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In the history of the Americas, the pre-Columbian era spans from the original settlement of North and South America in the
Upper Paleolithic The Upper Paleolithic (or Upper Palaeolithic) also called the is the third and last subdivision of the or Old . Very broadly, it dates to between 50,000 and years ago (the beginning of the ), according to some theories coinciding with the ...
period through
European colonization The historical phenomenon of colonization is one that stretches around the globe and across time. Ancient and medieval colonialism was practiced by the Phoenicians, the Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ...
, which began with
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was an Italian ...

Christopher Columbus
's voyage of 1492. Usually the era covers the history of indigenous American cultures until significant influence by Europeans. This may have occurred decades or even centuries after Columbus for certain cultures. Many pre-Columbian
civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to describe a stage of social formation. The concep ...

civilization
s were marked by permanent settlements, cities,
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...

agriculture
, civic and
monument is regarded as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end o ...

monument
al
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
, major
earthworks Earthworks may refer to: Construction *Earthworks (archaeology), human-made constructions that modify the land contour *Earthworks (engineering), civil engineering works created by moving or processing quantities of soil *Earthworks (military), mil ...
, 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 Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interview conducted with a member of the public F ...
. 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 The Maya civilization () was a Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical and important region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), human impact characteristics ( human ...
, had their own written records. Because many Christian Europeans of the time viewed such texts as
pagan Paganism (from classical Latin Classical Latin is the form of Latin, Latin language recognized as a Literary language, literary standard language, standard by writers of the late Roman Republic and early Roman Empire. It was used from 75 BC ...
, men like
Diego de Landa Diego de Landa Calderón, O.F.M. (12 November 1524 – 29 April 1579) was a Spanish bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of ...

Diego de Landa
burned them, even while seeking to preserve native histories. Only a few hidden documents have survived in their original languages, while others were transcribed or dictated into Spanish, giving modern historians glimpses of ancient culture and knowledge. Many indigenous peoples in the Americas continue traditional practices while evolving and adapting to the
modern world Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's past. It is understood through archaeology, anthropology, genetics, and linguistics, and since the History of writing, advent of writing, from primary source, primary and ...
. The alternative terms precontact, precolonial, or
prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology Archaeology or archeology is the study ...
Americas are also used; in
Hispanic America Hispanic America (: ''Hispanoamérica'' or ''América Hispana'') (usually known as Spanish America ( es, América española)) is the portion of the comprising the of North, Central, and South America. In all of these countries, is the main la ...

Hispanic America
, the usual term is pre-Hispanic; in
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
, the term used is pre- Cabraline.


Historiography

Before the development of archaeology in the 19th century, historians of the pre-Columbian period mainly interpreted the records of the European conquerors and the accounts of early European travelers and antiquaries. It was not until the nineteenth century that the work of people such as
John Lloyd Stephens John Lloyd Stephens (November 28, 1805October 13, 1852) was an American explorer, writer, and diplomat. Stephens was a pivotal figure in the rediscovery of Maya civilization throughout Middle America (Americas), Middle America and in the planning ...
,
Eduard Seler Eduard Georg Seler (December 5, 1849 – November 23, 1922) was a prominent German , , , , academic and Americanist scholar, who made extensive contributions in these fields towards the study of cultures in . Research Seler is best known for ...

Eduard Seler
and Alfred P. Maudslay, and of institutions such as the
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology Bronze plaque depicting chief flanked by two warriors, Benin Empire, AD 1550-1650. African collection, Peabody Museum The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is a museum affiliated with Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Fou ...
of
Harvard University Harvard University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absence of nearly t ...

Harvard University
, led to the reconsideration and criticism of the early European sources. Now, the scholarly study of pre-Columbian cultures is most often based on scientific and multidisciplinary methodologies.


Genetics

The
haplogroup A haplotype A haplotype (haploid Ploidy () is the number of complete sets of chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging prote ...
most commonly associated with Indigenous Amerindian genetics is Haplogroup Q1a3a (Y-DNA). Y-DNA, like
mtDNA Illustration of the location of mitochondrial DNA in human cells Electron microscopy reveals mitochondrial DNA in discrete foci. Bars: 200 nm. (A) Cytoplasmic section after immunogold labelling with anti-DNA; gold particles marking mtDNA are ...

mtDNA
, differs from other nuclear
chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genome, genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging proteins called histones which, aided by Chaperone (protein), chaperone proteins, bind to and ...

chromosome
s in that the majority of the Y chromosome is unique and does not recombine during
meiosis Meiosis (; , because it is a reductional division) is a special type of of in organisms used to produce the , such as or . It involves two rounds of division that ultimately result in four cells with only one copy of each (). Additionall ...

meiosis
. This has the effect that the historical pattern of mutations can easily be studied. The pattern indicates Indigenous Amerindians experienced two very distinctive genetic episodes; first with the initial-peopling of the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
, and secondly with
European colonization of the Americas Although the Norse had explored and colonized northeastern North America c. 1000 CE, the later and more well-known wave of European colonization of the Americas took place in the Americas The Americas (also collectively called Americ ...
. The former is the determinant factor for the number of
gene In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mecha ...

gene
lineages and founding
haplotype A haplotype (haploid Ploidy () is the number of complete sets of chromosome A chromosome is a long DNA molecule with part or all of the genetic material of an organism. Most eukaryotic chromosomes include packaging proteins called hi ...
s present in today's Indigenous Amerindian
populations In biology, a population is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represen ...
. Human settlement of the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...
occurred in stages from the Bering sea coast line, with an initial 20,000-year layover on
Beringia Beringia is defined today as the land and maritime area bounded on the west by the Lena River in Russia; on the east by the Mackenzie River in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territori ...
for the . The micro-satellite diversity and distributions of the Y lineage specific to South America indicates that certain Amerindian populations have been isolated since the initial colonization of the region. The Na-Dené,
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
and Indigenous Alaskan populations exhibit
haplogroup Q-M242 (Y-DNA) Haplogroup Q or Q-M242 is a Human Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup, Y-chromosome DNA haplogroup. It has one primary subclade, Haplogroup Q1 (L232/S432), which includes numerous subclades that have been sampled and identified in males among modern popu ...
mutations, however are distinct from other indigenous Amerindians with various mtDNA mutations. This suggests that the earliest migrants into the northern extremes of North America and
Greenland Greenland ( kl, Kalaallit Nunaat, ; da, Grønland, ) is an autonomous territory An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administra ...

Greenland
derived from later populations.


Settlement of the Americas

Asian nomadic
Paleo-Indians Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleo-Americans, were the first peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a ...
are thought to have entered the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
via the
Bering Land Bridge Beringia is defined today as the land and maritime area bounded on the west by the Lena River The Lena (russian: link=no, Ле́на, ; evn, Елюенэ, ''Eljune''; sah, Өлүөнэ, ''Ölüöne''; bua, Зүлхэ, ''Zülkhe''; mn, З ...
(Beringia), now the
Bering Strait The Bering Strait (russian: Берингов пролив) is a strait of the Pacific, which separates Russia and the United States slightly south of the Arctic Circle at about 65° 40' N latitude. The present Russia-US east–west boundary is a ...
, and possibly along the coast. Genetic evidence found in
Amerindian The Indigenous peoples of the Americas, also known as Amerindians or Indians, are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who n ...
s' maternally inherited
mitochondrial DNA Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA or mDNA) is the DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five car ...

mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA) supports the theory of multiple genetic populations migrating from Asia. After crossing the land bridge, they moved southward along the Pacific coast and through an interior ice-free corridor. Over the course of millennia,
Paleo-Indians Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleo-Americans, were the first peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a ...
spread throughout the rest of North and South America. Exactly when the first people migrated into the Americas is the subject of much debate. One of the earliest identifiable cultures was the
Clovis culture The Clovis culture is a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...
, with sites dating from some 13,000 years ago. However, older sites dating back to 20,000 years ago have been claimed. Some genetic studies estimate the colonization of the Americas dates from between 40,000 and 13,000 years ago. The chronology of migration models is currently divided into two general approaches. The first is the ''short chronology theory'' with the first movement beyond
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
into the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...
occurring no earlier than 14,000–17,000 years ago, followed by successive waves of immigrants. The second belief is the ''long chronology theory'', which proposes that the first group of people entered the hemisphere at a much earlier date, possibly 50,000–40,000 years ago or earlier. Artifacts have been found in both North and South America which have been
dated Date or dates may refer to: *Date (fruit), the fruit of the date palm (''Phoenix dactylifera'') Social activity *Dating, a form of courtship involving social activity, with the aim of assessing a potential partner **Group date, wherein a group ...
to 14,000 years ago, and accordingly humans have been proposed to have reached
Cape Horn Cape Horn ( es, Cabo de Hornos, ) is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego #REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego#REDIRECT Tierra del Fuego Tierra del Fuego (, ; Spanish for "Land of Fire", formerly also Fireland in English) is an archipelag ...
at the southern tip of South America by this time. In that case, the
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
would have arrived separately and at a much later date, probably no more than 2,000 years ago, moving across the ice from
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
into Alaska.


