Cave art painting occurred about 7, years old in Baja California Peninsula. Culturally and geographically very distinct from Mesoamerica, indigenous peoples inhabited the region since the end of the Pleistocene. This enabled the transition from paleo-Indian hunter-gatherers to sedentary agricultural villages beginning around BC. The most powerful rulers had religious and political power, organizing construction of large ceremonial centers developed. Olmec cultural traits diffused through Mexico into other formative-era cultures in Chiapas, Oaxaca and the Valley of Mexico. The formative period saw the spread of distinct religious and symbolic traditions, as well as artistic and architectural complexes.
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The old Mexica city that is now simply referred to as Tenochtitlan was built on an island in the center of the inland lake system of the Valley of Mexico , which it shared with a smaller city-state called Tlatelolco. For three months, the city suffered from the lack of food and water as well as the spread of smallpox brought by the Europeans. The first Spanish viceroy arrived in Mexico City fourteen years later. By that time, the city had again become a city-state , having power that extended far beyond its borders.