Sunday, January 25, 2015
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Ancient Aztec

Parent Category: Educational










1.   Aztec" refers exclusively to the people of Tenochtitlan.  This city was located on an island
in Lake Texcoco . The first ruler was Acamapichtli (1376-1396).  He guided early construction of the city.  
The last and 11th ruler, Cuauhtemoc (1520-1525), who was governing when the Spanish destroyed 

Tenochtitlan and the Aztec empire ended.

2.   Several types of money were in regular use; small purchases were made with cacao beans and
larger purchases were made with cotton cloth called quachtli.

3.   Parents taught children responsibility, citizenship, and life-skills - harsh punishments 
were handed out if child disobeyed - children of noble class attended calmecac (school) 
and the workers’ children attended telpochcalli and were taught occupational skills, 
warfare, history, good citizenship, religion but girls were trained for marriage.

4.   Maize (yellow corn) was main food source along with avocados, tomatoes, tamales, tortillas,
vegetables, meat, corn, chili peppers, squash, and chocolate.

5.   Children played tlachtli – a ball game for teams much like a combination  of basketball and
soccer and patolli – a gambling game played with dried beans and pebbles.

6.   Harsh laws maintained order where the emperor would act as judge and the citizens would act
as the jury.

7.   N’ahuatl is a system of hundreds of pictures that created an alphabet and scribes and priests
were the only ones who could write.

8.   War was a big part of the culture and all boys were trained to fight.

9.   Aztecs used two different calendars, one measured time, while the other was used to fix
religious festivals.

10.   Religion was very important part of Aztec life and music was a huge part of religious ceremonies
(and story-telling) - the instruments they
used were shells, rattles, whistles, horns, bells and drums.

Aztec Gods: (having many gods and goddesses is called polytheastic)

Chalchiuhtlicue – goddess of the lakes and streams
Chantico – goddess of the hearth
Chicomecoatl – goddess of maize
Coatlicue – goddess for the pain of life
Huehuetectim - god of fire
Huitzilopochtli – god of war, sun and the nation
Mictlantecuhtl – god of the dead
Quetzalcoatl - god of knowledge, creation, priesthood, and wind
Tezcatlipoca – god of magic, war and death
Tezcatlipoca – god of speech and language
Tlaloc – god of rain
Tloque Nahuaque - god of everywhere, the one supreme force, both male and female
Xipe Totec – god of spring and new life, god of suffering 
Xochipilli - 
prince of flowers, god of dawn, dance and love



Fast Facts Resources
Ancient Aztec, Olmec and Mesoamerica
Ancient Scripts
Aztecs: The Basics