Mayan, Aztec, Incan DBQ Compare and Contrast

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The Mayan, Aztec, and Inca civilizations brought major accomplishments to the world today. These accomplishments established them as advanced societies during their time without the influence of Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Some of these accomplishments ranged from agriculture to architecture and on to writing and trade. Such as, the Mayans with their agriculture system of chinampas and there monumental temple/pyramids, the Aztecs with their trading in the city of Tenochtitlan, and the Incas with their road and bridge system connecting the whole empire.

The Mayans were the first of the three civilizations. Although they were first they had many achievements in architecture, math and astrology, and writing. The Mayans had the tallest building in the Americas until the twentieth century, which looks similar to Mesopotamian temple, as shown in document one. This building was a sign of architecture achievement in the Americas, especially without the technology of the wheel to help move the heavy rocks for construction. When all said and done, this was a sacrificial building in where sacrifices to the gods would be given.

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One form of sacrifice to the Mayan civilization was when kings and queens would draw blood from the bodies and give their blood as a sacrificial gift to the gods. A long with their advances in architecture the Mayans developed a complex calendar with hieroglyphics as depicted in Document Two. These glyphs were based on their writing system. Along with their architectural accomplishments and their own unique writing system the Mayans also studied mathematics. The Mayans came up with the idea of zero. Although, the Mayans and the Aztecs were similar they differ in techniques.

Such as, their agricultural system, Chinampas. This system consists of dirt mounds in water and the maize(corn) grows on the top of the mound. This system is very effective in the low work sort of way. There is no watering required because of the irrigation from the water surround and there is usually always sun light because there is no trees to block the sun. The only time they really had to work was during the harvest. Also, they had a pictograph form of writing system similar to that of the Mayans.

Another achievement, was the city of Tenochtitlan. This city was a trading city as noticed by Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes in document three. He was amazed of the man squares of the city, describing one with sixty thousand souls buying and selling merchandise,; the trade center of the city. One of the biggest amazements not only for Cortez but to others was their abundance of gold and silver, which would soon be the cause of European attacks to the culture With that said, the Aztecs had some major differences in culture compared to the Mayans.

The Incan civilization on the other hand, lived in a completely different location on the western border of South America, while the others lived primarily in the Yucatan Peninsula. In that location there are many mountains, which changes the kind of agriculture and systems of agriculture. Their main crop was potatoes which was farmed in a system called terrace planting. Which is when there are different levels of land to grow a crop. This system was described by Garciasco de la Vega in document four. The Incas are like the Romans in the means of road systems.

The Incan empire was long and skinny, so in order to maneuver around the terrain as quickly as possible, they made roads and bridges to connect the empires major cities, as shown in document five. One of those great cities was Machu Picchu. This city provides evidence of superior building techniques. Because the Incas lived in the mountains, they had the challenge of building cities, so they carve away at the mountain making a step like face, as seen in document six. They were also very good as carving rock to they would fit together perfectly, which was the main style of buildings there.

End the end, the Incas provided a way of life in the mountains that was truly spectacular. Although, these cultures had no influence from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, they had many accomplishments in agriculture, architecture, and writing. Such as the Mayans and there temples, the Aztecs with their trading city of Tenochtitlan, and the Incas with their road and bridges connecting the major cities in the empire. Although, the information provided was useful, it would have been at great use to have an extra document on the Aztec civilization. All in all, the three civilizations were very advanced and had many accomplishments.

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