The Info List - Pre-Columbian

--- Advertisement ---

The Pre-Columbian era
Pre-Columbian era
incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas
before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic
period to European colonization during the Early Modern period. While the phrase "pre-Columbian era" literally refers only to the time preceding Christopher Columbus's voyages of 1492, in practice the phrase is usually used to denote the entire history of indigenous Americas
cultures until those cultures were exterminated, diminished, or extensively altered by Europeans, even if this happened decades or centuries after Columbus's first landing. For this reason the alternative terms of Precontact Americas, Pre-Colonial Americas
or Prehistoric Americas
are also in use. In areas of Latin America
Latin America
the term usually used is Pre-Hispanic. Many pre-Columbian civilizations established hallmarks which included 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 and the arrival of enslaved Africans (c. late 16th–early 17th centuries),[1] 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 written records. Because many Christian Europeans of the time viewed such texts as heretical, men like Diego de Landa destroyed many texts in pyres, 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. Indigenous American cultures continue to evolve after the pre-Columbian era. Many of these peoples and their descendants continue traditional practices while evolving and adapting new cultural practices and technologies into their lives.


1 History

1.1 Settlement of the Americas 1.2 North America 1.3 Archaic period

1.3.1 Middle Archaic period 1.3.2 Late Archaic period 1.3.3 Woodland period 1.3.4 Mississippian culture 1.3.5 Historic tribes

1.4 Mesoamerica

1.4.1 Olmec
civilization 1.4.2 Teotihuacan
civilization 1.4.3 Maya civilization 1.4.4 Aztec/Mexica/Triple Alliance civilization

1.5 South America

1.5.1 Norte Chico or Caral 1.5.2 Valdivia 1.5.3 Cañaris 1.5.4 Chavín 1.5.5 Muisca 1.5.6 Moche 1.5.7 Tiwanaku empire 1.5.8 Inca Empire 1.5.9 Cambeba

2 Agricultural development 3 Genetics 4 See also 5 References

5.1 Bibliography


Major cultural areas of the pre-Columbian Americas:      Arctic      Northwest      Aridoamerica      Mesoamerica      Isthmo-Colombian      Caribbean      Amazon      Andes

Cultural areas of pre-Columbian North America

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 men such as John Lloyd Stephens, Eduard Seler
Eduard Seler
and Alfred P. Maudslay, and of institutions such as the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University, led to the reconsideration and criticism of the European sources. Now, the scholarly study of pre-Columbian cultures is most often based on scientific and multidisciplinary methodologies.[2] Settlement of the Americas[edit] Main articles: Settlement of the Americas
Settlement of the Americas
and Paleo-Indians Further information: Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas Asian nomads are thought to have entered the Americas
via the Bering Land Bridge (Beringia), now the Bering Strait
Bering Strait
and possibly along the coast. Genetic evidence found in Amerindians' maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA
(mtDNA) supports the theory of multiple genetic populations migrating from Asia.[3][4] Over the course of millennia, Paleo-Indians
spread throughout North and South America. Exactly when the first group of people migrated into the Americas
is the subject of much debate. One of the earliest identifiable cultures was the Clovis culture, 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.[5] 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
into the New World occurring no earlier than 14,000–17,000 years ago, followed by successive waves of immigrants.[6][7][8][9] 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.[10][11][12][13] Artifacts have been found in both North and South America which have been dated to 14,000 years ago,[14] and accordingly humans have been proposed to have reached Cape Horn
Cape Horn
at the southern tip of South America by this time. In that case, the Eskimo peoples would have arrived separately and at a much later date, probably no more than 2,000 years ago, moving across the ice from Siberia
into Alaska. North America[edit] Main article: North American prehistory Further information: List of archaeological periods (North America) Further information: Aboriginal peoples in Canada § History, Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States
§ History, and Pre-Columbian Mexico Archaic period[edit] 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.[15] Within this time frame, roughly pertaining to the Archaic Period, numerous archaeological cultures have been identified. The unstable climate led to widespread migration, with early Paleo-Indians
soon spreading throughout the Americas, diversifying into many hundreds of culturally distinct tribes.[16] The Paleo-Indians
were hunter-gatherers, 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.[17] During much of the Paleo-Indian
period, bands are thought to have subsisted primarily through hunting now-extinct giant land animals such as mastodon and ancient bison.[18] Paleo-Indian
groups carried a variety of tools. These included distinctive projectile points and knives, as well as less distinctive implements used for butchering and hide processing. The vastness of the North American continent, and the variety of its climates, ecology, vegetation, fauna, and landforms, led ancient peoples to coalesce into many distinct linguistic and cultural groups.[19] This is reflected in the oral histories of the indigenous peoples, described by a wide range of traditional creation stories 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. These species were very nutritious, and they now constitute 50–60% of all crops in cultivation worldwide.[20] In general, Arctic, Subarctic, and coastal peoples continued to live as hunters and gatherers, while agriculture was adopted in more temperate and sheltered regions. But wherever it was adopted, plant cultivation permitted a dramatic rise in population.[15] Middle Archaic period[edit] 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.[citation needed] As early as 6500 BCE, people in the Lower Mississippi
Valley at the Monte Sano site were building complex earthwork mounds, probably for religious purposes. This is the earliest dated of numerous mound complexes found in present-day Louisiana, Mississippi
and Florida. Since the late twentieth century, archeologists have explored and dated these sites. They have found that they were built by hunter-gatherer societies, whose people occupied the sites on a seasonal basis, and who had not yet developed ceramics. Watson Brake, a large complex of eleven platform mounds, was constructed beginning in 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, often developed stratified hierarchy, and generally also developed ceramics. These ancient people had organized to build complex mound projects from a different basis. Late Archaic period[edit]

