Mesoamerica: The Rise and Fall of the City-States

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Mesoamerica: The Rise and Fall of the City-States (26:00)
Item# 32757

Filmed on location in central and southern Mexico, this program touches on the Mayan, Toltec, and Aztec cultures—and a civilization that preceded them all at a city dubbed Teotihuacán by Nahuatl speakers centuries after its fall. Expert commentary and 3-D computer images shed light on the complex societies that emerged, grew strong, and disappeared in the highlands and lowlands of Mesoamerica. (27 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (6)

1. Mesoamerican Civilizations (02:02)
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Mesoamerica's first great society, the Olmecs, appeared around 1250 B.C. and defined pre-Columbian culture in Central America. The Golden Age of Central America came during the times of the Teotihuacan and Mayan civilizations.

2. Urban Planning at Teotihuacan (04:28)

Teotihuacan was America's first urban center. It was one of the world's leading cities between the fourth century B.C. and the mid-seventh century A.D.

3. Teotihuacan's Religion, Art, and Trade (03:11)

Teotihuacan was the center of devotion to the winged god Quetzalcoatl. The Teotihuacans created a wide variety of ritual objects and crafts from turquoise, obsidian, and clay; many of these objects were exported beyond their borders.

4. Mayan Architecture (04:25)

Elaborate planning and architectural decor characterize cities built during the Golden Age of Mayan architecture in the eighth and ninth centuries A.D.

5. Uxmal's Cosmic Pyramids (03:33)

Massive pyramids dominate the Mayan city of Uxmal. Mayan planners designed Uxmal carefully to create harmony between the earthly world and the divine.

6. Chichen Itza (06:27)

The Itza people were warriors and traders who established their capital city at Chichen Itza. Strongly influenced by Toltec civilization, the Itza introduced the Maya to new religious, social, and political ideas.

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