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Transcript
THE AZTECS
THEIR LOCATION
The Aztecs were a great nation of
nomadic warriors who traveled to Mexico
about 700 years ago in search of a land to
call their own.
THE EAGLE AND THE SNAKE
The Aztec chief had a dream in which their
god appeared to him and declared that the
Aztecs would build a great nation where
the eagle with a snake in its talons lands
on a cactus.
THE ISLAND IN THE LAKE
The warriors searched for many days and
came upon a lake. They were tired and
hungry. They gazed out upon the lake and
saw a huge eagle swoop down, grab a
snake in its talons and land on a cactus
that was on an island in the middle of the
lake.
Tenochtitlan- video
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec
Location
Lived in ancient
Mexico for about
300 years.
 The empire lasted
during the 14th 16th centuries
 The Aztec Empire
dominated present
day central Mexico,
Guatemala, El
Salvador &
Honduras

http://www.geocities.com/kimmykim7072003/aztec_empire.jpg
Location
Tenochtitlan was the
capital city and is
located in present
day Mexico city on
Lake Texcoco.
 Aztec empire caused
the biggest
population explosion
in Mesoamerican
history.

http://www.mte.asd103.org/art/images/Aztec.jpg
GREAT BUILDERS
The Aztecs began to build a great nation in the
middle of a huge lake. They named their city,
Tenochtitlan. It has been compared to Venice
because of its great gardens and streams.
They traveled by boat much like in Venice. It
was a city built of gold.
Human-Environmental
Interaction
•As population grew, more food was needed.
Aztec engineers created “floating” gardens,
or chinampas. They built a series of rafts,
which they anchored to the lake bed. They
piled on dirt and grew crops. They made
walkways out of mud and reeds to connect
the floating rafts.
•They created a complex system of
irrigation canals to water their crops
•The gardens were quite successful. The
Aztecs grew onions, chili peppers, squash,
corn, tomatoes, and beans.
Movement
Trade routes were set up to
trade goods among the various
villages.
 Causeways and canals were also
built as a means of
transportation.
 They built canoes so they could
fish, hunt waterfowl, and trade
with other tribes for the building
materials they needed.

Architecture
Considered great engineers
 Built aqueducts, temples, causeways, roads, and
a floating city
 Four main constructions- sacrificial temples,
shrines to the gods, Emperor’s palace, and
homes
 http://library.thinkquest.org/10098/aztec.htm

http://library.think
quest.org/10098/a
ztec.html
People
People worked as craftsmen, merchants, farmers,
and fishermen.
 Fierce warriors and used their fighting skills to
expand the Aztec Empire.
 Aztec society was divided into social classes: the
peasantry, the merchants and traders, warriors
and priests, and the nobility. There was one
emperor.
 Slaves consisted as a large part of the Aztec
society

People
Highly organized society, a solar calendar,
system for counting, governing and keeping
track of time.
 Developed a system of writing using picture
symbols called “glyphs”
 Raised crops and built beautiful cities,
religious temples and pyramids. They raised
crops and traded with neighboring cultures.

Government
Aztecs were ruled by a single emperor called
the Huey Tlatoani which roughly translates to
“The Great Speaker” and was located in the
capital city of Tenochtitlan
 Aztec rulers were religious, political and military
leaders. They ruled for life.
 You could tell the importance of the nobles
because they wore brightly colored cloaks
 Ruling counsel comprised of the wisest and
most powerful leaders.