Poverty Point, 1500 BCE

Until the accurate dating of Watson Brake
Watson Brake
and similar sites, the oldest mound complex was thought to be Poverty Point, also located in the Lower Mississippi
Valley. Built about 1500 BCE, it is the centerpiece of a culture extending over 100 sites on both sides of the Mississippi. The Poverty Point
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
Ohio River
valleys as well, adding effigy mounds, conical and ridge mounds and other shapes. Woodland period[edit] Main article: Woodland period

Hopewell mounds from the Mound
City Group in Ohio

The Woodland period
Woodland period
of North American pre-Columbian cultures refers to the time period from roughly 1000 BCE to 1000 CE in the eastern part of North America. The term "Woodland" was coined in the 1930s and refers to prehistoric sites between the Archaic period and the Mississippian cultures. The Adena culture
Adena culture
and the ensuing Hopewell tradition during this period built monumental earthwork architecture and established continent-spanning trade and exchange networks. 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, leather working, textile manufacture, tool production, cultivation, and shelter construction. Some Woodland peoples continued to use spears and atlatls until the end of the period, when they were replaced by bows and arrows. Mississippian culture[edit] Main article: Mississippian Culture

Cahokia, the largest Mississippian culture
Mississippian culture

The Mississippian culture
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 and 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 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 this people, Cahokia—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, the major ceremonial center of Cahokia, remains the largest earthen construction of the prehistoric New World. 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
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
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.[21]

Historic tribes[edit] When the Europeans arrived, indigenous peoples of North America had a wide range of lifeways from sedentary, agrarian societies to semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer societies. Many formed new tribes or confederations in response to European colonization. These are often classified by cultural regions, loosely based on geography. These can include the following:

Arctic, including Aleut, Inuit, and Yupik peoples Subarctic Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands Great Plains Great Basin Northwest Plateau Northwest Coast California Southwest (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, 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
United States
Constitution,[22][23] with the Senate passing a resolution to this effect in 1988.[24] 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.[25][26][27] Mesoamerica[edit] Further information: Mesoamerican chronology

One of the pyramids in the upper level of Yaxchilán

Atlantes at Tula, Hidalgo

is the region extending from central Mexico
south to the northwestern border of Costa Rica
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 New World
New World
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, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec, 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.[28] These indigenous civilizations are credited with many inventions: building pyramid-temples, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, writing, highly accurate calendars, 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, 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 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[edit] Main article: Olmec The earliest known civilization 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
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
San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán
near the coast in southeast Veracruz.[29] 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[edit] Main article: Teotihuacan 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
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 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.

Maya architecture
Maya architecture
at Uxmal

Maya civilization[edit] Main article: 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 Mayans also evolved the only true writing system native to the Americas
using pictographs and syllabic elements in the form of texts and codices inscribed on stone, pottery, wood, or highly perishable books made from bark paper. Aztec/Mexica/Triple Alliance civilization[edit] Main article: Aztec 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 civilization. Through political maneuvers and ferocious fighting skills, they managed to become the rulers of 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[citation needed] presided over a wealthy tribute-empire variously estimated at 5–8 million people in total a population of 8–12 millions. 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 capital of Mexico, Mexico
City. At its peak, it was one of the largest cities in the world with population estimates of 200–300,000.[30] The market established there was the largest ever seen by the conquistadors on arrival. South America[edit] Main articles: Pre-Columbian Peru, Inca Empire, and Muisca Confederation See also: Andean civilizations

Geoglyphs on deforested land in the Amazon rainforest

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-speaking peoples ("Muisca" or "Muysca"), Valdivia, Quimbaya, Calima and the Tairona. The Muisca of Colombia, postdating the Herrera Period, Valdivia of Ecuador, the Quechuas
and the 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, supporting Spanish accounts of a complex, possibly ancient Amazonian civilization.[31][32] 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 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 have not emerged. Similarities noted in names of edible roots in Maori and Ecuadorian languages ("kumari") and Melanesian and Chilean ("gaddu") have been inconclusive.[33] 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.[34] These findings were challenged by a later study published in the same journal, that cast doubt on the dating calibration used and presented alternative mt DNA
analyses that disagreed with a Polynesian genetic origin.[35] 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 or Caral[edit] Main article: Norte Chico civilization

The ancient city of Caral

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 six cradles of civilization in the world.[28] 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 in the Americas
and persisted until around 1800 BCE.[citation needed] Valdivia[edit] Main article: Valdivia culture The Valdivia culture
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, kidney beans, 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. Cañaris[edit] Main article: Cañari The Cañari
were the indigenous natives of today's Ecuadorian provinces of Cañar and 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. 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.

