The Huastec civilization was a pre-Columbian civilization of Mesoamerica, occupying a territory on the Gulf coast of Mexico that included the northern portion of Veracruz state, neighbouring regions of the states of Hidalgo, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas. The Huastec people were an early offshoot of the Maya peoples. Surviving remains from the Huastec civilization include several large archaeological sites, a well-preserved temple, a large amount of stone sculpture. By the Late Postclassic, the Huastecs were producing copper alloys; the Aztec Empire conquered the Huastec region around the 15th century, demanded tribute payments. The Huastec civilization is poorly studied, although there is a large body of stone sculpture, a well-preserved Late Postclassic temple at Castillo de Teayo. In the Late Postclassic, the Huastec region was a centre for metallurgy that included the production of copper alloys; the Huastec region was conquered by the Aztecs in the 15th century, it is that the Huastecs paid tribute to the Aztec Empire.
Notable Huastec archaeological sites include Vista Hermosa, with 120 platform mounds, Platanito with 150 platform mounds, Tamtok, a large Late Postclassic site. The Huastecs were not politically unified, were organised into a number of competing city-states; the Huastec are an isolated offshoot of the Maya. Although the Huastec language is a Mayan language, the Huastec civilization is not considered to be a part of the Maya civilization, they did not employ the Maya writing system, there are no known pre-Spanish Conquest Huastec documents. The Huastecs are considered to have split from the main branch of the Maya around 2000 BC, in the Preclassic period, with this early separation accounting for the differences between Huastec and Maya culture. Several studies have argued a more recent split from the mainstream Maya in the Postclassic, based on archaeological and linguistic evidence. In the latter case, it is proposed that the Huastec migrated from the central Maya region as a result of the Classic Maya collapse.
The Huastecs emphasised the worship of Quetzalcoatl, circular temples to the deity are found throughout the region
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
The Aztec or Mexica calendar is the calendar system, used by the Aztecs as well as other Pre-Columbian peoples of central Mexico. It is one of the Mesoamerican calendars, sharing the basic structure of calendars from throughout ancient Mesoamerica; the calendar consisted of a 365-day calendar cycle called xiuhpōhualli and a 260-day ritual cycle called tōnalpōhualli. These two cycles together formed a 52-year "century," sometimes called the "calendar round"; the xiuhpōhualli is considered to be the agricultural calendar, since it is based on the sun, the tōnalpōhualli is considered to be the sacred calendar... The tōnalpōhualli consists of a cycle of 260 days, each day signified by a combination of a number from 1 to 13, one of the twenty day signs. With each new day, both the number and day sign would be incremented: 1 Crocodile is followed by 2 Wind, 3 House, 4 Lizard, so forth up to 13 Reed, after which the cycle of numbers would restart resulting in 1 Jaguar, 2 Eagle, so on, as the days following 13 Reed.
This cycle of number and day signs would continue until the 20th week, which would start on 1 Rabbit, end on 13 Flower. It would take a full 260 days for the two cycles to realign and repeat the sequence back on 1 Crocodile; the set of day signs used in central Mexico is identical to that used by Mixtecs, to a lesser degree similar to those of other Mesoamerican calendars. Each of the day signs bears an association with one of the four cardinal directions. There is some variation in the way the day signs were carved; those here were taken from the Codex Magliabechiano. Wind and Rain are represented by images of Ehēcatl and Tlāloc respectively. Other marks on the stone showed the current world and the worlds before this one; each world was called a sun, each sun had its own species of inhabitants. The Aztecs believed that they were in the Fifth Sun and like all of the suns before them they would eventually perish due to their own imperfections; every 52 years was marked out because they believed that 52 years was a life cycle and at the end of any given life cycle the gods could take away all that they have and destroy the world.
