Pre-Columbian era

pre-Columbianpre-Hispanicprehispanicpre-Columbian AmericaPrecolumbianpre-Columbian timespre-contactPre-Columbian Americasancient Americaspre-Columbian North America
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continent, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period.wikipedia
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History of the Americas

AmericasDiscoverer of the AmericasEuropean discovery of the Americas
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continent, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period.
The prehistory of the Americas (North, South, and Central America, and the Caribbean) begins with people migrating to these areas from Asia during the height of an Ice Age.

Indigenous peoples of the Americas

Native AmericanNative Americansindigenous
While the phrase "pre-Columbian era" literally refers only to the time preceding Christopher Columbus's voyages of 1492, in practice the phrase is usually used to denote the entire history of indigenous American cultures until those cultures were extinguished, diminished, or extensively altered by Europeans, even if this happened long after Columbus.
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian peoples of North, Central and South America and their descendants.

Archaeology of the Americas

American archaeologyperiod subdivisionsNorth American archaeology
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continent, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period.
This includes the study of pre-historic/Pre-Columbian and historic indigenous American peoples, as well as historical archaeology of more recent eras.

Maya civilization

MayaMayanMayans
A few, such as the Maya civilization, had their own written records. Some matured into advanced pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec, Purepecha, Toltec, and Mexica/Aztecs.
The Maya civilization was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, and noted for its logosyllabic script—the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system.

Prehistory

prehistoricprehistoric timesprehistorian
The alternative terms precontact, precolonial, or prehistoric Americas are also used; in Latin America, the usual term is pre-Hispanic.
These areas also, with some exceptions in Pre-Columbian civilizations in the Americas, did not develop complex writing systems before the arrival of Eurasians, and their prehistory reaches into relatively recent periods; for example 1788 is usually taken as the end of the prehistory of Australia.

Christopher Columbus

ColumbusCristoforo ColomboColón
While the phrase "pre-Columbian era" literally refers only to the time preceding Christopher Columbus's voyages of 1492, in practice the phrase is usually used to denote the entire history of indigenous American cultures until those cultures were extinguished, diminished, or extensively altered by Europeans, even if this happened long after Columbus.
The transfers between the Old World and New World that followed his first voyage are known as the Columbian exchange, and the period of human habitation in the Americas prior to his arrival is referred to as the Pre-Columbian era.

Archaic period (North America)

Archaic periodArchaicLate Archaic period
Within this time frame, roughly pertaining to the Archaic Period, numerous archaeological cultures have been identified.
In the classification of the, the Archaic period in North America, taken to last from around 8500 to 3000 BC in the sequence of North American pre-Columbian cultural stages, is a period defined by the archaic stage of cultural development.

Americas

Americathe AmericasAmerican
Asian nomads are thought to have entered the Americas via the Bering Land Bridge (Beringia), now the Bering Strait, and possibly along the coast.
The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic to European colonization during the Early Modern period.

Woodland period

WoodlandLate Woodland periodLate Woodland
The Woodland period of North American pre-Columbian cultures lasted from roughly 1000 BCE to 1000 CE.
In the classification of, the Woodland period of North American pre-Columbian cultures spanned a period from roughly 1000 BCE to European contact in the eastern part of North America, with some archaeologists distinguishing the Mississippian period, from 1000 CE to European contact as a separate period.

Adena culture

AdenaAdena peopleAdena Indian
The Adena culture and the ensuing Hopewell tradition during this period built monumental earthwork architecture and established continent-spanning trade and exchange networks.
The Adena culture was a Pre-Columbian Native American culture that existed from 1000 to 200 BC, in a time known as the Early Woodland period.

Mound Builders

Native American moundmound buildermounds
One of the distinguishing features of this culture was the construction of complexes of large earthen mounds and grand plazas, continuing the moundbuilding traditions of earlier cultures.
These included the pre-Columbian cultures of the Archaic period, Woodland period (Calusa culture Adena and Hopewell cultures), and Mississippian period; dating from roughly 3500 BCE (the construction of Watson Brake) to the 16th century CE, and living in regions of the Great Lakes, the Ohio River Valley, and the Mississippi River valley and its tributary waters.

Cahokia

Cahokia MoundsCahokia Mounds State Historic SiteCahokia Mounds, Illinois
The largest urban site of this people, Cahokia—located near modern East St. Louis, Illinois—may have reached a population of over 20,000. Numerous pre-Columbian societies were sedentary, such as the Pueblo peoples, Mandan, Hidatsa and others, and some established large settlements, even cities, such as Cahokia, in what is now Illinois.
The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (11 MS 2) is the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city (which existed circa 1050–1350 CE ) directly across the Mississippi River from modern St. Louis, Missouri.

Monks Mound

Monk's Moundmound
(Larger cities did exist in Mesoamerica and South America.) Monk's Mound, the major ceremonial center of Cahokia, remains the largest earthen construction of the prehistoric Americas.
Monks Mound is the largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in the Americas and the largest pyramid north of Mesoamerica.

