Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
ATH 235
Course Title:
Survey of Prehistoric Mexico and Central America
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Study of the development, form and history of pre-Columbian Indian civilizations, surveying the achievements of the Maya, the Aztec and their neighbors. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

This class will be a survey of Meso-American Archaeology from the first paleo-Indian inhabitation of the Americas to European invasion and conquest. Students should minimally read and write at a collegiate level.

Intended Outcomes for the course

  • Examine the history and cultural development of Mesoamerican societies from the prehistoric period through the time of European contact.
  • Identify the primary cultural features of Mesoamerican societies like the Maya and the Aztec. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies may include:

* exams  (take home and in class)

* term papers

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)


  • Central American Geography
  • Mesoamerica as a concept


  • Cultural Origins
  • Cultural Expansion
  • Cultural Collapse


  • Cultural Evolution
  • Mesoamerica as a Culture Area
  • Mesoamerican Pattern
  • "CBS" Crops
  • Slash and Burn/Chinampa Agriculture
  • Paleo-Indian, Incipient, Pre-Classic, Classic, Post-Classic
  • Olmec, Maya, Teotihuacano, Toltec, Zapotec, Mixtec, Mixica


  • Study archaeology at a college level
  • Learn the archaeology, prehistory and history of Mesoamerican Civilization