Mesoamerica(Greek: μέσος [mesos], 'intermediate') is the region of the Americas comprising the southern half of Mexico; the territories of Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize; as well as the western part of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It should not be confused with the Mesoamerican region, concept coined to denote a geoeconomic region by international organizations such as the OECD Mesoamerica is an area defined by culture. This
region saw the development of an indigenous civilization in the context
of a mosaic of great ethnic and linguistic diversity. The
cultural unity of Mesoamerican peoples is reflected in several traits
that Paul Kirchhoff defined as the Mesoamerican complex. The definition of what is acceptable as a Mesoamerican is the subject of discussion among the scholars of this civilization; However,
it is frequently mentioned in inventory the agricultural base of the
economy, the cultivation of corn, the use of two calendars (ritual of
260 days and 365 civil), human sacrifices as part of religious
expressions, lithic technology and the absence of metallurgy, among
others. In its time, the definition of the
Mesoamerican complex served to distinguish the Mesoamerican peoples of
their neighbors of the North and South.
Location of Mesoamerica in the continent.
The development of Mesoamerica was extended by several centuries. Specialists discuss the time that can be considered the "beginning" of the Mesoamerican civilization. According to some views, the initial milestone is the development of pottery. Others
believe that the first Mesoamerican complex develops between the 15th
and 12th centuries BC, contemporary period to the Olmec culture. Throughout
its history, Mesoamerican peoples built a civilization whose
expressions speak of elements shared by several villages and traits that
distinguish them. To the extent that advanced
the civilizing process, some features were homogenized by inter-ethnic
contact and others acquired specificity in certain contexts. This process was continued and lasted until the Spanish colonization. Some
authors employ the Nahua names interchangeably to describe objects and
original concepts of Mesoamerica, and others highlighted the differences
between the peoples of the region.
The sierra Mixteca
this is an introductory article, the cultural elements shared by
Mesoamerican peoples in accordance with the approach adopted in works of
the general approach to the Mesoamerican reality take precedence. Although this article not stops referencing the particularities, these can be deepened in the respective articles.
Acrobat, piece of pottery from Tlatilco, State of Mexico
majority of the Mesoamerican peoples spoke languages belonging to the
following linguistic families: otomangueana, Mayan, mixe-zoquean,
totonacana and UTO-aztecan. Other languages are
isolated or could not be classified because they disappeared in the
process of castilianization that began with the Spanish colonization and
continues to date. This mosaic of languages and
ethnic groups was present during pre-Hispanic times and has its
correlate in the numerous indigenous cultures that were developed in
different areas and times of Mesoamerica, among which the most studied
have been mexica, the maya, the Teotihuacan, the Zapotec, the Mixtec,
the Olmec or the tarascan. Despite the
concentration of studies which have been given in the case of those
important cultures, Mesoamerica was the scene of many peoples, some of
whom have barely begun to be investigated from recent excavations.
Mayan numbering. Mesoamerican numbering systems were based on the number 20. Each number in the series had a magical connotation, having an impact on the fate of human beings.