11. Ancient Andes – Part 1

Download link – ttps://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/35576c0ad01d96L/download.mp3

The Andean region was home to a long line of fascinating civilisations. Each one had its own interesting culture and ingenious ways of overcoming their environments. This episode traces the social evolution of the area from the earliest cities to the first empires.

Along the way we will encounter the mysterious Nazca lines, strange wind powered waterholes and the largest pre-Columbian structure in the Americas.

The Huaca del Sol built by the Moche people.
Image via: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Huaca_del_Sol_walls.jpg

10. The Amazon

Download link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/354c5e7366bc5cL/download.mp3

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.

A map of the Amazon basin and its rivers. Everything in darker green forms part of the region. Sourced from Wikipedia – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amazonrivermap.svg

5. The Aztec – Part 2

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.

A view of central Mexico City. This is what the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan looks like today.

9. Central America, Colombia, and the Caribbean – Part 2

Download link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/35415a4bcdc456L/download.mp3

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.

 

One of the statues at San Agustin
The village of Tierradentro
Pottery in one of Tierradentro’s tombs

8. Central America, Colombia, and the Caribbean

Download link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/35364e08180382L/download.mp3

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).

Colombia’s Tayrona National Park. Named after its original inhabitants.

7. The Maya part 2

Download link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/353175b56cd428L/download.mp3

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.

Templo de la Cruz at the Mayan city of Palenque

6. The Maya

Download Link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/351b694932ff5aL/download.mp3

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*

A Mayan celebration at Chiapa de Corzo, Mexico
The Landscape of the Yucatan, viewed from the Nohochmul pyramid at Coba

4. The Aztec

Download Link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/351049f2d0c876L/download.mp3

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!

 

Boats on the canals of Xocomilco

3. Ancient Mesoamerica – Part 2

Download link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/35098b2eff4f4aL/download.mp3

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?

The Disc of Death uncovered from Teotihuacan
A replica of the Temple of Quetzelcoatl at Teotihuacan

 

 

2. Ancient Mesoamerica

Download link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/35059d2ffc4ee4L/download.mp3

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.

A depiction of the ball game being played from the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City
The Oaxacan mountains. This is the landscape in which the Zapotec lived