The ancient Aztecs made their home in the Valley of Mexico, a fertile area nearly 8,000 ft. above sea level. Unfortunately, other tribes already claimed the area and forced the Aztecs to Lake Texcoco. The Aztecs knew they would settle here when they saw an eagle perched upon a cactus with a long snake in its beak like the prophecy. The island provided fish and water birds for food. In addition, the island was easy to defend.
The great Aztecs were very intelligent, and made many cultural achievements. First of all, they adapted to the marshy Lake Texcoco by creating artificial islands called ‘chinampas’ and bridges over the water called ‘causeways’. As for crops, they created a 365 day calendar so they could plan planting, harvesting, and watering. Plus, they enjoyed music, dance, poetry, and sculpture. Perhaps their greatest achievement was their stone temples. With great height, and innovation, the Aztecs are known for their great buildings.
The main people who were involved in the fall of the Aztecs were Montezuma the Aztec king, and Hernan Cortes- a Spanish conquistador. Hernan and his soldiers came in search of gold and riches in the new world. When they stumbled upon the Aztecs, Montezuma believed Cortes was a god and gave him precious stones and feathered crowns. The greedy Cortes wanted more and marched into the capitol. The Aztecs soon realized he was not a god, for a god would have preferred the feathered crowns more than the gold. Thus, the Aztecs were able to drive Cortes and his men out, only to kill Montezuma in the confusion. Cortes, furious, came back with many things on his side, including alliances, weapons, horses, geography, and disease. In 1521, the Aztec rein had finally come to an end.
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