Mesoamerica is a historical region and cultural field in North America. They contributed a lot to the society and introduced multiple things such as ceramics, chocolate, handwritten and drawn records to the world. They were the people of knowledge and knew how to function in a society even though they were ancient. I was utterly mind blown when I initially heard about their inventions.
Some of the most prominent Mesoamerican cultures are the Olmec, Maya, Zapotec, Teotihuacan, Mixtec, and Mexica or Aztec. The last people to truly exist as Mesoamericans were the Aztecs.
Mesoamericans, in general, were fascinating people. For example, they discovered the worth of Cacao beans. The Mayans invented and introduced sugar-free spiced, chocolate drinks approximately 3000 years ago. Does it not sound interesting to you?
Here are 10 Mesoamericans inventions that truly left archaeologists and experts speechless:
The Mayans somehow learned the art of making rubbers. They extracted latex from trees and combined it with various juices to make it elastic. The most initial use of elastic in Mesoamerica has been dated to 1600 BC. The Mayans, similar to other Mesoamerican tribes, used bouncy balls to play their favourite and traditional ball games. They also had ball courts to play with the balls they invented.
2) Writing system:
The Mayans, one of the ancient Mesoamericans tribes, also built an effective language system. The writing is known as “glyphs” and is used to describe or represent a word through various images and signs. According to the experts and archaeologists, Mayans used approximately 700 glyphs. Surprisingly, this particular ancient language can easily be read and deciphered in today’s day and age.
3) Coffee and chocolate:
According to the experts, the Mayans and Aztecs are the founders of coffee and chocolate. They discovered the wonders of cacao beans and used it to prepare coffee and chocolaty drinks. The drinks weren’t used to be sweet back then as sugar was in limited quantity.
The Aztecs were also involved in creating pots and other useful things that are used on a day-to-day basis. They mainly used the aforementioned items for trading purposes. Hence, it can be said that the Mesoamericans were quite advanced. The pottery that archaeologists discovered was quite sturdy and beautiful.
The Codex Mendoza is an Aztec codex. It is believed to have been created around 1541. It contains a detailed record of both the Aztec rulers and their victories as well as a summary of the daily life of the pre-conquest Aztec community.
There’s a village called Teposcolula-Jucunda that lies in the southwestern region of Mexico. The village belonged to the people of Mixtecs. The village itself did not contain many artefacts back when it was discovered, but the archaeologists found multiple remains there. The excavators and researchers mentioned that all the remains had a specific kind of tooth disease.
7) Ball courts:
As stated above, the Mayans adored their games and had multiple ball courts in every city. The games were of utmost importance to the Mayans and were often played during religious celebrations or sacred ceremonies, lasting for up to 20 days. The courts were established at the bottom of sanctuaries to pay tribute to the gods and goddesses.
The Aztecs used to perform certain sacrificial rituals to fulfil religious purposes. They even buried their slain enemies in a massive pit next to their temples. Moreover, they even had Tzompantli on display. The Tzompantli were wooden racks containing skulls from those who were either sacrificed or slain after being caught in wars.
Mesoamericans had strong and firm beliefs about celestial bodies. They even invented ways to study the location of the stars. The Mayans were extremely advanced and wise people; they studied Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury and recorded astronomical data like obscuration, or the path of one planet in front of the other. The ancient Mayans astronomers were very precise and ahead of their European equivalents.
10) Mayan Art:
Mayan art is universally praised as it has a modern touch to it. They created artwork from a wide variety of materials, including wood, jade, obsidian, and earthenware. They also decorated stone landmarks, stucco, and walls with the same materials. Woodcuts were quite common back then, but only a few still survive.