The 260 days of the sacred calendar were grouped into twenty periods of 13 days each. Scholars refer to these thirteen-day "weeks" as trecenas, using a Spanish term derived from trece "thirteen"; the original Nahuatl term is not known. Each trecena is named according to the calendar date of the first day of the 13 days in that trecena. In addition, each of the twenty trecenas in the 260-day cycle had its own tutelary deity: In ancient times the year was composed of eighteen months, thus it was observed by the native people. Since their months were made of no more than twenty days, these were all the days contained in a month, because they were not guided by the moon but by the days; the days of the year were counted twenty by twenty. Xiuhpōhualli is the Aztec year count. One year consists of 5 nameless. These'extra' days are thought to be unlucky; the year was broken into 18 periods of twenty days each, sometimes compared to the Julian month. The Nahuatl word for moon is metztli but whatever name was used for these periods is unknown.
Through Spanish usage, the 20-day period of the Aztec calendar has become known as a veintena. Each 20-day period started on Cipactli; the eighteen veintena are listed below. The dates are from early eyewitnesses. Bernardino de Sahagún's date precedes the observations of Diego Durán by several decades and is believed to be more recent to the surrender. Both are shown to emphasize the fact that the beginning of the Native new year became non-uniform as a result of an absence of the unifying force of Tenochtitlan after the Mexica defeat; the ancient Mexicans counted their years by means of four signs combined with thirteen numbers, obtaining periods of 52 years, which are known as Xiuhmolpilli, a popular but incorrect name. We can see below the table with the current years: For many centuries scholars had tried to reconstruct the Calendar; the latest and more accepted version was proposed by Professor Rafael Tena of the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, based on the studies of Sahagún and Alfonso Caso of the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
His correlation confirms that the first day of the Mexica year was February 13 of the old Julian calendar or February 23 of the current Gregorian calendar. Using the same count, it has been verified the date of the birth of Huitzilopochtli, the end of the year and a cycle or "Tie of the Years," and the New Fire Ceremony, day-sign 1 Tecpatl of the year 2 Acatl, corresponding to the date February 22. Maya calendar Mesoamerican calendars Aztec New Year Muisca calendar The Aztec Calendar - Ancient History Encyclopedia Detailed description of the temalacatl from Mexico's Museo Nacional de Antropología Aztec Calendar and Percussion Instrument Daily Aztec Calendar
Moctezuma II, variant spellings include Montezuma, Motecuhzoma, Motēuczōmah and referred to in full by early Nahuatl texts as Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, was the ninth tlatoani or ruler of Tenochtitlán, reigning from 1502 to 1520. The first contact between indigenous civilizations of Mesoamerica and Europeans took place during his reign, he was killed during the initial stages of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, when conquistador Hernán Cortés and his men fought to escape from the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. During his reign the Aztec Empire reached its greatest size. Through warfare, Moctezuma expanded the territory as far south as Xoconosco in Chiapas and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, incorporated the Zapotec and Yopi people into the empire, he changed the previous meritocratic system of social hierarchy and widened the divide between pipiltin and macehualtin by prohibiting commoners from working in the royal palaces. The portrayal of Moctezuma in history has been colored by his role as ruler of a defeated nation, many sources describe him as weak-willed and indecisive.
The biases of some historical sources make it difficult to understand his actions during the Spanish invasion. Moctezuma had many wives and concubines but only two women were his Queens – Tlapalizquixochtzin and Teotlalco, he was a King Consort of Ecatepec because Tlapalizquixochtzin was Queen of that city. His many children included Princess Isabel Moctezuma -- and sons Tlaltecatzin; the Nahuatl pronunciation of his name is. It is a compound of a noun meaning "lord" and a verb meaning "to frown in anger", so is interpreted as "he is one who frowns like a lord" or "he, angry in a noble manner."His name glyph, shown in the upper left corner of the image from the Codex Mendoza above, was composed of a diadem on straight hair with an attached earspool, a separate nosepiece and a speech scroll. The Aztecs did not use regnal numbers; the Aztec chronicles called him Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin, while the first was called Motecuhzoma Ilhuicamina or Huehuemotecuhzoma. Xocoyotzin means "honored young one"; the descriptions of the life of Moctezuma are full of contradictions, thus nothing is known for certain about his personality and rule.
