The Mayans, The Aztecs, And The Incas

Essay by CrazyMaltaJunior High, 9th gradeA, May 2004

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From 250 A.D. to the late 1500's A.D., three advanced civilizations, the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Incas controlled Central America and South America. Each of them was different but all shared some of the same qualities. They all were civilizations that had a daily life than revolved around religion. Their religions also required a lot of human sacrifices to please the gods. Also, they all invented calendars that were surprisingly accurate compared to the calendars today. One of the calendars was less than a minute from being exact. Finally, they all declined for many different reasons but the Spanish conquistadors was one of the most common and deadliest, due to their advanced weapons and the diseases they brought. But even thought they all had mysterious declines, these ancient civilizations of Latin America were very advanced and had many great achievements.

The earliest Latin American civilization was the empire of the Mayans.

They controlled most of the Yucatan peninsula and part of southern Mexico. The Mayans were known for their advanced math skills. They invented the number zero and developed a sophisticated counting system; the Incas also had an advanced counting system like the Mayans. Mayans communicated through the use of hieroglyphics. They had over 800 symbols that represented things like words, syllables, days, and numbers. The Mayans were also well known for their new type of farming. They called it slash and burn farming in which they cut down all the trees in an area, then they lit the area on fire, so that the ashes from the trees would enrich the soil and make it better to grow in. the decline of the Mayan empire is a mystery still to this day. The most popular theories are that the soil became infertile, so they ran out of food.