War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica by Ross Hassig

By Ross Hassig

During this learn of battle in historic Mesoamerica, Ross Hassig deals new perception into 3 thousand years of Mesoamerican heritage, from approximately 1500 B.C. to the Spanish conquest. He examines the equipment, reasons, and values of struggle as practiced by way of the main pre-Columbian societies and indicates how war affected the increase of the country.

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Although most early armies did not formally march, some discipline had to be observed to keep them together and moving, and march figures offer some basis for calculating the minimum space needed for the movement of troops. 56 Thus, even a small force marching in single file would stretch out for a considerable distance. Lengthy columns can be minimized by increasing the number of files, but this is limited by the size of the roads that would Page 22 Rainfall map of Mesoamerica. Page 23 have been used.

25 percent of the males), although the proportions probably differ by society. The Olmecs had denser populations than those in the surrounding areas, but even major Olmec centers had only about a thousand residents, with perhaps a few thousand more in the immediate hinterlands. 44 Although the total Olmec heartland population of about 350,000 people45 could have produced a sizable army for its dayup to 7,648 soldiers, drawing on all elite males between twenty and fifty years of age, or 4,527 if the cutoff age was thirty-fivethey probably did not.

Thus, Olmec battles probably devolved into battles between pairs of adversaries. The Olmecs also stand out from earlier groups by the evident professionalism of their military. 39 Specialized weapons required specialized training because, for the first time, military skills could not be adapted directly from utilitarian pursuits because these weapons had no peaceful use. This training was probably carried out by military societies because Olmec populations were too small to support formal schools.

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