Where was the Aztecs located?
An ancient Aztec pyramid in Mexico. (Photo: Images )
Mexico has been home to many different cultures and civilizations through the centuries, including the Aztec. The Aztec Empire rose in the 13th century and flourished in central Mexico. Most of the ancient Aztec sites are located in and around the Valley of Mexico where Mexico City is located. Some are grandiose tourist attractions, others more off-the-beaten-path, but all are important archeological sites.
The capital of the Aztec Empire was an enormous city on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico known as Tenochtitlan. Today, the ancient lake bed and the ruins of Tenochtitlan are buried beneath Mexico City. The ruins of a great pyramid known as Templo Mayor were excavated near Mexico City's Zocalo Square in 1978. Since then, archeologists working the site have continued to make important Aztec discoveries. The Templo Mayor Museum next to the ruins contains thousands of artifacts recovered from the site.
No one knows for sure who built Teotihuacan in the highlands northeast of Mexico City, but the Aztecs discovered the abandoned city in the 13th century and inhabited it. If you're going to Mexico to explore the ruins of ancient cultures and only have time to visit one site, this may be the place. The Mexican travel website Mexperience.com states that scholars tout Teotihuacan to be one of "Mexico's - and perhaps one of the world's - most important archaeological sites." In Teotihuacan you will find such renowned and sacred sites as the Pyramid of the Sun, the Pyramid of the Moon and the Avenue of the Dead, all named by the Aztecs after their discovery of this mysterious city.
The ruins of Calixtlahuaca are located outside the city of Toluca on the slopes of the highlands of Toluca Valley west of Mexico City. Calixtlahuaca is notable not only for its monuments, but also for the well-preserved nature of its residential areas, making it an important archeological site to search for clues to everyday life during the time of the Aztecs. You'll see temples and pyramids along with modest dwellings. Buses from Toluca will take you to Calixtlahuaca. The site, a short stroll up the hill from the bus stop, is open daily and a small admission fee is charged.
In Tepoztlan National Park south of Mexico City, the small Aztec temple of El Tepozteco sits on a hilltop near the town of Tepoztlan. While this site is less impressive in scale compared to other Aztec sites in Mexico, its remote location amidst the scenery of a national park makes it a good stop for hikers interested in history. Explore the ruins and contemplate the time and effort it took an ancient culture to build this monument on top of a remote mountain centuries ago.
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What is some info on the Aztecs.
The Aztec people/tribe were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in t