Pre-Columbian civilizations

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
L-LIN/06
Language
Italian
Learning objectives
The course aims to offer students a wide and articulated overview of the cultures of Mesoamerica and the Peruvian Area starting from archaeological and ethno-historical data.
The course focuses on the cultures that developed in Mesoamerica and in the Peruvian Area from the formation of complex societies until the 16th century.
Particular attention is paid both to the cultures that are particularly interesting from an anthropological point of view (Maya, Moche, etc.) and to those that created the most relevant socio-political structures (Aztecs and Incas).
Ethnostoric sources are also examined to assess their credibility and to understand the crucial passages of the histoire événementielle.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge
Students are able to orient themselves in the articulated picture of the cultures that developed in Mesoamerica and the Peruvian Area from the formation of complex societies until the 16th century.
In addition, they become aware that indigenous sources and chronicles must be used and evaluated with a critical eye.
Skills
Students acquire the ability to critically analyze texts on Pre-Hispanic cultures and the Conquest starting from the analysis of the text itself and of the context in which the text was written.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
During the emergency teaching phase, the program is maintained with the following changes necessary for a good online use of a course, originally designed for in-presence teaching.
The lessons will be held in videoconference using the Teams platform.
For students who will not participate synchronously, alternative online materials will be prepared on sites that will be communicated promptly.
The lesson calendar and all the details of the activities will be published by the beginning of the lessons.
Course syllabus
The course is entitled: "The pre-hispanic cultures of Mesoamerica and of Peruvian Area" and consists of the following three teaching units, which will be addressed in sequence.
Teaching unit A (20 hours, 3 CFU) - The Mesoamerica
Teaching unit B (20 hours, 3 CFU) - The Peruvian Area
Teaching unit C (20 hours, 3 CFU) - The Conquest and the sources analysis

Students who wish to acquire 6 CFU will follow the program of units A and B; all students who wish to acquire 9 CFU will follow the full program (units A, B and C).

Unit A focuses on the most important cultures that developed in Mesoamerica from the formation of complex societies until the 16th century.
In particular, attention is paid to the cultures (Mayas, Aztecs, etc.) which are more interesting from an anthropological and socio-political point of view.
In Unit B focuses on the most important cultures that developed in the Peruvian Area from the formation of complex societies until the 16th century.
In particular, attention is paid to the cultures (Moches, Incas, etc.) which are more interesting from an anthropological and socio-political point of view.
Unit C focuses on some of the texts that allow us to evaluate the sources credibility and to understand the crucial passages of the histoire événementielle.

The course program is valid until December 2022.
Prerequisites for admission
The course is held entirely in Italian, but the exam bibliography presupposes good Spanish and English language skills.
Students who do not know Spanish or English will not be able to rely on Italian translations; therefore, if interested in the course, they should contact the teacher in advance to assess any adjustments to the program.
Erasmus or other mobility students are admitted, provided they have solid Spanish language skills.
Teaching methods
The course adopts the following teaching methods: frontal lectures, reading and commenting of some of the passages of the texts to be studied.
Teaching Resources
Teaching unit A - The Mesoamerica

Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube, Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens, Thames & Hudson, Londra, 2000, pp. 1-240
Tom Froese and Linda Manzanilla, Modeling collective rule at ancient Teotihuacan as a complex adaptive system: Communal ritual makes social hierarchy more effective, Cognitive Systems Research, 2018, n. 52, pp. 862-874
Erik Reyes and José Romero, Aztlan, Teocolhuacan, el inicio de una migración y el fin de una Triple Alianza, Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl, 2019, n. 57, pp. 81-108
Leonardo López and Michelle de Anda, Teotihuacan en Mexico-Tenochtitlan: descubrimientos recientes, nuevas perspectivas, Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl, 2017, n. 54, pp. 17-60

