Aztec Civilization Research Project

Time period: The Aztecs first settled in 1325 in a city known as Tenochtitlan. They continued to

grow until the hanging of their leader by the Spaniards in 1525.

Geographic Location: The Aztecs lived in The Valley of Mexico, located in the mountains of

central Mexico. Here they grew and unified

calling themselves the Mexica.

Political Structure: The Aztec civilization was

comprised of several city states ruled by leaders

known as tlatoani. The tlatoanis were chosen by

nobles, but were typically just relatives or heirs of the dead leader. These leaders had to serve one

Emperor that ruled the entire Aztec Empire.

Religious beliefs: The Aztec worshipped multiple gods and goddesses who ruled one or more

aspects of nature. Religion was extremely important, because their culture was based on

agriculture and many gods granted good crops, if worshipped. The Aztec believed there were

different realms after death. A warrior killed in battle went to paradise, while an old person went

to a lower level; unless they were wise. With 13 heavens, the Aztec religion was extremely


Religious practices: The Aztecs practiced sacrifices to the gods to grant wealth and good

fortune. They also held many festivals and rituals in honor of their emperors and gods.
Developments and Inventions: Most people don't realize this, but the Aztec were one of the

first people to practice mandatory education for everyone. They also developed chewing gum, by

hardening liquid from the sapodilla tree. They also invented floating gardens called chinampas,

as well as a calendar and different style temples.

Economy: The Aztec traded everything and anything for other resources. The most important

crop they grew was corn. The most common jobs in their economy were farmers, builders, or

involved in many trades; such as weaving, crafting, and carpentry. Bartering was way more

common in the Aztec economy then buying and selling.

Social grouping: The Aztecs had a strict class starting at nobles, then commoners, and then serfs

or slaves. The nobles were either military or government leaders who were very well known.

Commoners typically worked the fields, and were sometimes head over fields. Slaves were not

common, and were strictly protected by the laws. If someone was in debt they could sell

themselves as slaves, but had to be paid fairly. In the fields, women and men worked beside each

other. Older women took over the sewing and weaving done for the whole society or group.

Chinampas Aztec Calendar