Larco Museum
Larco Museum
houses the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art. Lima, Peru.

Chavín[edit] Main article: Chavín culture The Chavín, a South American 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[edit] Main article: Muisca people The 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 Mayan and Inca empires. Next to the Quechua of Peru and the Aymara in Bolivia, the Chibcha of the eastern and north-eastern Highlands of Colombia
developed the most notable culture among the sedentary indigenous peoples in South America. In the Colombian Andes, the Chibcha comprised several tribes who spoke similar languages (Chibcha). They included the following: the Muisca, Guane, Lache, Cofán, and Chitareros. Moche[edit] Main article: Moche culture 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
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[edit] Main article: Tiwanaku empire

Gate of the Sun in Tiwanaku

The Tiwanaku empire
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 Inca Empire; 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
Lake Titicaca
in Tiwanaku Municipality, Ingavi Province, La Paz Department, about 72 kilometres (45 mi) west of La Paz. Inca Empire[edit] Main article: Inca Empire Holding their capital at the great cougar-shaped city of Cuzco, the Inca civilization dominated the Andes
region from 1438 to 1533. Known as Tawantinsuyu, or "the land of the four regions", in 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 road system. Cities were built with precise stonework, constructed over many levels of mountain terrain. Terrace farming
Terrace farming
was a useful form of agriculture. There is evidence of excellent metalwork and even successful brain surgery in Inca civilization.

The iconic Machu Picchu, symbol of the Inca civilization.

Cambeba[edit] Main article: Cambeba people Also known as the Omagua, Umana and Kambeba, the Cambeba are an indigenous people in Brazil's Amazon basin. The Cambeba were a populous, organized society in the late Pre-Columbian era
Pre-Columbian era
whose population suffered steep decline in the early years of the Columbian Exchange. The Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana
Francisco de Orellana
traversed the Amazon River
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.[36] Agricultural development[edit] See also: Columbian Exchange
Columbian Exchange
and List of pre-Columbian engineering projects in the Americas Early inhabitants of the Americas
developed agriculture, developing and breeding maize (corn) from ears 2–5 cm in length to the current size are familiar today. Potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos (a husked green tomato), pumpkins, chili peppers, squash, beans, pineapple, sweet potatoes, the grains quinoa and amaranth, cocoa beans, vanilla, onion, peanuts, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, 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.[citation needed] 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.[37] 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 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
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. Genetics[edit]

Schematic illustration of maternal (mtDNA) gene-flow in and out of Beringia, from 25,000 years ago to present.

Main article: Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas See also: Y- DNA
haplogroups in Indigenous peoples of the Americas The haplogroup most commonly associated with Indigenous Amerindian genetics is Haplogroup
Q1a3a (Y-DNA).[38] Y-DNA, like mtDNA, differs from other nuclear chromosomes in that the majority of the Y chromosome is unique and does not recombine during meiosis. This has the effect that the historical pattern of mutations can easily be studied.[39] The pattern indicates Indigenous Amerindians experienced two very distinctive genetic episodes; first with the initial-peopling of the Americas, and secondly with European colonization of the Americas.[40][41] The former is the determinant factor for the number of gene lineages and founding haplotypes present in today's Indigenous Amerindian
populations.[41] Human settlement of the New World
New World
occurred in stages from the Bering sea coast line, with an initial 20,000-year layover on Beringia
for the founding population.[42][43] 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.[44] The Na-Dené, Inuit
and Indigenous Alaskan populations exhibit haplogroup Q-M242 (Y-DNA) mutations, however are distinct from other indigenous Amerindians with various mt DNA
mutations.[45][46][47] This suggests that the earliest migrants into the northern extremes of North America and Greenland derived from later populations.[48]

See also[edit]

History portal Indigenous peoples of the Americas
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
portal Indigenous peoples of North America portal Aboriginal peoples in Canada portal

List of pre-Columbian cultures Metallurgy in pre-Columbian America Pre-Inca cultures
Pre-Inca cultures
in Peru Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact Pre-Columbian population 1491: New Revelations of the Americas
Before Columbus authored by Charles C. Mann Before the Revolution: America's Ancient Pasts authored by Daniel K. Richter


