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Late Middle Ages timeline – 1100-1500 AD

By | 2017-10-13T13:09:23+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Central Asia, History, When|

The Mongol court (1200s AD) After the warming trend of 1000 AD came a colder period around 1300 AD called the Little Ice Age. Again, people felt the effects around the world. In Central Asia, the Mongols rose to power in the late 1200s AD. They conquered China, Russia, northern India, and most of the Islamic Empire and united them into one huge [...]

Coca leaves – South American medicine

By | 2017-09-10T14:01:50+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Science, South America|

Coca farming Like potatoes and tomatoes, coca plants grow wild in the Andes Mountains of South America; they probably evolved around the same time as the other flowering plants, around 120 million years ago. The plants make cocaine in their leaves, probably to keep animals from eating them. Woman chewing coca leaves (Uruguay, ca. 500 BC-500 AD) When people first [...]

Central and South American religion

By | 2017-09-10T10:53:07+00:00 September 10th, 2017|Central America, Religion, South America|

Maya Corn King on a plate The people who lived in South and Central America before 1500 were polytheistic - they believed in many different gods. Because they lived pretty near one another, and ate many of the same foods, some of their gods were pretty much the same. The Mayan Corn God, for example, [...]

Who were the Nazca? South American history

By | 2017-09-09T17:04:12+00:00 September 9th, 2017|History, South America|

Nazca lines - a giant monkey drawn on the desert floor After the Chavin state collapsed about 250 BC, two new states formed in Peru - the Moche in the north and the Nazca in the south. So by about 100 BC, the Nazca were between the Moche and the Mapuche to their south, in what is now Chile, and [...]

Who were the Moche? South American history

By | 2017-09-09T17:01:01+00:00 September 9th, 2017|History, South America|

Moche portrait of a blind man, 400-500 AD (thanks to Oberlin College) The collapse of the Chavin state in Peru, about 250 BC, seems to have opened the way for the Moche and the Nazca to develop states of their own. The Moche started up around 100 AD along the Pacific coast of South America, in what is now northern Peru. The [...]

Who were the Mapuche? South American history

By | 2017-09-09T16:10:54+00:00 September 9th, 2017|History|

Chango whale hunt, El Madano, ca. 1000 AD There were probably people living in Chile (a narrow strip of land in South America between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean) by around 12,000 BC. They came south with their dogs along the coast of South America, either walking or in small boats. Like most other people in South [...]

Who were the Inca? South American history

By | 2017-09-09T08:59:26+00:00 September 9th, 2017|History, South America|

Macchu Picchu Until the 1400s AD, the Pacific coast of South America was made up of a lot of small independent kingdoms: first the Valdivia and Norte Chico people, then the Moche, the Chavin and the Mapuche. These kingdoms often raided each other, but then they went home again and made peace. This was like the city-states of ancient Greece, or the Etruscan period in Italy. Then one [...]

Who were the Guarani? South American history

By | 2017-09-09T08:55:29+00:00 September 9th, 2017|History, South America|

Guarani people performing a dance in the 1800s When the first Tupi people expanded their territory from Central America to reach the coast of Brazil about 900 BC, some of them kept on moving south along the Atlantic coast. About a thousand years later, maybe about 1 AD, some of those Tupi people moved inland, abandoning their [...]

Central and South American food

By | 2017-09-08T17:13:27+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Central America, Food, South America|

Aztec men sharing a meal When people first came to Central and South America, perhaps about 15,000 BC, they hunted and gathered all of their food. They picked wild potatoes, wild teosinte (the ancestor of corn), wild beans and wild tomatoes and avocados. They hunted rabbits and llamas and turkeys, and fished in the rivers and the ocean. For fun, they probably fermented teosinte and other plants into [...]

South American and Central American architecture

By | 2017-09-08T15:22:56+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Architecture, Central America, South America|

Olmec Pyramid, La Venta, Mexico (500 BC) The earliest big buildings from South America are in Ecuador and Peru, along the Pacific coast. The Norte Chico people and the Valdivia people built stone temples there as early as 3500 BC. Later on, people also built stone buildings in Central America (modern Mexico). Olmec people built them about 1150 [...]