From Migration to Civilization

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Chapter 14: The Art of the Americas Prior to 1300

“From Migration to Civilization”

Mesoamerica 2000 BCE to 1250 CE

South America 3000 BCE to 800 CE

North America 500 BCE to 1100 CE


Adobe- The clay used to make a kind of sun-dried mud brick of the same name; a building made of such brick

Apotropaic- Capable of warding off evil

Backstrap loom- A simple loom used by Andean weavers and others since ancient times

Celt- In pre-Columbian Mexico, Olmec ax-shaped form made of polished jade; generally a prehistoric metal or stone implement shaped like a chisel or ax head.

Chicha- Fermented maize beer consumed on numerous ceremonial and non-ceremonial occasions in the Andes.

Effigy mounds- Ceremonial mounds built in the shape of animals or birds by pre-Columbian Native American cultures.

Embroidery- The technique of sewing threads onto a finished ground to form contrasting designs.

Fret or Meander- An ornament, usually in bands but also covering broad surfaces, consisting of interlocking geometric motifs. An ornamental pattern of contiguous straight lines joined usually at right angles.

Gorget- Throat armor or a neck pendant.

Guilloche- An architectural ornament that imitates braided ribbon or that consists of interlaced, curving bands.

Kiva- large circular underground structure that is the spiritual & ceremonial center of Pueblo Indian life.

Mesoamerica- The region that comprises Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and the Pacific coast of El Salvador.

Pre-Columbian (adj.)- The cultures that flourished in the Western Hemisphere before European contact and conquest.

Pueblo- Communal multistoried dwellings made of stone or adobe brick by the Native Americans of the Southwest; with cap. also used to reference various groups that occupied such dwellings.

Roof comb- The elaborately sculpted vertical projection surmounting a Maya temple pyramid.

Works of Art

- Colossal Head, Mexico, 900-400BCE - Drinker, Mexico, 200BCE- 500CE

**Teotihuacan, Mexico, 50CE-750CE - Stele D portraying the ruler 18-Rabbit, Maya, 736CE

- Temple I (Temple of the Giant Jaguar), Maya, 732C **Shield Jaguar and Lady Xoc, Maya, 725CE

- The Caracol and the Castillo, Maya, 800-900 **Colossal Atlantids, Mexico, 900-1180

- Pendant, Colombia, 1000 - Earth drawings (general)

- Ear Ornament, Peru, 300CE **Gateway of the Sun, Bolivia, 375-700CE

**Lima Tapestry, Peru, 500-800CE **Burial Mask, Alaska, 1000CE

**Serpent Mound, Ohio, 1070 - Incised shell gorget, Mississippi, 1250-1300

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