HIS 111
Unit 6:  Mesoamerica

Pyramid of the Moon

Pyramid of the Moon, part of the complex at Teotihuacan, near Mexico City, abandoned in the eighth century CE.
  See some additional photos.  I also have some photos of Inca civilization.

Blue Separator Bar
What you must do in this unit
  • Read chapters 5 and 15 and the sections on Mesoamerica and the Andes in Chapter 6 in the textbook.
  • Read my notes on Mesoamerican civilization and watch my short video.
  • Study the Questions to Consider and the Key Terms for the unit.
  • Post (or respond) with your thoughts/ideas/comments about this unit's reading in the discussion forum (5 points).
What you can do in this unit
  • Listen to some further information about this unit as a mp3 file.  You can also read the information as a txt file.
  • Please read the notes on the Mayan city of Chichén Itzá.
  • Check out Susan Culpepper's online exhibit project on Quipu (the Inca knot system).
Some videos that you can watch for this unit Extra Credit Options
  • For up to 25 points of extra credit, the Popol Vuh is the sacred book of the Quiché Indians, who are descended from Maya in present-day Guatemala.  The book, recorded in the sixteenth century in Quiché in Latin script and translated in the nineteenth century, is the Mayan creation myth that had been handed down for thousands of years and reflects early Mesoamerican mythology.  In many ways, the epic resembles Genesis of the Judaeo-Christian tradition.  For extra credit, in a one-page paper, consider a comparison of the Popol Vuh with Genesis.  (There is also a version at www.jaguar-sun.com/popolvuh.html, and there is a new website, sponsored by Ohio State University, with versions of the PV in three different languages.)  There are also complete versions of Genesis available online.
  • For up to 20 points of extra credit, read the material about the Popol Vuh (You might also wish to watch an animated recreation of the Popol Vuh. I think that the whole animation is available here.) and then submit the Quiché paragraph.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read Hernan Cortés Second Letter to Charles V, 1520, and in a long paragraph, explain what scholars can learn about Indian society from this account.
  • For up to 10 points of extra credit, read Pedro de Cieza de Léon Chronicles of the Incas, 1540, and in a long paragraph, explain what scholars can learn about the Inca economy from this short excerpt.
  • For extra credit, please suggest a relevant website for this unit of the course.  Send your instructor the title of the site, the URL and a brief explanation why you find the information interesting and applicable to the material being studied this unit.
Unit Learning Objectives
  • Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to (1) explain the development and key features of Mesoamerican societies.

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