Tenochtitlan was the main city and capital of the Aztec empire. The city was founded in 1325 when the Aztec emperor told some of his tribes to look for a spot for their new capital city. He told them that the spot for the city would be found when they saw an eagle eating a snake on top of a cactus. This symbol is now on the Mexican coat of arms and on the Mexican flag (King). The tribes wondered around in what is now present day Mexico City, looking for this strange site. They finally came to the spot where they saw the scene. It happened on a small island in the middle of Lake Texacco. All of the surrounding area of the lake was all swamp land, but because they saw the eagle there, that’s where the city was to be built. The construction of Tenochtitlan took place under the rule of four different Aztec kings. They laid out the construction plans for the city on a grid, making the building of the city much easier and run smoother. The city was linked to the mainland by three raised causeways; the three different causeways pointed north, west, and south. The raised causeways had bridges in the middle of them to allow canoes and other traffic underneath; the bridges could also be raised up in case of an attack. The city had two aqueducts that were 2.5 miles long to supply fresh water from the springs of Chapultepec, though most of this water was used for bathing, washing dishes, and other various reasons (Stearns). Most of the Tenochtitlan population bathed twice every day, but ruler Montezuma was rumored to bathe as many as 4 times a day. The people preferred their drinking water from the nearby mountain springs, as it was much cleaner. When it was at its biggest point, Tenochtitlan covered a little more than five square miles. And at the height of its existence, Tenochtitlan’s population was approximately 150,000 people (closely comparable to the size of the population of the city of Cordoba). Tenochtitlan...
Cited: Stearns, Peter et al. World Civilizations. 3rd ed. New York. Pearson Longman, 2000.
“Tenochtitlan.” Retrieved from https://www.courses.psu.edu/anth/anth008_cmg149/aten.html
King, Heidi. “Tenochtitlan”. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (October 2004) Retrieved from
http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/teno_1/hd_teno_1.htm (October 2004)
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