The firsthand account of Bernal Díaz del Castillo's True History of the Conquest of New Spain paints a portrait of a noble leader who struggles to maintain order in his kingdom after he is taken prisoner by Hernán Cortés. In his first description of Moctezuma, Díaz del Castillo writes: The Great Montezuma was about forty years old, of good height, well proportioned and slight, not dark, though of the usual Indian complexion, he did not wear his hair long but just over his ears, he had a short black beard, well-shaped and thin. His face was rather long and cheerful, he had fine eyes, in his appearance and manner could express geniality or, when necessary, a serious composure, he was neat and clean, took a bath every afternoon. He had many women as his mistresses, the daughters of chieftains, but two legitimate wives who were Caciques in their own right, only some of his servants knew of it, he was quite free from sodomy. The clothes he wore one day he did not wear again till four days later, he had a guard of two hundred chieftains lodged in rooms beside his own, only some of whom were permitted to speak to him.
When Moctezuma was killed by being stoned to death by his own people "Cortés and all of us captains and soldiers wept for him, there was no one among us that knew him and had dealings with him who did not mourn him as if he were our father, not surprising, since he was so good. It was stated that he had reigned for seventeen years, was the best king they had in Mexico, that he had triumphed in three wars against countries he had subjugated. I have spoken of the sorrow. We blamed the Mercederian friar for not having persuaded him to become a Christian." The Florentine Codex, made by Bernardino de Sahagún, relied on native informants from Tlatelolco, portrays Tlatelolco and Tlatelolcan rulers in a favorable light relative to those of Tenochtitlan. Moctezuma in particular is depicted unfavorably as a weak-willed and indulgent ruler. Historian James Lockhart suggests that the people needed to have a scapegoat for the Aztec defeat, Moctezuma fell into that role. Unlike Bernal Díaz, recording his memories many years after the fact, Cortés wrote his Cartas de relación to justify his actions to the Spanish Crown.
His prose is characterized by simple descriptions and explanations, along with frequent personal addresses to the King. In his Second Letter, Cortés describes his first encounter with Moctezuma thus: Mutezuma came to greet us and with him some two hundred lords, all barefoot and dressed in a different costume, but very rich in their way and more so than the others, they came in two columns, pressed close to the walls of the street, wide and beautiful and so straight that you can see from one end to the other. Mutezuma came down the middle of this street with two chiefs, one on his right hand and the other on his left, and they were all dressed alike except that Mutezuma wore sandals whereas the other
Guatemala the Republic of Guatemala, is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvador to the southeast and the Pacific Ocean to the south. With an estimated population of around 16.6 million, it is the most populated country in Central America. Guatemala is a representative democracy; the territory of modern Guatemala once formed the core of the Maya civilization, which extended across Mesoamerica. Most of the country was conquered by the Spanish in the 16th century, becoming part of the viceroyalty of New Spain. Guatemala attained independence in 1821 as part of the Federal Republic of Central America, which dissolved by 1841. From the mid to late 19th century, Guatemala experienced civil strife. Beginning in the early 20th century, it was ruled by a series of dictators backed by the United Fruit Company and the United States government. In 1944, authoritarian leader Jorge Ubico was overthrown by a pro-democratic military coup, initiating a decade-long revolution that led to sweeping social and economic reforms.
A U. S.-backed military coup in 1954 installed a dictatorship. From 1960 to 1996, Guatemala endured a bloody civil war fought between the US-backed government and leftist rebels, including genocidal massacres of the Maya population perpetrated by the military. Since a United Nations-negotiated peace accord, Guatemala has witnessed both economic growth and successful democratic elections, though it continues to struggle with high rates of poverty, drug trade, instability; as of 2014, Guatemala ranks 31st of 33 Latin American and Caribbean countries in terms of the Human Development Index. Guatemala's abundance of biologically significant and unique ecosystems includes a large number of endemic species and contributes to Mesoamerica's designation as a biodiversity hotspot; the name "Guatemala" comes from the Nahuatl word Cuauhtēmallān, or "place of many trees", a derivative of the K'iche' Mayan word for "many trees" or more for the Cuate/Cuatli tree Eysenhardtia. This was the name the Tlaxcaltecan soldiers who accompanied Pedro de Alvarado during the Spanish Conquest gave to this territory.