^ "Early European Settlements in North America". Tripline. Retrieved 2017-05-06.  ^ Bernal, Ignition (1980). A History of Mexican Archaeology: The Vanished Civilizations of Middle America. Thames & Hudson. ISBN 978-0-5007-8008-4.  ^ "Study confirms Bering land bridge flooded later than previously believed". Cyberwest. July 31, 1996.  ^ " Bering Land Bridge
Bering Land Bridge
National Preserve". National Park System.  ^ Wells, Spencer; Read, Mark (2002). The Journey of Man - A Genetic Odyssey. Random House. pp. 138–140. ISBN 0-8129-7146-9.  ^ Lovgren, Stefan (March 13, 2008). " Americas
Settled 15,000 Years Ago, Study Says". National Geographic News.  ^ Meltzer, David J. "First Americans". Encarta Online Encyclopedia. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01.  ^ Fagundes, Nelson J.R.; Kanitz, Ricardo; Eckert, Roberta; et al. (2008). "Mitochondrial Population Genomics Supports a Single Pre-Clovis Origin with a Coastal Route for the Peopling of the Americas". American Journal of Human Genetics. 82 (3): 583–592. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2007.11.013. PMC 2427228 . PMID 18313026.  ^ Magocsi, Paul Robert, ed. (1999). "Beginnings to 1500 C.E.". Encyclopedia of Canada's Peoples. Multicultural History Society of Ontario. ISBN 978-0-8020-2938-6. Archived from the original on 2010-12-06.  ^ "Atlas of the Human Journey". National Geographic. Archived from the original on 2011-05-01.  ^ Marder, William (2005). Indians in the Americas: The Untold Story. Book
Tree. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-58509-104-1.  ^ "Journey of mankind". BradShaw Foundation.  ^ Bryant, Vaughn M., Jr. (1998). "Pre-Clovis". In Gibbon, Guy E. Archaeology of Prehistoric Native America: An Encyclopedia. Taylor & Francis. pp. 682–683. ISBN 978-0-8153-0725-9.  ^ Wilford, John Noble (April 4, 2008). "Evidence Supports Earlier Date for People in North America". The New York Times.  ^ a b Imbrie, John; Imbrie, Katherine Palmer (1979). Ice Ages: Solving the Mystery. Harvard University
Harvard University
Press. ISBN 978-0-674-44075-3.  ^ Jacobs (2002).[full citation needed] ^ Kelly, Robert L.; Todd, Lawrence C. (1988). "Coming into the Country: Early Paleo-Indian
Hunting and Mobility". American Antiquity. 53 (2): 231–244. doi:10.2307/281017. JSTOR 281017.  ^ Breitburg, Emanual; Broster, John B.; Reesman, Arthur L.; Stearns, Richard G. (1996). "Coats-Hines Site: Tennessee's First Paleo-Indian Mastodon
Association". Current Research in the Pleistocene. 13: 6–8.  ^ Fagan, Dr. Brian; Durrani, Nadia (2016). People of the Earth: An Introduction to World Prehistory
(fourteenth ed.). Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-34682-1. [page needed] ^ "Native Americans: The First Farmers". AgExporter. Allbusiness.com. October 1, 1999. Retrieved 2011-06-03.  ^ Hudson, Charles M. (1997). Knights of Spain, Warriors of the Sun: Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto
and the South's Ancient Chiefdoms. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 978-0-8203-5290-9.  ^ Daly, Janet L. (1997). "The Effect of the Iroquois
Constitution on the United States
United States
Constitution". IPOAA Magazine. Archived from the original on July 2, 2017.  ^ Woods, Thomas E. (2007). 33 Questions about American History You're Not Supposed to Ask. Crown Forum. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-307-34668-1.  ^ "H. Con. Res. 331" (PDF). United States
United States
Senate. October 21, 1988.  ^ Shannon, Timothy J. (2002). Indians and Colonists at the Crossroads of Empire: The Albany Congress of 1754. Cornell University Press. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-8014-8818-4.  ^ Clifton, James A., ed. (1990). "The United States Constitution
United States Constitution
and the Iroquois
League". Invented indian. Transaction Publishers. pp. 107–128. ISBN 978-1-4128-2659-4.  ^ Rakove, Jack (July 21, 2005). "Did the Founding Fathers Really Get Many of Their Ideas of Liberty from the Iroquois?". History News Network. Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, George Mason University.  ^ a b Mann, Charles C. (2006) [2005]. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas
Before Columbus. Vintage Books. pp. 199–212. ISBN 1-4000-3205-9.  ^ Diehl, Richard A. (2004). The Olmecs: America's First Civilization. London: Thames and Hudson. pp. 9–25. ISBN 0-500-28503-9.  ^ Levy, Buddy (2008). Conquistador: Hernán Cortés, King Montezuma, and the last stand of the Aztecs. Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks. p. 106. ISBN 9780553384710.  ^ Romero, Simon (January 14, 2012). "Once Hidden by Forest, Carvings in Land Attest to Amazon's Lost World". The New York Times.  ^ Pärssinen, Martti; Schaan, Denise; Ranzi, Alceu (December 2009). "Pre-Columbian geometric earthworks in the upper Purús: a complex society in western Amazonia". Antiquity. 83 (322): 1084–1095. doi:10.1017/s0003598x00099373.  ^ Christian, F. W. (1923). "The Story of the Kumara". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 32 (128): 255.  ^ Storey, Alice A.; Ramírez, José Miguel; Quiroz, Daniel; et al. (June 2007). "Radiocarbon and DNA
