North America to c. 1500

Learn about the the early peoples and places in the Americas from Alaska to Panama. North America was one of the last continents in the world to be settled by humans. The first clear evidence of human activity in North America are spear heads called Clovis points.

tikal stela 16 grid
Stela 16 is a Maya royal portrait stela showing the ruler Jasaw Chan K’awiil bedecked in feathers, jade, and an elaborate headdress

Tikal Stela 16

El Tajin Ball Court, c. 800 - 1200 C.E., Classic Veracruz Culture (photo: Oscar Zorrilla Alonso, CC BY-SA 2.0)
El Tajin has survived as an outstanding example of the grandeur and importance of the pre-Hispanic cultures of Mexico.

El Tajín

The ruins of Quirigua contain some outstanding 8th-century monuments and an impressive series of carved stelae and sculpted calendars that constitute an essential source for the study of Mayan civilization.


Xochicalco is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a fortified political, religious and commercial centre from the troubled period of 650–900


The ruined citadel and imposing public squares reveal the three main stages of development before the city was abandoned in the early 10th century.


The ceremonial center of Tikal contains superb temples and palaces, and public squares accessed by means of ramps.


Paquimé, Casas Grandes, which reached its apogee in the 14th and 15th centuries, played a key role in trade and cultural contacts between the Pueblo culture of the south-western United States and northern Mexico and the more advanced civilizations of Mesoamerica

Paquimé, Casas Grandes

bannerstone grid
Between 6000 and 1000 B.C.E., thousands of nomadic Native Americans travelled and lived along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, making enigmatic, carefully carved stones known today as bannerstones.

Bannerstones, an introduction