Thousands of years ago, advanced civilization arose in Mesoamerica which stretches from southern Mexico into part of Central America. Mesoamerica´s landscape is divided into two main geographic areas highlands and lowlands. The highlands lie between the mountains of sierra Madre a mountain system in mexico and consist of fairly flat and fertile land. This land is good for agriculture, but it also posed some challenges for its early residents. The lowlands are less active. They lie along the cost of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Olmec culture began along Mexico´s Gulf Coast around 1200 B.C. The development of this culture led to the birth of Mesoamerica´s first civilization. Heavy rains caused these rivers to flood and deposit fertile silt on there plains. The rich soil allowed farmers to grow abundant crops. Olmec cities contained pyramids and temples built on earthen mounds. archaeologists have also found extraordinary works of art in Olmec cities.
On the northwest coast of South America, The Moche culture flourished between A.D 100 and 700. Like other pre-Inca cultures and the Inca who came later, the Moche showed great creativitly in adapting to this challenging environment. They also developed a strong military and ruled nearly 400 miles of the Peruvian coast. Moche artisans created beautiful ceramics, or bowls, statues, and other objects made from clay and then hardened under intense heat. One pair of solid gold peanuts looked just like the real things except they were three times larger.
The Ancient Pueblo
In A.D. 1200, the Inca were one of many small states occupying the Urubamba Valley, high in the Andes Mountains of present-day Peru. By 1440, the Inca ruled the region. Pachacuti conquered and ruled widespread areas through a powerful military and a strong central government. The Inca empire stretches 2,6000 miles from present day Colombia to Argentina and inclued about 12 million people who spoke more than 20 languages.
Thirty distinct cultures lived in the Pacific Northwest region. This narrow strip of mountains and woodland followed the coast from present-day northern California. to Alaska. Along the southern coast of what is now the states of Alaska, the Tlingit people developed a thriving culture that was closely tied to the Pacific Ocean and the many rivers. They also used tools and fire to carve dugout canoes from logs. One example of their artistry is found in the intricate masks they craved and painted and then wore at ceremonies.
As early as 1000 B.C., the ancient pueblo began to farm in various parts of the arid Southwest desert. They inhabited the four corners region, where present-day Arizona, Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico come together. Farm fields surrounded the villages. Using a technique called dry farming, the ancient Pueblo grew crops on they dry land, using very little water. They wove lightweight baskets and threaded together different materials to create brightly colored patterns. They molded clay into jars, bowls, and pitchers.