North America


Archaic period

The North American climate was unstable as the ice age receded. It finally stabilized by about 10,000 years ago; climatic conditions were then very similar to today's. Within this time frame, roughly pertaining to the Archaic Period, numerous
archaeological culture An archaeological culture is a recurring Assemblage (archaeology), assemblage of types of Artifact (archaeology), artifacts, buildings and monuments from a specific period and region that may constitute the material culture remains of a particular p ...
s have been identified. The unstable climate led to widespread migration, with early
Paleo-Indian Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleo-Americans, were the first peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a ...
s soon spreading throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct tribes. The Paleo-Indians were
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s, likely characterized by small, mobile bands consisting of approximately 20 to 50 members of an extended family. These groups moved from place to place as preferred resources were depleted and new supplies were sought. During much of the Paleo-Indian period, bands are thought to have subsisted primarily through hunting now-extinct such as
mastodon A mastodon ( Greek: μαστός "breast" and ὀδούς, "tooth") is any proboscidean belonging to the extinct genus ''Mammut'' (family Mammutidae) that inhabited North and Central America during the late Miocene The Miocene ( ) is the first ...

mastodon
and . Paleo-Indian groups carried a variety of tools, including distinctive projectile points and knives, as well as less distinctive butchering and hide-scraping implements. The vastness of the North American continent, and the variety of its climates,
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
,
vegetation Vegetation is an assemblage of plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular re ...

vegetation
,
fauna Fauna is all of the animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular r ...

fauna
, and landforms, led ancient peoples to coalesce into many distinct
linguistic Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...

linguistic
and cultural groups. This is reflected in the oral histories of the indigenous peoples, described by a wide range of traditional
creation stories A creation myth (or cosmogonic myth) is a symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy), object, or wikt:relationship, relationship. Symbols allow people to g ...
which often say that a given people have been living in a certain territory since the creation of the world. Over the course of thousands of years, paleo-Indian people domesticated, bred and cultivated a number of plant species, including crops which now constitute 50–60% of worldwide agriculture. In general, Arctic, Subarctic, and coastal peoples continued to live as hunters and gatherers, while
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors su ...
was adopted in more temperate and sheltered regions, permitting a dramatic rise in population.


Middle Archaic period

After the migration or migrations, it was several thousand years before the first complex societies arose, the earliest emerging about seven to eight thousand years ago. As early as 6500 BCE, people in the Lower Mississippi Valley at the Monte Sano site were building complex earthwork
mound A mound is a heaped pile of earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is ...

mound
s, probably for religious purposes. This is the earliest dated of numerous mound complexes found in present-day
Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ''le français international'' nternational French is an unofficial term for a standard ...

Louisiana
,
Mississippi Mississippi () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; a ...
and
Florida Florida is a U.S. state, state located in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States. Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia (U.S. state), Geor ...

Florida
. Since the late twentieth century, archeologists have explored and dated these sites. They have found that they were built by
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
societies, whose people occupied the sites on a seasonal basis, and who had not yet developed ceramics.
Watson Brake Watson Brake is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human ...
, a large complex of eleven platform mounds, was constructed beginning 3400 BCE and added to over 500 years. This has changed earlier assumptions that complex construction arose only after societies had adopted agriculture, become sedentary, with stratified hierarchy and usually ceramics. These ancient people had organized to build complex mound projects under a different social structure.


Late Archaic period

Until the accurate dating of Watson Brake and similar sites, the oldest mound complex was thought to be
Poverty Point#REDIRECT Poverty Point Poverty Point State Historical Site (french: Pointe de Pauvreté; 16 WC 5) is a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world hist ...
, also located in the
Lower Mississippi Valley 150px, The Mississippi River Alluvial Plain is an alluvial plain created by the Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main stem), second-longest river and chief river of the second-la ...
. Built about 1500 BCE, it is the centerpiece of a culture extending over 100 sites on both sides of the
Mississippi Mississippi () is a U.S. state, state in the Southeastern United States, Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; a ...

Mississippi
. The Poverty Point site has earthworks in the form of six concentric half-circles, divided by radial aisles, together with some mounds. The entire complex is nearly a mile across. Mound building was continued by succeeding cultures, who built numerous sites in the middle Mississippi and
Ohio River The Ohio River is a long river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course wi ...

Ohio River
valleys as well, adding effigy mounds, conical and ridge mounds and other shapes.


Woodland period

The
Woodland period In the classification of archaeological cultures of North America, the Woodland period of North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be d ...
of North American pre-Columbian cultures lasted from roughly 1000
BCE Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the , reducing the average year from 365.2 ...
to 1000 CE. The term was coined in the 1930s and refers to prehistoric sites between the Archaic period and the
Mississippian culture The Mississippian culture was a Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United Sta ...
s. The
Adena culture The Adena culture was a Pre-Columbian Native American culture that existed from 800 BC to 100 AD, in a time known as the Early Woodland period. The Adena culture refers to what were probably a number of related Native American societies sharing ...
and the ensuing
Hopewell tradition The Hopewell tradition (also called the Hopewell culture) describes the common aspects of an ancient pre-Columbian Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of ...
during this period built monumental earthwork architecture and established continent-spanning trade and exchange networks. In the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flatland ''Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions'' is a satire, satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first publi ...
, this period is called the
Woodland period In the classification of archaeological cultures of North America, the Woodland period of North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be d ...
. This period is considered a developmental stage without any massive changes in a short period, but instead having a continuous development in stone and bone tools, leatherworking, textile manufacture, tool production, cultivation, and shelter construction. Some Woodland peoples continued to use spears and
atlatl A spear-thrower, spear-throwing lever or ''atlatl'' (pronounced or ; Nahuatl Nahuatl (; ),The Classical Nahuatl word (noun stem ''nāhua'', + absolutive ''-tl'' ) is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several sp ...

