Many thousands of years before Europeans landed on the American continent there were ancient Indian Empires built throughout Central and South America. Historians have gathered data from at least 9000 years ago of small tribes of hunter-gatherers that lived in much of what we now call Mexico. By around 2000 BC they had already begun agricultural farming of beans, squash, corn and many other types of vegetables. Some of the ancient cultures built massive temples worshiping the Sun God that rose over 200 feet above the ground, equal to many pyramids of Egypt. By the time the Spanish conquerors first landed in Central and South America the huge empires of the Aztecs and Incas were highly dominate in most Central and South America.
These Indian Empires Had Advanced Astronomy, Math, And Other Achievements
It’s easy to look back on these civilizations and think that they had few modern scientific achievements. However, the Mayans had a calendar, mathematics, various team sports, a study of the stars, and hieroglyphic writings.
The Incas built a huge temple of the sun, had a highly efficient central government system, built highways between their cities and had the ancient city of Machu Picchu. While the Aztecs had already made advances in surgical procedures, had a nearly modern monetary system and built the great temple of Tenochtitlan.
The Ancient Mayan Civilization Is Mostly Buried In The Dense Rainforests
Remnants of the Mayan civilization are still being discovered hidden under many layers of dense, fast-growing rainforest jungle. Only through advanced satellite and laser technology are scientists now discovering some of the many cities they had built throughout Central America.
One interesting part of their culture is that they predicted environmental problems, similar to global warming, and were already planning on taking steps to care for the environment in which they lived. Their predictions included serious problems that could happen to the rainforests if it wasn’t cared for in the proper manner.
The Mayan pyramids were built very similar to the pyramids of Egypt, however, the major difference was that the Mayan pyramids were used as altars to worship their gods, while the Egyptian pyramids were typically used as tools for their fallen Pharaohs after death.
Mayan had a very complex written language that, unfortunately, was mostly destroyed by the Spanish conquistadors because they were unable to understand their meanings and they believed they were satanic in nature. The few writings that have survived are being studied and may soon be translated into modern languages.
The Mayans cultivated corn, which they planted and harvested for thousands of years, and many of those techniques are still in use today by modern farmers throughout the world. Due to their tropical climate, the Mayans were able to plant corn year-round and had a constant food supply which was unusual in many ancient cultures.
The Aztec Culture Was Powerful And Nearly As Advanced As The Roman Empire
While the Aztecs weren’t as advanced as the Romans in science and technology, they certainly were equal to them in other ways that were more important in their geographic location and time period. Their study of Astronomy was crucial to their calendar which helped them harvest their crops at the most optimum times throughout the year.
They also had networks of canals that enabled them to provide water for their agricultural needs to provide year round food for their people. They even were able to build island farms in the nearby rivers that had rich black soil and produced an abundance of food daily. By terracing the soil on mountainsides, they were able to control erosion and capture rainfall to produce more crops.
The Aztec’s mathematical calculations were used to build roads, canals, calendars, and predict seasons and the weather to help their civilization progress. They also possessed the ability to reset broken bones, consult with counselors for psychological problems, and had many medicinal herbs, many of which are still in use today.
The Inca Civilization Had Huge Quantities Of Gold
One of the greatest of the ancient Indian Empires were the Incas. They were more concentrated in the South American region near Peru and had large amounts of gold that was used everywhere in their culture.
They had a sophisticated barter system that allowed everyone to sell what they had made and trade that to another person for what they needed. All of their citizens were required to work in order to eat and be clothed, but they could trade their time or products into the system and get luxury goods or services back out.
In their culture, gold was thought to be the sweat from the Sun God and silver was the tears of the Moon God . To be strong and powerful a person needed to accumulate lots of gold, which could be traded for almost anything.
Unfortunately, for most of the ancient Indian Empires of the Americas, they were highly susceptible to European diseases like smallpox, plague, and even influenza. In just a few years diseases spread through their cultures and killed up to 90% of all the inhabitants leaving many of their cities abandoned like ghost towns.