evidence for a pre-Columbian introduction of Polynesian chickens to Chile" (PDF). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (25): 10335–10339. Bibcode:2007PNAS..10410335S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0703993104. PMC 1965514 . PMID 17556540.  ^ Gongora, Jaime; Rawlence, Nicolas J.; Mobegi, Victor A.; et al. (July 29, 2008). "Indo-European and Asian origins for Chilean and Pacific chickens revealed by mtDNA". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105 (30): 10308–10313. Bibcode:2008PNAS..10510308G. doi:10.1073/pnas.0801991105. PMC 2492461 . PMID 18663216.  ^ Forero, Juan (September 5, 2010). "Scientists find evidence discrediting theory Amazon was virtually unlivable". Washington Post.  ^ Owen, Wayne (December 8, 2013). "Chapter 2 (TERRA–2): The History of Native Plant Communities in the South". Southern Forest Resource Assessment Final Report. United States
United States
Department of Agriculture, United States
United States
Forest Service, Southern Research Station.  ^ Bortolini, Maria-Catira; Salzano, Francisco M.; Thomas, Mark G.; et al. (September 2003). "Y- Chromosome
Evidence for Differing Ancient Demographic Histories in the Americas" (PDF). American Journal of Human Genetics. 73 (3): 524–539. doi:10.1086/377588. PMC 1180678 .  ^ Orgel, Leslie E. (2004). "Prebiotic chemistry and the origin of the RNA world" (PDF). Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. 39 (2): 99–123. doi:10.1080/10409230490460765. PMID 15217990.  ^ Wells, Spencer (2002). The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey. Random House. ISBN 0-8129-7146-9.  ^ a b Tymchuk, Wendy (2008). "Learn about Y- DNA
Q-M242". Genebase Systems. Archived from the original on June 22, 2010. Haplogroups are defined by unique mutation events such as single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. These SNPs mark the branch of a haplogroup, and indicate that all descendents of that haplogroup at one time shared a common ancestor. The Y- DNA
SNP mutations were passed from father to son over thousands of years. Over time, additional SNPs occur within a haplogroup, leading to new lineages. These new lineages are considered subclades of the haplogroup. Each time a new mutation occurs, there is a new branch in the haplogroup, and therefore a new subclade. Haplogroup
Q, possibly the youngest of the 20 Y-chromosome haplogroups, originated with the SNP mutation M242 in a man from Haplogroup
P that likely lived in Siberia
approximately 15,000 to 20,000 years before present  ^ Viegas, Jennifer. "First Americans
Endured 20,000-Year Layover". Discovery News. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Archaeological evidence, in fact, recognizes that people started to leave Beringia
for the New World
New World
around 40,000 years ago, but rapid expansion into North America didn't occur until about 15,000 years ago, when the ice had literally broken  ^ Than, Ker (2008). " New World
New World
Settlers Took 20,000-Year Pit Stop". National Geographic Society. Over time descendants developed a unique culture—one that was different from the original migrants' way of life in Asia but which contained seeds of the new cultures that would eventually appear throughout the Americas  ^ "Summary of knowledge on the subclades of Haplogroup
Q". Genebase Systems. 2009. Archived from the original on May 10, 2011. Retrieved 2009-11-22.  ^ Ruhlen, M. (November 1998). "The origin of the Na-Dene". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States
United States
of America. 95 (23): 13994–13996. Bibcode:1998PNAS...9513994R. doi:10.1073/pnas.95.23.13994. PMC 25007 . PMID 9811914.  ^ Zegura, Stephen L.; Karafet, Tatiana M.; Zhivotovsky, Lev A.; Hammer, Michael F. (January 2004). "High-resolution SNPs and microsatellite haplotypes point to a single, recent entry of Native American Y chromosomes into the Americas". Molecular Biology and Evolution. 21 (1): 164–175. doi:10.1093/molbev/msh009. PMID 14595095.  ^ Saillard, Juliette; Forster, Peter; Lynnerup, Niels; Bandelt, Hans-Jürgen; Nørby, Søren (September 2000). "mt DNA
Variation among Greenland
Eskimos: The Edge of the Beringian Expansion". American Journal of Human Genetics. 67 (3): 718–726. doi:10.1086/303038. PMC 1287530 . PMID 10924403. The relatively lower coalescence time of the entire haplogroup A2 including the shared sub-arctic branches A2b (Siberians and Inuit) and A2a (Eskimos and Na-Dené) is probably due to secondary expansions of haplogroup A2 from the Beringia
area, which would have averaged the overall internal variation of haplogroup A2 in North America.  ^ Torroni, Antonio; Schurr, Theodore G.; Yang, Chi-Chuan; et al. (January 1992). "Native American Mitochondrial DNA
Mitochondrial DNA
Analysis Indicates That the Amerind and the Nadene Populations Were Founded by Two Independent Migrations" (PDF). Genetics. 130 (1): 153–162. PMC 1204788 . PMID 1346260. The divergence time for the Nadene portion of the HaeIII np 663 lineage was about 6,000–10,000 years. Hence, the ancestral Nadene migrated from Asia independently and considerably more recently than the progenitors of the Amerinds. 