The first evidence of human habitation in Guatemala dates back to 12,000 BC. Evidence, such as obsidian arrowheads found in various parts of the country, suggests a human presence as early as 18,000 BC. There is archaeological proof. Pollen samples from Petén and the Pacific coast indicate that maize cultivation had developed by 3500 BC. Sites dating back to 6500 BC have been found in the Quiché region in the Highlands, Sipacate and Escuintla on the central Pacific coast. Archaeologists divide the pre-Columbian history of Mesoamerica into the Preclassic period, the Classic period, the Postclassic period; until the Preclassic was regarded as a formative period, with small villages of farmers who lived in huts, few permanent buildings. However, this notion has been challenged by recent discoveries of monumental architecture from that period, such as an altar in La Blanca, San Marcos, from 1000 BC; the Classic period of Mesoamerican civilization corresponds to the height of the Maya civilization, is represented by countless sites throughout Guatemala, although the largest concentration is in Petén.
This period is characterized by urbanisation, the emergence of independent city-states, contact with other Mesoamerican cultures. This lasted until 900 AD, when the Classic Maya civilization collapsed; the Maya abandoned many of the cities of the central lowlands or were killed off by a drought-induced famine. The cause of the collapse is debated, but the drought theory is gaining currency, supported by evidence such as lakebeds, ancient pollen, others. A series of prolonged droughts, among other reasons such as overpopulation, in what is otherwise a seasonal desert is thought to have decimated the Maya, who relied on regular rainfall; the Post-Classic period is represented by regional kingdoms, such as the Itza, Kowoj and Kejache in Petén, the Mam, Ki'che', Chajoma, Tz'utujil, Poqomchi', Q'eqchi' and Ch'orti' in the highlands. Their cities preserved many aspects of Maya culture; the Maya civilization shares many features with other Mesoamerican civilizations due to the high degree of interaction and cultural diffusion that characterized the region.
Advances such as writing and the calendar did not originate with the Maya. Maya influence can be detected from Honduras, Northern El Salvador to as far north as central Mexico, more than 1,000 km from the Maya area. Many outside influences are found in Maya art and architecture, which are thought to be the result of trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest. After they arrived in the New World, the Spanish started several expeditions to Guatemala, beginning in 1519. Before long, Spanish contact resulted in an epidemic. Hernán Cortés, who had led the Spanish conquest of Mexico, granted a permit to Captains Gonzalo de Alvarado and his brother, Pedro de Alvarado, to conquer this land. Alvarado at first allied himself with the Kaqchikel nation to fight against their traditional rivals the K'iche' nation
Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural area in North America. It extends from central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and northern Costa Rica, within this region pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In the 16th century, European diseases like smallpox and measles caused the deaths of upwards of 90% of the indigenous people, it is one of five areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico in present-day Peru, in the northern coastal region. As a cultural area, Mesoamerica is defined by a mosaic of cultural traits developed and shared by its indigenous cultures. Beginning as early as 7000 BCE, the domestication of cacao, beans, avocado, vanilla and chili, as well as the turkey and dog, caused a transition from paleo-Indian hunter-gatherer tribal grouping to the organization of sedentary agricultural villages. In the subsequent Formative period and cultural traits such as a complex mythological and religious tradition, a vigesimal numeric system, a complex calendric system, a tradition of ball playing, a distinct architectural style, were diffused through the area.
