Ancient America

A:

Christopher Columbus was trying to go to east Asia. He wanted to reach the island of Japan, and, from there, go to the Spice Islands and China to trade, spread Christianity and explore Asia in the name of Spain.

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  • What are the Mayas, Incas and Aztecs?

    Q: What are the Mayas, Incas and Aztecs?

    A: The Mayas, Incas and Aztecs were three groups of people in Central and South America. The Aztecs and the Mayas lived in what is now southern and central Mexico, and the Incas lived around the Andes on South America's Pacific Coast.
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  • Who built Machu Picchu?

    Q: Who built Machu Picchu?

    A: Machu Picchu, sometimes called the lost city of the Incas, was built by the Incas, possibly by the ruler Pachacutec Inca Yupanqui, around the middle of the 15th century. It may have been either a religious site or a royal retreat for the Inca emperor.
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  • What were three major achievements of the Mayan civilization?

    Q: What were three major achievements of the Mayan civilization?

    A: Three major achievements of the Mayan civilization were in architecture, astronomy and math. The Maya people were great builders who constructed roads, great cities and temples. Mayan cities had magnificent palaces, monuments with intricate designs and temple pyramids that are still evident today.
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  • What did the Mayans do for entertainment?

    Q: What did the Mayans do for entertainment?

    A: The main form of entertainment for the Mayans was a type of ball game played in special courts constructed in an I-shape. Two teams opposed each other in trying to get a rubber ball through stone hoops attached to the sides of the courts or at opposite ends of the court. The entire community became involved as players, spectators, sponsors and gamblers, and priests performed ceremonies before and after.
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  • What tools and weapons did the Southwest Indians use?

    Q: What tools and weapons did the Southwest Indians use?

    A: The main tools and weapons used by the Southwest Indians included spears and bows and arrows for hunting, spindles and looms for weaving, wooden hoes and rakes for farming and pump drills for digging holes in beads and shells. The term Southwest Indians often refers to the Pueblo Indians.
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  • How did the Mayans make their shelter?

    Q: How did the Mayans make their shelter?

    A: The Mayans made their shelter using stone or wood with thatched roofs with no windows or chimneys. The huts did not have wooden doors. Instead, they hung cloth screens on the doorways.
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  • What caused the fall of the Aztec Empire?

    Q: What caused the fall of the Aztec Empire?

    A: The fall of the Aztec Empire came about due to the Spanish conquest of Central America. After some brief and violent contact in 1517, a Spanish force under Hernan Cortes arrived in 1519 to completely subjugate the Aztecs. After war and disease swept the empire, it fell in 1521.
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  • How was the government set up in the Aztec empire?

    Q: How was the government set up in the Aztec empire?

    A: In the Aztec empire, much of the governmental power was held by city councils, with the empire being ruled by the largest of the city councils in Tenochtitlan. The city councils were comprised of members of the calpulli, which were local, working-class cooperatives.
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  • Where was Christopher Columbus trying to go?

    Q: Where was Christopher Columbus trying to go?

    A: Christopher Columbus was trying to go to east Asia. He wanted to reach the island of Japan, and, from there, go to the Spice Islands and China to trade, spread Christianity and explore Asia in the name of Spain.
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  • What were some Mayan achievements?

    Q: What were some Mayan achievements?

    A: The building of temples and great cities without modern machinery, using astronomy to predict astrological cycles and plant crops and using their language to communicate and measure time are some of the Mayans most notable achievements. During a 600-year period of time, which was from 300 A.D. until 900 A.D., the Mayans made many great achievements in science, communications, engineering and agriculture.
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  • Why did the Mayans build the Temple of Inscriptions?

    Q: Why did the Mayans build the Temple of Inscriptions?

    A: The Mayans built the Temple of Inscriptions as a tomb for K'inich Janaab' Pakal, who ruled Palenque for around 70 years in the 7th century. Construction on the temple began around A.D. 675, in the last decade of Pakal's reign, and ended shortly after he died in 683.
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  • What jobs did the Aztecs do?

    Q: What jobs did the Aztecs do?

    A: There were a number of jobs available in Aztec society, and people had access to certain types of work depending on the social group they were born into. Farm work formed the foundation of the Aztec economy, but there were also diverse middle class occupations like merchant, artisan and soldier.
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  • What did the Apache do for fun?

    Q: What did the Apache do for fun?

    A: Although much of the Apache lifestyle was centered around survival, there were a few games and pastimes they took part in. Games called "toe toss stick" and "foot toss ball" were played among both adults and children.
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  • Where did the Mayans live?

    Q: Where did the Mayans live?

    A: The Mayans lived in the Yucatan, which is now Mexico. Evidence exists indicating that they also lived in Guatemala, El Salvador, western Honduras and Belize. Mayans existed between the years of 2600 B.C. and 1800 B.C. However, the Mayan empire was in full force between 250 A.D. and 900 A.D.
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  • What was the Inca Empire devastated by?

    Q: What was the Inca Empire devastated by?

    A: A smallpox epidemic swept through the Inca Empire, weakening it just in time for the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro and his men and allies to conquer it. There is also strong evidence that the empire was already crumbling, its infrastructure damaged by overexpansion and its government by strife.
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  • Where did the mound builders live?

    Q: Where did the mound builders live?

    A: Native American mound builders lived primarily in the United States Midwest. Mound ceremonial sites have been found primarily in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan. Most of the ceremonial mound sites were built between 2,200 and 1,600 years ago.
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  • Q: What achievements are attributed to the Aztec civilization?

    A: The Aztec civilization introduced many of its achievements to the modern world, such as universal education, the sport of soccer, hot chocolate, chewing gum and red dye. The Aztecs were a nomadic tribe that built a powerful empire in what is now present-day Mexico City starting in the 13th century, until its conquest by Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes in 1521.
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  • What are some Mayan history facts?

    Q: What are some Mayan history facts?

    A: The Maya civilization reached its peak around the sixth century in the area of modern Guatemala, Belize and southeastern Mexico. The Mayans were a highly religious people and many of the stone buildings in Maya cities had a religious significance.
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  • Q: What types of weapons were used in Mayan warfare?

    A: The types of weapons the Mayans used in warfare included long-distance weapons, close-in fighting armaments, defensive weapons and some unusual items, such as hornets and wasps. Long-distance weapons included bows and arrows, slings, blowguns and throwing spears. They adopted a spear thrower, called an atlatl, around the 5th century, and it became the weapon of choice. The atlatl increased the range, accuracy and force of the spear and proved effective against Spanish armor.
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  • Where was the Incan civilization located?

    Q: Where was the Incan civilization located?

    A: The Inca Empire was located on the western coast of South America. It extended from what is the southern border of Columbia as of 2014 down to the south of Chile, and it covered a territory of nearly 300,000 square miles.
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  • How did the Aztecs adapt to their environment?

    Q: How did the Aztecs adapt to their environment?

    A: The Aztecs adapted to their surrounding environment in several ways, including making floating gardens to enable agricultural production on water surfaces, building canoes and creating dikes. The Aztecs lived in a swampy and moist environment in the vicinity of Lake Texcoco, which lies in the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs encountered hurdles specific to their environment, such as frequent floods, which necessitated certain adaptations to allow the Aztecs to survive and even thrive.
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