Brown, Michael D.; Hosseini, Seyed H.; Torroni, Antonio; et al. (December 1998). "mt DNA
haplogroup X: An ancient link between Europe/Western Asia and North America?" (PDF). American Journal of Human Genetics. 63 (6): 1852–1861. doi:10.1086/302155. PMC 1377656 . PMID 9837837.  Fernández-Armesto, Felipe (1987). Before Columbus: Exploration and Colonization from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic: 1229–1492. University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN 0-333-40382-7.  Schurr, Theodore G.; Ballinger, Scott W.; Gan, Yik-Yuen; et al. (March 1990). " Amerindian
mitochondrial DNAs have rare Asian mutations at high frequencies, suggesting they derived from four primary maternal lineages" (PDF). American Journal of Human Genetics. 46 (3): 613–623. PMC 1683611 . PMID 1968708.  Wright, Ronald (2005). Stolen Continents: 500 Years of Conquest and Resistance in the Americas. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-49240-2. 

Look up pre-columbian era in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pre-Columbian.

Links to related articles

v t e

Pre-Columbian civilizations and cultures


Paleo-Indians Genetic history Archaeology of the Americas Indigenous peoples of the Americas

North America

North American pre-Columbian cultures Caddoan Mississippian Chichimeca Hopewell tradition Coles Creek Fremont Marksville Mississippian Mogollon Plaquemine Plum Bayou Poverty Point Troyville Weeden Island


Mesoamerican pre-Columbian chronology Capacha Chalcatzingo Cholula Coclé Epi-Olmec Huastec Izapa Mezcala Mixtec Olmec Pipil Quelepa Shaft tomb tradition Teuchitlan Purépecha Teotihuacan Tlatilco Tlaxcaltec Toltec Totonac Veracruz Xochipala Zapotec

South America

Andean civilizations South American Indigenous people El Abra Cañaris Chachapoya Chancay Chavín Chimú Chinchorro Cultural periods of Peru Hydraulic culture of mounds (Bolivia) Las Vegas Lima La Tolita
La Tolita
(Tumaco) Manteño-Guancavilca Mapuche Moche Mollo Nariño Nazca Norte Chico Quimbaya San Agustín Shuar Sican Taíno Tairona Tiwanaku Tierradentro Valdivia Wankarani Wari Zenú

Aztec Maya Muisca Inca

Language Nahuatl Mayan languages Muysccubun Quechua

Writing Script Script Numerals Quipu

Religion Religion Religion Religion Religion

Mythology Mythology Mythology Mythology Mythology

Calendar Calendar Calendar Calendar

Society Society Society Economy (Women) Society

Infrastructure Chinampas Architecture Architecture Agriculture Architecture
(road system) Agriculture

History History History History Inca history Neo-Inca State

People Moctezuma I Moctezuma II Cuitláhuac Cuauhtémoc K'inich Janaab' Pakal Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil Jasaw Chan K'awiil I Nemequene Quemuenchatocha Tisquesusa Tundama Zoratama Manco Cápac Pachacuti Atahualpa Manco Inca Yupanqui Túpac Amaru

Conquest Spanish conquest (Hernán Cortés) Spanish conquest Spanish conquest of Yucatán (Francisco de Montejo) Spanish conquest of Guatemala (Pedro de Alvarado) Spanish conquest (Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada) (Hernán Pérez de Quesada) (List of conquistadors) Spanish conquest (Francisco Pizarro)

See also

Portal:Indigenous peoples of North America Portal:Mesoamerica Columbian Exchange Mesoamerican writing systems Native American cuisine Native American pottery Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas Pre‑Columbian art Painting in the Americas
before European colonization

v t e

Pre-Columbian North America

Periods Lithic Archaic Formative Classic Post-Classic

Archaeological cultures

Adena Alachua Ancient Beringian Ancient Pueblo
(Anasazi) Baytown Belle Glade Buttermilk Creek Complex Caborn-Welborn Calf Creek Caloosahatchee Clovis Coles Creek Comondú Deptford Folsom Fort Ancient Fort Walton Fremont Glacial Kame Glades Hohokam Hopewell

List of Hopewell sites

La Jolla Las Palmas Leon-Jefferson Mississippian

List of Mississippian sites

Mogollon Monongahela Old Cordilleran Oneota Paleo-Arctic Paleo-Indians Patayan Plano Plaquemine Poverty Point Red Ocher Santa Rosa-Swift Creek St. Johns Steed-Kisker Tchefuncte Tocobaga Troyville

Archaeological sites

Angel Mounds Anzick Clovis burial Bandelier National Monument Blue Spring Shelter The Bluff Point Stoneworks Cahokia Candelaria Cave Casa Grande Chaco Canyon Coso Rock Art District Crystal River Archaeological State Park Cuarenta Casas Cueva de la Olla Eaker El Fin del Mundo El Vallecito Effigy Mounds National Monument Etowah Indian Mounds Eva Folsom Site Fort Ancient Fort Center Fort Juelson Four Mounds Site Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Glenwood Grimes Point Holly Bluff Site Hopewell Culture National Historical Park Huápoca Kimball Village Kincaid Mounds Kolomoki Mounds L'Anse aux Meadows Marksville Marmes Rockshelter Meadowcroft Rockshelter Mesa Verde Moaning Cavern Moorehead Circle Morrison Mounds Moundville Mummy
Cave Nodena Site Ocmulgee National Monument Old Stone Fort Orwell Site Paquime Parkin Park Pinson Mounds Portsmouth Earthworks Poverty Point Pueblo
Bonito Recapture Canyon Rock Eagle Rock Hawk Russell Cave
National Monument Salmon Ruins Serpent Mound Sierra de San Francisco Spiro Mounds SunWatch Taos Pueblo Toltec
Mounds Town Creek Indian Mound Turkey River Mounds Upward Sun River site West Oak Forest Earthlodge Winterville Wupatki National Monument