atlatl
s until the end of the period, when they were replaced by .


Mississippian culture

The Mississippian culture was spread across the Southeast and Midwest from the Atlantic coast to the edge of the plains, from the Gulf of Mexico to the Upper Midwest, although most intensively in the area along the
Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and b ...

Mississippi River
and
Ohio River The Ohio River is a long river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course wi ...

Ohio River
. One of the distinguishing features of this culture was the construction of complexes of large earthen mounds and grand plazas, continuing the moundbuilding traditions of earlier cultures. They grew
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be ...

maize
and other crops intensively, participated in an extensive trade network and had a complex stratified society. The Mississippians first appeared around 1000 CE, following and developing out of the less agriculturally intensive and less centralized Woodland period. The largest urban site of these people,
Cahokia The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site ( 11 MS 2) is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city (which existed 1050–1350 CE) directly across the Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the Uni ...
—located near modern East St. Louis, Illinois—may have reached a population of over 20,000. Other chiefdoms were constructed throughout the Southeast, and its trade networks reached to the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. At its peak, between the 12th and 13th centuries, Cahokia was the most populous city in North America. (Larger cities did exist in Mesoamerica and South America.)
Monk's Mound Monks Mound is the largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in the Americas and the largest pyramid north of Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in North America North America is a continent entirely within the ...
, the major ceremonial center of Cahokia, remains the largest earthen construction of the prehistoric
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...
. The culture reached its peak in about 1200–1400 CE, and in most places, it seems to have been in decline before the arrival of Europeans. Many Mississippian peoples were encountered by the expedition of
Hernando de Soto Hernando de Soto (; ; 1500 – May 21, 1542) was a Spanish explorer and ''conquistador'' who was involved in expeditions in Nicaragua and the Yucatan Peninsula. He played an important role in Pizarro's conquest of the Inca Empire in Peru, but is ...

Hernando de Soto
in the 1540s, mostly with disastrous results for both sides. Unlike the Spanish expeditions in Mesoamerica, who conquered vast empires with relatively few men, the de Soto expedition wandered the American Southeast for four years, becoming more bedraggled, losing more men and equipment, and eventually arriving in
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
as a fraction of its original size. The local people fared much worse though, as the fatalities of diseases introduced by the expedition devastated the populations and produced much social disruption. By the time Europeans returned a hundred years later, nearly all of the Mississippian groups had vanished, and vast swaths of their territory were virtually uninhabited.


Historic tribes

When the Europeans arrived,
indigenous peoples of North America The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the inhabitants of the Americas before the arrival of the European colonization of the Americas, European settlers in the 15th century, and the ethnic groups who now identify themselves with those peopl ...
had a wide range of lifeways from sedentary, agrarian societies to semi-nomadic
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
societies. Many formed new
tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human social group. The predominant usage of the term is in the discipline of anthropology. The definition is contested, in part due to conflicting theoretical understa ...

tribe
s or confederations in response to European colonization. These are often classified by
cultural region 's map of native American cultural areas within the territory of the United States (1948) as defined by Melville J. Herskovits influence , homelands of the Celtic languages The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages ...
s, loosely based on geography. These can include the following: *
Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a polar regions of Earth, polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska (United States), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Danish Realm, ...
, including
Aleut The Aleuts (; russian: Алеуты, Aleuty), who are usually known in the Aleut language The Aleuts (; russian: Алеуты, Aleuty), who are usually known in the by the s Unangan (eastern dialect), Unangas (western dialect),
,
Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, ...
, and
Yupik peoples The Yupik (plural: Yupiit) (; russian: Юпикские народы) are a group of indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autoch ...
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Subarctic The sub-Arctic zone is a region in the Northern Hemisphere immediately south of the true Arctic and covering much of Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, An ...
* Northeastern Woodlands * Southeastern Woodlands *
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flatland ''Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions'' is a satire, satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first publi ...
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Great Basin The Great Basin is the largest area of contiguous endorheic watersheds in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the ...
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Northwest Plateau The Pacific Northwest (PNW), sometimes referred to as Cascadia, is a geographic region in western North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can ...
* Northwest Coast *
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...
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Southwest The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...
(Oasisamerica) Numerous pre-Columbian societies were sedentary, such as the Pueblo peoples, Mandan, Hidatsa and others, and some established large settlements, even cities, such as
Cahokia The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site ( 11 MS 2) is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city (which existed 1050–1350 CE) directly across the Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the Uni ...
, in what is now Illinois. The Iroquois League of Nations or "People of the Long House" was a politically advanced, democratic society, which is thought by some historians to have influenced the United States Constitution, with the United States Senate, Senate passing a resolution to this effect in 1988. Other historians have contested this interpretation and believe the impact was minimal, or did not exist, pointing to numerous differences between the two systems and the ample precedents for the constitution in European political thought.


