Week 6

The Inca, Mayan, and Aztec cultures are popular Mesoamerican civilizations of South America. Each had its’ own achievements and is known for its’ own greatness.

The Inca’s innovation is remarkable. In terms of math achievements, they created a tool called the quipus, or talking knots, which recorded measurements. The cords of the instrument recorded numeric and other values encoded by units of 1, 10, 100 or more. All cords hung from a main string and their positions and colors likely signaled what was being counted—whether it was gold, corn or other goods. (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/inca/inca_culture_3.html)  All in all, the quipus could have from a few to 2,000 cords. They also valued math in their elaborate transportation efforts by building extensive road systems. There are over 10,000 miles of road from the Inca built in Peru (Week 6, Lecture 3). This allowed the people to have safer travels around mountains and through the other dangerous geographic areas.

The Mayans had an ingenious agricultural system based on the slash and burn idea of farming, to grow things like sweet potato, guava, chili peppers and cocoa beans. (http://library.thinkquest.org/J0112511/mayalife.htm)  The main idea is a piece of land is burned after it’s cleared from brush (Week 6, Lecture 2). This style of agriculture cultivation increases the growing potential of the soil in that piece of land and crop rotation makes the land ideal for growing new crops for a few years. This scientific agriculture plan saves the land from being overused from planting year after year and replenishes the soil long term. (http://www.manatee.k12.fl.us/sites/elementary/samoset/3boltonmayafluency3.htm)

The Aztecs used the canal technology to their advantage as their civilization was built in a large lake (Week 6, Lecture 2). The canals provided water to their agricultural areas to increase food-growing efforts in the area. The chinampa system allowed for more food sources for the growing population at the time. And as the population grew, more land was conquered and the chinampa system was expanded. (http://www.aztec-history.com/aztec-farming.html)