Human remains

Anzick-1 Arlington Springs Man Buhl Woman Kennewick Man La Brea Woman Leanderthal Lady Minnesota Woman Spirit Cave


Aridoamerica Black drink Ceremonial pipe Chunkey Clovis point Container Revolution Eastern Agricultural Complex Eden point Effigy mound Falcon dancer Folsom point Green Corn Ceremony Horned Serpent Kiva Medicine wheel Metallurgy Mi'kmaq hieroglyphic writing Mound
Builders N.A.G.P.R.A. Norse colonization of North America Oasisamerica Piasa Southeastern Ceremonial Complex Stickball Three Sisters agriculture Thunderbird Underwater panther Water glyphs

Related Genetic history Portal
of Indigenous peoples of North America Pre-Columbian era

v t e

Indigenous peoples of the Americas


Paleo-Indians Pre-Columbian era Classification Archaeology Genetics


Mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas‎

List of deities Native American religion

Mesoamerican mythology

Mesoamerican religion

European colonization

European colonization Population history Columbian Exchange

Modern groups by country

North America

Canada Costa Rica Dominica El Salvador Greenland Jamaica Mexico Panama Trinidad and Tobago United States

South America

Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Guyana Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay Venezuela

Related topics

Indigenous American studies Indigenous languages Indigenous movements Indigenous art Artists Writers

Category Portal

v t e

Cultural areas of indigenous North Americans

Arctic California Eastern Woodlands

Northeastern Woodlands Southeastern Woodlands

Great Basin Mexico

Aridoamerica Mesoamerica

Caribbean Northwest Coast Interior Plains Plateau Southwest Subarctic

v t e

Prehistoric technology


timeline outline Stone Age subdivisions New Stone Age






founder crops New World
New World

Ard / plough Celt Digging stick Domestication Goad Irrigation Secondary products Sickle Terracing

Food processing

Fire Basket Cooking

Earth oven

Granaries Grinding slab Ground stone Hearth

Aşıklı Höyük Qesem Cave

Manos Metate Mortar and pestle Pottery Quern-stone Storage pit


Arrow Boomerang

throwing stick

Bow and arrow


Nets Spear

Spear-thrower baton harpoon woomera Schöningen Spears

Projectile points

Arrowhead Bare Island Cascade Clovis Cresswell Cumberland Eden Folsom Lamoka Manis Site Plano Transverse arrowhead


Game drive system

Buffalo jump


Earliest toolmaking

Oldowan Acheulean Mousterian

Clovis culture Cupstone Fire hardening Gravettian
culture Hafting Hand axe


Langdale axe industry Levallois technique Lithic core Lithic reduction

analysis debitage flake

Lithic technology Magdalenian
culture Metallurgy Microblade technology Mining Prepared-core technique Solutrean
industry Striking platform Tool stone Uniface Yubetsu technique

Other tools

Adze Awl


Axe Bannerstone Blade


Bone tool Bow drill Burin Canoe

Oar Pesse canoe



Cleaver Denticulate tool Fire plough Fire-saw Hammerstone Knife Microlith Quern-stone Racloir Rope Scraper


Stone tool Tally stick Weapons Wheel




Göbekli Tepe Kiva Standing stones

megalith row Stonehenge



architecture British megalith architecture Nordic megalith architecture Burdei Cave Cliff dwelling Dugout Hut

Quiggly hole

Jacal Longhouse Mud brick


long house Pit-house Pueblitos Pueblo Rock shelter

Blombos Cave Abri de la Madeleine Sibudu Cave

Stone roof Roundhouse Stilt house

Alp pile dwellings

Wattle and daub

Water management

Check dam Cistern Flush toilet Reservoir Water well

Other architecture

Archaeological features Broch Burnt mound

fulacht fiadh

Causewayed enclosure

Tor enclosure

Circular enclosure


Cursus Henge


Oldest buildings Megalithic architectural elements Midden Timber circle Timber trackway

Sweet Track

Arts and culture

Material goods

Baskets Beadwork Beds Chalcolithic Clothing/textiles


Cosmetics Glue Hides

shoes Ötzi


amber use

Mirrors Pottery

Cardium Grooved ware Linear Jōmon Unstan ware

Sewing needle Weaving Wine

Winery wine press


Art of the Upper Paleolithic Art of the Middle Paleolithic

Blombos Cave

List of Stone Age
Stone Age
art Bird stone Bradshaw rock paintings Cairn Carved Stone Balls Cave

painting pigment

Cup and ring mark Geoglyph Golden hats Guardian stones Megalithic art Petroform Petroglyph Petrosomatoglyph Pictogram Rock art