Mesoamerica

Mesoamerica is the region extending from central Mexico south to the northwestern border of Costa Rica that gave rise to a group of stratified, culturally related agrarian civilizations spanning an approximately 3,000-year period before the visits to the Caribbean by Christopher Columbus. ''Mesoamerican'' is the adjective generally used to refer to that group of pre-Columbian cultures. This refers to an environmental area occupied by an assortment of ancient cultures that shared religious beliefs, art, architecture, and technology in the Americas for more than three thousand years. Between 2000 and 300 BCE, complex cultures began to form in Mesoamerica. Some matured into advanced pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya civilization, Maya, Zapotec civilization, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec civilization, Huastec, Tarascan state, Purepecha, Toltec, and Mexica/Aztecs. The Mexica civilization is also known as the Aztec Triple Alliance, since they were three smaller kingdoms loosely united together. These indigenous civilizations are credited with many inventions: building pyramid-temples, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, writing, highly accurate calendars, Native American art, fine arts, intensive agriculture, engineering, an abacus calculator, and complex theology. They also invented the wheel, but it was used solely as a toy. In addition, they used native copper, silver and gold for metalworking. Archaic inscriptions on rocks and rock walls all over northern Mexico (especially in the state of Nuevo León) demonstrate an early propensity for counting. Their number system was base 20 and included zero. These early count-markings were associated with astronomical events and underscore the influence that astronomical activities had upon Mesoamerican people before the arrival of Europeans. Many of the later Mesoamerican civilizations carefully built their cities and ceremonial centers according to specific astronomical events. The biggest Mesoamerican cities, such as Teotihuacan, Tenochtitlan, and Cholula (Mesoamerican site), Cholula, were among the largest in the world. These cities grew as centers of commerce, ideas, ceremonies, and theology, and they radiated influence outwards onto neighboring cultures in central Mexico. While many city-states, kingdoms, and empires competed with one another for power and prestige, Mesoamerica can be said to have had five major civilizations: the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Toltec, the Mexica and the Maya. These civilizations (with the exception of the politically fragmented Maya) extended their reach across Mesoamerica—and beyond—like no others. They consolidated power and distributed influence in matters of trade, art, politics, technology, and theology. Other regional power players made economic and political alliances with these civilizations over the span of 4,000 years. Many made war with them, but almost all peoples found themselves within one of their spheres of influence. Regional communications in ancient Mesoamerica have been the subject of considerable research. There is evidence of trade routes starting as far north as the Mexican Plateau, Mexico Central Plateau, and going down to the Pacific coast. These trade routes and cultural contacts then went on as far as Central America. These networks operated with various interruptions from pre-Olmec times and up to the Late Classical Period (600–900 CE).


Olmec civilization

The earliest known civilization in Mesoamerica is the Olmec. This civilization established the cultural blueprint by which all succeeding indigenous civilizations would follow in Mexico. Pre-Olmec civilization began with the production of pottery in abundance, around 2300 BCE in the Grijalva River delta. Between 1600 and 1500 BCE, the Olmec civilization had begun, with the consolidation of power at their capital, a site today known as San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán near the coast in southeast Veracruz. The Olmec influence extended across Mexico, into Central America, and along the Gulf of Mexico. They transformed many peoples' thinking toward a new way of government, pyramid-temples, writing, astronomy, art, mathematics, economics, and religion. Their achievements paved the way for the Maya civilization and the civilizations in central Mexico.


Teotihuacan civilization

The decline of the Olmec resulted in a power vacuum in Mexico. Emerging from that vacuum was Teotihuacan, first settled in 300 BCE. By 150 CE, Teotihuacan had risen to become the first true metropolis of what is now called North America. Teotihuacan established a new economic and political order never before seen in Mexico. Its influence stretched across Mexico into Central America, founding new dynasties in the Maya cities of Tikal, Copan, and Kaminaljuyú. Teotihuacan's influence over the Maya civilization cannot be overstated: it transformed political power, artistic depictions, and the nature of economics. Within the city of Teotihuacan was a diverse and cosmopolitan population. Most of the regional ethnicities of Mexico were represented in the city, such as Zapotec civilization, Zapotecs from the Oaxaca region. They lived in apartment communities where they worked their trades and contributed to the city's economic and cultural prowess. Teotihuacan's economic pull impacted areas in northern Mexico as well. It was a city whose monumental architecture reflected a monumental new era in Mexican civilization, declining in political power about 650 CE—but lasting in cultural influence for the better part of a millennium, to around 950 CE.


