2Location The Aztec tribe lived in ancient Mexico for about 400 years. For the first 200 years, the Aztecs were constantly on the move. No one wanted the Aztecs as neighbors. The Aztecs practiced human sacrifice.
3Location The Aztecs were a nomadic tribe. Their god had commanded them to find an eagle devouring a snake, perched atop a cactus.After two hundred years of wandering, they found the promised sign on a small island in the swampy Lake Texcoco.It was there they founded their new capital, Tenochtitlan (Which is modern day Mexico City)
6By the early 1500’s, the city of Tenochtitlan had a population of 200,000 and over 1 million in the Basin of Mexico (5 times larger than London at the time)
7Over the years Tenochititlan grew into a great city with open plazas and market places.
8GovernmentThe Aztec Courts and Judges had to be completely fair and never take bribes. Lying to the court was like lying to the gods. The penalty was death.Anyone could go to court but nobles got much harsher punishments because they should know better.The laws covered every aspect of Aztec life including the work people were allowed to do, the clothes they wore, and even what they ate.
9GovernmentThere was a pattern; the 1st time they did something bad their house was knocked down, the 2nd time they did something bad, it was death. Sometimes, instead of death, if they were lucky, they might get sent into slavery. You could also get sent into slavery if you could not pay your debts.The Aztecs where ruled by a single emperor called “The Great Speaker” and was located in the capitol city of TenochtitlanThere was also a ruling counsel comprised of the wisest and most powerful leaders
10Montezuma was their fiercest and greatest emperor
11Social StructureThe Aztec society was divided into three socal classes: the peasantry, the merchants and traders, and the nobilitySlaves consisted as a large part of the Aztec societyThough people were born into a certain class it was possible to move up the ranks within a life time
13School for everyone!To build the city they wanted, they knew that they would need many engineers, builders, and traders. This required an educated population.To solve this problem, the Aztecs set up a system of public schools. Attendance was mandatory for all Aztec children, even girls and slaves.The Aztecs were the only people up to that time in history to have free schools that every child had to attend.
14School for GirlsThere were three different schools: one for girls, and two for boys.Girls learned about religion and were trained to be good wives and mothers. They learned how to cook, sew, and how to care for their children. They also learned how to make beautiful woven textiles.
15School for Upper ClassSons of the upper class went to the nobles’ school. Sons of wealthy traders and merchants also went to this school.They studied law, writing (hieroglyphics), medicine, engineering and building, interpretation of dreams and omensThey also learned about their history and religious beliefs.It was a tough school. The boys were humiliated and tormented to toughen them up.
16Sons of Commoners and Slaves The other boys’ school was for sons of commoners. Its main goal was to train warriors and farmers. Boys had to sleep under skimpy blankets. They were given hard bread to eat.The commoners’ school also taught history, religion, manners, correct behavior, and important rituals, along with singing and dancing.
17ReligionThe Aztecs believed that the sun god needed daily "nourishment" - that is, human blood and hearts - and that they, as the "people of the sun," were required to provide the sun god with his victims.It was believed that after their death the warriors first formed part of the sun's brilliance; then, after four years, they went to live forever in the bodies of hummingbirds.
18ReligionSacrifice was very gruesome, there was blood and gore everywhere! To be an Aztec sacrifice you had to have good hair, teeth, skin, and health; you had to be perfect. Sacrifices fasted for four days.
19This was used to display the heads of human sacrifices Aztec tzompantliThis was used to display the heads of human sacrifices
20SacrificesAztec historians recorded that in 1487, at the great pyramid of Tenochitilan, executioners sacrificed four lines of prisoners, each two miles long. But before they were ritualistically killed, the victims were forced to climb up the pyramid's two hundred and thirty seven steps. At the top were two killing rooms, with priests wielding sacrificial knives.Sacrifices were necessary to satisfy their hungry sun-god who demanded blood as payment for creating the world. The limbs of a victim would be given as a reward to the victim’s captor to be eaten.According to Aztec beliefs, the sacrifices were necessary to satisfy their hungry sun-god who demanded blood as payment for creating the world. If his gory fee were not paid, the sun would go out.
21First, the priest of the God would cut out the victims heart and then they ate the victims arms and legs.After that they put the victims skull on a skull rack and sometimesthey used the victims skin as capes.
24Wars1400's - The Aztecs conquered neighboring peoples, becoming an empire.By 1500, the Aztecs ruled millions of people.People revolted against high taxes and human sacrifices, only to lose to the powerful Aztec army.The main items that they used in war were a camana, which is a paddle spiked with obsidian, a spear spiked with obsidian, an ax, a bow and a shield.Their armor was made of animal skin because the Aztecs thought it would give the warrior the power of the animal.
27AgricultureAs the Aztec population grew, more food was needed. To solve this problem, Aztec engineers created “floating” gardens. They built a series of rafts, which they anchored to the lake bed. They piled on dirt and grew crops. They made walkways out of mud and reeds to connect the floating rafts.The gardens were quite successful. The Aztecs grew chili peppers, squash, corn, tomatoes, and beans.
29AgricultureIn Aztec times they didn’t have very appetizing meats. Regular Aztecs often couldn’t afford meat, so they ate corn ground into flour and cooked as porridge, tortillas, or tamales (stuffed as dumplings).Meat and fish were only served on special occasions; there were not any cows. This meant that there was no cheese or milk!Aztecs didn’t know that sheep and horses existed. Aztecs got their meat from wild animals like rabbits and deer and domesticated animals like dogs.
30InventionsThey invented a very sophisticated calendar for their time. It consisted of 360 days a year, over 18 months, excluding five days for sacrifice. It is approximated that this calendar was used 100 year before the Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar we use today.
31Inventions Floating Gardens First to show Europe about popcorn. The Spanish saw it on their headdresses to honor their god of maizeChocolate has been around, but they were the first to make it into a drink, Hot ChocolateInvented the chewing gum from the sap of the sapodilla tree
32Contributions Mandatory and universal education One of the most useful contributions of the Aztecs is a system of communication using roads. Roads were traveled on foot, and were maintained using tribute. Along the road, there were places where travelers can rest and go to the bathroom.
33Explorer - CortezIn 1519 a Spanish explorer by the name of Hernan Cortez left in order to explore Mexico. Cortez was convinced that he could obtain more riches in Mexico.Cortez and over 500 men arrived in Mexico, and began traveling towards the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. The Aztec Empire was wealthy, and in many ways more advanced than any European nation. However, they did not have horses, nor did they have guns. This game the Spaniards a huge advantage.In addition, many of the peoples who had been conquered by the Aztecs were unhappy about the way the had been treated by them. The Aztecs were brutal, and often sacrificed the people they conquered to their gods. As a result, many of these people were ready to join forces with Cortez and his men to overthrow the Aztec Empire.At first the Aztecs did not fight back. They thought that the Europeans were the fulfillment of an ancient legend that spoke of white bearded gods.After seeing the wealth of their empire Cortez setout to take control of it. Within just a few years, he and his small army were able to defeat one of the most advanced civilizations of the era, setting Cortez as the ruler of Mexico, in behalf of Spain