Social Studies - 2019-20

WHI.13a, b - Mayan, Aztec, and Incan Civilizations

The student will apply social science skills to understand the major civilizations of the Western Hemisphere, including the Mayan, Aztec, and Incan, by

a) locating early civilizations in time and place and describing major geographic features;

b) explaining the development of social, political, economic, religious, and cultural patterns in the civilizations of the Americas;

Adopted: 2015



The Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations emerged in South America, Central America, and Mexico.


Mayan civilization

 Located in the Mexican and Central American rain forests

 Represented by Chichén Itzá

 Groups of city-states ruled by kings

 Economy based on agriculture and trade

 Polytheistic religion: Pyramids

Aztec civilization

 Located in arid valley in central Mexico

 Represented by Tenochtitlan

 Ruled by an emperor

 Economy based on agriculture and tributes from conquered peoples

 Polytheistic religion: Pyramids, rituals

Incan civilization

 Located in the Andes Mountains of South America

 Represented by Machu Picchu

 Ruled by an emperor

 Economy based on high-altitude agriculture

 Polytheistic religion

 Road system

Achievements of Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations

 Calendars

 Mathematics

 Writing and other record-keeping systems



Maya (11a,b)

Aztec (11a,b)

Inca (11a,b)

Tribute (11a,b)

Arid (11a,b)

Rituals (11a,b)

Altitude (11a,b)

Quipu (11a,b)

Chinampa (11a,b)


Central America (11a,b)

Western Hemisphere (11a,b)

Mexico (11a,b)

Andes Mountains (11a,b)

Chichen Itza (11a,b)

Tenochtitlan (11a,b)

Machu Picchu (11a,b)

Updated: May 17, 2018