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Aztec culture

❖ Also known as Mexica culture

❖ Nahuatl-speaking people
❖ Aztlán (“White Land”), Metzliapán (“Moon Lake”)
❖ Triple alliance of the Mexica, Texcoca and Tepaneca
❖ The capital city of the Aztec empire was Tenochtitlan
❖ The Aztec empire was more of a system of tribute than
a single system of government
❖ Aztec society was organized around maize agriculture
❖ The cocoa bean was highly treasured in the Aztec Empire
❖ The cocoa beans were used to make a thick chocolate drink
❖ They added peppers, corn meal and spices
❖ chocolate = chocolatl
❖ May have played a part in the fall of the empire
Aztec culture
❖ Women wove textiles from agave fibers and cotton
❖ Men engaged in craft specializations
❖ The Aztecs did not produce much metal work
❖ They combined gold with precious stones such as jade and turquoise
Human sacrifice
❖ Death was instrumental in the perpetuation of creation
❖ Humans were responsible for the sun's continual
❖ Some rituals included acts of cannibalism
❖ Both humans and animals were sacrificed, depending
on the god to be placated and the ceremony being
The Great Temple
❖ The centerpiece of Tenochtitlan was the
Templo Mayor, a large stepped pyramid
with a double staircase leading up to two
twin shrines
❖ This was where most of the human
sacrifices were carried out
❖ One set of myths, called Legend of the Suns
❖ Describe the creation of four successive suns
❖ Each period ends in a cataclysmic destruction

❖ The Aztecs used two calendars

simultaneously: a ritual calendar of 260
days and a solar one of 365 days
❖ Each day had a name and number in
both calendars
❖ Combination of two dates was unique
within a period of 52 years
❖ Each 20-day month was named after the
specific ritual
Music, song and poetry Visual and plastic art
❖ Song and poetry were highly regarded ❖ Was produced on animal skin, on
❖ There were also dramatic presentations cotton lienzos and on Amate paper
❖ Also produced on ceramics and carved
in wood and stone
❖ Aztec cities often competed to construct
the greatest temples in the world
(e.g. the Templo Mayor)
❖ They simply built over the old structure
❖ Houses were built with logs and were
not separated
❖ Houses similar to mountains
The Aztec Empire
❖ Was the last of the great Mesoamerican cultures
❖ The Aztecs didn’t start out as a powerful people
❖ The Nahuatl speaking peoples began as poor hunter-gatherers
❖ Tenochtitlan, grew to become the capital of their empire
Did you know...
❖ It was against the law to be drunk in public in the Aztec empire, unless you were over 70
years old
❖ Each Aztec home had a steam bath
❖ It is said that the major Aztec weapon could chop off the head of a horse with one blow
❖ They would often sell their own children into slavery
❖ Aztec men were allowed to practice polygamy
❖ They introduced compulsory schooling
❖ Their deceased were usually buried right under their house
❖ The Aztecs had never discovered the wheel
Project by: Brînzilă Maria
Ciocîrlan Teodora
Popa Livia