Joni's Reviews > Seven Natural Wonders of Central and South America

Seven Natural Wonders of Central and South America by Michael Woods
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's review
Feb 06, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: history, 2011, read-aloud, juvenile
Read in February, 2011

There were many ancient civilizations in Central and South America. These were not primitive "cultures." if I use the definition provided in Starr's "A History of the Ancient World," (civilizations allowed organization of society and had political and religious activity and classes, writing, art, culture) then the Aztec, Maya and Inca definitely qualify. I did not know until reading this book that the Maya had many hundreds of written books called codices, which used a type of hieroglyphic writing. The Spanish burned these books, "which caused them [the maya] great affliction." The pyramids of the Aztec, Maya, and Inca also included hieroglyphic writing on their walls and steps.

The Aztec and the Inca were the most recent civilizations to flourish and reign in their area, but there was a long line of civilizations and empires prior to that time period (1400AD). These were the empires that fell to the Spanish conquistadores. The Olmec, Maya, Toltec, in Mexico/Mesoamerica and the Moche, Nasca, and Huari civilizations all began before the common era.

It seems that carving gigantic stone heads and building stone tombs was a common interest in the ancient times the world over. Many societies also built pyramids, and many of the creation stories involve their King being born of the Sun God. I am very interested in pursuing these similarities in the Ancient American cultures.

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