Homework Folder #9: Chapters 12: Early Civilizations of the Americas

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_____________________, _____________________

World Studies—Period 5 8

Due Date: ____________________ _______, 20____

Homework Folder #9: Chapters 12: Early Civilizations of the Americas

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In ancient times, various civilizations and cultures developed in North and South America. Early inhabitants of the Americas lived in settlements from the Eastern Woodlands of North America to the Andes Mountains in South America. Separated by vast distances, each group of early Americans developed its own unique way.

Chapter Outline

Section 1: South America and the Incas

At its height, the Incan empire extended for about 2,500 miles through the coastal and mountain regions of western South America. The Incas' complex system of roads allowed them to govern such a large empire successfully. Their many achievements still amaze us today.

Section 2: Cultures of Middle America

Two of the major ancient civilizations in Central America were the Mayas and the Aztecs. From 300 to 900 CE, the Mayan civilization developed and flourished in the tropical regions of present-day Mexico and Central America. The Aztecs controlled the lands of central Mexico from the 1100s to the 1500s. Both civilizations developed advanced skills in architecture, science, and writing.

Section 3: Cultures of North America

Many different Native American cultures developed in North America. These include the Mound Builders who traded in the Midwestern region of the present-day United States and the Anasazi of the Southwest. Both cultures developed ways of life suitable to their environments. The Mound Builders traded, while the Anasazi were farmers and craftspeople

Map Skills

  1. Devise a map key as shown on page 335 for the seven (7) civilizations shown (Northwest Coastal, Pueblo, Mound Builders, Iroquois, Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas in the legend box. Use the key you’ve made to give the locations of the civilizations from the key.

  2. Find and place a dot at the exact location for each of the cities listed below, then label the cities by number given on this list

  1. Cahokia

  2. Chaco Canyon

  3. Tenochtitlan

  4. Cuzco

  1. Find and label these physical features by name using good cartographic writing.



Atlantic Ocean

Caribbean Sea

Eastern Woodlands

Great Plains

Gulf of Mexico


Mississippi River

North America

Pacific Ocean

South America

Primary Sources

Chronicles of the Incas, 1540 by Pedro de Cieza de Léon

In 1535, Spanish conquistador Pedro de Cieza de Léon arrived in South America. Although he was a professional soldier and took part in the Spanish conquest, he developed an interest in the people and cultures of the region. He wrote his impressions and personal experiences in a book which became known as the Chronicles of the Incas. Since the Incas had no written records at the time of the conquest, we depend on conquistador accounts such as Cieza's for insight into the Inca civilization.

At the beginning of the new year, the rulers of each village came to Cuzco, bringing their quipus, which told how many births there had been during the year, and how many deaths. In this way the Inca and the governors knew which of the Indians were poor, the women who had been widowed, whether they were able to pay their taxes, and how many men they could count on in the event of war, and many other things they considered highly important. The Incas took care to see that justice was meted [given] out, so much so that nobody ventured to commit a felony or theft. …

As this kingdom was so vast, in each of the many provinces there were many storehouses filled with supplies and other needful things; thus, in times of war, wherever the armies went they drew upon the contents of these storehouses, without ever touching the supplies of their confederates [allies] or laying a finger on what they had in their settlements. … Then the storehouses were filled up once more with the tributes paid the Inca. If there came a lean year, the storehouses were opened and the provinces [regions] were lent what they needed in the way of supplies; then, in a year of abundance, they paid back all they had received. No one who was lazy or tried to live by the work of others was tolerated; everyone had to work. Thus on certain days each lord went to his lands and took the plow in hand and cultivated the earth, and did other things. Even the Incas themselves did this to set an example. And under their system there was none such in all the kingdom, for, if he had his health, he worked and lacked for nothing; and if he was ill, he received what he needed from the storehouses. And no rich man could deck himself out in more finery than the poor, or wear different clothing, except the rulers and the headmen, who, to maintain their dignity, were allowed great freedom and privilege.

  1. What word in the passage means the same as the word tax or payment to a leader?

  1. quipus b. ventured c. tributes d. finery

  1. Which two underlined words are opposites of one another?

a. lean/abundance c. quipus/tributes

b. tributes/Inca d. lean/finery

  1. What is the value system of the Incan people as told by Cieza?

a. If you have wealth, you should show-off to the poor as an example

b. Save for a time when you need it more

c. Share with the poor because they might take over some day

d. Poor people don’t deserve to live as well as the rich

  1. Was reason did Cieza give for the way the Incan people acted?

a. to prevent crime b. generosity c. fear of revolution d. religion or morality

Use a BLACK pen to choose your answer from the reading in the textbook. Correct in class using a RED pen.

