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Mesopotamia Kuno untuk Anak Dagang dan Perdagangan Tanah Mesopotamia tidak memiliki banyak sumber daya alam, atau setidaknya mereka tidak memiliki permintaan selama periode waktu tersebut. Jadi, untuk mendapatkan barang-barang yang mereka butuhkan, orang-orang Mesopotamia harus berdagang. Di bagian selatan Mesopotamia, dermaga dibangun di sepanjang sisi sungai sehingga kapal dapat dengan mudah memasang dan menurunkan barang dagang mereka. Para pedagang menukar makanan, pakaian, perhiasan, anggur dan barang-barang lainnya di antara kota-kota. Kadang kafilah akan tiba dari utara atau timur. Kedatangan kafilah dagang atau kapal dagang merupakan saat perayaan. Untuk membeli atau memperdagangkan barang-barang ini, Mesopotamia kuno menggunakan sistem barter. Tapi mereka juga menggunakan uang. Mereka tidak menggunakan uang kertas atau koin. Mereka menggunakan jelai untuk perdagangan lokal. Karena jelai itu berat, mereka menggunakan timah, tembaga, perunggu, timah, perak dan emas untuk membeli barang-barang dari daerah mereka. Anda harus meminjam jelai dari bankir barley. Bankir tersebut membebani bunga yang sangat tinggi. Jelajahi Mesopotamia Kuno Semua Hak Dilindungi Punya tahun yang hebat. Aztecs Mexicas Orang-orang Aztec Mexicas adalah orang-orang Amerika asli yang mendominasi Meksiko utara pada saat penaklukan Spanyol yang dipimpin oleh Hernan CORTES pada awal abad ke-16. Menurut legenda mereka sendiri, mereka berasal dari sebuah tempat bernama Aztlan, di suatu tempat di utara atau barat laut Meksiko. Pada waktu itu orang-orang Aztec (yang menyebut diri mereka sebagai Mexica atau Tenochca) adalah agregat kecil, nomaden, agregat Nahuatl yang terdiri dari suku-suku yang tinggal di pinggiran Mesoamerika beradab. Kadang di abad ke-12 mereka memulai periode pengembaraan dan pada abad ke-13 menetap di cekungan tengah Meacutexico. Terus-menerus copot oleh negara-negara kota kecil yang saling bertempur dalam aliansi yang bergeser, keluarga Aztec akhirnya menemukan perlindungan di pulau-pulau kecil di Danau Texcoco di mana, pada tahun 1325, mereka mendirikan kota TENOCHTITLAN (kota modern Mexico). Istilah Aztec, yang aslinya dikaitkan dengan Mexican migran, sekarang adalah istilah kolektif, diterapkan pada semua masyarakat yang terkait dengan perdagangan, adat, agama, dan bahasa bagi para pendiri ini. Pejuang tanpa rasa takut dan pembangun pragmatik, suku Aztec menciptakan sebuah kerajaan pada abad ke-15 yang melampaui ukuran di Amerika hanya dengan suku Inca di Peru. Karena teks-teks awal dan arkeologi modern terus mengungkapkan, di luar penaklukan dan banyak praktik keagamaan mereka, ada banyak prestasi positif: pembentukan masyarakat yang sangat terspesialisasi dan terstratifikasi dan pemerintahan kekaisaran, perluasan jaringan perdagangan dan juga Sistem penghormatan, pengembangan dan pemeliharaan ekonomi pertanian yang canggih, disesuaikan dengan hati-hati terhadap tanah dan penanaman pandangan intelektual dan agama yang membuat masyarakat menjadi bagian integral dari kosmos. Ritual dan upacara tahunan di kota Tenochtitlan dan Tetzcoco tetangga, dan seni dan arsitektur simbolis mereka, memberi ekspresi pada kesadaran kuno akan saling ketergantungan antara alam dan kemanusiaan. Suku Aztec tetap menjadi yang terdistribusi secara luas dari semua peradaban Amerindian pada saat kontak Eropa di abad ke-16. Saudara-saudara, tentara, dan