Mesoamerica refers to a settlement landscape and a cultural complex in Central America, in the historic civilizations of the same nature were prevalent.

These civilizations include the Nahua ( Aztecs, Tlaxcalans and Toltecs ), Boruca, Chichimecs Huaxtecs, Huichol, Maya ( Lacandon ), Mayangna, Mazatec, Mixe, Mixtec, Olmec, Otomi, Purepecha, Totonac, and Zapotec.

The area of Mesoamerica includes large areas of the present states of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

  • 3.1 Early time
  • 3.2 Archaic period
  • 3.3 Early Präklassik
  • 3.4 Mean Präklassik
  • 3.5 Late Präklassik
  • 3.6 Classical
  • 3.7 Medium Classic
  • 3.8 Late Classic
  • 3.9 Early Postclassic
  • 3:10 Late Postclassic



Mesoamerica is an archaeological culture area in Central America, thrived in the numerous pre-Columbian States before the Spanish colonization.


The Mesoamerican Linguistic Area is a Sprachbund that describes many languages ​​of Mesoamerica, with common syntactic, lexical, phonological and ethno- linguistic properties. At this Sprachbund include Maya, Mixe- Zoque, Totonac, and Uto -Aztecan Tepehua.


Mesoamerica (MAR ) is according to the OECD, a multi-national, geo-economic region in Central America, the States, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama, as well as the nine southeastern states of Mexico ( Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz and Yucatán ).


The northern frontier of Mesoamerica is located approximately at the level of the Tropic of Cancer with a bulge to the south between the two Cordilleras. The boundary migrated with changing climatic conditions. During rainy periods flooring construction was possible, so the boundary moved north. The eastern or southern border ran depending on the period through Nicaragua and Costa Rica or by El Salvador and Honduras. The Nicarao spoke a variant of Nawat Central America, one of the languages ​​spoken by the Aztec Nahuatl language similar and are therefore counted among the Nahua. They formed at the time of the Conquest a shifted far to the east outpost, while the bulk of the archaeological record suggests a further west to be drawn border.


Breakfast time

To 20,000 BC humans populated the Mesoamerican region. First mammoth hunters are demonstrated for 10000 BC. The oldest archaeological finds in Yucatán dating from 9000 BC, the finds of Los Tapiales (Guatemala) have been dated to 8000 BC.

Archaic period

Around 7000 BC began agriculture, around 5000 BC maize was grown as a crop. Permanent populated villages are 3500 BC, probably. However, they are shown only for 2500 BC on a larger scale. 3400 BC served corn and bean crops as a food source. 3000 BC inhabited villages were constantly created and developed pottery and weaving. Ancestors of the Maya mingled 2500 BC in Guatemala with the local indigenous population.

Early Präklassik

1500 BC the cultivation of maize was the livelihood for the peoples of Mesoamerica. They used obsidian tools, also Ocos ceramic was detected on the Pacific coast. Around 1200 BC the Olmekenkultur rose. Gold processing is demonstrated for 850 BC.

Mean Präklassik

A Zapotec culture, it was around 600 BC in Monte Alban. Around 400 BC La Venta was destroyed, the Olmec culture went under.

Late Präklassik

Around 400 BC there was a Izapakultur on the Mexican Pacific coast. First datable steles of the Maya were created 125 BC. The earliest date of the Long Count ( Stela 1 in El Baul (Guatemala) ) is 36 AD By 100 the construction of the first step pyramid began in Teotihuacán.


To 200 dated the construction of the Pyramid of the Sun Teotihuacan, Pyramid of the Moon Teotihuacan was created from 250. During this time, the great Mayan cities of Tikal, Palenque, Copan and Yaxchilan were founded. In 292, dates the earliest Long Count dated stela at Tikal. Around 300 was the heyday of Teotihuacán, the 400, the Maya subjugated.

Medium Classic

The time to 500 is the heyday of the Zapotecs. 540 Bonampak was founded. War between Tikal and Calakmul were held 550. The decline of Teotihuacán happened around 600

Late Classical

799 we find the last date of Palenque, 822 of Copan. The last date of Tikal is 879, that of Uxmal and Toniná 909

Early Postclassic

Tula was founded in 950. 987 Quetzalcoatl was driven from Tula. In the same year Chichén Itzá was conquered. Mayapán was founded in 1007. 1140 Aztecs lived in the Valley of Mexico. With the destruction of Tula by the Chichimeca 1168 the Toltekenreich went down.

Late Postclassic

1221 founded Chichen Itza, Uxmal Mayapán and the League of Mayapán. The Itza took over in 1224 the regency over Chichen Itza by the Toltecs. Tenochtitlan was founded in 1335. The Mixtecs settled in 1350 at Monte Albán. Tenochtitlan, Texcoco and Tlacopan formed in 1428 the Aztec Triple Alliance. 1441 ended a revolt, the League of Mayapán. The left Itzá Chichén Itzá, Mayapán was destroyed. At the inauguration of the Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan in 1487, more than 20,000 people were sacrificed in four days. 1511 the Spaniards landed on the coast of Yucatan, the first contact of Europeans under Juan de Grijalva with the Aztecs took place in 1517. 1521 Hernán Cortés conquered Tenochtitlan. 1524 began the Spanish attempts at colonization of Yucatan. 1697 Tayasal was destroyed in Yucatán.

Geological and meteorological effects on the cultures of the region

The formation of the different cultures among other topographical differences depending Firstly vary the altitude: The area can be divided into the tierra caliente (up to 800 m), the fría Tierra templada ( 800-2000 m ) and Tierra (2000 to development boundary at 3000 m). Secondly, the situation between the oceans causes a rainy season in summer and autumn and a dry season in winter and spring. In addition, the seasons of South to North to catch displaced. This heterogeneity in the landscape in a confined space offers very good conditions for the division of labor specialization and economic exchange.

However, the characteristic of the Andean island-like division of ethnic or political units in different climate zones for optimum utilization of those potentials in Mesoamerica has not been available.