1. The center of government and the capital city of the Incan empire were located at (p. 338)

Cuzco. Sapa Inca.

Machu Picchu. Quechua.

2. In Aztec society, the class below soldiers was made up of (p. 348)

artisans and merchants.



farmers and slaves.

3. Which two river systems in the Americas are among the largest in the world? (p. 337)

the Mississippi and the Missouri

the Mississippi and the Rio Grande

the Mississippi and the Amazon

the Amazon and the Missouri

4. The official spoken language of the Incan empire was (p. 339)

Incan. Quipu.

Spanish. Quechua.

of the Northwest Coast had ceremonies called (p. 358)

kivas. confederacies.

kachinas. potlatches.

6. The city of Tenochtitlán was connected to the surrounding land by (p. 347)

bridges. aqueducts.

terraces. causeways.

7. The largest mound in North America was located at (p. 355)

Cahokia. Moundville.

Etowah. Hopewell.

8. Where did the Mound Builders live? (p. 353)

in the Southwest

in the Midwest

in eastern North America

in western North America

9. The Pueblo peoples built apartment-style dwellings of (p. 356)

wood and adobe. bricks and mortar.

stone and adobe. earth and wood.

10. To keep track of everyone's responsibilities, Incan officials used a(n) (p. 339)

abacus. census.

almanac. notebook.

11. To keep the government informed about distant parts of the empire, Incan relay runners carried (p. 339)

sticks. quechuas.

quipus. llamas.

12. The Mayas' most important crop was (p. 345)

beans. peppers.

corn. squash.

13. What did the Anasazi do that allowed them to grow their crops? (p. 356)

They used slash-and-burn agriculture to clear land.

They built a system of terraces to allow them to grow crops on steep mountainsides.

They created a system of canals and dams.

They built raised fields called chinampas on islands.

14. The Mayas created a system of writing using signs and symbols called (p. 346)

alphabets. hieroglyphics

cuneiform. quipus.

15. Who were known for their pyramid-shaped temples and huge carved stone heads? (p. 345)

Aztecs Mayas

Incas Olmec

16. Where was the empire of the Incas located? (p. 336)

in Middle America and Yucatan

in the Valley of Mexico

in the Amazon River valley

in the Andes Mountains

17. So that they could farm on mountain slopes that would otherwise be too steep, the Incas built (p. 340)

aqueducts. bridges

greenhouses. terraces.

18. To grow their crops, Mayan farmers used a technique called (p. 345)

slash-and-burn agriculture. irrigation.

terraces. horticulture.

I am almost finished!

19. Aztec priests created a calendar based on which of the following calendars and their own knowledge of astronomy? (p. 348)

Incan Olmec

Mayan Chinese

20. What was the best-organized political system in the Americas when Europeans arrived? (p. 358)

the empire of the Aztecs

the empire of the Incas

the Mississippian culture

the Iroquois League

Graphic Organizer

Read page 343, the apply the Cause and Effect diagram to the paragraphs on page 343


  1. quipu

  2. kivas

  3. hieroglyphics

  4. census

  5. pueblos

  6. maize

  7. terraces

  1. corn

  2. an official count of people

  3. step-like ledges cut into mountains

  4. clustered stone of adobe dwellings

  5. group of knotted strings used to record information

  6. round rooms used for religious ceremonies

  7. signs and symbols that made up the Mayan writing system


Place the following events on the timeline template below the list

100 CE Pueblo Culture begins

1200-1535 CE Incas rule from Cuzco

1275-1300 CE Southwestern droughts

1325 CE Aztecs build the Great Pyramid

1325-1521 CE Aztecs rule from Tenochtitlan

1519 CE Cortes invades the Aztec Empire

250-900 CE Mayans are at their strongest

700-1250 CE Mississippi Culture thrives

Aztecs build Great Pyramid

Mississippi Culture thrives

Aztecs rule from Tenochtitlan

Pueblo Culture Begins

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

Incas rule from Cuzco

Mayans are at their strongest

Cortes invades the Aztec Empire

Southwest Droughts

Compare and Contrast

How were Mesoamerican (Olmec, Aztec and Mayan) pyramids different from those of ancient Egypt?

Mesoamerica Egypt

Draw It


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