Ancient Civilizations Of The New World / Edition 1

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In this concise, yet sweeping look at the origins and development of ancient New World civilizations, Richard Adams provides a superb introductory overview of these unique and fascinating cultures. Incorporating the latest breakthroughs in the study of the cultures of Mesoamerica and the Andes, Adams examines the development of the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, and Inca peoples, among others, from simple agricultural societies to urban civilizations with complex transportation networks, distinct social hierarchies, rich artistic and religious traditions, and writing systems that have defied anthropological investigation until recently.The question of why these thriving cultures collapsed so suddenly when faced with the European conquest is explored, as are comparisons with ancient Old World civilizations of the Middle East and Asia.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813313832
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 8/20/1997
  • Series: Essays in World History Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 172
  • Lexile: 1290L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 0.40 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard E.W. Adams is professor of anthropology at the University of Texas. His many scholarly publications include Prehistoric Mesoamerica.
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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Illustrations
1 Introduction: Complex Cultures, Cities, and a Rapid Survey of the Earliest Old World Civilizations 1
Old World Pristine Civilizations 4
Summary and Discussion 21
2 Mesoamerica: Origins and Early Civilizations 25
Laying the Basis for Civilization: 7000-1500 B.C. 27
The Olmec of the Gulf Coast 30
The Izapan Group of Cultures 35
The Origins of Civilization in the Valleys of Mexico and Oaxaca 37
The Maya Lowlands 39
Teotihuacan 43
Monte Alban and the Classic Zapotecs of Oaxaca 49
Classic Maya Civilization 53
3 Mesoamerica: Transformations and the Late Civilizations 59
Catastrophe, Disasters, Recoveries, and Transformations 59
Late Classic Maya Civilization and the Great Collapse 63
El Tajin: A Transitional Regional Civilization 67
Tula and the Toltecs 68
Late Maya Civilizations 75
Zapotecs and Mixtecs in Oaxaca 77
The Tarascans of Western Mexico 79
The Totonac of the Gulf Coast 81
The Aztecs and Their Empire 82
4 The Central Andes of South America: Origins and Early Civilizations 91
Geography 91
Earliest Inhabitants and Cultures 92
Early Villages and Regional Centers (5500-2000 B.C.) 95
Growth and Transformations (2000-800 B.C.) 98
The Early Horizon (Chavin) 101
Early Civilizations: Moche, Nazca, the Central Coast, and Tiwanaku (200 B.C.-A.D. 600) 104
5 The Central Andes of South America: Late Civilizations and the Inca 111
Fall and Transformation on the North Coast 111
The Huari Empire 112
The Chimu Kingdom and Chan Chan 113
Inca Civilization 117
Epilogue 131
References 135
About the Book and Author 147
Index 149
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