Mesoamerica (better acquaintance as Central America) it is one of the two areas of America (the other one is the central part of the Andes) that had urban civilizations, or "superior cultures" in the time of the Spanish conquest, in 1519. This demonstrates the fact that the Meso-American ones built pyramids and spectacular temples, they had big markets, a sacred calendar, a hieroglyphic writing, a group of gods, they practiced the ball game and they carried out human sacrifices.
The capture of aquatic birds with nets was very extended in Mesoamerica, in the areas of the lakes.
The cultural history of Mesoamerica is divided in three big periods: The Preclasic, the Classic and the Postclasic that embrace from the 2000 BC., until the Spanish conquest. In the course of these periods, Mesoamerica witnessed the birth and fall of many civilizations. The other civilizations of Mesoamerica were:
The Olmecan: They constituted the ago 3000 year-old villages in the current states of Veracruz and Tabasco (Mexico). It Flourished between the 1200 and the 200 BC. Among their legacies to other cultures of Mesoamerica are the terraced pyramids, squares, enclosures for the practice of sport of the ball and the hieroglyphic sculpture.
They have been Olmecan devices in many parts of Mesoamerica. Their art is naturalistic and symbolic.
The Olmecan were the initiators of the construction of the vaults (group of gods). The idea of fantastic man-animals (a man's association with an animal) it was a constant. Each god had a name, with which was represented, as the man - jaguar or god jaguar, the god bird snake and the god eagle. The Mixtecos-Zapotecas followed them.
This Olmecan statuette represents a bald boy.
His facial features are similar to those of asia.
This basalt head measures 1.5 meters high and it weighs more than 20 tons.
In the central area of the Olmecan, in the region of the coast of the Gulf, they have been some heads like this. They can be ball players' heads or possibly rulers' or even portraits or Chiefes.
The Toltecas: Their capital was Tula. It flourished approximately between the 900 and the 1187. These are natives of Hehuetlapallan, village been founded in the year 576 BC. by emigrants of the Northwest of Mexico. Then they advanced toward the south until settling in the valley of the current Mexico City, being able to become the most advanced culture during the years 900-1110 AC.
They were teachers in the architecture and in the arts. They also constituted a warring society, as it can be seen in their numerous warrior sculptures. The Toltecas exercised a great influence in the Mayan territory in the period Postclasic and similarities exist in some sculptures and in their architecture since approximately in the 900 - 1527 AC, the Toltecas imposed the Mayan their religious political domain, and a cultural coalition took place of both.
This is one of the warriors that are in the superior part of the Templo B. In their times, these warriors sustained a roof. The warrior goes provided of a darttrhower and his breastplate, in butterfly form it distinguishes him as warrior.
This temple is known as Templo B or Temple of Quetzalcoatl.
This warrior, lifts the arms to hold an altar or reliquary.
The Teotihuacan: This flourished among the year first BC and the 750. The city of Teotihuacán is the most impressive that can be contemplated in the America.
The teotihuacans toward the year 200 BC., created the most important culture in the central art of the old Mexico, and they ended up settling down to the current Guatemala. The period of bigger shine of this civilization happened between the years 350 and 650 AC. The Teotihuacan culture was the more influential of Mesoamerica.
Later on, between the 650 and the 700 AC., invasions of neighboring towns caused their decadence and the massive emigration toward other territories.
The economic life of the teotihuacans and other Meso-American towns is based on the agriculture, and thanks to it, their cultures and cities flourished.
The masks can have been dead people's portraits.
This is a mask of Jade coming from Teotihuacán.
The holes in the lobes of the ears are to take earrings.
The Zapoteca: They began in the 800 BC. in the Monte Albán (Mexico) and culminated in the year 1521 AC. when the Mixtecas conquered the main zapotecas centers , the region of the coast of the ocean Pacific and the northwest of Mexico.
The state zapoteca was one of the bigger of Mesoamerica in that time. The zapotecas stood out in the art of the work with feathers and in the elaboration of jewels of gold.
This figure of gold was probably owed to a goldsmith zapoteca. The figure has a necklace a hanging . On their front behalf they hang 3 bells.
Noble zapoteca being proven a jeweled diadem, detail of a square of Diego Rivera titled "Cultivation of corn."
Mesoamerica is, at the same time, a geographical and cultural region. In the time of the Spanish conquest it took what is now the center and the south of Mexico and the peninsula of Yucatan, Guatemala, Belize, the most western part in Honduras, a small part of Nicaragua and the North of Costa Rica.