Meaning of Mesoamerica
What is Mesoamerica:
Mesoamerica is a geohistorical term to refer to the territory occupied by pre-Hispanic civilizations.
Mesoamerica is located in the territory of the southern half of present-day Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, and western Honduras and Nicaragua.In some cases, Costa Rica is also included.
Mesoamerica is considered one of the six cradles of early civilization in the world. However, it is a term open to debate, since it tries to cover different times and peoples within the same territory.
The word Mesoamerica is formed with the Greek prefix meso which means "in the middle".
Culture and peoples of Mesoamerica
The different cultures of Mesoamerica had common elements in various fields such as art, religious beliefs, technology and architecture.
Some of these common characteristics were sedentary lifestyle, corn cultivation, the ball game, the vigesimal-based numbering system, polytheism, the use of the 260-day calendar, human sacrifices, and the pictogram-based writing system.
To define Mesoamerican cultures and influences, common cultural aspects are taken into account within the so-called Mesoamerican peoples. It is usually divided into several areas:
- North Zone (Toltecas),
- West (Teotihuacanos),
- Central Mexico (Mexica or Aztecs),
- Oaxaca, Guerrero (Maya),
- Central America (Olmec and Mayan), and
- Gulf of Mexico (Zapotec).
- Mayan culture.
- Mayan calendar.
History of Mesoamerica
The history of Mesoamerica is usually divided into three periods: Preclassic, Classic, and Postclassic. Some studies indicate that it covers a period of 3,000 years (approximately from 1500 BC until the colonization process).
Mesoamerica, Aridoamérica and Oasisamérica
These terms are used to distinguish broad cultural zones in the historical and cultural analysis of pre-Columbian America. Aridoamérica is located to the north of Mesoamerica and, broadly speaking, occupies the north of Mexico and the southwestern United States. Oasisamérica is also located in North America and includes territories located between the states of Utah and Chihuahua, a part of the Gulf of California and the Rio Grande Valley.
See also Aridoamérica.
The Mesoamerican region is the name of an international economic region, made up of nine states of Mexico and the following Central American countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, and Honduras. It is recognized by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).