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The Traditional Aztec Way of Life

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The Traditional Aztec Way of Life
Lamira Herrera
Anth 121
5/12/15
Question Set 10: Chapter 17-19
1. (p. 459-61) What was an Aztec calpulli (plural calpultin)? What role did the calpulli play in the larger Aztec state?
-Calpulli or calputin are small family units that owned land together; means “Great House”. The calputin played a smaller role in the larger Aztecan state because they did not own the same land and food producing powers but were used for trade and collection.
The Templo Mayor (p. 462) was the main pyramid in the ceremonial precinct of Tenochtitlan. At its top were temples honoring the Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc. In the videotape Realms, the importance of these deities as representatives of war and water/fertility is highlighted. In addition, this combination symbolized a fusion of ancient Toltec and Central Mexican religion
(Tlaloc) with the new patterns of worship the Mexica introduced to Central Mexico (focused on
Huitzilopochtli).
2. Regarding the ceremonial precinct around the Templo Mayor (p. 462-3),
a. According to Spanish witnesses in 1519 A.D., how many heads were borne by the skull rack (tzompantli) in this ceremonial precinct?
-There were 136,000 heads found.
b. How many victims may have been sacrificed in the dedication of the Stage VI rebuilding of the Templo Mayor during the reign of Ahuitzotl?
-Estimated around 80,400 victims and revised to 20,000.
c. Why were the skeletons of small children found in association with Stage IV?
-The skeletons of children were found in association with Stage IV because of the heavy drought they believed that a child may represent a supplication to their rain god.
d. Why did the pyramid begin to sink into the ground?
-The weight of the layers of the pyramid weighed down the structure causing it to sink into the spongey, moist soil.
3. Schooling became an important part of the transformation of Mexica society begun with the tribute wealth obtained after the defeat of the Tepaneca (p. 466-7).
a. What were the telpochcalli? How common were

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