Art
The Aztecs also made other
religious and non-religious
artifacts such as jade masks
 Clothing was also a popular
art form and women from
around the empire would use
bead, flower, and metal
decorations
 These artifacts were sold in
markets by visiting merchants

www.latinamericanstudies.org/.../aztec-mask.gif
THE AZTEC EDUCATION
The Aztecs were very well
educated. They were the first to
create an advanced calendar
that is more accurate than our
own. They performed brain
surgery. They were great in
mathematics, architecture,
building, astronomy, medicine,
surgery, and farming.
THE AZTEC RELIGION
The Aztecs were very
religious people. They
were polytheistic. They
had a god for almost
everything. The Aztecs
believed that the moon
and the sun were gods.
They thought that the
moon and the sun did
battle every night and day.
THE AZTECS GODS
The Aztecs believed that
in order to give the Sun
power to defeat the
moon and rise each
morning the Sun must
have a blood sacrifice.
They believed they
must sacrifice a beating
heart everyday.
THE AZTEC SACRAFICES
The Aztecs were forced to be at constant war to
obtain prisoners to sacrifice. They never killed their
enemies.
They captured them and held them for daily sacrifice.
They were placed on a bench and their heart was
cut out and placed in a stone statue of Chac-mool.
THE AZTEC WARFARE
The Aztecs were
feared and hated
by all of the other
Indian tribes of
Mexico.
THE ARRIVAL OF THE SPANISH
A man by the name of
Hernán Cortes had heard
of the infamous Aztecs.
The Spanish were
experiencing gold fever
and Hernán Cortes
agreed to come to the
Americas and conquer
the Aztecs and steal
their gold.
THE CONQUEST OF THE
AZTECS
The Spanish conquistadors landed in Mexico
with approximately 300 men and 40 horses.
They traveled Mexico and met with the
Indians.
 Upon hearing how fierce the Aztecs were,
Cortes’ men became scared and wished to
return to Spain. Cortes became greedier and
burned his ships. This forced his men to
fight or die.

THE AZTEC TRAITOR
Another Indian tribe gave
Cortes a woman slave. She
had been captured as a child
by the Mayas.
 She was an Aztec and spoke
many different languages
because she had been traded
by many different Indian
tribes.
 She told Cortes that the Aztecs
were awaiting their god
Quetzalcoatl to return this
year.

THE MEETING
According to Aztec legend
a tall white man had
appeared and ruled and
left the Aztecs after
promising to return in 100
years to rule them again.
 Hernán Cortes was
Spanish. He was a tall
white man and he came to
Tenochtitlan that exact
year.

MOCTEZUMA
Cortes presented
himself to the
Aztec leader
Moctezuma and
claimed to be their
returning God.
THE END OF THE AZTECS
Moctezuma gave the
Spaniards gifts of gold
and welcomed them to
his city. The Aztecs had
never before seen
horses and guns and
wept with fear. They
believed Hernán Cortes
to be their long lost god.
HERNAN CORTES
Hernan Cortes and his men killed Moctezuma.
The Aztecs were horrified. They had given
an enemy a key to the city. As they debated
on whether Hernan was actually a god,
disease spread throughout Tenochtitlan.
One third of the Indians were stricken and
died of small pox. The great Indian nation
was weakened by disease and without a
leader.
THE GREAT BATTLE
The Aztecs decided to kill the Spaniards.
However, they were sick with disease and
without a leader. Still the Spaniards were out
numbered one thousand to one.
 The Spanish then sent out messages to the
other Indian tribes who hated the Aztecs,
telling them that they had conquered the city
and killed the leader.
 The other Indian tribes saw this as an
opportunity to be rid of the Aztecs and came
to help.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE GOLD?
The Aztecs quickly realized that they had no
leadership. They were becoming sick with
small pox and other Indian tribes were
coming to help the Spanish.
 While some were fighting the Spaniards, the
Aztecs men, women, and children worked
and gathered up the gold throughout the city
and piled it into boats.
 One by one they sunk those boats into the
lake.

MEXICO CITY
The bulk of the Aztec gold was lost to the
world. The great Aztec empire fell.
 Mexico City stands where the great Aztec city
Tenochtitlan once lay.
 The Aztec symbol is proudly flown on the
Mexican flag and today the Mexican people
view the Aztecs and not Cortes as national
heroes.

Video Review

http://player.discoveryeducation.com/index.cfm?guidAssetId=
5EE81510-512A-4DEE-991BE7D05E0C4874&blnFromSearch=1&productcode=US