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Epoch Prehispanic of Honduras

Escrito el: 18 de January de 2022 - Modificado: 18 January, 2022 - por: RedHonduras.com - en: History - Origin, Times and Periods, Historical Facts

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  • Before the Spanish Conquest, Honduras was inhabited by peoples that were characterized by two different cultural types, formed as a product of the migrations that populated the American continent, in pre-Columbian times. The Mayan and Aztec cultures were governed by the so-called “Asian mode of production”, whose most outstanding characteristic was the existence of a “sedentary” economy, based on agricultural production, with production relations of a collective nature centralized in a single power. which was exercised by a group of civil, religious and military officials. Therefore, they were not egalitarian societies. The class division was established between those who exercised power and the majority of the people.

    These cultures achieved great progress in the various fields of human knowledge, driven by the development of a varied agriculture (beans, cocoa, chili, etc.) and had large irrigation systems. In this way they guaranteed adequate food for their numerous populations. They also applied techniques of great perfection in textiles and ceramics. They developed an intense and varied trade. They reached a high scientific development in mathematics and astronomy; in addition to architecture and sculpture, which they used in the construction of large cities.

    In the north-western section of Honduras, the Chortis, the Mayance group located in Copán, Copán, and Ocotepeque, and the Lencas, which extended through the departments of Santa Bárbara, Lempira, Intibucá, La Paz, Comayagua, Francisco Morazán, and Valle, predominated. and part of what today comprises the territory of El Salvador.

    The rest of the Honduran territory was inhabited by peoples from the south of the continent, with a nomadic and semi-nomadic culture, governed by primitive communal production relations. Among these peoples were Xicaques, Pechs Tawahkas and Misquitos who, as a whole, formed the majority of the country’s population.17 It was not until after the second half of 1700 that other ethnic groups were formed along the coastal zone. from the Caribbean coast: the Garífunas and the English Creole-speaking blacks.

    The largest population was made up of the Lencas who, at the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, were the most widespread and organized of the groups in the country. They lived in towns of considerable size, with an average of 350 houses and much more than 500 inhabitants. Although there are scientific controversies about the descent and origin of the Lencas, according to Rodolfo Barón Castro, they are the direct remains of the Mayans, who did not follow the exodus that ended the Old Empire. Upon the arrival of the Spanish, they were established in the territory that today comprises the Republics of El Salvador and Honduras.”

    The Mayan area includes what today are the countries of Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico.20 The Mayans flourished in these countries in the first 15 centuries of the Christian era.21 Causes unknown until today caused the abandonment and destruction of Copán and other Mayan cities, which at the time of the Spanish conquest were no more than ruins. Hunger, plagues, internal wars have been proposed as the causes of abandonment.

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