3 Tutorials that teach Mesoamerican Art and Architecture
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Mesoamerican Art and Architecture

Mesoamerican Art and Architecture

Author: Aleisha Olson
This lesson will introduce the art and architecture of the ancient Americas.
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Notes on "Mesoamerican Art and Architecture"

Terms to Know


A region that extends from central Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.


An adjective referring to cultures that existed before the arrival of Columbus to the Americas in 1492.


The first civilization in Mexico.


An expansive archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico containing the largest pyramids built during the pre-Columbian Americas.

Axial Plan

The horizontal arrangement of the elements of a building or town along a central axis.


A style of architecture characterized by a platform structure on top of a sloping surface. Also referenced as the slope-and-panel style. Often seen in pyramids built during the pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.


Mesoamerican deity whose name means 'feathered serpent'.



Olmec Head from La Venta, Creative Commons, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mexico.Tab.OlmecHead.01.jpg; Image of Olmec Ceremonial Axe, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:British_Museum_Olmec_jade_votive_axe.jpg; Image of Teotihuacan, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:View_from_Pyramide_de_la_luna.jpg; Map of Teotihuacan, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Teotihuacancityplan.png; Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Creative Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mex.JPG;  Detail of Temple of Quetzalcoatl, Teotihuacan, Creative Commons, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Teotihuacan-Temple_of_the_Feathered_Serpent-3035.jpg; Goddess Mural Painting from Tetitla Apartment, Teotihuacan; Creative Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tetitla_Teotihuacan_Great_Goddess_mural_(Abracapocus).jpg