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Aztecs

Page history last edited by Paula Samal 4 years, 6 months ago

Aztecs are also called Mexicas.  Theydominated the valley of Mexico from 1300s-1500s.  The capital city of Tenochtitlan founded in 1325 where Mexico City is now.


Agriculture

They had floating gardens called chinampas supplemented maize grown outside the city.  Ditches with lake water irrigated fields, animal waste as fertilizer, stone terraces to prevent erosion.  They had no wheeled vehicles or pack animals, all work done by hand.

 

Government, Economy and Society

Tribute system where conquered peoples paid tribute of food, cloth, firewood, feathers, beads and jewelry, surrendered land and performed military service. Local leaders stayed in power and collected tribute. City-states grouped into provinces with a warrior to ensure Aztec control. It was a Theocracy, with Great Speaker (emperor) at the top, then land owning nobles/military leaders, scribes, healers, craftspeople, traders, peasants, soldiers, slaves

Religion

Their polytheistic religion had hundreds of deities, with both male and female aspects.  There were Gods of Sun, War, Rain, Wind, Knowledge, Agriculture, Fertility.  They had Rituals, feast days and human sacrifice to atone for human sin. They also built pyramids to perform these rituals.

Culture

They had 365 day calendar which they got from Mayans.  They had gold, silver and precious stone jewelry.  They had picture writing like the Maya.

Trade Network

They traded from California to Costa Rica on both coasts. They traded traded cloth, cacao, rubber, shells, feathers, precious stones

Role of Women

Weaving cloth  and producing future warriors made them important. A man could have more than one wife. Some women were priestesses, midwives, healers or merchants, even scribes

Decline of the Aztecs

Their low technology level made agriculture hard, food preparation also difficult, such as grinding maize by hand. Too many human sacrifices made the empire unstable and in need of labor.  However, what finally brought the Aztecs down was the arrival of Europeans and their diseases. (See Conquest of Aztecs)

 

See also

 

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