Stone carving

Sculpture Statue menhir Stone circle

list British Isles and Brittany

Venus figurines


Burial mounds

Bowl barrow Round barrow

Builders culture

U.S. sites

Chamber tomb



Dartmoor kistvaens

Clava cairn Court tomb Cremation Dolmen

Great dolmen

Funeral pyre Gallery grave

transepted wedge-shaped

Grave goods Jar burial Long barrow

unchambered Grønsalen

Megalithic tomb Mummy Passage grave Rectangular dolmen Ring cairn Simple dolmen Stone box grave Tor cairn Tumulus Unchambered long cairn

Other cultural


sites lunar calendar

Behavioral modernity Origin of language


Prehistoric medicine Evolutionary musicology

music archaeology

Prehistoric music

Alligator drum flutes Divje Babe flute gudi

Prehistoric numerals Origin of religion

Paleolithic religion Prehistoric religion Spiritual drug use

Prehistoric warfare Symbols


v t e

History of the United States


Prehistory Pre-Columbian Colonial 1776–89 1789–1849 1849–65 1865–1918 1918–45 1945–64 1964–80 1980–91 1991–2008 2008–present


American Century Cities Constitution Demographic Diplomatic Economic Education Immigration Medical Merchant Marine Military Musical Religious Slavery Southern Technological and industrial Territorial acquisitions Territorial evolution Voting rights Women This Is America, Charlie Brown

Category Portal

v t e

United States articles


By event

Timeline of U.S. history Pre-Columbian era Colonial era

Thirteen Colonies military history Continental Congress

American Revolution


American frontier Confederation Period Drafting and ratification of Constitution Federalist Era War of 1812 Territorial acquisitions Territorial evolution Mexican–American War Civil War Reconstruction Era Indian Wars Gilded Age Progressive Era African-American civil rights movement 1865–1896 / 1896–1954 / 1954–1968 Spanish–American War Imperialism World War I Roaring Twenties Great Depression World War II

home front Nazism in the United States

American Century Cold War Korean War Space Race Feminist Movement Vietnam War Post- Cold War
Cold War
(1991–2008) War on Terror

War in Afghanistan Iraq War

Recent events (2008–present)

By topic

Outline of U.S. history Demographic Discoveries Economic

debt ceiling


before 1890 1890–1945 1946–91 after 1991

Military Postal Technological and industrial



counties federal district federal enclaves Indian reservations insular zones minor outlying islands populated places states

Earthquakes Extreme points Islands Mountains

peaks ranges Appalachian Rocky

National Park Service

National Parks


East Coast West Coast Great Plains Gulf Mid-Atlantic Midwestern New England Pacific Central Eastern Northern Northeastern Northwestern Southern Southeastern Southwestern Western


Colorado Columbia Mississippi Missouri Ohio Rio Grande Yukon

Time Water supply and sanitation




Cabinet Civil service Executive departments Executive Office Independent agencies Law enforcement President of the United States Public policy


House of Representatives

current members Speaker


current members President pro tempore Vice President


Courts of appeals District courts Supreme Court


Bill of Rights

civil liberties

Code of Federal Regulations Constitution

federalism preemption separation of powers

Federal Reporter United States
United States
Code United States
United States


Central Intelligence Agency Defense Intelligence Agency Federal Bureau of Investigation National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency National Reconnaissance Office National Security Agency Office of the Director of National Intelligence


Armed Forces

Army Marine Corps Navy Air Force Coast Guard

National Guard NOAA Corps Public Health Service Corps

51st state

political status of Puerto Rico District of Columbia statehood movement


Electoral College

Foreign relations

Foreign policy

Hawaiian sovereignty movement Ideologies

anti-Americanism exceptionalism nationalism

Local government Parties

Democratic Republican Third parties

Red states and blue states

Purple America

Scandals State government

governor state legislature state court

Uncle Sam


By sector

Agriculture Banking Communications Energy Insurance Manufacturing Mining Tourism Trade Transportation


by state

Currency Exports Federal budget Federal Reserve System Financial position Labor unions Public debt Social welfare programs Taxation Unemployment Wall Street



Americana Architecture Cinema Cuisine Dance Demography Education Family structure Fashion Flag Folklore Languages

American English Indigenous languages ASL

Black American Sign Language

HSL Plains Sign Talk Arabic Chinese French German Italian Russian Spanish

Literature Media

Journalism Internet Newspapers Radio Television

Music Names People Philosophy Public holidays Religion Sexuality Sports Theater Visual art

Social class

Affluence American Dream Educational attainment Homelessness Home-ownership Household income Income inequality Middle class Personal income Poverty Professional and working class conflict Standard of living Wealth


Ages of consent Capital punishment Crime


Criticism of government Discrimination

affirmative action antisemitism intersex rights islamophobia LGBT rights racism same-sex marriage

Drug policy Energy policy Environmental movement Gun politics Health care

abortion health insurance hunger obesity smoking

Human rights Immigration


International rankings National security

Mass surveillance Terrorism

Separation of church and state

Outline Index