It is one of six areas in the world where ancient civilization arose independently, and the second in the Americas along with Norte Chico in present-day northern coastal Peru. As a cultural area, Mesoamerica is defined by a mosaic of cultural traits developed and shared by its indigenous cultures, 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, 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 and 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 such as El Mirador and Tikal.
Mesoamerica is one of three regions of the world where writing is known to have independently developed. Upon the collapse of Teotihuacán around AD600, competition between several important political centers in central Mexico, such as Xochicalco and Cholula, ensued. During the early period, Central Mexico was dominated by the Toltec culture, Oaxaca by the Mixtec. Towards the end of the 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 gradually subjected to Spanish colonial rule. The exact geographic extent of Mesoamerica has varied through time, as the civilization extended North and South from its heartland in southern Mexico, Mesoamerica is recognized as a near-prototypical cultural area, and the term is now fully integrated in the standard terminology of pre-Columbian anthropological studies.
Conversely, the sister terms Aridoamerica and Oasisamerica, which refer to northern Mexico, 10° and 22° northern latitude, Mesoamerica possesses a complex combination of ecological systems, topographic zones, and environmental contexts. A main distinction groups these different niches into two categories, the lowlands and the altiplanos, or highlands. In the low-lying regions, sub-tropical and tropical climates are most common, as is true for most of the coastline along the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. The highlands show much more diversity, ranging from dry tropical to cold mountainous climates. The rainfall varies from the dry Oaxaca and north Yucatan to the humid southern Pacific, several distinct sub-regions within Mesoamerica are defined by a convergence of geographic and cultural attributes. These sub-regions are more conceptual than culturally meaningful, and the demarcation of their limits is not rigid, the Maya area, for example, can be divided into two general groups, the lowlands and highlands.
The lowlands are further divided into the southern and northern Maya lowlands, the southern Maya lowlands are generally regarded as encompassing northern Guatemala, southern Campeche and Quintana Roo in Mexico, and Belize
Human sacrifice in Maya culture
During the pre-Columbian era, human sacrifice in Maya culture was the ritual offering of nourishment to the gods. Blood was viewed as a potent source of nourishment for the Maya deities, by extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering of blood to the gods, and the most important Maya rituals culminated in human sacrifice. Generally only high status prisoners of war were sacrificed, with lower status captives being used for labour, human sacrifice among the Maya is evident from at least the Classic period right through to the final stages of the Spanish conquest in the 17th century. A number of methods were employed by the Maya, the most common being decapitation, the decapitation of an enemy king may have been performed as part of a ritual ballgame reenacting the victory of the Maya Hero Twins over the gods of the underworld. Sacrifice by decapitation is depicted in Classic period Maya art, and sometimes took place after the victim was tortured, being beaten, scalped.
Sacrifice by decapitation is depicted on reliefs at Chichen Itza in two of the ballcourts, the Hero Twins myth recounted in the Popol Vuh relates how one of each pair of twins was decapitated by their ballgame opponents. The sacrifice was stripped and painted blue, which was the colour representing sacrifice, the nacom passed the heart to the officiating priest, or chilan, who smeared blood upon the image of the temples deity. The chilan would remove his ritual attire and dress himself in the skin of the victim before performing a ritual dance that symbolised the rebirth of life. If it was a courageous warrior who had been sacrificed the corpse would be cut into portions. The hands and feet were given to the chilan who, if they had belonged to a war captive, archaeological investigations indicate that heart sacrifice was practised as early as the Classic period. Some rituals involved the sacrifice being killed with bow and arrows, the sacrificial victim was stripped and painted blue and made to wear a peaked cap, in a similar manner to the preparation for heart sacrifice.
The victim was bound to a stake during a ritual dance, a white symbol was painted over the victims heart, which served as a target for the archers. The dancers passed in front of the victim, shooting arrows in turn at the target until the whole chest was filled with arrows. Sacrifice with bow and arrow is recorded as far back as the Classic Period, the first, called Little Arrow, is a song calling upon the sacrifice to be brave and take comfort. The archer is instructed not to shoot until the second circuit, on the third circuit, whilst still dancing, the archer is instructed to shoot twice. Late Classic graffiti from a structure buried under Group G in Tikal depicts a bound to a stake with his hands tied behind his head. At the Classic period city of Palenque, a woman in her twenties was entombed alive to accompany a deceased nobleman as a funerary offering, at the Sacred Cenote in Chichen Itza, humans were hurled into the cenote during times of drought, famine or disease. The sides of the cenote are sheer, human sacrifice was practiced right up until the Spanish conquest of Yucatán, well after the decline of the city
For the region on Io see Chaac-Camaxtli Region Chaac is the name of the Maya rain deity. With his lightning axe, Chaac strikes the clouds and produces thunder, Chaac corresponds to Tlaloc among the Aztecs. Like other Maya gods, Chaac is both one and manifold, four Chaacs are based in the cardinal directions and wear the directional colors. In 16th-century Yucatán, the directional Chaac of the east was called Chac Xib Chaac Red Man Chaac, contemporary Yucatec Maya farmers distinguish many more aspects of the rain and the clouds and personify them as different, hierarchically-ordered rain deities. The Chorti Maya have preserved important folklore regarding the process of rain-making, the rain deities had their human counterparts. According to a Late-Postclassic Yucatec tradition, Chac Xib Chaac was the title of a king of Chichen Itza, among the rituals for the rain deities, the Yucatec Cha-Chaac ceremony for asking for rain is a ceremonial banquet for the rain deities. It includes four boys acting and chanting as frogs, asking for rain and crops was the purpose of 16th-century rituals at the karstic wells, or cenotes, of Yucatán.