In this period, villages began to become stratified and develop into chiefdoms with the development of large ceremonial centers, interconnected by a network of trade routes for the exchange of luxury goods, such as obsidian, cacao, Spondylus shells and ceramics. While Mesoamerican civilization did know of the wheel and basic metallurgy, neither of these technologies became culturally important. Among the earliest complex civilizations was the Olmec culture, which inhabited the Gulf Coast of Mexico and extended inland and southwards across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Frequent contact and cultural interchange between the early Olmec and other cultures in Chiapas and Oaxaca laid the basis for the Mesoamerican cultural area. All this was facilitated by considerable regional communications in ancient Mesoamerica along the Pacific coast; this formative period saw the spread of distinct religious and symbolic traditions, as well as artistic and architectural complexes. In the subsequent Preclassic period, complex urban polities began to develop among the Maya, with the rise of centers such as El Mirador and Tikal, the Zapotec at Monte Albán.
During this period, the first true Mesoamerican writing systems were developed in the Epi-Olmec and the Zapotec cultures, the Mesoamerican writing tradition reached its height in the Classic Maya hieroglyphic script. Mesoamerica is one of only three regions of the world where writing is known to have independently developed. In Central Mexico, the height of the Classic period saw the ascendancy of the city of Teotihuacan, which formed a military and commercial empire whose political influence stretched south into the Maya area and northward. Upon the collapse of Teotihuacán around 600 AD, competition between several important political centers in central Mexico, such as Xochicalco and Cholula, ensued. At this time during the Epi-Classic period, the Nahua peoples began moving south into Mesoamerica from the North, became politically and culturally dominant in central Mexico, as they displaced speakers of Oto-Manguean languages. During the early post-Classic period, Central Mexico was dominated by the Toltec culture, Oaxaca by the Mixtec, the lowland Maya area had important centers at Chichén Itzá and Mayapán.
Towards the end of the post-Classic period, the Aztecs of Central Mexico built a tributary empire covering most of central Mesoamerica. The distinct Mesoamerican cultural tradition ended with the Spanish conquest in the 16th century. Over the next centuries, Mesoamerican indigenous cultures were subjected to Spanish colonial rule. Aspects of the Mesoamerican cultural heritage still survive among the indigenous peoples who inhabit Mesoamerica, many of whom continue to speak their ancestral languages, maintain many practices harking back to their Mesoamerican roots; the term Mesoamerica means "middle America" in Greek. Middle America refers to a larger area in the Americas, but it has previously been used more narrowly to refer to Mesoamerica. An example is the title of the 16 volumes of The Handbook of Middle American Indians. "Mesoamerica" is broadly defined as the area, home to the Mesoamerican civilization, which comprises a group of peoples with close cultural and historical ties. The exact geographic extent of Mesoamerica has varied through time, as the civilization extended North and South from its heartland in southern Mexico.
The term was first used by the German ethnologist Paul Kirchhoff, who noted that similarities existed among the various pre-Columbian cultures within the region that included southern Mexico, Belize, El Salvador, western Honduras, the Pacific lowlands of Nicaragua and northwestern Costa Rica. In the tradition of cultural history, the prevalent archaeological theory of the early to middle 20th century, Kirchhoff defined this zone as a cultural area based on a suite of interrelated cultural similarities brought about by millennia of inter- and intra-regional interaction. Mesoamerica is recognized as a near-prototypical cultural area, the term is now integrated in the standard terminology of pre-Columbian anthropological studies. Conversely, the sister terms Aridoamerica and Oasisamerica, which refer to northern Mexico and the western United States have not entered into widespread usage; some of the significant cultural traits defining the Mesoamerican cultural tradition are: sedentism based on maize agricultu
The great-tailed grackle or Mexican grackle is a medium-sized social passerine bird native to North and South America. A member of the family Icteridae, it is one of ten extant species of grackle and is related to the boat-tailed grackle and the slender-billed grackle, it is sometimes erroneously referred to as a "blackbird" in the southern United States, although blackbirds belong to other genera such as Euphagus. It is called cuervo in areas of Mexico owing to its glossy black plumage, although it is not a member of the genus Corvus, nor of the family Corvidae. Great-tailed grackles are medium-sized birds with males weighing 203 g -265 g and females between 115 g -142 g, both sexes have long tails. Males are iridescent black with a purple-blue sheen on the feathers of the head and upper body, while females are brown with darker wings and tail. Adults of both sexes have bright yellow eyes, while juveniles of both sexes have brown eyes and brown plumage like females. Great-tailed grackles the adult males, have a keel-shaped tail that they can fold vertically by aligning the two halves.
