in valleys crossed by rivers coming from the high Andes, plus in a few fog oases called lomas.
In the Andes, agriculture was limited by thin soils, cold climate, low or seasonal precipitation, and a scarcity of flat land. Copper axe-monies also called "naipes"  and Spondylus shells  functioned as mediums of exchange in some areas, especially coastal Ecuadorbut most of the Andes area had economies organized on reciprocity and redistribution rather than money and markets.
These characteristics were especially notable during the Inca Empire but originated in much earlier times. The greatest contribution of Andean civilization to the modern world has been the plants its people domesticated.
Crops grown by the Andeans were often unique to the region. Maizewhich found its way to the Andes from Mexicowas often the most important crop at lower and intermediate elevations. The Andeans cultivated an estimated 70 different plants, almost as many as were cultivated in all of Europe and Asia.
The challenges of the environment required sophisticated agricultural technology. In the mountains, the climate and steep terrain required a range of technological solutions such as terraces Andenesexploitation of microclimates, and selective breeding.
Due to the climatic uncertainties, farmers traditionally farmed several crops at several elevations and exposures. At a macro level, societies and states did the same with the vertical archipelagoestablishing colonies at different elevations and locations to increase the possibilities of agricultural success.The Olmec, Mayan, Incan, and Aztec civilizations are some of the greatest ancient civilizations in history, and yet we know very little about them compared to other parts of the world.
The Olmecs are frequently forgotten entirely, and the rest are often lumped together or confused, but they were all.
Additionally, Olmec objects, such as figurines, statues, and celts, have been found in sites of other cultures contemporary to the Olmec. Other cultures seem to have learned much from the Olmec, as some less developed civilizations adopted Olmec pottery techniques.
Characteristics of Ancient Empires, Lesson 33 & 34 Rise of Roman Republic & From Repulic to Empire Video can be viewed by using the username and password in your assignment book. Civilizations: Fall of Power This . The pre-Columbian civilizations were extraordinary developments in human society and culture, ranking with the early civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and China.
Like the ancient civilizations of the Old World, those in the New World were characterized by kingdoms and empires, great monuments and cities, and refinements in the arts. It is not known what name the ancient Olmec used for themselves; some later Mesoamerican accounts seem to refer to the ancient Olmec as "Tamoanchan".
A contemporary term sometimes used for the Olmec culture is tenocelome, meaning "mouth of the jaguar ". The meaning of the term civilization has changed several times during its history, and even today it is used in several ways.
It is commonly used to describe human societies "with a high level of cultural and technological development", as opposed to what many consider to be less "advanced" societies.