The Amazon basin is one of the world’s last great wildernesses. It is a vast expanse of thick jungle inhabited by small tribes who live the same way that they have done for millennia.
Well actually, probably not.
More and more evidence is coming to light which suggests that the region was actually home to large populations, organised states and even cities. This episode looks at these discoveries and what they mean for our understanding of the Amazon.
Download link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/3546d79aa72626L/download.mp3
Several weeks late, I have finally got around to re-recording the second episode on the Aztec.
This time we discover how the Aztec moved from a small alliance of cities to a vast empire. We also examine their region, their gruesome penchant for human sacrifice and how they structured their society.
Today we continue our exploration of Colombia and the Caribbean. We look at several mysterious civilisations who left us impressive evidence of their existence, but no clues as to who they were. We then move on to the Caribbean and look at the Taino and Carib peoples. We get to the bottom of the El Dorado myth, and try to determine of the Caribs really the ferocious cannibals they were said to be.
There is a bit of a blank spot in most people’s maps when it comes to Central America. We know about the Aztec and the Inca but what was going on in between?
There were actually several advanced societies in the region, with historians even placing one in the same category as the Mesoamerican and Andean cultures. This episode will outline some of them, as well as discussing language families and how they help us work out who is related to who (and how they got to the places they are today).
The Mayan peoples are well known for their advanced civilisation. They created a complex calendar, had a writing system, and possessed a vibrant and fascinating religion. This episode will examine their cultural achievements as well as discussing the various theories as to why they collapsed.
Everyone has heard of the Maya. Their pyramids are famous and there was mild hysteria a few years ago when the media got hold of the idea that they may have predicted the end of the world. Who were they though? Where did they come from and how did they live?
*This was supposed to be the second episode on the Aztec but my recording software has corrupted the file and I will have to record it from scratch. I have decided to move on to the Mayan instead and will release the Aztec episode at a later date*
The Aztec are one of the most well known civilisations in history. Everyone recognises their art and architecture, and most know of their grizzly reputation for human sacrifice.
In this episode we discuss the humble origins of the Aztec. We look at where they came from, and how they established themselves as a major power in the region. We will also examine how their empire was structured, and the importance of legitimacy when attempting rule other people.
Apologies for the dodgy audio in parts of this episode!
In this episode we continue our tour of Ancient Mesoamerica and move into the classical era.
This was a time of larger and more technically advanced civilisations than those which had come before. We will look at Teotihuacan, El Tajin, and return to the Zapotec and Mixtec.
The second half of the episode will look at the great collapse which affected almost all the peoples of the classical era, and which saw their great cities fall. We will discuss some of the theories that attempt to explain why this happened. Was it climate change? social unrest? or something else?
Mexico is one of the cradles of humanity and was home to some of the world’s great civilisations. Everyone knows about the Aztec and the Maya, but these are just two of the many peoples who inhabited the region.
In this episode we look at the earliest cities in Mesoamerica including the Olmec and the Zapotec. We will also discuss the ball game – the strange sport which was ubiquitous in the area, and which sometimes resulted in the sacrifice of its participants.
People have lived on the American continent for thousands of years, but we have relatively little idea how they got there. While most people agree that they crossed over the Bering Straits and into Alaska, our knowledge of how they came to populate the continent from there is extremely hazy.
In this – the first episode of the Latin American History Podcast – we will discuss some of the theories that attempt to explain who moved where and when, as well as examining some of the alternatives to the Bering Straits idea.