Aztec Civilization Chance Parker 10/15/12 4 th Period
Time of the Aztec Empire The Aztec Empire began in 1110 and was eventually ended by conquering Spaniards in 1525
Aztec Religion The Aztecs believe it took the gods 5 tries to create the world because the first creator was sent down to earth as a jaguar and destroyed it The Aztecs had many gods such as Quetzalcoatl (the feathered serpent), Tezcatlipoca (the Jaguar mentioned above), Nanauatl (a humble god who became the sun) and Ehecatl who sacrifices were made to and kept the Sun (Nanauatl) moving, thus keeping humans alive.
Social Classes The Nobles and Priests were the highest ranking citizens Commoners, which were the majority, and mostly farmers were second Third were serfs, who worked on the nobles land Then last were the slaves who were captured rival tribesmen and debters
Economy The Aztec’s most valuable trade item which was “hard, glassy green or black rock” which was very sharp and used to make deadly weapons The Aztecs had one of the most vast and advance trade systems in the world, Hernando Cortes the conqueror of the Aztecs even complimented Aztec trade, saying that it was unlike anything in Spain
Obsidian Aztec sacrificial knife
Art and Architecture Aztec art and architecture was richly colored ceremonial head dresses, knives and architecture Art included splashes of bright green feathers, embroidered with gold and blue, noble families had earrings, bracelets and necklaces The Aztecs built huge temples for sacrifices during ceremonies
Location The Aztec empire was in the Valley of Mexico, a valley with fertile soil, shallow lakes and vast resources Their capital Tenochtitlan near Lake Texcoco in the center of the valley Map of the Aztec Empire
Aztec Agriculture and Diet Maize was the Aztec’s main plant, which is also known as corn, it had been domesticated for years before that, the native Aztec land of Mexico is still one of the worlds largest producers of maize or corn. The Aztecs had a certain form of growing called chinampas which is like a garden in a lake The Aztecs also ate a lot of beans and squash along with the native plant of chocolate, some smaller parts of the Aztecs’ diet included honey turkey eggs, dogs and duck. They hunted and fished as well, and used animals such as deer, rabbits, iguana, fish and shrimp for food. They even ate insects from time to time. They also put algae to use, making bread and cheese type foods out of it.
Achievements The Aztecs were masters of mathematics and astronomy. They had used several shapes for different numbers, for instances dots were ones and bars were fives as well as rhombuses for 10. They also used this math to track the movement of celestial bodies. This practice was done by priests and nobles at high locations in buildings, such as temples. They tracked the rising and setting of the sun, moon, stars and other planets by placing sets of crossed sticks along their site line. These alignments helped layout plans for cities and buildings. In doing this they set up a solar calendar containing 365 days in a year and had lucky and unlucky days. The Aztecs built huge stone pyramids used for temples, the temple of the sun reached up to 215 ft! These temples were used for sacrifices to keep the sun moving, observatories and worship. These are by far the most recognized achievement in Aztec history.
Aztec Sun Temple in Tenochtitlan
Aztec Government The government positions were usually inherited, yet could also be awarded through service to the emperor The leader was known as the Huey Tlatcani, or Great Speaker. This was the emperor, who was worshipped as a god. But he was aided by the councils However this leader was aided by councils who had the most power in the Aztec empire, the “Great Speaker” was more or less a figure head to the commoners There were also the Calpulli who owned the individual families land, like a common day land lord Lastly were the families, or commoners, who had little say in the government
The Collapse of the Aztec Empire The Aztecs fell to the Spaniards as many know. The Aztecs definitely had less weapon technology as they were fighting with obsidian, the Spanish Conquistadors had metal armor and weapons as well as cannons. They also brought new disease to the Aztec land which helped wipe out many. Although they were not as technologically helped, they were much more clever, finding out the strategy and almost beating the advanced Spaniards, which really shows how fierce and smart the Aztecs were. The Aztecs also believed the Spanish were gods, welcoming Cortes to their cities who ended up betraying their trust and murdering many.
Spanish Conquistador Armor Depiction of Spanish Conquistadors
Works Cited "Aztec-History.com." aztec-history.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct Balladeer,. "Top Eleven Deities In Aztec Mythology." Top Eleven Deities In Aztec Mythology. N.p., Web. Web. 18 Oct Byers, Athena. "Maya, Inca and Aztec Achievments." Maya, Inca and Aztec Achievments. N.p., Web. Web. 18 Oct