The Aztec Culture

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Paul Almeida
Mr. Myers
World Cultures 11
4, December 2009

Aztec Culture
The Aztec culture began around 1395 and sadly end sometime around 1521. Central Mexico was the area the Aztec culture lived and survived for so many years. The language they spoke was Nahuatl. The word “Aztec” is mainly exclusively for the people of Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs once lived around eroded volcanic peaks and dissected mountain ranges. Their god, Huitzilopochtli, commanded them on a journey to the south and they arrived in the Valley of Mexico in 1248. This culture at one put just traveled around the Mexican valley and they struggled to survive.

They were also enslaved by another tribe at one point. During the year 1325 they stopped their migratory pattern around the southwest border of Lake Texcoco. That’s when they beheld an eagle sitting on the stem of a prickly pear. This eagle was holding a serpent in its claws and his wings were open to the sun. The Aztecs saw this as an omen; this is where they decided the location of their future city and capital and they then called it Tenochtitlan. In order for them to be able to build their own city, the swamps and standing water around them had to be drained and artificial islands were constructed to form gardens.

Tenochtitlan at this time grew very large and was estimated of a population of 200,000 people. The city had grown to a point where there was no more room for expanding on the island and then they were forced to move out into the lake areas. They would take a shallow lake bed and they would convert it into a chinampas. Chinampas is a highly productive garden formed by piling up mud from the lake bottom to make artificial islands.

Human Sacrifice was very common in the Aztec culture. There was many types of sacrifices the Aztecs had. The Aztec people believed that they owed a blood-debt to the gods. They wanted to keep any disaster by paying the endless debt. So blood was a common theme, and only what the...
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