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Early American Civilizations: Aztecs

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Johanna Winder

on 5 May 2014

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Transcript of Early American Civilizations: Aztecs

1. Describe one religious aspect of their civilization.

2. Name one tool that the Aztecs used

3. What number is their number system centred around?

4. Where was their civilization based?


- 20 pyramids at heart of city
- Dedicated to gods
- Biggest belonging to sun god
-200 feet tall
-300 feet all around the base

Farming and Hunting
Farmed in the marshlands
Corn (maize) is the most important crop
Farmed on 'chinampas'
Grew squash, tomatoes, beans, avocados, tobaccos, hemp, peppers, etc.
Hunted local animals
Religious Rituals and Customs
History and Economy
Folk Tales
Aztecs: Johanna, Dania, Ayaka, Pratiti
Trade and Economy
Located in the Valley of Mexico
fertile soil
accessible resources
large, shallow lakes
7,500 feet above sea level
Founded Tenochtitlán
Lake Texococo was in the center of the valley
Believed to be derived from a Maya system
2 main calendars: Sacred and agricultural/solar
Agricultural calendar had 360 days with an added 5 unlucky days called nemontemi, so it added up to 365 days
Arts and Music
Religious Performances
Used antispasmodic medicine that may have been useful in surgery
Didn’t have much fertile land, so they used the lakes to make floating gardens
Held in the lakes through a combination of trees, poles, and twined reeds, branches, and twigs.
Human excretion used as fertilizer, to fertilize and keep the city clean

- Uses weapons mad of obsidian
- Also used Obsidian, Andesite and flint for other things
- Traditional Tool Wooden Digging Stick
- Fire Kindling Sticks
- Created Copper and Bronze Tools
- Used Stone Chisels to create stone sculptures
Holden, Constance. "How Aztecs Did the Math." ScienceMag.org. AAAS, 3 Apr. 2008. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. <http://news.sciencemag.org/paleontology/2008/04/how-aztecs-did-math>.
"Aztec Writing." AncientScripts.com. DISQUS, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ancientscripts.com/aztec.html>.
Franco, Michael. "Top 5 Ancient Aztec Inventions" 12 January 2011. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/inventions/5-ancient-aztec-inventions.htm> 03 May 2014.
123.com. Golden Number 20. N.d. 123.com. Web. 4 May 2014. <http://us.cdn3.123rf.com/168nwm/eraxion/eraxion1110/eraxion111000824/11022349-golden-number--20.jpg>.
Wikipedia Commons. Aztec Calendar (Sunstone). N.d. Wikipedia. Web. 4 May 2014. <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a8/Aztec_calendar_(Sunstone).png>.
"Aztec Music." Aztec Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.
Chinampas. N.d. Adventure Community. Web. 4 May 2014. <http://www.adventure-community.onejungle.com/images/150/chinampas.jpg>
"Ancient Aztec Art." Ancient Aztec Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014.
Watkins, Thayer. "The History of the Aztecs." The History of the Aztecs. San José State University, n.d. Web. 01 May 2014. <http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/aztecs.htm>.
Blood Offering. N.d. Myths of Latin America. Web. 02 May 2014.
"Aztec Economy Trade and Currency." The Aztec Economy. Legends and Chronicles, n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. <http://www.legendsandchronicles.com/ancient-civilizations/the-ancient-aztecs/aztec-economy-trade-and-currency/>.
Aztec Drums Florentine Codex. N.d. Wikimedia Commons. Web. 4 May 2014.
Staff, History.com. "Aztecs." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 03 May 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/aztecs>.
Mayan Aztec Temple. N.d. Underground Temple Inspiration. Web. 4 May 2014.
Donn, Lin. "Aztecs for Kids - Daily Life." Aztecs for Kids - Daily Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. <http://aztecs.mrdonn.org/dailylife.html>.
Teotihuacan. N.d. Historical Questions. Web. 4 May 2014. < http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vida_alien/ufowarning/ufowarning11.htm >
"Mayan Gods and Goddesses - Crystalinks." Mayan Gods and Goddesses - Crystalinks. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. < http://www.crystalinks.com/mayangods.html >
World History Textbook
Language called Nahuatl
3 primary functions: marking calendar dates,
recording accounting (mathematical calculations),
writing the names of people and places
They had 20 different signs for the days in the Aztec sacred
Used phonetic glyphs for names (combined with logograms)
Used logograms for names of people places and historical events
They are signs or drawings used to represent a word or phrase.