The great-tailed grackle and boat-tailed grackle were considered the same species until genetic analyses distinguished them as two separate species. Great-tailed grackles originated from the tropical lowlands of Central and South America, but historical evidence from Bernardino de Sahagún shows that the Aztecs, during the time of the emperor Ahuitzotl, introduced the great-tailed grackle from their homeland in the Mexican Gulf Coast to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan in the highland Valley of Mexico, most to use their iridescent feathers for decoration. In more recent times, great-tailed grackles expanded their breeding range by over 5500% by moving north into North America between 1880 and 2000, following urban and agricultural corridors, their current range stretches from northwest Venezuela and western Colombia and Ecuador in the south to Minnesota in the north, to Oregon and California in the west, to Florida in the east, with vagrants occurring as far north as southern Canada. Their habitat for foraging is on the ground in clear areas such as pastures and mangroves.
Great-tailed grackles are noted for their diverse foraging habits. They extract larvae and insects from grassy areas, they turn over objects to search for food underneath, including crustaceans and worms, they hunt tadpoles and fish by wading into shallow water, although they do not swim, they catch fish by flying close to the water's surface, are reported to dive a few inches into the water to retrieve a fish. They are known to pick dead insects off the license plates of parked cars, kill barn swallows while flying. Great-tailed grackles have an unusually large repertoire of vocalizations. Males use a wider variety of vocalization types, while females engage in "chatter", however there is a report of a female performing the "territorial song"; because of their loud vocalizations, great-tailed grackles are considered a pest species by some. They communally roost in trees or the reeds of wetlands at night and, during the breeding season, they nest in territories using three different mating strategies: 1) territorial males defend their territory on which many females place their nests and raise young, 2) residential males live in the larger colony but do not defend a territory or have mates, 3) transient males stay for a few days before leaving the colony to move onto another colony.
Resident and transient males sire a small number of offspring through extra pair copulations with females on territories. Territorial males are heavier and have longer tails than non-territorial males, both of these characteristics are associated with having more offspring. Grackles can solve Aesop's Fable tests - a problem involving a tube, filled with water and a floating out of reach piece of food; the problem is solved by dropping objects into the water to raise the level and bring the food within reach. They are behaviorally flexible, changing their preferences in response to changes in cognitive tasks. In Mexico, where it is known as the chanate or zanate, there is a legend. "In the creation, the Zanate having no voice, stole its seven distinct songs from the wise and knowing sea turtle. You can now hear the Zanate's vocals as the Seven Passions of life." Mexican artisans have created icons in clay, sometimes as whistles that portray the sea turtle with the zanate perched on its back. In Colombia, the species is called Maria mulata, is the official bird of Cartagena de Indias.
Cartagena artist, Enrique Grau, had an affinity for these birds and, because of this inspiration, many Colombian monuments and artistic works were created in honor of the bird's intelligence, cheerfulness, collaborative tendencies, diligence and ability to take advantage of adversity. In Austin, Texas, it is found congregating near the city's numerous food trucks. Johnson, K. and B. D. Peer. 2001. Great-tailed Grackle. In The Birds of North America, No. 576. The Birds of North America, Inc. Philadelphia, PA. "Quiscalus mexicanus". Avibase. Great-tailed grackle - Quiscalus mexicanus - USGS Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter Great-tailed grackle - Animal