The Pre Hispanic History of America

America as a cradle of races

During the last ice age, the concentration of ice on the continents drove down the level of the oceans by about 120 meters. This descent caused terrestrial connections to be made in various parts of the planet, such as Australia-Tasmania with New Guinea; Philippines and Indonesia; Japan and Korea and Siberia and Alaska with the Bering Strait.

Because the Bering Strait, which separates Asia from America, has a depth of between 30 and 50 meters, the descent of the waters uncovered a vast territory that reached 1500 kilometers wide, joining the lands of Siberia and Alaska, about 40,000 years ago. Those occasions were an opportune opportunity for tribes of Siberia to cross to America. Then, at the end of the glaciation, the territories were flooded and Asia was definitively separated from America in what is now the Bering Strait.

At the end of the last glaciation 10000 years ago, in response to the climate crisis there is a radical transformation of the way of life for humanity, which goes from being nomadic to sedentary and predatory economy (hunting, fishing and gathering) to producing ( agriculture and livestock) with the domestication of native animals or plants.

First of all, it affects the area known as the fertile growing area of the Middle East, a wide area that includes from the northeast of Africa (Nile Valley, in Egypt) to western Asia (Mesopotamia zone between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers). Something later similar changes occurred in India (Indus and Ganges rivers) and in the Far East (Huang Ho and Yangtze rivers in China). The diffusion through the rest of the Old World (Europe, Asia, and Africa) is produced by diffusion of these first foci. In America, these changes occur autonomously, with the Mesoamerican and Andean foci.

The changes linked to this climatic impact meant an enormous progress in the development of the Humanity, which began to grow much more quickly when beginning to harvest foods that could be conserved for quite some time. The need to preserve food generated the development of new techniques and crafts such as ceramics, basket weaving and many others. The emergence of surpluses allowed the specialization and division of labor, the appearance of trade, the accentuation of social differences, and over time, the origin of history of America.

It was the time when the first stable settlements and numerous cultures that live from agriculture and intensive exploitation of marine resources appear. Domestic animals have been found in Mesoamerica and South America with dates dating back to 10 thousand years ago. In Amazonia the domestication of plant species began about 5000 years ago and was initially based on bitter cassava. The first cities in America appeared almost on par with the founding of the oldest cities in the world in the Middle East and China. Important civilizations will flourish in the valleys of Mexico and Guatemala, and in the center-north of the Andes (the two fundamental nuclear zones of America).

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The pre-Hispanic period of America

The pre-Hispanic period began with human rebirth 10 000 years ago (8000 BC), and will come to an end when Spanish navigators begin the conquest and thus incorporate America into Universal History.

Specifically in the Andes the oldest civilizing focus of America was identified, the culture of Caral (Peru), with an initial date superior to 3000 BC. This Andean region has been considered as one of the worldwide civilizatory foci, next to Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, and India. When the pyramids of Cheops were built in Egypt and the Sumerian cities of Mesopotamia flourished, around 2,550 years before Christ, in Peru, the monumental urban center of Caral, the oldest city on the continent, was built. In Mesoamerica there was the formation of more complex societies from 1500 BC, where the first forms of writing and the great classical civilizations such as the Olmecs, Mayas or the Moche appear.

The culture of Caral

Caral, a vibrant city of monumental pyramids and complex social organizations, is located in the Supe Valley, 200 kilometers north of Lima, is approximately 5000 years old and proceeds at least a thousand years to societies of similar level in Mesoamerica. .

It has also been called a sacred city, since it is a time when for the first time Peruvian societies had a central government, the state was established and religion was used as a means of affirmation.

The centrality of Caral was exercised in a completely peaceful way during a period that could be 1000 years. Caral left no remains of arms manufacturing, testimonies or evidence of having organized an army or led a war.

The Chavin culture

The Chavin Culture extended from western Peru to Ecuador, between the littoral and the jungle, and developed between 1500 BC. C. and 500 a. C .; that is to say, that during a millennium, its hegemony prevailed in all the Andean task of the region or area of influence.

The Chavín society was theocratic and the tyrant king priest was the representative of the ruling caste, possibly chosen among the champions of the ruling houses or panacas, as the Incas did later. This ruling caste formed the first State of the Andes and its priestly caste were specialists and great hydraulic agricultural technicians, who dominated by fear of their peers. Chavín represents the epoch that begins the use of metals. Metallurgical production begins with gold and almost simultaneously with native copper. The oldest evidence of gold objects in the central Andes dates back 1500 BC.

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The Mochica culture

Moche is an archaeological culture of Ancient Peru that was developed between the 100 a. C. and the 800 d. C. around the valleys of the north coast of present-day Peru. The Moche societies developed a complex technology of irrigation channels, demonstrating extensive knowledge in hydraulic engineering and expanding the agricultural frontier. In addition, they made intensive use of copper in the manufacture of weapons, tools and ornamental objects.

The Mochica gods show clear influence of the Chavín culture, which were prior to them (the Moches). Human sacrifices were practiced by the Mochicas for religious purposes.

They were considered the best potters of ancient Peru thanks to the fine and elaborate work they did in their ceramics. In them they represented divinities, men, animals and significant scenes related to ceremonial themes and myths that reflected their conception of the world, standing out the amazing expressiveness, perfection and realism with which they endowed them.

In navigation and fishing he highlighted the use of reed horses, small and agile boats that are still manufactured and used today. They also had warships that were manned by more than three or four people and transported to military groups or prisoners defeated in the wars. In the architecture stand the temples, palaces and walls of Chan, the largest adobe city in America.

Politically, the Mocha societies -of strong segmentation into social classes- were organized in lordships commanded by religious-military authorities.