The earliest civilizations which influenced the development of western culture were those of Mesopotamia ; the area of the Tigris—Euphrates river systemlargely corresponding to modern-day Iraqnortheastern Syriasoutheastern Turkey and southwestern Iran: What we think of as Western thought today originates primarily from Greco-Roman and Germanic influences, and includes the ideals of the Middle Agesthe Renaissanceand the Enlightenmentas well as Christian culture.
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.
On the southeast, the boundary extends from northwestern Honduras on the Caribbean across to the Pacific shore in El Salvador. Geographically and culturally, Mesoamerica consists of two strongly contrasted regions: The Mexican highlands are formed mainly by the two Sierra Madre ranges that sweep down on the east and west.
Lying athwart them is a volcanic cordillera stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The high valleys and landlocked basins of Mexico were important centres of pre-Spanish civilization. In the southeastern part of Mesoamerica lie the partly volcanic Chiapas—Guatemala highlands.
The lowlands are primarily coastal.
Agriculture in Mesoamerica was advanced and complex. A great many crops were planted, of which corn, beans, and squashes were the most important. In the highlands, hoe cultivation of more or less permanent fields was the rule, with such intensive forms of agriculture as irrigation and chinampas the so-called floating gardens reclaimed from lakes or ponds practiced in some regions.
In contrast, lowland agriculture was frequently of the shifting variety; a patch of jungle was first selected, felled and burned toward the end of the dry season, and then planted with a digging stick in time for the first rains. After a few years of planting, the field was abandoned to the forest, as competition from weeds and declining soil fertility resulted in diminishing yields.
In addition, terraces were constructed and employed for farming in some lowland regions. Nevertheless, the demographic potential for agriculture was probably always greater in the highlands than it was in the lowlands, and this was demonstrated in the more extensive urban developments in the former area.
The extreme diversity of the Mesoamerican environment produced what has been called symbiosis among its subregions. Interregional exchange of agricultural products, luxury items, and other commodities led to the development of large and well-regulated markets in which cacao beans were used for money.
It may have also led to large-scale political unity and even to states and empires. High agricultural productivity resulted in a nonfarming class of artisans who were responsible for an advanced stone architecture, featuring the construction of stepped pyramids, and for highly evolved styles of sculpture, pottery, and painting.
The Mesoamerican system of thought, recorded in folding-screen books of deerskin or bark paper, was perhaps of even greater importance in setting them off from other New World peoples. The religious life was geared to this cycle, which is unique to them. The Mesoamerican pantheon was associated with the calendar and featured an old, dual creator god; a god of royal descent and warfare; a sun god and moon goddess; a rain god; a culture hero called the Feathered Serpent; and many other deities.
Also characteristic was a layered system of 13 heavens and nine underworlds, each with its presiding god. Much of the system was under the control of a priesthood that also maintained an advanced knowledge of astronomy.
Some seven Mesoamerican language families and three language isolates were found in Mesoamerica. Most Mesoamerican languages are grouped in one of four families: The Mayan family contains a number of mutually unintelligible languages, at least some of which were spoken by the inhabitants of the great Maya ceremonial centres.
The modern Mexican state of Oaxaca is now the centre of the heterogeneous Otomanguean phylum; but the only linguistic groups of that family that played a great part in Mesoamerican civilization were the Mixtec and Zapotecboth of which had large, powerful kingdoms at the time of the Spanish conquest.
Huave and Cuitlatec are also language isolates. Pre-Classic and Classic periods Early hunters to bce The time of the first peopling of Mesoamerica remains a puzzle, as it does for that of the New World in general.
Until recently it was widely accepted that groups of peoples entered the hemisphere from northeastern Siberiaperhaps by a land bridge that then existed, at some time in the Late Pleistoceneor Ice Age. But radiocarbon dating and other relatively recent tools have complicated the story.
Perhaps they entered the West Coast from the sea at multiple points.
There is abundant evidence that, at least by 11, bce, hunting peoples had occupied most of the New World south of the glacial ice cap covering northern North America. These peoples hunted such large grazing mammals as mammothmastodonhorseand camelarmed with spears to which were attached finely made, bifacially chipped points of stone.
In archaeologists working at the site of Tlapacoya, southeast of Mexico City, uncovered a well-made blade of obsidian associated with a radiocarbon date of about 21, bce.
Near PueblaMexico, excavations in the Valsequillo region revealed cultural remains of human groups that were hunting mammoth and other extinct animals, along with unifacially worked points, scrapers, perforators, burins, and knives. A date of about 21, bce has been suggested for the Valsequillo finds.
More substantial information on Late Pleistocene occupations of Mesoamerica comes from excavations near Tepexpan, northeast of Mexico City.Pre-Columbian civilizations: Pre-Columbian civilizations, the aboriginal American Indian cultures that evolved in Mesoamerica (part of Mexico and Central America) and the Andean region (western South America) prior to Spanish exploration and conquest in the 16th century.
The pre-Columbian civilizations were extraordinary. Cultural Syncretism: Africa, the Americas, China & India. Add Remove. Had syncretism not occurred in the Americas, how might modern culture be different? If cultural syncretism had taken root during early encounters in China or India, how might they be different today?
Had syncretism not occurred in the Americas, how might modern culture be different? Compare and contrast the legacies of cultural syncretism in Africa and the Americas with the resistance to cultural change Westerners encountered in China and India.
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization, Occidental culture, the Western world, Western society, and European civilization, is a term used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, belief systems, political systems and specific artifacts and technologies that have some origin or association with Europe.
Had syncretism not occurred in the Americas, How Might modern culture be different? Paper has to have similarity score - Answered by a verified Writer. The Blog of Scott Aaronson If you take just one piece of information from this blog: Quantum computers would not solve hard search problems instantaneously by simply trying all the possible solutions at once.