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The Floating Gardens of the Aztec World

Also known as the chinampas

Kelsey Tungpalan

on 2 March 2011

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Transcript of The Floating Gardens of the Aztec World

Aztec Chinampas Floating Gardens of the Aztec World Although they are called the floating gardens, they do not actually float The land was less than 1 ft. above the water level
was surrounded by water on all sides Extremely Fertile Land The word "Chinampa" comes from the Nahautl words:

>chināmitl= "square made of canes"
>pan= "on or above surface" The chinampas produced about 1/2 to 2/3 of food consumed by the Aztecs A growing technique commonly found in the Valley of Mexico
The Aztecs needed to grow the mainstay of their diet, maize (corn), without going back to the mainland. Chinampas first used in Lakes Xochimilco & Lake Chalco

south of Tenochtitlan
during the Middle Postclassic Period (1150-1350 AD/CE) Sluice gates: used to control their water supply
(channel water towards city) During Spanish Conquest of Mexico, many dams and sluice gates were destroyed, resulting in most of the chinampa farms being abandoned However, remnants of the chinampas built in Lake Xochimilco are still in use today How were they created? Fenced off an area in a shallow lake usually with wattle The fenced area is then filled with sediment and mud until the land is above water Certain trees were planted at each corner of the chinampa to hold it together:
>Monteczuma Cypress (āhuēhuētl in Nahautl)
>Bonpland Willow (āhuexōtl in Nahautl) Chinampas were fertilized with:
lake sediment & human excrement The same techniques used to build the chinampas were also used to build the causeways that connected Tenochtitlan to the mainland Chinampas were mainly used for agriculture

Aztecs created a calender that told them when to
plant and harvest People 1826: Captain G. F. Lyon, "the little gardens constructed on bushes or wooded rafts no longer exist in the immediate vicinity of Mexico [the city]; but I learned that some may yet be seen at Inchimilco." Abbe Francesco Clavigero "They plait and twist Willows and roots of many plants, or other materials, together, which are light, but capable of supporting the earth of the garden firmly united. Upon this foundation they lay the light bushes which float on the lake, and over all the mud and dirt which they draw from the bottom of the same lake." And now... Consists of miles of canals
Chinampas still produce fruits, flowers, & vegetables
Can rent a boat to navigate Why? Where? Hmm...Interesting Combined, sluice gates & dikes were used to convert normally salty waters of Lake Texcoco into freshwater so that Chinampa farms could be established Dikes: walls to control water levels
(today they are called levees) Anything else? 2 million people Or Should I say... 1/2 to 2/3 of the food consumed by First of all... Less than 1ft ¿Qué? A lot more than this Aztecs discovered this agricultural technique during their military conquests and later surrounded their city with chinampa farms Xiuhpohualli - 365 days - 18, 20 day months Chinampas Wattle: series of poles with twigs, reeds, and/or branches intertwined around them ? Willows Crop Posts Wattle Channel Mud (Salty-ish water) They were actually man-made islands The remnants of the Xochimilco chinampa farms are known as the Xochimilco Floating Gardens Trajineras Xochimilco is essentially the Venice of Mexico (Gondolas) With its canals.... Its boats.... And how it seemingly floats... Land was fertile enough to produce 3 crops each year Primary crops grown included... Maize Beans Squash Amaranth Tomatoes Cacoa Chili Pepper Some chinampas also grew flowers such as... Roses Poppies Fuschias The end :D
-Kelsey Tungpalan
-John Tayag
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