Highland vs. lowland mesoamerica: mexico, yucatan peninsula, sierra madre mountains, major cultural traditions and site in mesoamerica - multiple developmental centres, olmec, toltec, aztec and mayan. Economy: no domesticated animals, "slash and burn" horticulture, no milk, transport or draft animals (to pull carts and such, forests cleared through burning; crop rotations (fallow, out of use, maize, bean and squash + ram n nut (breadnut) Zapotes stela "c: very sophisticated and accurate measure of time, olmec culture reached its peak by ca. 900 bc: major inland trade with highland mesoamerica by this time. Jade, iron ore, obsidian (for sharp tools) o: magnetite mirrors, shark"s teeth, stingray spines, cocoa, pottery, many sites destroyed (and buried) between ca. 900 - 400: comples of mounds, platforms, pyramids, plazas ca. The maya (1000 bc - ad 1519: maya lowlands (broader yucatan peninsula, pre-classic, classic ad 300 - 900. Independent city-states e. g. , sites of tikal, palenque, copan.