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The Aztecs settled in the Valley of Mexico
on a small island in Lake Texcoco.
They built the city of Tenochtitlan, now
present day Mexico City.
The land was swampy, so they built
chinampas or raised garden beds.
Floating Gardens
The Aztecs worshipped many gods
They believed in about 1,000 gods
Main gods: Huitzilopochtli – sun god,
Tlaloc-god of rain, Quetzalcoatl- god of
wind (bird/serpent).
Practiced human sacrifice.
The Aztecs dug canals and built aquaducts to
bring fresh water to the city.
They also built bridges and causeways
They built great pyramids and temples
They had a number and writing system/codex
The Aztec Calendar.
By 1500’s, the Aztecs had a great empire
and ruled between 6 to 12 million people.
From the people they conquered, the Aztecs
demanded tribute (taxes).
Montezuma II- most famous Aztec
The Aztecs traded for goods they could not
get locally, especially wood and stone for
They also used cacao beans as a form of
Three main classes formed Aztec society
The Emperor/Nobles/Priest lived in luxury
The middle class-merchants/skilled artisans
The commoners-Farmers/Warriors
Slaves, prisoners of war
Women had few rights