Ancient Civilizations of Mexico and Central America

Ancient Civilizations of Mexico and Central America

Ancient Civilizations of Mexico and Central America

Ancient Civilizations of Mexico and Central America

Excerpt

Unfortunately the terms "Mexico and Central America" are not mutually exclusive. Central America is a natural division comprised between the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Isthmus of Panama. Mexico is a political division that includes several states in Central America, namely, Chiapas, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan, and the territory of Quintana Roo. The ancient high cultures of Mexico hardly extended as far north as the Tropic of Cancer and the region beyond this is of slight interest to us. P o s I t I o n s south of Mexico will often be referred to the areas of the modern political units although these have no im mediate relation to pre-Spanish conditions. These political units are: Guatemala, British Honduras, Honduras, Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

Although lying within the tropics, the territory extending from the Isthmus of Panama to Central Mexico exhibits great extremes of climate and topography and hence of plant and animal life. The year is everywhere divided into a wet and a dry season but the relative duration of each depends upon land form and altitude. The coast of the Pacific is considerably drier than that of the At-

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