Chapters 6 and 14 Summary of "Duiker and Speilvogel"

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Chapters 6 and 14

There are still doubts today as to who the first person to reach America was. Some historians think that early Americans had migrated across the Bering Strait. Others believe that the first Americans were members of Homo sapiens sapiens who crossed from Asia by foot in search for bison. Human beings existed in the New World at least 15,000 years ago. The people spread all throughout North and South America. The first people were hunter-gatherers, and later on had some form of agriculture. In Teotihuacán signs of civilizations can be seen around 5000 BC. This region, called Mesoamericawas the first civilization in the New World.

The first signs of civilization were seen in the Olmec culture, along the Gulf of Mexico. These people had agriculture, tools, monuments, hieroglyphics, a pyramid, and religious rituals, all the aspects needed in a civilization. They had a complex social hierarchy, including a class of artisans.

Like most civilizations, they were agriculturally based, but also relied on fishing and hunting. Eventually the civilization fell, like many others in the past. But, a new civilization began to form at Monte Alban. It contained a number of temples and pyramids and had a populated estimated of about 20,000.

The first major metropolis was Teotihuacén, which was the capital of an early Mexican kingdom. It collapsed, but it left behind the Pyramid of the Sun. Under this pyramid, the remains of sacrificed victims have been found, showing its complex religious ceremonies. For some reason, this culture began to decline, and the next two centuries were filled with feuding. People who looked to earn money through agriculture drained swamps, forming chinampas.

The Maya civilization in the Yucatan peninsula was another major success. Population increased which caused movement within the peninsula and swamp agriculture replaced slash...