Selected Bibliography

Abraham, Richard, Rosa Luxemburg.

Abboushi, W.F., The Unmaking of Palestine. Continue reading Selected Bibliography

Ancient Trading Raft Sails Anew

From :

ScienceDaily: Ancient Civilization News

For the first time in nearly 500 years, a full-size balsa-wood raft just like those used in pre-Columbian Pacific trade took to the water on Sunday, May 10. Only this time, instead of the Pacific coast between Mexico and Chile where such rafts carried goods between the great civilizations of the Andes and Mesoamerica as long as a millennium ago, the replica raft was floated in the Charles River basin. – Please Ream More..

Origins Of Maya Blue In Mexico

From :

ScienceDaily: Ancient Civilization News

The ancient Maya civilization used a rare type of clay called “palygorskite” to produce Maya blue. Combining structural, morphological and geochemical methods, researchers have defined the features of palygorskite clay on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. These findings will make it possible to ascertain the origin of the materials used to produce this pigment, which survives both time and chemical and environmental elements. – Please Ream More..

Ancient Mayan Pyramids

My family and I are headed out of town on a much needed and deserved vacation.  We are cruising through Mexico making stops in Belize, Costa Maya, Cozumel, and the Bahamas!  I will have a TON of photos to post when I return.  I am so looking forward to touring the Mayan Ruins.

I will have limited access to phone and email but will check in when possible.  Have a wonderful week everyone!


Sumeria, Ancient Sumeria (Sumer), A history of Ancient Sumer Including its Contributions

Ancient Sumeria

Primary Author: Robert A. Guisepi

Portions of this work Contributed By:
F. Roy Willis of the University of California

1980 and 2003

* The History of Ancient Sumeria including its cities, kings and religions

Now, I swear by the sun god Utu on this very day — and my younger brothers shall be witness of it in foreign lands where the sons of Sumer are not known, where people do not have the use of paved roads, where they have no access to the written word — that I, the firstborn son, am a fashioner of words, a composer of songs, a composer of words, and that they will recite my songs as heavenly writings, and that they will bow down before my words……

King Shulgi (c. 2100 BC) on the future of Sumerian literature.

Mesopotamia: The First Civilization

Authorities do not all agree about the definition of civilization. Most accept the view that “a civilization is a culture which has attained a degree of complexity usually characterized by urban life.” In other words, a civilization is a culture capable of sustaining a substantial number of specialists to cope with the economic, social, political, and religious needs of a populous society. Other characteristics usually present in a civilization include a system of writing to keep records, monumental architecture in place of simple buildings, and an art that is no longer merely decorative, like that on Neolithic pottery, but representative of people and their activities. All these characteristics of civilization first appeared in Mesopotamia.

The Geography Of Mesopotamia Continue reading Sumeria, Ancient Sumeria (Sumer), A history of Ancient Sumer Including its Contributions

The Aztecs

The Aztecs

The term, Aztec, is a startlingly imprecise term to describe the culture that dominated the Valley of Mexico in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Properly speaking, all the Nahua-speaking peoples in the Valley of Mexico were Aztecs, while the culture that dominated the area was a tribe of the Mexica (pronounced “me-shee-ka”) called the Tenochca (“te-noch-ka”). At the time of the European conquest, they called themselves either “Tenochca” or “Toltec,” which was the name assumed by the bearers of the Classic Mesoamerican culture. The earliest we know about the Mexica is that they migrated from the north into the Valley of Mexico as early as the twelfth century AD, well after the close of the Classic Period in Mesoamerica. They were a subject and abject people, forced to live on the worst lands in the valley. They adopted the cultural patterns (called Mixteca-Pueblo) that originated in the culture of Teotihuacán, so the urban culture they built in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is essentially a continuation of Teotihuacán culture.

The peoples of Mesoamerica distinguished between two types of people: the Toltec (which means “craftsman”), who continued Classic urban culture, and the Chichimec, or wild people, who settled Mesoamerica from the north. The Mexica were, then, originally Chichimec when they migrated into Mexico, but eventually became Toltecs proper.

The history of the Tenochca is among the best preserved of the Mesoamericans. They date the beginning of their history to 1168 and their origins to an island in the middle of a lake north of the Valley of Mexico. Their god, Huitzilopochtli, commanded them on a journey to the south and they arrived in the Valley of Mexico in 1248. According to their history, the Tenochca were originally peaceful, but their Chichimec ways, especially their practice of human sacrifice, revolted other peoples who banded together and crushed their tribe. In 1300, the Tenochcas became vassals of the town of Culhuacan; some escaped to settle on an island in the middle of the lake. The town they founded was Tenochtitlan, or “place of the Tenochcas.”

A peice of Mayan Jade showing the high level of artistry achieved by mesoamerican craftsmen.

Relations between the Tenochcas and Culhuacan became bitter after the Tenochcas sacrificed a daughter of the king of Culhuacan; so enraged were the Culhuacans that they drove all the Tenochcas from the mainland to the island. There, the Tenochcas who had lived in Culhuacan taught urban culture and architecture to the peoples on the island and the Tenochcas began to build a city. The city of Tenochtitlan is founded, then, sometime between 1300 and 1375.

The Tenochcas slowly became more powerful and militarily more skilled, so much so that they became allies of choice in the constant conflicts between the various peoples of the area. The Tenochcas finally won their freedom under Itzacoatl (1428-1440), and they began to build their city, Tenochtitlan, with great fervor. Under Itzacoatl, they built temples, roads, a causeway linking the city to the mainland, and they established their government and religious hierarchy. Itzacoatl and the chief who followed him Mocteuzma I (1440-1469) undertook wars of conquest throughout the Valley of Mexico and the southern regions of Vera Cruz, Guerrero, and Puebla. As a result, Tenochtitlan grew dramatically: not only did the city increase in size, precipitating the need for an aqueduct system to bring water from the mainland, it grew culturally as well as the Tenochcas assimilated the gods of the region into their religion.

A succession of kings followed Mocteuzma I until the accession of Mocteuzma II in 1502; despite a half century of successful growth and conquest, Tenochca culture and society began to suffer disasters under Mocteuzma II. First, tribute peoples began to revolt all over the conquered territories and it is highly likely that Tenochca influence would eventually have declined by the middle of the sixteenth century. Most importantly, the reign of Mocteuzma II was interrupted by the invasion of the Spaniards under Cortez in 1519-1522.