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Timelines of World Art: Americas (Native North America, USA, Latin America & Caribbean, Pre-Columbian)

c. 1000

A pyramid-temple, known as the Castillo, is erected in Chichén Itzá in eastern Mexico and follows a radical architectural plan that incorporates astronomical events. Read more...

c. 1000–c. 1470

Gold burial masks are made in the kingdom of Chimú on the northern coast of Peru Read more...

c. 1000–c. 1500

Weavers of the Milagro-Quevedo culture on the coast of Ecuador make high quality and complex textiles with geometric patterns and enhanced with embroidery. Read more...

c. 1000–c. 1600

In addition to utilitarian objects, smiths of the Chiriquí culture of Costa Rica produce gold jewellery. Most common and distinctive are those pieces derived from animal shapes but rendered in a highly stylized and abstracted manner. Read more...

c. 1000–c. 1600

The Tairona people of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia make highly complex personal ornaments for powerful members of their society. Among the most unusual are composite human-animal figures wearing elaborate headdresses. Read more...

c. 1100

Ceramics in Southwest North America are dominated by Chaco-style pottery that is characterized by geometric black-and-white designs. Read more...

c. 1100–1470

Weavers in the Chancay Valley of coastal Peru produce high quality textiles with precise geometric designs that are reversible. Mythical figures such as the god Virococha suggest inspiration from other cultures. Read more...

c. 1200–c. 1350

Spiro Mound in the Ozark Mountains, Oklahoma is a ceremonial burial site in which honoured deceased are buried wrapped in feathered capes or painted textiles and then placed in baskets or bark litters. Read more...

c. 1200–c. 1521

One of the few surviving ancient Mexican manuscripts, the Codex Nuttall illustrates the history of important cities in the Mixtec region and provides key biographical details about the ruler Eight-Deer-Jaguar-Claw. Read more...

c. 1250

People of the Anasazi culture in the Southwest region of North America build the Cliff Palace, one of their multi-storeyed terraced buildings of adobe brick and stone situated on ledges beneath overhanging cliffs. Read more...

1300–1500

Metalworkers of the Chimú culture in Peru fashion elaborate drinking vessels from sheets of hammered silver, probably for royal banquets. Among the most complex are containers in the forms of figures, depicted wearing clothing with intricate geometric patterns. Read more...

c. 1400–c. 1600

In the later stages of the Mississippian culture at Etowah in the Southeast of North America, a few élite members of society are buried with elaborate costumes, headdresses, personal ornaments and ceremonial objects. Read more...

c. 1460

Pachacutec erects the citadel Macchu Picchu in the Andes. This examples of mature Inca architecture serves as a country retreat and fulfils personal, diplomatic and religious functions. Read more...

c. 1475–c. 1500

A great statue of the Aztec Earth goddess and mother of the Moon Coatlícue is made in the Mexican city of Calixtlahuaca. Read more...

c. 1540–c. 1550

Antonio de Mendoza, the first viceroy of New Spain, commissions on behalf of Emperor Charles V a codex to encourage the transition from native to European governance. Aztecs and Mayans had produced graphic codexes to record important official and historical information since 1000 BC. Read more...


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