Tarascan/Purepecha civilization

Initially, the lands that would someday comprise the lands of the powerful Tarascan Empire were inhabited by several independent communities. Around 1300, however, the first Cazonci, Tariacuri, united these communities and built them into one of the most advanced civilizations in Mesoamerica. Their capital at Tzintzuntzan was just one of the many cities—there were ninety more under its control. The Tarascan Empire was among the largest in Central America, so it is no surprise that they routinely came into conflict with the neighboring Aztec Empire. Out of all the civilizations in its area, the Tarascan Empire was the most prominent in metallurgy, harnessing copper, silver, and gold to create items such as tools, decorations, and even weapons and armor. Bronze was also used. The great victories over the Aztecs by the Tarascans cannot be understated. Nearly every war they fought in resulted in a Tarascan victory. Because the Tarascan Empire had little links to the former Toltec Empire, they were also quite independent in culture from their neighbors. The Aztecs, Tlaxcaltec, Olmec, Mixtec, Maya, and others were very similar to each other, however. This is because they were all directly preceded by the Toltecs, and they therefore shared almost identical cultures. The Tarascans, however, possessed a unique religion, as well as other things.


Maya civilization

Contemporary with Teotihuacan's greatness was that of the Maya civilization. The period between 250 CE and 650 CE was a time of intense flourishing of Maya civilized accomplishments. While the many Maya city-states never achieved political unity on the order of the central Mexican civilizations, they exerted a tremendous intellectual influence upon Mexico and Central America. The Maya built some of the most elaborate cities on the continent, and made innovations in mathematics, astronomy, and calendrics. The Maya also developed the only true writing system native to the Americas using pictographs and syllabic elements in the form of text (literary theory), texts and codex, codices inscribed on stone, pottery, wood, or perishable books made from bark paper.


Aztec/Mexica/Triple Alliance civilization

With the decline of the Toltec civilization came political fragmentation in the Valley of Mexico. Into this new political game of contenders to the Toltec throne stepped outsiders: the Mexica. They were also a desert people, one of seven groups who formerly called themselves "Azteca", in memory of Aztlán, but they changed their name after years of migrating. Since they were not from the Valley of Mexico, they were initially seen as crude and unrefined in the ways of Nahua peoples, Nahua civilization. Through political maneuvers and ferocious martial skill, they managed to rule Mexico as the head of the 'Triple Alliance' which included two other Aztec cities, Texcoco and Tlacopan. Latecomers to Mexico's central plateau, the Mexica thought of themselves, nevertheless, as heirs of the civilizations that had preceded them. For them, arts, sculpture, architecture, engraving, feather-mosaic work, and the calendar, were bequest from the former inhabitants of Tula, the Toltecs. The Mexica-Aztecs were the rulers of much of central Mexico by about 1400 (while Yaquis, Coras and Apaches commanded sizable regions of northern desert), having subjugated most of the other regional states by the 1470s. At their peak, 300,000 Mexica presided over a wealthy tribute-empire variously estimated at 5–8 million people in total a population of 8–12 million. The actual population is never more than an estimate. The modern name "Mexico" comes from their name. Their capital, Tenochtitlan, is the site of modern-day Mexico City. At its peak, it was one of the largest cities in the world with population estimates of 200–300,000. The market established there was the largest ever seen by the conquistadors on arrival.


South America

By the first millennium, South America's vast rainforests, mountains, plains, and coasts were the home of millions of people. Estimates vary, but 30–50 million are often given and 100 million by some estimates. Some groups formed permanent settlements. Among those groups were Chibcha language, Chibcha-speaking peoples ("Muisca people, Muisca" or "Muysca"), Valdivia, Quimbaya culture, Quimbaya, Calima culture, Calima, Marajoara culture and the Tairona. The Muisca people, Muisca of Colombia, postdating the Herrera Period, Valdivia culture, Valdivia of Ecuador, the Quechuas and the Aymara people, Aymara of Peru and Bolivia were the four most important sedentary Amerindian groups in South America. From the 1970s, numerous geoglyphs have been discovered on deforested land in the Amazon rainforest,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
, supporting Spanish accounts of a complex, possibly ancient Amazonian civilization. The theory of pre-Columbian contact across the South Pacific Ocean between South America and Polynesia has received support from several lines of evidence, although solid confirmation remains elusive. A diffusion by human agents has been put forward to explain the pre-Columbian presence in Oceania of several plant cultivation, cultivated plant species native to South America, such as the bottle gourd (''Lagenaria siceraria'') or sweet potato (''Ipomoea batatas''). Direct archaeological evidence for such pre-Columbian contacts and transport has not emerged. Similarities noted in names of edible roots in Maori and Ecuadorian languages ("kumari") and Melanesian and Chilean ("gaddu") have been inconclusive. A 2007 paper published in ''PNAS'' put forward DNA and archaeological evidence that domesticated chickens had been introduced into South America via Polynesia by late pre-Columbian times. These findings were challenged by a later study published in the same journal, that cast doubt on the dating calibration used and presented alternative mtDNA analyses that disagreed with a Polynesian genetic origin. The origin and dating remains an open issue. Whether or not early Polynesian–American exchanges occurred, no compelling human-genetic, archaeological, cultural or linguistic legacy of such contact has turned up.


