Aztec Geographic location

Aztec Culture and Society
April 2, 2020 – 11:01 am
Aztec (Mexica)
Aztec Culture and Society

The Aztecs were a Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people of central Mexico in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. They called themselves Mexica. The Republic of Mexico and its capital, Mexico City, derive their names from the word "Mexica".

The capital of the Aztec empire was Tenochtitlan, built on raised island in Lake Texcoco. Mexico City is built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan. The Spanish colonization of the Americas reached the mainland during the reign of Huey Tlatoani, Moctezuma II (Montezuma II). In 1521 Hernan Cortes and an allied army of American Indians that far outnumbered the defending Aztecs, conquered the Aztecs through germ warfare, siege warfare, psychological warfare, and direct combat.

According to their own history, when the Mexicas arrived in the Anahuac valley (Valley of Mexico) around Lake Texcoco, the groups living there considered them uncivilized. The Mexicas borrowed much of their culture from the ancient Toltec whom they seem to have at least partially confused with the more ancient civilization of Teotihuacan. To the Mexicas, the Toltecs were the originators of all culture; "Toltecayotl" was a synonym for culture. Mexica legends identify the Toltecs and the cult of Quetzalcoatl with the mythical city of Tollan, which they also identified with the more ancient Teotihuacan.

The center of the Aztec civilization was the Valley of Mexico, a huge, oval basin about 7, 500 feet above sea level. The Aztec empire included many cities and towns, especially in the Valley of Mexico. The largest city in the empire was the capital, Tenochtitlan.

Tenochititlan The Capitol City of Aztecs - Pyramids

The early settlers built log rafts, then covered them with mud and planted seeds to create roots and develop more solid land for building homes in this marshy land. Canals were also cut out through the marsh so that a typical Aztec home had its back to a canal with a canoe tied at the door.

The story of the Aztecs' rise to power is awe inspiring one, and is one of the most remarkable stories in world history. They were a relatively unknown group of people who came into the Valley of Mexico during the 12th and 13th century A.D., and rose to be the greatest power in the Americas by the time the Spaniards arrived, in the 16th century.

Little is known of the earliest Aztecs, they did not keep a written record. Their history was passed on by word of mouth from one generation to the next. Legend has it that they came from an Island called Aztlan, meaning White Place - Place of Herons.

In the Aztec codex Tira de la Peregrinacion, commonly called the Migration Scrolls. The scrolls have the Aztecs leaving Aztlan, which was described as an island in a lake with Chicomoztoc depicted as seven temples in the center of the island. The Aztecs felt they were the "chosen people" of Huitzilopochtli. The Aztecs believed Huitzilopochtli their war god was their protector, how had them search for their promised land.

Sometime during the 12th & 13th century the Aztecs straggled into the Valley of Mexico, led by their chieftain Tenoch. They were a poor, ragged people who survived on vermin, snakes, and stolen food. They were hatred and rejected by all the surrounding inhabitants of the valley, for their barbarous and uncultured habits. They were driven from one location to another. Early in the 14th century, Huitzilopochtli told Tenoch to lead his people to a place of refuge on a swampy island in Lake Texcoco. When they reached their destination, they were to look for an eagle perched on a cactus, growing from a rock or cave surrounded by water. At that location, they were to build their city and honor Huitzilopochtli with human sacrifices. The city they built was called Tenochtitlan, the city of Tenoch.

In the beginning stages of Tenochtitlan, development, Aztec life was very difficult in their undesirable location. Tenochtitlan was located on a marshy island with limited resources, they built a few thatch and mud huts, and some small temples. The Aztecs would have to work constantly to maintain a city on swampy land. There was also continuing tensions between the Aztecs and the neighboring peoples on the mainland who despised them. Despite these obstacles, the Aztecs worked hard to improve the quality of their lives. They adopted an agricultural system of farming called the Chinampas. and in a short period of time, the land was transformed into a fertile and highly productive island.

Source: www.crystalinks.com
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What was the ancient Mayans challenges?

drought or no rain for long time

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