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Pre-hispanic Mexico
 Page updated on 03.10.2015
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Isolated from the others, the whole continent develops an original culture which, in many respects, surprises specialists and public every day. What do we exactly know about these ancient civilizations ? The archaeology hardly starts to get a several thousand year story from the oblivion and show the first results of this exciting research.

The distant hunters

The territory corresponding to the actual Republic of Mexico is comprised of a vast area, largely arid and covered by mountains. The last big animals of Pleistocene and the first human, arriving from Asia through the Bering Strait, were concentrated in the humid valleys and around the many lakes. America started to be inhabited about 50,000 years ago and the Mexican territory 22 to 25,000 years ago.

The first farmers

Plants like avocado and woodland corn were complementing the products of hunting. Around 7,000 BC, the presence of pestle and mortars seems to indicate that the grains were gaining ground and the agriculture rapidly modified the habits of living. The first grown plants were maybe the cactus (nopal) and agaves (maguey) followed by gourds, peppers (chile) and amaranth, among others. Then, were added the beans and finally corn. The sedentary life is confirmed by the presence of the first sepultures with offerings, which indicate the existence of a religious thought and first cults. The first sedentary or semi-sedentary villages appeared about 2,500 BC. The pottery appeared also, proving the existence of an already complex society.

The Pre-Hispanic era has three periods :

The pre-classic

The classic

The post-classic

Nice video prepared by the Secretariat of tourism of Quintana Roo state, about Mayas archaeology sites  




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