Ancient Americas: A Brief History and Guide to Research by Hanns J. Prem

By Hanns J. Prem

Outlines the drastically lengthy and intricate cultural background of Mesoamerica, in addition to the Andean continuum. It combines an summary of pre-Columbian old occasions and events with a attention of significant examine difficulties and efforts and locations the final flowering of indigenous complicated civizations inside of their respective geographic and sociocultural frameworks.

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Intentionally painful castigation and bloodletting, intake of psychotropical substances, and other techniques were employed to receive visions. A central place is occupied by the ritual time span of 260 days, divided in ever new segments in pictorial manuscripts as well, which was tied to very specific augury-prognostic statements. D. in fully developed form without recognizable precursors, as a combination of syllables and ideographs, and remained largely unchanged through more than a millennium.

In this system a high level of abstraction is combined with very complexly designed, partially descriptive signs, precisely organized and at the same time unusually flexible. The large distances between the different regions, where in part there were different languages spoken, did not disturb its uniformity. The same is true for the calendar, where cycles used in all of Mesoamerica (the ritual calendar of 260 days and the normal year of constant 365 days) were combined with others, especially a continuous day count from a point zero far in the past.

However, the decisive factor for the Page 11 placement of the center was its closeness to the Tropic of Cancer. A unique observatory was built to allow astronomical observations, which are particularly clear in the region. D. 700. EL TAJÍNThe ceremonial center El Tajín in the area of the northern Gulf Coast was influenced by Teotihuacán as well. D. 500 did El Tajín start to flourish. Despite a comparatively low number of inhabitants, just a few thousand, it became an important center of remarkable cultural singularity with a far-flung sphere of influence.

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