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F.A.Q.

Pre-Columbian, Native American, Indian Artifacts & More


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This page contains answers to common questions handled by our support staff, along with some tips and tricks that we have found useful and presented here as questions.

Definitions:

Polychrome: is one of the terms used to describe the use of multiple colors in one entity. It has also been defined as "The practice of decorating architectural elements, sculpture, etc., in a variety of colors. The word derives from the Greek πολύχρωμος (polychromos), "colourful", from πολύς (polys), "many, much" + χρῶμα (chroma), "color. Its opposite is monochrome.

Places:

File:Flag of Mexico.svgMexico: is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States of America; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of Mexico. Covering almost two million square kilometres (over 760,000 sq mi), Mexico is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the thirteenth largest independent nation in the world. With an estimated population of over 113 million, it is the eleventh most populous country and the most populous Spanish-speaking country. Mexico is a federation comprising thirty-one states and a Federal District, the capital city.

Mesoamerica: is a region and cultural area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Dates:

Mesoamerican chronology

Materials:

Cultures:

The Maya people: constitute a diverse range of the Native American people of southern Mexico and northern Central America. The overarching term "Maya" is a collective designation to include the peoples of the region who share some degree of cultural and linguistic heritage; however, the term embraces many distinct populations, societies, and ethnic groups, who each have their own particular traditions, cultures, and historical identity. There are an estimated 7 million Maya living in this area at the start of the 21st century. Ethnic Maya of Guatemala, southern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula, Belize, El Salvador, and western Honduras have managed to maintain substantial remnants of their ancient cultural heritage. Some are quite integrated into the majority hispanicized Mestizo cultures of the nations in which they reside, while others continue a more traditional culturally distinct life, often speaking one of the Maya languages as a primary language.


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The pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic period to European colonization during the Early Modern period.

While the phrase "pre-Columbian era" literally refers only to the time preceding Christopher Columbus's voyages of 1492, in practice the phrase usually is used to denote the entire history of American indigenous cultures until those cultures were conquered or significantly influenced by Europeans, even if this happened decades or centuries after Columbus's first landing. For this reason the alternative terms of Pre-Colonial Americas or Prehistoric Americas are also in use.

Many pre-Columbian civilizations established hallmarks which included permanent settlements, cities, agriculture, civic and monumental architecture, major earthworks, and complex societal hierarchies. Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first permanent European arrivals (c. late 15th–early 16th centuries), and are known only through archaeological investigations. Others were contemporary with the colonial period, and were described in historical accounts of the time. A few, such as the Maya, had their own written records. Because most Christian Europeans of the time viewed such texts as heretical, they destroyed many texts in pyres. Only a few hidden documents have survived, giving modern historians glimpses of ancient culture and knowledge.

Where they persist, the societies and cultures that descended from these civilizations may now be substantively different in form from those of earlier ones. Many of these peoples and their descendants maintain various traditions and practices which relate to the earlier times, as well as combining them with more recently adopted ones.

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Questions or problems regarding this web site should be directed to webmaster@americasartifacts.com Copyright © 2012 Americas Artifacts. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce photos and paintings and information in this online catalog secured by Ed Vaught, Cindy McEntire and Americas Artifacts, All rights reserved. No portion of this online catalog may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from Ed Vaught, Cindy McEntire or Americas Artifacts, Inc. Last modified: 11/24/16.

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