I wonder if students who are taught history exclusively by reading history textbooks ever learn to be historians.
With that in mind, The Mesolore Project is a bilingual, primary document resource for scholars and students of Mesoamerica. Its developers, Liza Bakewell and Byron Hamann have structured the Project to “focus on the value of consulting primary documents at any age.” Mesolore features three sixteenth-century interactive documents from Central Mexico and three from the Mixtec area of Oaxaca. Continue reading
Long before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, the Inca controlled 2,500 miles of South America’s west coast and ruled over 12 million people. Meanwhile, in Central Mexico, over a quarter million people lived in Tenochtitlan on two islands constructed in a “sea of water lilies.” These were not the disorganized, nomadic tribes that I was introduced to when I was in grade school. The pre-columbian Americas featured highly coordinated, centralized empires: Engineers designed intricate road and canal systems; astronomers tracked celestial bodies; and state bureaucrats meticulously calculated and recorded the tribute obligations of local communities. Continue reading