If someone can't find the book of Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube or does not know English, he can replace it with the following texts
1) Antonio Aimi e Raphael Tunesi, I Maya in Mesoamerica, RCS, Milano, 2018, pp. 1-144;
2) Antonio Aimi e Raphael Tunesi, Notas sobre unos nuevos grandes artistas de los Sagrados Hombres de Chatahn, Glyph Dwellers, Report 54, California State University, Chico, pp. 1-46
http://glyphdwellers.com/pdf/R54.pdf;
3) Erik Velásquez García and Ana García Barrios, El título Chatahn winik en la sociedad maya del periodo clásico, in: El gobernante en Mesoamérica: representaciones y discursos del poder, María Elena Vega Villalobos and Miguel Pastrana Flores eds., Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, México, p. 39-84
4) María Elena Vega Villalobos, El legado de los escultores: un estudio de las firmas de artistas registradas en los monumentos mayas del periodo Clásico Tardío, Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, 2016, 38, 108, pp. 149-169

If someone does not know English, he can replace the article of Tom Froese e Linda Manzanilla with the following text:
Patrick Johansson, Tlahtoani y cihuacoatl: lo diestro solar y lo siniestro lunar en el alto mando mexica, Estudios de Cultura Náhuatl, 1998, n. 28, pp. 39-40 e 51-75



Teaching unit B - The Peruvian Area
Antonio Aimi, Gli Inca e l'antico Perù, RCS, Milano, pp. 1-144
Giuseppe Orefici, La cultura Nasca, in: Cahuachi I, USMP, Lima, 2012, pp. 89-129
Walter Alva, La excavación de las Tumbas Reales de Sipán (1987-2000), in: Sipán, il tesoro delle tombe reali, A. Aimi, W. Alva, E. Perassi eds., Giunti, Firenze, pp. 58 - 85
Krzysztof Makowski, De Moche a Lambayeque: como entender el cambio ?, in: Lambayeque nuevos horizontes de la arqueología peruana, A. Aimi, K. Makowski, E. Perassi eds., Ledizioni, Milano, pp. 163-181
Brian Bauer and Alan Covey, Processes of State Formation in the Inca Heartland (Cuzco, Peru) American Anthropologist, 2002, 104, 3, pp. 846-864
Gary Urton and Alejandro Chu, Accounting in the king's storehouse: the Inkawasi khipu archive, Latin American Antiquity, 2015, 26, 4, pp. 512-529
Marco Curatola and José Carlos de la Puente, Contar concertando: quipus, piedritas y escritura en los Andes coloniales, in: El quipu colonial, M. Curatola and J. C. de la Puente eds., Fondo Editorial PUCP, Lima, pp. 193-232

If someone does not know English, he can replace the articles of Brian Bauer and Alan Covey and of Gary Urton and Alejandro Chu with the following texts:
1) Antonio Aimi, Walter Alva, Luís Chero, Marco Martini, Francesco Maspero, Emanuela Sibilia, Hacia una nueva cronología de Sipán, in: Lambayeque nuevos horizontes de la arqueología peruana, a cura di: A. Aimi, K. Makowski e E. Perassi, Ledizioni, Milano, pp. 129-154
2) Marco Curatola, Los cinco sentidos de la etnohistoria, Memoria Americana, 2012, 20, pp. 61-78


Teaching unit C - The Conquest and the sources analysis
Antonio Aimi, Le culture preispaniche oltre la "barriera del significato", in: Itinerari di cultura ispano-americana, E. Perassi and L. Scarabelli eds., UTET Università, Novara, 2011, pp. 7-33
Antonio Aimi, La "verdadera" visión de los vencidos: la conquista de México en las fuentes aztecas, Universidad de Alicante, San Vicente del Raspeig, 2009, pp. 31-211
Hernán Cortés, Cartas de Relación, only letter 2 - Any edition (about 100 pp.)
Francisco de Jerez, Verdadera relación de la conquista del Perú, [...], Madrid 1891, pp. 33-118
http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/obra-visor/verdadera-relacion-de-la-con…
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of an interview, which includes questions asked by the teacher. The interview has a variable duration depending on the teaching units studied by the student and is held in Italian. The interview aims to verify the knowledge of the texts of the program, the ability to contextualize the authors and their works, the ability of critical and personal reflection on the proposed themes.
The final grade is expressed out of 30, and the student has the right to reject it (in which case it will be recorded as "withdrawn").
International students or incoming Erasmus students are invited to make timely contact with the teacher. The exam modalities for students with disabilities and/or DSA must be agreed with the teacher and with the competent Office.
Unita' didattica A
L-LIN/06 - LATIN AMERICAN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
L-LIN/06 - LATIN AMERICAN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica C
L-LIN/06 - LATIN AMERICAN LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)