Math/Number System
Vigesimal number system
A dot = 1 A bar= 5
Other symbols for 20 and it’s multiples
Standard unit of measurement= land-rods,
Small symbols representing fractions of a land rod would be added to measurements to make them exact.

Math/ Science
Farming and Hunting
City and Empire Layout
- Constructed like other empires at first, but population growht caused a need to reorganize
- Renovated along grid lines
- Divided into 5 quadrants (center included)
- Central plaza administrative and religious center
- Outside city center peoples houses
- Outskirts city were gardens in swamps
Center of trade network that extended far into Central America
Traded obsidian
Traded in the market places
Currency; Quachtli
Mostly used the trading and bartering system
Sometimes sold their children in exchange for goods or services
Trade and Economy
Culture and Daily Life
The emperor was at the top of social pyramid
Noble class; military leaders, government officials, priests
Commoners; merchants, artisans, soldiers, farmers (owned their own land)
Enslaved persons; captives
Merchants were special
Culture and Daily Life
Triple Alliance
1428 - Aztecs joined with Texcoco and Tlacopan
early 1500s - controlled a vast empire
loose control over empire
letting local rulers govern their own regions
fall of the aztecs:
period of unrest and rebellion; population of Tenochtitlán growing, more tribute and sacrifices, number of provinces rose up against Aztec oppression
predicted terrible thing would happen
bad omens
arrival of spanish
Aztec Triple Alliance Territory
Public Ceremonies
Human Sacrifices
Various Temples
Mesoamerican Gods
The Toltecs
The Aztecs
Various Instruments
A Variety of Art
"Music, Song and Dance among the Aztecs - a Short Introduction." Music, Song and Dance among the Aztecs - a Short Introduction. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. < http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/music/music-song-and-dance-among-the-aztecs-a-short-introduction >
"Aztec History." Aztec Tiki Huts. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. < http://www.aztectikihuts.com/aztec-history/ >
"Toltec Culture." Toltec Culture. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. < http://riveramujicamundo.blogspot.com/ >
"Aztec God." Aztec God. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014. < http://home.freeuk.net/elloughton13/aztecgod.htm >
"Aztec Headdress." Aztec Headdress by Pulvis on DeviantART. Deviant Art, n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. <http://pulvis.deviantart.com/art/Aztec-headdress-245688810 >
"Timeline of Native American Art History." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Apr. 2014. Web. 04 May 2014. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Native_American_art_history >
"Basic Aztec Facts: AZTEC HOUSES." Basic Aztec Facts: AZTEC HOUSES. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. <http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/kids/aztec-houses>.
"Basic Aztec Facts: AZTEC TOOLS." Basic Aztec Facts: AZTEC TOOLS. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2014. <http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/kids/aztec-tools>.
"Aztec Homes." Aztec-History.com. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.aztec-history.com/aztec-homes.html>.
Aztec Pyramid. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.travelvivi.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/Pyramid.jpg>.
Aztec Pyramid. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <Aztec Pyramid. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. .>
Aztec Steamhouse. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.aztec-history.com/images/adobe-shelter.jpg>.
Aztec House. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/images-4/426_02_2.jpg>.
Aztec Tools. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/images-6/605_03_2.jpg>
Aztec City Layout. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.crystalinks.com/tenochtitl.jpg>.
"Tenochitlan." N.p., n.d. Web. <https%3A%2F%2Fwww.courses.psu.edu%2Fanth%2Fanth008_cmg149%2Faten.html>.
- Made of Adobe, or wooden strips woven together
- Floor made of earth or stone
Thatched roofs
Main room for eating and sleeping (Not much time spent there)
Kitchen was in a seperate courtyard shared with neighbors
Close by would be a sweat bath (like sauna)
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