Background notes

While the stories 'For Love's Sake' and 'Beyond Infinity' are strictly works of fiction, a number of historical facts were researched as inspiration for characters and events mentioned.

The Aztec Civilization

AztecThe Aztecs were an advanced and prosperous civilization. Just as the Maya, they were excellent farmers, artisans, architects and scientists. They were about fifteen million people divided into 500 communities. The capital city was Tenochtitlan, the center of the Aztec civilization.Aztec

They shared with the Maya one of their most important deities, the Feathered Serpent god, called Quetzalcoatl by the Aztecs (Kukulkan by the Maya). According to the legend, Quetzalcoatl descended into the underworld to retrieve human bones, but, as he was leaving, he tripped and the bones were broken into different sized pieces, which is why people are all different sizes. By adding his own blood to the mix, people came to life.

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The Inca Civilization

<incaThe Inca Empire was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. Its administrative, political and military center was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru. The Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century.

Their main important god was Inti, the god sun, and the Inca king was considered to be the child of the sun.

IncaThe Inca Empire had a short life of only about a hundred years. Its society was made up of clans of families who lived and worked together and were supervised by a chief. The Imperial Incas clothed themselves in garments made from Alpaca and many of their religious ceremonies involved the animal.

Machu Picchu is among the greatest artistic, architectural and land use achievements in the world and the most significant legacy of the Inca civilization.

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The Maya Civilization

MayaThe Maya civilization was one the most advanced societies of Mesoamerica (Mexico and Central America before the 16th century Spanish conquest), reaching its peak around the sixth century AD.

We can trace down the earliest Maya settlements date to around 1800 B.C., or the beginning of what is now called the Pre Classic or Formative Period. They were skilled farmers, architectures, mathematicians and scholars. MayaThey were influenced by a civilization to the west of them known as the Olmecs from which they inherited one of their most important deities, Kukulkan (Feathered Serpent), and also the origins of the count calendar that the Maya would become famous for. This calendar was used for farming, but also for prophecies.

The Maya were ruled by kings and had a hierarchical system to organize their society in which scribes had a prominent position working at the royal house or temples.

The Spanish conquest brought diseases and a new religion, which they were forced to accept.

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The Olmec Civilization

OlmecThe ancient Olmec civilization is now considered to be one of the earliest great civilizations in Mesoamerica. The Olmec culture developed in the centuries before 1200BC (BCE), and declined around 400BC.

They are considered to have been the origin of many of the customs and beliefs held by the Maya and the Aztecs, mainly of the Aztec calendar.

The Feathered Serpent appears here in Olmec Mythology for the first time. Such a deity would later appear throughout most Mesoamerican cultures. In Maya mythology, the feathered serpent appears as Kukulkan. For the Aztecs, it is Quetzacoatl.

 

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The Aztec Calendar

Aztec calendarThe Aztec calendar was used by the Aztecs as well as other Pre-Columbian peoples of central Mexico. It consisted of a 365-day calendar cycle called xiuhpohualli (year count) and a 260-day ritual cycle called tonalpohualli (day count). These two cycles together formed a 52-year "century," sometimes called the "calendar round." The xiuhpohualli is considered to be the agricultural calendar, since it is based on the sun, and the tonalpohualli is considered to be the sacred calendar.

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Maya Codices

Mayan codices

Maya codices are folding books written in Mayan hieroglyphic script. They were written on Nahuatl, the inner bark of certain wild fig tree.

Most of the books were burnt during the Spanish conquest, but there are only three codices whose authenticity is beyond doubt. These are the Madrid Codex, the Dresden Codex and the Paris Codex.

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The Children of Llullaillaco

childrenThe remains of two girls and one boy were unearthed at Mount Lullaillaco, Argentina in 1999. The 500-year-old children appear to be the best preserved Inca mummies ever found.

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