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

1. First Migrations

Download link – https://latinamericanhistory.podiant.co/e/3503397f6fe9ceL/download.mp3

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.