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The Aztec
ANTH 221: Peoples and Cultures of Mexico
Kimberly Martin, Ph.D.
The Aztecs
• “People from Atlan”, “MexicaTenochca”,
“Mexicas”,
• Spoke Nahuatl
• Chosen people of Huitzilopochtli, Sun God
• Monumental architecture
• 365 Day Calendar
• Dams and sophisticated water management
• Chinampas for frarming
Tenochtitlan
• 1350 CE saw the beginning of construction of
Tenochtitlan
• Founded on an island on the west side of Lake
Texcoco.
• In conjunction with legend about eagle sitting on a
cactus holding a snake in its beak.
• Monumental architecture
• Temples to Huitzilopochtli (Sun God) and Tlaloc
(Rain God)
• Palace Complex
• 200,000 people in 1519 (largest cities in world
300,000 in Old World)
• Canals as main transport corridors in the city
• Connected to mainland by causeways.
Lake
Texcoco
Valley of
Mexico
Aztec Capital
City of
Tenochtitlan