WEFOUNDMexican and Central American Antiquities, Calendar Systems, and History: Twenty-Four Papers (Classic Reprint)


Central American and northern Andean Indian , member of any of the aboriginal peoples inhabiting Central America (south from Guatemala) and the northern coast of South America, including the northern drainage of the Orinoco River; the West Indies are also customarily included. Although the area has meaning in terms of the distribution of indigenous cultures and languages, it does not coincide with any named region in a geographic sense, nor does it coincide with contemporary national political boundaries.

The area is situated entirely within the tropics, and the seasons are marked more by differences in precipitation than in temperature. Lowlands tend to be hot, but elevation tempers the climate on some of the islands and along the mountain ranges that run through Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela. Areas of heavy rainfall support dense forest, whereas a few dry regions support little more than sparse grass.

In archaeological terms, this area is of strategic significance for various reasons. First, as the relatively narrow corridor between the northern and southern continental landmasses, Central America is a promising area in the search for remains of ancient Native American culture . Second, an exceptionally rich and diverse variety of local cultures had evolved in the area by 500 bce . Third, between 1000 and 1500 ce the area was intermediate between the major centres of high civilization in Mexico and Peru.

Central American and northern Andean Indian , member of any of the aboriginal peoples inhabiting Central America (south from Guatemala) and the northern coast of South America, including the northern drainage of the Orinoco River; the West Indies are also customarily included. Although the area has meaning in terms of the distribution of indigenous cultures and languages, it does not coincide with any named region in a geographic sense, nor does it coincide with contemporary national political boundaries.

The area is situated entirely within the tropics, and the seasons are marked more by differences in precipitation than in temperature. Lowlands tend to be hot, but elevation tempers the climate on some of the islands and along the mountain ranges that run through Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela. Areas of heavy rainfall support dense forest, whereas a few dry regions support little more than sparse grass.

In archaeological terms, this area is of strategic significance for various reasons. First, as the relatively narrow corridor between the northern and southern continental landmasses, Central America is a promising area in the search for remains of ancient Native American culture . Second, an exceptionally rich and diverse variety of local cultures had evolved in the area by 500 bce . Third, between 1000 and 1500 ce the area was intermediate between the major centres of high civilization in Mexico and Peru.

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