The Mesoamerica reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Mesoamerica

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Mesoamerica is the region extending from central Mexico through Central America that produced a set of culturally related civilizations before the discovery of the New World by Columbus. Mesoamerican is a general adjective to refer to that group of Pre-Columbian cultures.

Some common shared Mesoamerican traits include intensive agriculture based heavily on maize corn; worship of a set of deities including a rain god, a sun god, a feathered-serpent god (Quetzalcoatl); a Vigesimal numbering system; the use of a 260 day ritual calendar in addition to the solar year calendar (see: Mesoamerican calendars); the construction of temples elevated atop stepped pyramids; a ritual ball-game (see:Mesoamerican ballgame); and various other artistic and cultural conventions.

Mesoamerican civilizations included the Olmec, Maya, Mixtec, Zapotec, Huastec, Tarascan, Teotihuacan, Totonac, Toltec, and the Aztec.

In some writings from the 1920s and 1930s the alternative term Middle America has been used to refer to Mesoamerica, but that has generally fallen out of favor.

Related topics:

Ancient Mesoamerican agriculture
Aztec calendar
Aztec mythology
Human antiquity in Mesoamerica
The jaguar in Mesoamerican culture
Maya numerals
Maya calendar
Mesoamerican chronology
Obsidian use in Mesoamerica
Spanish conquest of Yucatán
Trephinning in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica