CHAPTER V
SPRUNG FROM ONE SOIL

WE HAVE just seen that, generally speaking, the ancient Americans were racially and -- to a lesser extent -- culturally one people.

We shall now see that our problem of understanding ancient America may be somewhat simplified geographically as well as racially. For the high spots in early American civilization were all within one rather large but definitely limited region. This extended from the northern border of Mexico -- as it was before the war of 1846-47 with the United States -- down through Central America into the northern part of Chile and including all of the northwest portion of South America.

The highest cultures America has given the world all bloomed within this compact area, consisting of southern North America, Central America, and northwestern South America.

Mexico, as defined above, of course included the highly developed social orders of the Pueblos of what is now Arizona and New Mexico. Farther south, in Old Mexico, were a number of fairly high cultures -- Zapotees, Mixtecs, Totonacs, and others -- but the

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