Young men and women were lowered into these wells and left to drown there, they were thrown into the wells to be drawn up again, and give oracles. The rain deity is a patron of agriculture, a well-known myth in which the Chaacs have an important role to play is about the opening of the mountain in which the maize was hidden. In Tzotzil mythology, the deity figures as the father of nubile women representing maize. In some versions of the Qeqchi myth of Sun and Moon, Chocl commits adultery with his brothers wife and is duly punished, his tears of regret give origin to the rain. Versions of this show the rain deity Chac in his war-like fury, pursuing the fleeing Sun and Moon. Chaac is usually depicted with a body showing reptilian or amphibian scales, and with a non-human head evincing fangs. In the Classic style, a shell serves as his ear ornament and he often carries shield and lightning-axe, the axe being personified by a closely related deity, god K, called Bolon Dzacab in Yucatec. The Classic Chaac sometimes shows features of the Central Mexican precursor of Tlaloc, a large part of the most important Maya book, the Dresden Codex, is dedicated to the Chaacs, their locations, and activities.
It illustrates the relationship existing between the Chaacs, the Bacabs, and the aged goddess, Ixchel. The main source on the 16th-century Yucatec Maya, Bishop Diego de Landa, combines the four Chaacs with the four Bacabs, the Bacabs were aged deities governing the subterranean sphere and its water supplies. In the Classic period, the king often impersonated the rain deity while the pictogram of the deity can accompany the kings other names
Belize, formerly British Honduras, is an independent country on the eastern coast of Central America. Belize is bordered on the north by Mexico, on the south and west by Guatemala and its mainland is about 290 km long and 110 km wide. Belize has an area of 22,800 square kilometres and a population of 368,310 and it has the lowest population density in Central America. The countrys population growth rate of 1. 87% per year is the second highest in the region, Belizes abundance of terrestrial and marine species and its diversity of ecosystems gives it a key place in the globally significant Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. Belize has a society, composed of many cultures and languages that reflect its rich history. English is the language of Belize, with Belizean Kriol being the unofficial language. Over half the population is multilingual, with Spanish being the second most common spoken language, Belize is considered a Central American and Caribbean nation with strong ties to both the Latin American and Caribbean regions.
Belize is a Commonwealth realm, with Queen Elizabeth II as its monarch, Belize is known for its September Celebrations, its extensive coral reefs, and punta music. The origin of the name Belize remains unclear, the earliest known record of the name appears in the journal of the Dominican priest Fray José Delgado, dating to 1677. Delgado recorded the names of three rivers that he crossed while travelling north along the Caribbean coast, Rio Soyte, Rio Xibum. The names of these waterways, which correspond to the Sittee River, Sibun River and it is likely that Delgados Balis was actually the Mayan word belix, meaning muddy-watered. Others have suggested that the name derives from a Spanish pronunciation of the name of the Scottish buccaneer Peter Wallace, there is no proof that Wallace settled in this area and some scholars have characterized this claim as a myth. Writers and historians have suggested other possible etymologies, including postulated French. Many aspects of this culture persist in the area despite nearly 500 years of European domination, prior to about 2500 BC, some hunting and foraging bands settled in small farming villages, they domesticated crops such as corn, beans and chili peppers.
A profusion of languages and subcultures developed within the Maya core culture, between about 2500 BC and 250 AD, the basic institutions of Maya civilisation emerged. The peak of this occurred during the classic period, which began about 250 AD. The Maya civilisation spread across what is now Belize around 1500 BC, the recorded history of the middle and southern regions is dominated by Caracol, an urban political centre that may have supported over 140,000 people. North of the Maya Mountains, the most important political centre was Lamanai, in the late Classic Era of Maya civilisation, as many as 1 million people may have lived in the area that is now Belize
California State University
The California State University is a public university system in California. Composed of 23 campuses and eight off-campus centers enrolling 460,200 students with 24,405 faculty and 23,012 staff, CSU is the largest four-year public university system in the United States. It is one of three higher education systems in the state, with the other two being the University of California system and the California Community Colleges System. The CSU System is incorporated as The Trustees of the California State University, the California State University system headquarters are at 401 Golden Shore in Long Beach, California. The California State University was created in 1960 under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, with nearly 100,000 graduates annually, the CSU is the countrys greatest producer of bachelors degrees. The university system collectively sustains more than 150,000 jobs within the state, about half of the bachelors degrees, one-third of the masters degrees, and nearly two percent of the doctoral degrees awarded annually in California are from the CSU.