Maize

cornZea mayscorn (maize)
They grew maize and other crops intensively, participated in an extensive trade network and had a complex stratified society.
Mapuches of south-central Chile cultivated maize along with quinoa and potatoes in Pre-Hispanic times, however potato was the staple food of most Mapuches, "specially in the southern and coastal [Mapuche] territories where maize did not reach maturity".

Illinois

ILState of IllinoisIll.
Numerous pre-Columbian societies were sedentary, such as the Pueblo peoples, Mandan, Hidatsa and others, and some established large settlements, even cities, such as Cahokia, in what is now Illinois.
Cahokia, the largest regional chiefdom and urban center of the Pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois.

Oasisamerica

Oasisamerica culturesAmerican Southwestnorthwest Mexico/southwest U.S. region
Oasisamerica is a term used by some scholars, primarily Mexican anthropologists, for the broad cultural area defining pre-Columbian southwestern North America.

Mesoamerica

MesoamericanMeso-AmericanMeso-America
Mesoamerica is the region extending from central Mexico south to the northwestern border of Costa Rica that gave rise to a group of stratified, culturally related agrarian civilizations spanning an approximately 3,000-year period before the visits to the Caribbean by Christopher Columbus.
It extends from approximately central Mexico through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica, and within this region pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Zapotec civilization

ZapotecZapotecsKingdom of the Zapotec
Some matured into advanced pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec, Purepecha, Toltec, and Mexica/Aztecs.
undefined 700 BC–1521 AD) was an indigenous pre-Columbian civilization that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca in Mesoamerica.

Teotihuacan

TeotihuacánTeotihuacan EmpireTeotihuacano
Some matured into advanced pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec, Purepecha, Toltec, and Mexica/Aztecs. The biggest Mesoamerican cities, such as Teotihuacan, Tenochtitlan, and Cholula, were among the largest in the world.
Teotihuacan is known today as the site of many of the most architecturally significant Mesoamerican pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas.

Huastec civilization

HuastecHuastec cultureHuastecs
Some matured into advanced pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec, Purepecha, Toltec, and Mexica/Aztecs.
The Huastec civilization (sometimes spelled Huaxtec or Wastek) was a pre-Columbian civilization of Mesoamerica, occupying a territory on the Gulf coast of Mexico that included the northern portion of Veracruz state, and neighbouring regions of the states of Hidalgo, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, and Tamaulipas.

Eduard Seler

Edward SelerEduard Georg Seler
It was not until the nineteenth century that the work of men such as John Lloyd Stephens, Eduard Seler and Alfred P. Maudslay, and of institutions such as the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology of Harvard University, led to the reconsideration and criticism of the European sources.
Eduard Georg Seler (December 5, 1849 – November 23, 1922) was a prominent German anthropologist, ethnohistorian, linguist, epigrapher, academic and Americanist scholar, who made extensive contributions in these fields towards the study of pre-Columbian era cultures in the Americas.

New World

NewThe New WorldAmericas
(Larger cities did exist in Mesoamerica and South America.) Monk's Mound, the major ceremonial center of Cahokia, remains the largest earthen construction of the prehistoric Americas. The first is the short chronology theory with the first movement beyond Alaska into the Americas occurring no earlier than 14,000–17,000 years ago, followed by successive waves of immigrants.
Conversely, many common crops were originally domesticated in the Americas before they spread worldwide after Columbian contact, and are still often referred to as "New World crops"; common beans (phaseolus), maize, and squash – the "three sisters" – as well as the avocado, tomato, and wide varieties of capsicum (bell pepper, chili pepper, etc.), and the turkey were originally domesticated by pre-Columbian peoples in Mesoamerica, while agriculturalists in the Andean region of South America brought forth the cassava, peanut, potato, quinoa and domesticated animals like the alpaca, guinea pig and llama.

Costa Rica

Costa RicanRepublic of Costa RicaCosta-Rica
Mesoamerica is the region extending from central Mexico south to the northwestern border of Costa Rica that gave rise to a group of stratified, culturally related agrarian civilizations spanning an approximately 3,000-year period before the visits to the Caribbean by Christopher Columbus.
More recently, pre-Columbian Costa Rica has also been described as part of the Isthmo-Colombian Area.

History of the world

modern historymodern erahuman history
Many indigenous American peoples continue traditional practices while evolving and adapting to the modern world.
The Inca Empire of Tawantinsuyu, with its capital at Cusco, spanned the entire Andes, making it the most extensive pre-Columbian civilization.

Cholula (Mesoamerican site)

CholulaCholula Massacre of 1519 Cholula
The biggest Mesoamerican cities, such as Teotihuacan, Tenochtitlan, and Cholula, were among the largest in the world.
Cholula (Cholōllān) ( Spanish ) was an important city of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, dating back to at least the 2nd century BCE, with settlement as a village going back at least some thousand years earlier.