Aztec civilization

In simply a century, the Aztec built an empire in the area now called main Mexico. The arrival of the Spanish conquistadors carried it to a sudden end.

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Pyramid that the Sun

The Teotihuacan pyramids are few of the biggest of their sort in the Americas. Old Teotihuacanos built the Pyramid of the Sun and also the Pyramid that the Moon in the year 100 C.E., centuries before the Aztec had arrived in Teotihuacan. This marvels still was standing at one incredible height of about 65 meters (213 feet) and 43 meters (141 feet) respectively. 

Photograph by f9photos


The legendary origin of the Aztec human being has them moving from a homeland called Aztlan come what would end up being modern-day Mexico. While the is no clear where Aztlan was, a number of scholars believe that the Mexica—as the Aztec described themselves—migrated south to main Mexico in the 13th century.

The Mexica starting of Tenochtitlan to be under direction from their patron god Huitzilopochtli, follow to legend. The legend recounts the Huitzilopochtli told them to found their negotiation in the ar where a gigantic eagle eating a line was perched on a cactus. This settlement, in the an ar of Mesoamerica referred to as Anáhuac situated on a team of five connected lakes, came to be Tenochtitlan. Excavators date the founding of Tenochtitlan to 1325 C.E.

At first, the Mexica in Tenochtitlan were among a variety of small city-states in the region. Castle were subject to the Tepanec, whose resources was Azcapotzalco, and also had to pay tribute to them. In 1428, the Mexica allied through two other cities—Texcoco and Tlacopan. They formed the Aztec Triple Alliance and also were may be to victory the battle for regional control, collecting tribute from overcame states.

Key to the rise of Tenochtitlan to be the agricultural system that made it possible to feed the population. Chinampas, small, man-made islands created above the waterline, were one feature of the system. Recordkeeping was important to tracking tributes. 2 pictographic texts that endured Spanish destruction—the Matricula de tributos and also Codex Mendoza—record the tributes payment to the Aztecs. The codices likewise recorded religious practices.

A 260-day routine calendar was provided by Aztec clergymans for divination, alongside a 365-day solar calendar. In ~ their main temple in Tenochtitlan, Templo Mayor, the Aztecs practiced both bloodletting (offering one’s very own blood) and human sacrifice as part of their religious practices. The Spanish reaction come Aztec religious practices is believed to be partly responsible for the violence the the Spanish conquest.

The Spanish, led byconquistadorHernando Cortés, arrived in what is currently Mexico in 1519. They were looking for gold, and also the presents from the Mexica ruler, Motecuhzoma, confirmed that gold was present. Upon showing up in Tenochtitlan, Cortés took Motecuhzoma prisoner and also attempted to ascendancy on his behalf, however this did no go well, and Cortés fled the city in June that 1520.

This was not the finish of the interactions, however. The Spanish conquistadors to adjust siege come the Aztec funding from the middle of may of 1521 until they surrendered on august 13, 1521. They were aided through Texcoco, a former Triple Alliance member.

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A an excellent deal of Tenochtitlan was damaged in the fighting, or to be looted, burned, or ruined after the surrender. Cortés began to develop what is now known as Mexico City, the funding of a Spanish swarm of which he was named governor, atop the ruins.