Technology in the New World

  • Aaron Segal
Reference work entry

The indigenous peoples of the New World were excellent builders. Although their construction tools were limited they managed to produce pyramids, temples, and other public buildings in the Andean Highlands, the lowland jungles of Central America and the Yucatan, and the central highlands of Mexico. There were ceremonial ballcourts built throughout the Caribbean as well as in what is now Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. Construction in North America included the mound sites of the Midwest and the Southeast and the cliff dwellings of the Southwest. While estimated populations at these sites varied from the hundreds to the thousands these were all urban societies and civilizations.

These master builders relied on their own concepts, designs, craftsmen, and techniques. In spite of claims of trans‐Pacific, trans‐African and other exogenous contacts, the evidence is sparse and less than convincing. The civilizations of the New World evolved on their own with only limited contacts with one...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Aveni, Anthony. Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980.Google Scholar
  2. Bauer, Brian and David Osborne. Astronomy and Empire in the Ancient Andes. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1995.Google Scholar
  3. Bernal, Ignacio. The Olmec World. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  4. Coe, Michael D. Breaking the Maya Code. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1992.Google Scholar
  5. Coe, Michael, Dean Snow, and Elizabeth Benson. Atlas of Ancient America. New York: Facts on File, 1986.Google Scholar
  6. Fagan, Brian M. The Great Journey: The Peopling of Ancient America. London: Thames and Hudson, 1987.Google Scholar
  7. Fiedel, Stuart J. Prehistory of the Americas. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  8. Hudson, Charles. The Southeastern Indians. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  9. Rouse, Irving. The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.Google Scholar
  10. Schele, Linda and Mary E. Miller. The Blood of Kings. New York: Braziller, 1986.Google Scholar
  11. Weber, David J. The Spanish Frontier in North America. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron Segal

There are no affiliations available