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Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in southern North America and most of Central America. It extends from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica. Within this region Pre-Columbian era, pre-Columbian societies flourished for more than 3,000 years before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Mesoamerica was the site of two of the most profound historical transformations in world history: primary urban generation, and the formation of New World cultures out of the long encounters among indigenous, European, African and Asian cultures. In the 16th century, Eurasian diseases such as smallpox and measles, which were endemic among the colonists but new to North America, caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the indigenous people, resulting in great losses to their societies and cultures. Mesoamerica is one of the five areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently (see c ...
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Mesoamerica English
Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in southern North America and most of Central America. It extends from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica. Within this region Pre-Columbian era, pre-Columbian societies flourished for more than 3,000 years before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Mesoamerica was the site of two of the most profound historical transformations in world history: primary urban generation, and the formation of New World cultures out of the long encounters among indigenous, European, African and Asian cultures. In the 16th century, Eurasian diseases such as smallpox and measles, which were endemic among the colonists but new to North America, caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the indigenous people, resulting in great losses to their societies and cultures. Mesoamerica is one of the five areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently (see cr ...
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Cradle Of Civilization
A cradle of civilization is a location and a culture where civilization was created by mankind independent of other civilizations in other locations. The formation of urban settlements (cities) is the primary characteristic of a society that can be characterized as "civilized". Other characteristics of civilization include a sedentary non-nomadic population, monumental architecture, the existence of social classes and inequality, and the creation of a writing system for communication. The transition from simpler societies to the complex society of a civilization is gradual. Scholars generally acknowledge six cradles of civilization. Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Ancient India, and Ancient China are believed to be the earliest in the Old World. Cradles of civilization in the New World are the Caral-Supe civilization of coastal Peru and the Olmec civilization of Mexico. All of the cradles of civilization depended upon agriculture for sustenance (except possibly Caral-Supe ...
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Pre-Columbian Era
In the history of the Americas, the pre-Columbian era spans from the original settlement of North and South America in the Upper Paleolithic period through European colonization, which began with Christopher Columbus's voyage of 1492. Usually, the era covers the history of Indigenous cultures until significant influence by Europeans. This may have occurred decades or even centuries after Columbus for certain cultures. Many pre-Columbian civilizations were marked by permanent settlements, cities, agriculture, civic and monumental architecture, major earthworks, and complex societal hierarchies. Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first permanent European colonies (c. late 16th–early 17th centuries), and are known only through archaeological investigations and oral history. Other civilizations were contemporary with the colonial period and were described in European historical accounts of the time. A few, such as the Maya civilization, had their own ...
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David Carrasco
Davíd Lee Carrasco is an American academic historian of religion, anthropologist, and Mesoamericanist scholar. As of 2001 he holds the inaugural appointment as Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of Latin America Studies at the Harvard Divinity School, in a joint appointment with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences' Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. Carrasco previously taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder and Princeton University and is known for his research and publications on Mesoamerican religion and history, his public speaking as well as wider contributions within Latin American studies and Latino/a studies. He has made statements about Latino contributions to US democracy in public dialogues with Cornel West, Toni Morrison, and Samuel P. Huntington. His work is known primarily for his writings on the ways human societies orient themselves with sacred places. Early life and education Carrasco descends from several generations of El Paso, Texas educators. H ...
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Mexico
Mexico (Spanish: México), officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico covers ,Mexico
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making it the world's 13th-largest country by are ...
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Chocolate
Chocolate is a food made from roasted and ground cacao seed kernels that is available as a liquid, solid, or paste, either on its own or as a flavoring agent in other foods. Cacao has been consumed in some form since at least the Olmec civilization (19th-11th century BCE), and the majority of Mesoamerican people ─ including the Maya and Aztecs ─ made chocolate beverages. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the seeds are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce cocoa nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass, unadulterated chocolate in rough form. Once the cocoa mass is liquefied by heating, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor may also be cooled and processed into its two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Baking chocolate, also called bitter chocolate, contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions, without any added sugar. Powdered ba ...
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Maize
Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences (or "tassels") and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that when fertilized yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits. The term ''maize'' is preferred in formal, scientific, and international usage as a common name because it refers specifically to this one grain, unlike ''corn'', which has a complex variety of meanings that vary by context and geographic region. Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with the total production of maize surpassing that of wheat or rice. In addition to being consumed directly by humans (often in the form of masa), maize is also used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn s ...
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Guatemala
Guatemala ( ; ), officially the Republic of Guatemala ( es, República de Guatemala, links=no), is a country in Central America. It is bordered to the north and west by Mexico; to the northeast by Belize and the Caribbean; to the east by Honduras; to the southeast by El Salvador and to the south by the Pacific Ocean. With an estimated population of around million, Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America and the 11th most populous country in the Americas. It is a representative democracy with its capital and largest city being Nueva Guatemala de la Asunción, also known as Guatemala City, the most populous city in Central America. The territory of modern Guatemala hosted the core of the Maya civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica. In the 16th century, most of this area was conquered by the Spanish and claimed as part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 from Spain and Mexico. In 1823, it became part of the Feder ...
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El Salvador
El Salvador (; , meaning " The Saviour"), officially the Republic of El Salvador ( es, República de El Salvador), is a country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador. The country's population in 2022 is estimated to be 6.5 million. Among the Mesoamerican nations that historically controlled the region are the Lenca (after 600 AD), the Mayans, and then the Cuzcatlecs. Archaeological monuments also suggest an early Olmec presence around the first millennium BC. In the beginning of the 16th century, the Spanish Empire conquered the Central American territory, incorporating it into the Viceroyalty of New Spain ruled from Mexico City. However the Viceroyalty of Mexico had little to no influence in the daily affairs of the isthmus, which was colonized in 1524. In 1609, the area was declared the Captaincy General of Guatemala by the ...
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Central America
Central America ( es, América Central or ) is a subregion of the Americas. Its boundaries are defined as bordering the United States to the north, Colombia to the south, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Central America consists of eight countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. Within Central America is the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, which extends from northern Guatemala to central Panama. Due to the presence of several active geologic faults and the Central America Volcanic Arc, there is a high amount of seismic activity in the region, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes which has resulted in death, injury, and property damage. In the pre-Columbian era, Central America was inhabited by the indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica to the north and west and the Isthmo-Colombian peoples to the south and east. Following the Spanish expedition of Christopher Columbus' voyages to ...
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Honduras
Honduras, officially the Republic of Honduras, is a country in Central America. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea. Its capital and largest city is Tegucigalpa. Honduras was home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya, before the Spanish Colonization in the sixteenth century. The Spanish introduced Catholicism and the now predominant Spanish language, along with numerous customs that have blended with the indigenous culture. Honduras became independent in 1821 and has since been a republic, although it has consistently endured much social strife and political instability, and remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. In 1960, the northern part of what was the Mosquito Coast was transferred from ...
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Nicaragua
Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest country in Central America, bordered by Honduras to the north, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Managua is the country's capital and largest city. , it was estimated to be the second largest city in Central America. Nicaragua's multiethnic population of six million includes people of mestizo, indigenous, European and African heritage. The main language is Spanish. Indigenous tribes on the Mosquito Coast speak their own languages and English. Originally inhabited by various indigenous cultures since ancient times, the region was conquered by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. Nicaragua gained independence from Spain in 1821. The Mosquito Coast followed a different historical path, being colonized by the English in the 17th century and later coming under British rule. It became an autonomous territory of Nicaragua in 1860 and its northernmost part wa ...
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