Norte Chico civilization

On the north-central coast of present-day Peru, Norte Chico or Caral (as known in Peru) was a civilization that emerged around 3000 BCE (contemporary with urbanism's rise in Mesopotamia.) It is considered one of the cradles of civilization in the world. It had a cluster of large-scale urban settlements of which the Sacred City of Caral, in the Supe valley, is one of the largest and best studied sites. Norte Chico or Caral is the oldest known
civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a complex society A complex society is a concept that is shared by a range of disciplines including anthropology, archaeology, history and sociology to describe a stage of social formation. The concep ...

civilization
in the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
and persisted until around 1800 BCE.


Valdivia culture

The Valdivia culture was concentrated on the coast of Ecuador. Their existence was recently discovered by archeological findings. Their culture is among the oldest found in the Americas, spanning from 3500 to 1800 BCE. The Valdivia lived in a community of houses built in a circle or oval around a central plaza. They were sedentary people who lived off farming and fishing, though occasionally they hunted for deer. From the remains that have been found, scholars have determined that Valdivians cultivated
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be ...

maize
, kidney beans, squash (plant), squash, cassava, hot peppers, and cotton plants, the last of which was used to make clothing. Valdivian pottery initially was rough and practical, but it became showy, delicate, and big over time. They generally used red and gray colors; and the polished dark red pottery is characteristic of the Valdivia period. In its ceramics and stone works, the Valdivia culture shows a progression from the most simple to much more complicated works.


Cañari people

The Cañari were the indigenous natives of today's Ecuadorian provinces of Cañar Province, Cañar and Azuay Province, Azuay. They were an elaborate civilization with advanced architecture and complex religious beliefs. The Inca destroyed and burned most of their remains. The Cañari's old city was replaced twice, first by the Incan city of Tumebamba and later on the same site by the colonial city of Cuenca, Ecuador, Cuenca. The city was also believed to be the site of El Dorado, the city of gold from the mythology of Colombia. (see Cuenca) The Cañari were most notable for having repelled the Incan invasion with fierce resistance for many years until they fell to Tupac Yupanqui. Many of their descendants are still present in Cañar. The majority did not mix with the colonists or become Mestizos.


Chavín civilization

The Chavín, a Peruvian preliterate civilization, established a trade network and developed agriculture by 900 BCE, according to some estimates and archeological finds. Artifacts were found at a site called Chavín in modern Peru at an elevation of 3,177 meters. The Chavín civilization spanned from 900 to 300 BCE.


Muisca people

The Chibcha language, Chibcha-speaking communities were the most numerous, the most territorially extended and the most socio-economically developed of the pre-Hispanic Colombians. By the 8th century, the indigenous people had established their civilization in the northern Andes. At one point, the Chibchas occupied part of what is now Panama, and the high plains of the Eastern Sierra of Colombia. The areas which they occupied in Colombia were the present-day Departments of Santander (North and South), Boyacá and Cundinamarca. This is where the first farms and industries were developed. It is also where the independence movement originated. They are currently the richest areas in Colombia. The Chibcha developed the most populous zone between the Maya civilization, Maya region and the Inca Empire. Next to the Quechua people, Quechua of Peru and the Aymara people, Aymara in Bolivia, the Chibcha of the eastern and north-eastern Highlands of Colombia developed the most notable culture among the sedentism, sedentary indigenous peoples in South America. In the Colombian Andes, the Chibcha comprised several tribes who spoke similar languages (Chibcha language, Chibcha). They included the following: the Muisca people, Muisca, Guane people, Guane, Lache people, Lache, Cofán people, Cofán, and Chitarero people, Chitareros.