Furthermore, the CSU is one of the top U. S. producers of graduates who move on to earn their Ph. D. degrees in a related field. The CSU has a total of 17 AACSB accredited graduate business schools which is twice as many as any other collegiate system. Since 1961, nearly three million alumni have received their bachelors, masters, or doctoral degrees from the CSU system, CSU offers more than 1,800 degree programs in some 240 subject areas. In Fall of 2015,9,282 of CSUs 24,405 faculty were tenured or on the tenure track. The school was taken over by the state in 1862 and moved to San Jose and renamed the California State Normal School, a southern branch of the California State Normal School was created in Los Angeles in 1882. In 1887, the California State Legislature dropped the word California from the name of the San Jose and Los Angeles schools, San Diego, and other schools became part of the State Normal School system. In 1919, the State Normal School at Los Angeles became the Southern Branch of the University of California, in 1927, in May 1921, the legislature enacted a comprehensive reform package for the states educational system, which went into effect that July.
This meant that they were to be managed from Sacramento by the deputy director of the division, who in turn was under the state Superintendent of Education, by this time it was already commonplace to refer to most of the campuses with their city names plus the word state. The resulting administrative situation from 1921 to 1960 was quite complicated, at least one president would depart his state college because of his express frustration over that issue. During the 1920s and 1930s, the State Teachers Colleges started to transition from normal schools into teachers colleges whose graduates would be qualified to teach all K–12 grades. A leading proponent of this idea was Charles McLane, the first president of Fresno State, in 1932, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was asked by the state legislature and governor to perform a study of California higher education. This recommendation spectacularly backfired when the faculties and administrations of the State Teachers Colleges rallied to protect their independence from the Regents
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian peoples of the Americas and their descendants. The term Amerindian is used in Quebec, the Guianas, Indigenous peoples of the United States are commonly known as Native Americans or American Indians, and Alaska Natives. Application of the term Indian originated with Christopher Columbus, who, in his search for Asia, the Americas came to be known as the West Indies, a name still used to refer to the islands of the Caribbean Sea. This led to the blanket term Indies and Indians for the indigenous inhabitants, although some indigenous peoples of the Americas were traditionally hunter-gatherers—and many, especially in the Amazon basin, still are—many groups practiced aquaculture and agriculture. The impact of their agricultural endowment to the world is a testament to their time, although some societies depended heavily on agriculture, others practiced a mix of farming and gathering. In some regions the indigenous peoples created monumental architecture, large-scale organized cities, chiefdoms and empires.
Many parts of the Americas are still populated by peoples, some countries have sizable populations, especially Belize, Chile, Greenland, Mexico. At least a different indigenous languages are spoken in the Americas. Some, such as the Quechuan languages, Guaraní, Mayan languages, many maintain aspects of indigenous cultural practices to varying degrees, including religion, social organization, and subsistence practices. Like most cultures, over time, cultures specific to many indigenous peoples have evolved to incorporate traditional aspects, some indigenous peoples still live in relative isolation from Western culture and a few are still counted as uncontacted peoples. The specifics of Paleo-Indian migration to and throughout the Americas, including the dates and routes traveled, are the subject of ongoing research. According to archaeological and genetic evidence and South America were the last continents in the world with human habitation. During the Wisconsin glaciation, 50–17,000 years ago, falling sea levels allowed people to move across the bridge of Beringia that joined Siberia to northwest North America.
Alaska was a glacial refugium because it had low snowfall, allowing a small population to exist, the Laurentide Ice Sheet covered most of North America, blocking nomadic inhabitants and confining them to Alaska for thousands of years. Indigenous genetic studies suggest that the first inhabitants of the Americas share a single population, one that developed in isolation. The isolation of these peoples in Beringia might have lasted 10–20,000 years, around 16,500 years ago, the glaciers began melting, allowing people to move south and east into Canada and beyond. These people are believed to have followed herds of now-extinct Pleistocene megafauna along ice-free corridors that stretched between the Laurentide and Cordilleran Ice Sheets. Another route proposed involves migration - either on foot or using primitive boats - along the Pacific Northwest coast to the south, archeological evidence of the latter would have been covered by the sea level rise of more than 120 meters since the last ice age