Encyclopedia > Mesoamerica

  Article Content


Mesoamerica is the region extending from central Mexico through Central America which produced a set of culturally related civilizations before the discovery of the New World by Columbus. Mesoamerican is a general adjective to refer to that group of Pre-Columbian cultures.

Some common shared Mesoamerican traits include intensive agricuture based heavily on maize corn; worship of a set of deities including a rain god, a sun god, a feathered-serpent god (Quetzalcoatl); the use of a 260 day ritual calendar in addition to the solar year calendar; the construction of temples elevated atop stepped pyramids; a ritual ball-game; and various other artistic and cultural conventions.

Mesoamerican civilizations included the Olmec, Maya, Mixtec, Zapotec, Huastec, Tarascan, Teotihuacan, Totonac[?], Toltec, and the Aztec.

In some writings from the 1920s and 1930s the alternative term Middle America has been used to refer to Mesoamerica, but that has generally fallen out of favor.

Related topics:

Aztec calendar
Aztec mythology
Human antiquity in Mesoamerica
Mayan numerals
Mayan calendar
Spanish Conquest of Yucatan
Trephinning in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
The White Plague

... England and Ireland, and the old Irish ways are coming back. Local IRA thugs appoint themselves 'kings of old', and others recreate old, pagan religions centred on the ...