Precolumbian dating back to
(For more about pyramids, see: Ancient Egyptian Architecture from c.3000 BCE onwards.)Within Central America there were two main types of architectural style, especially clear in pyramid construction: the broad square talud-tablero of Mexico and the tall, narrow based Maya form.Corbel vaulting of overlapping, flat, balanced stones is also typical of Maya architecture and was used extensively as a technique in the construction of palaces and temples. Another typical feature of the Central American cultural tradition was the ball-court where the sacred ball game was played.Both were rapidly brought to an end by the Spanish conquest following on the voyages of discovery of Columbus.The conquerors immediately found themselves in conflict with the original inhabitants.
Mayan art is mainly characterized by petroglyphs, a variety of rock art, some stone sculpture and wood-carving, as well as mural paintings (city of Bonampak c.750 CE).Palaces and temples of the aristocracy and the single-storey living quarters and workshops of the artisans were organised in an orderly grid plan around the main ritual complex.The city of Teotihuacan in Mexico, which prospered around AD 500, is one of the most remarkable examples of a planned urban and religious centre. Definition History Mesoamerica Timeline of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Art - Ceremonial Architecture - Sculpture - Ceramics - Codices and Murals - Featherwork and Mosaics South America Chronology of Pre-Columbian South American Art - Architecture - Carvings - Pottery - Metalworking - Textiles The term "Pre-Columbian art" refers to the architecture, art and crafts of the native peoples of North, Central, and South America, and the islands of the Caribbean (c.13,000 BCE - 1500 CE) up to the time period marked by the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas. The term "Mesoamerica" is synonymous with Central America, describing a cultural region in the Americas, which extends roughly from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica.
The civilisations of Central America (Mesoamerica) and the Pacific Coast of South America were roughly contemporary with the European Christian era.
Such pyramids in Mesoamerica were of a ceremonial rather than funerary function, and were central to the performance of religious rites.