Moche civilization

The Moche thrived on the north coast of Peru from about 100 to 800 CE. The heritage of the Moche is seen in their elaborate burials. Some were recently excavated by UCLA's Christopher B. Donnan in association with the National Geographic Society. As skilled artisans, the Moche were a technologically advanced people. They traded with distant peoples such as the Maya. What has been learned about the Moche is based on study of their ceramic pottery; the carvings reveal details of their daily lives. The Larco Museum of Lima, Peru, has an extensive collection of such ceramics. They show that the people practiced human sacrifice, had blood-drinking rituals, and that their religion incorporated non-procreative sexual practices (such as fellatio).


Tiwanaku Empire

The Tiwanaku empire was based in western Bolivia and extended into present-day Peru and Chile from 300 to 1000. Tiwanaku is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important South American civilizations prior to the birth of the Inca Empire in Peru; it was the ritual and administrative capital of a major state power for approximately five hundred years. The ruins of the ancient city state are near the south-eastern shore of Lake Titicaca in Tiwanaku Municipality, Ingavi Province, La Paz Department, Bolivia, La Paz Department, about west of La Paz, Bolivia, La Paz.


Inca Empire

Holding their capital at the great cougar-shaped city of Cuzco, Peru, the Inca civilization dominated the Andes region from 1438 to 1533. Known as ''Tawantinsuyu'', or "the land of the four regions", in Quechuan languages, Quechua, the Inca civilization was highly distinct and developed. Inca rule extended to nearly a hundred linguistic or ethnic communities, some 9 to 14 million people connected by a 40,000 kilometer Inca road system, road system. Cities were built with precise stonework, constructed over many levels of mountain terrain. Terrace farming was a useful form of agriculture. There is evidence of excellent metalwork and even successful brain surgery in Inca civilization.


Cambeba

Also known as the Omagua, Umana and Kambeba, the Cambeba are an Indigenous peoples of Brazil, indigenous people in Brazil's Amazon basin. The Cambeba were a populous, organized society in the late Pre-Columbian era whose population suffered steep decline in the early years of the Columbian Exchange. The Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana traversed the Amazon River during the 16th century and reported densely populated regions running hundreds of kilometers along the river. These populations left no lasting monuments, possibly because they used local wood as their construction material as stone was not locally available. While it is possible Orellana may have exaggerated the level of development among the Amazonians, their semi-nomadic descendants have the odd distinction among tribal indigenous societies of a hereditary, yet landless, aristocracy. Archaeological evidence has revealed the continued presence of semi-domesticated orchards, as well as vast areas of land enriched with terra preta. Both of these discoveries, along with Cambeba ceramics discovered within the same archaeological levels suggest that a large and organized civilization existed in the area.


Agricultural development

Early inhabitants of the Americas developed agriculture, developing and breeding
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be ...

maize
(corn) from ears 2–5 cm in length to the current size that are familiar today. Potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos (a husked green tomato), pumpkins, chili peppers, Squash (plant), squash, beans, pineapple, sweet potatoes, the Cereal, grains quinoa and amaranth, cocoa beans, vanilla, onion, peanuts, Strawberry, strawberries, Raspberry, raspberries, Blueberry, blueberries, Blackberry, blackberries, papaya, and avocados were among other plants grown by natives. Over two-thirds of all types of food crops grown worldwide are native to the Americas. The natives began using fire in a widespread manner. Intentional burning of vegetation was taken up to mimic the effects of natural fires that tended to clear forest understories, thereby making travel easier and facilitating the growth of herbs and berry-producing plants that were important for both food and medicines. This created the Pre-Columbian savannas of North America. While not as widespread as in other areas of the world (Asia, Africa, Europe), indigenous Americans did have livestock. Domesticated turkeys were common in Mesoamerica and in some regions of North America; they were valued for their meat, feathers, and, possibly, eggs. There is documentation of Mesoamericans utilizing hairless dogs, especially the Xoloitzcuintle breed, for their meat. Andean societies had llamas and alpacas for meat and wool, as well as for Working animal, beasts of burden. Guinea pigs were raised for meat in the Andes. Iguanas and a range of wild animals, such as deer and pecari, were another source of meat in Mexico, Central, and northern South America. By the 15th century, maize had been transmitted from
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
and was being farmed in the Mississippi embayment, as far as the East Coast of the United States, and as far north as southern Canada. Potatoes were utilized by the Inca, and chocolate was used by the Aztecs.


See also

* ''1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus'' by Charles C. Mann * ''Before the Revolution (book), Before the Revolution'', 2013 book by Daniel K. Richter * List of pre-Columbian cultures * Metallurgy in pre-Columbian America * Periodization of pre-Columbian Peru * Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas * Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact theories


References


Bibliography

* * * *


External links

* published on July 5, 2019 Quartz (publication), Quartz
Collection: "Pre-Columbian Central and South America"
from the University of Michigan Museum of Art
Ancient American art at the Denver Art MuseumArt of the Americas at the Cleveland Museum of Art
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