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Ancient Civilization

Essay by review  •  December 13, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,129 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,134 Views

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ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS

In order to understand what my research is about you must first know what a civilization is. A civilization can refer to any distinct society, whether complex and city-dwelling, or simple and tribal. There many different important Ancient Civilizations, I will be looking at the ancient Greek and Aztec civilization. I will discuss the way they lived and important findings from archaeological sites.

Ancient Greece was made up of a few important cities; Athens, Sparta, Olympia, Mykenae, Thebes, Corinth, and Delphi. One of the more important cities was Delphi. Around 550 BC people in Delphi lived in a religious society and followed their god Apollo. Some of the most prominent edifices on the sacred slopes of Delphi are the temple of Apollo, the ancient theater, the stadium, the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia with the Tholos, the Kastalia spring, and the various treasuries that decorate the sacred way. The archaeological museum on the site contains many important ancient Greek artifacts from the excavations at Delphi. The ruins of Delphi were uncovered by the systematic excavations of the French Archaeological School, which began in 1893. The village of Kastri, which had occupied the area of the sanctuary since medieval times, was moved to its present position. After the removal of huge quantities of earth that had been accumulated with the landslides, the remains of two sanctuaries, dedicated to Apollo and Athena Pronaea, were finally uncovered. The excavations revealed more than five thousands inscriptions of all kinds, statues, several miniature objects, architectural decorative pieces, all beautiful works of art, representing the major cities of Greek antiquity. Outside the area of the Sanctuary, the Stadium, the Gymnasium, the settlement of Delphi and its cemeteries have also been excavated. Most surviving pottery consists of drinking vessels such as amphorae, kraters (bowls for mixing wine and water), hydria (water jars), libation bowls, jugs and cups. Painted funeral urns have also been found. Miniatures were also produced in large numbers, mainly for use as offerings at temples.The archaeological finds from Delphi have given archaeologists and historians a lot of information, especially from the inscriptions found in abundance around the site. There are hymns to Apollo, lists of officials and even statements regarding temple money written either on walls or stone slabs. The ancient site of Delphi has a lot to offer in regard to giving an insight of ancient Greece but also the mythology attached to it.

The Aztecs developed one of the most important American Indian cultures, which flourished in central Mexico between the 14th and 15th century. Ancient Aztec architecture reflects their way of life and culture. Many Mexicans are related to the Aztecs and most of them speak Nahuatl, the native language for Aztecs. Almost all great Aztec buildings were created because of their religious beliefs. The basic government of Aztec society was called the calpulli. Each calpulli was like our city government and had a council. The calpulli ran schools, had an army and acted as the justice system. Each calpulli also had a temple, a warehouse for goods and a building for storing weapons. Within each calpulli, land was divided among the heads of families according to their needs. Each family could use the land, but could keep only the goods that it produced. The Tenochtitlan calpulli changed over time and became more like a central government. As the government strengthened and grew, it was able to rule the entire city. The Aztec empire included many cities and towns, especially in the Valley of Mexico. The largest city in the empire was the capital, Tenochtitlan. In 1790 excavation for water pipes uncovered two Aztec sculptures, the Sun Stone and the Statue of Coaticue or the mother goddess. These artifacts were uncovered only a few blocks from the area where the Great Temple or Templo Mayor stood. These were great finds though the statue of Coatlicue was re-buried by Dominican priests who feared the possible effects it could have on the people of the area. In 1803, it was recovered at the request of Alexander von Humboldt, a German explorer, who had a great interest in prehispanic culture. On February 21, 1978 workers employed by the Electric

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