The Aztec Civilization

Topics: Aztec, Aztec mythology, Aztec religion Pages: 6 (2434 words) Published: October 31, 2012
For this project I chose to write an essay on the lives, culture and history of one of the most famous and well known civilizations, The Aztec Civilization. The Aztec Civilization dates back from 1427 all the way to 1521, thriving for about 94 years. The Aztecs have a rich and captivating history that still fascinates people around the world until this day and many people living in Mexico and California can trace their lineage back to the Aztecs. The Aztec culture was filled with creativity and beauty. Among the craftsmanship valued by the Aztec Indians were art, music, poetry & tattoos. The Aztec Civilization has been credited for many advances of the Mesoamerican cultures, including the development of two unique calendar systems, a complex mathematical system, and an interesting form of astronomy. The Aztec daily life was pretty simple. In fact, Aztec family life was very much alike to many modern day cultures. For example, the husband was mainly responsible for supporting the family and the wife’s role was to supply the family with clothing and food. By itself, the Aztec daily life for many of the men was to farm or engage in craftwork. The female Aztec life, on the other hand, mainly consisted of weaving and cooking. The Aztec daily life was filled with work, every member of the household, including the children, helped around the house. Many also created merchandise that could be used by the empire in trade for other goods that were highly valued in the Aztec culture. Games and sports were an important factor of the Aztec culture. Besides just giving the Aztecs entertainment and activity, ancient Aztec games had a religious meaning and were often played as a part of their ritualistic ceremonies or during sacrifice. One of the most popular Aztec games was “Tlachtli”. In this game, two teams played on a field shaped like an H between two walls, the field was divided in half and each team had its own part. The goal of the game was to get an 8-10 pound rubber ball to the other team’s side. To add to the challenge, only the hips and the feet could be used to move the ball. A stone ring was located at each side of the field. The first team to pass the ball through the stone ring of the other team was the winner of this game. This sport is similar to how we play soccer today. Another of the popular Aztec games was “Patolli”. This game was played on a rock table in the shape of a cross. Each of the four ends of the cross had cells or spaces. The first player to make it around the board was the winner. Beans with marks symbolizing numbers were used as dice for the game. Because Aztec games were so important to Aztec culture and religion, participants typically prayed beforehand. The Aztec government was different from other systems of government during the time. In fact, it was more of a system of honor in which conquered cities paid respect to the Aztec empire. In return, these conquered cities tended to show an increase in their own economic wellbeing. One possible reason for this event was because the Aztec rulers had better forms of communication and roads built in the areas they conquered, similar to those found in Tenochtitlan. This, in turn, helped these areas increase their ability to trade goods. In addition to paying tribute to the Aztec king through respect, these conquered cities also paid tribute in the form of money. By doing this, the ancient Aztec government became both rich and powerful. Originally, only the upper class of these cities suffered financially under the Aztec government. But over time nearly all people within the conquered cities became resentful of the Aztec government and of Aztec leaders because of the large amounts of money that they were forced to pay to the Aztec leaders. The Aztec people had a very strict and clear society. In fact, the Aztec society consisted of a system of classes, including slavery. The class system of the Aztec people was very strict. It was still possible for the...
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