sejarawan Spanyol dan ilmuwan keturunan India atau campuran meninggalkan catatan-catatan berharga dari semua aspek kehidupan. Sumber etnohologis ini, terkait dengan pertanyaan arkeologi modern dan studi tentang etnolog, ahli bahasa, sejarawan, dan sejarawan seni, menggambarkan formasi dan perkembangan sebuah negara kekaisaran yang kompleks. Halaman Aztec Halaman Aztec Lainnya Aztec Pages Kalender Aztec Searah jarum jam, hari-hari Kalender Aztec adalah sebagai berikut: Dua Puluh Hari Ular Bulan Aztec - Lambang Coatl - Rumah Cuetzpallin - Angin Calli - Kru Ehecatl - Bunga Cipactli - Hujan Xochitl - Quiahuitl Flint - Tecpatl Gerakan - Ollin Vulture - Cozcacuauhtli Eagle - Cuauhtle Jaguar - Ocelotl Cane - Herb Acatl - Malinalli Monkey - Ozomatli Anjing Tanpa Rambut - Itzquintli Water - Atl Rabbit - Tochtli Deer - Mazatl Skull - Miquiztli Aztec Dewa Agama sangat penting dalam kehidupan Aztec. Mereka menyembah ratusan dewa dan dewi, masing-masing menguasai satu atau lebih aktivitas manusia atau aspek alam. Orang-orang memiliki banyak dewa pertanian karena budaya mereka didasarkan pada pertanian juga termasuk unsur alami dan pahlawan leluhur. Dewa-dewa ini termasuk: CENTEOTL. Dewa jagung COATLICUE - Dia dari Rok Serpent. EHECATL. Dewa angin HUEHUETEOTL. Dewa tua yang tua, adalah salah satu nama kultus api, di antara yang tertua di Mesoamerica. Pemeliharaan api di kuil adalah tugas utama imam, dan pembaharuan api diidentifikasi dengan pembaharuan waktu itu sendiri. HUITZILOPOCHTLI. (Dewa warsun dan wali khusus Tenochtitlan) pahlawan pahlawan leluhur yang didewakan, adalah pelindung Mexica-Aztec par excellence. Kuilnya (di samping Tlaloc) di Piramida Utama adalah fokus dari pengorbanan yang menakutkan dari tahanan yang ditangkap oleh prajurit Aztec. Kepala korban digantung sebagai piala di rak besar, Tzompantli, yang didirikan di daerah di bawahnya. MICTLANTECUHTLE. Dewa orang mati OMETECUHLTI dan istrinya OMECIHUATL menciptakan semua kehidupan di dunia. QUETZALCOATL. (Dewa peradaban dan pembelajaran) quetzal (bulu) ular, punya puluhan asosiasi. Itu adalah nama dewa, sebuah gelar kerajaan, nama seorang pendeta legendaris, sebuah gelar jabatan imam tinggi. Namun, makna yang paling mendasar sebagai kekuatan alami dilambangkan dengan patung seekor ular berbulu yang digulung naik dari dasar yang bagian bawahnya diukir dengan simbol dewa bumi dan Tlaloc. Citra ular yang naik dari bumi dan membawa air ke ekornya dijelaskan dalam bahasa Nahuatl dengan deskripsi Quetzalcoatl dalam hal munculnya badai dahsyat yang menyapu, dengan angin yang mengotori debu sebelum membawa hujan. TEZCATLIPOCA. (Dewa Malam dan Sihir) Cermin Merokok (obsidian), yang dicirikan sebagai dewa tertinggi yang paling kuat, dikaitkan dengan gagasan takdir. Kultusnya secara khusus diidentifikasi dengan royalti, karena Tezcatlipoca adalah objek doa panjang dan penuh penghormatan dalam upacara kerajaan. TLALOC Dewa hujan, milik kultus Meksiko kuno yang paling berkesan dan universal. Nama itu mungkin Aztec, tapi gagasan tentang tuhan badai yang secara khusus diidentifikasi dengan tempat suci di puncak gunung dan hujan yang memberi hidup pasti setua Teotihuacan. Kuil utama dewa besar ini terletak di atas Mt. Tlaloc, di mana korban manusia dikorbankan untuk membuahi batuan air di dalam kandang suci. Di Tenochtitlan, satu lagi kuil Tlaloc berbagi platform di atas Piramid Utama ganda, sebuah gunung simbolis. TONATIUH. Matahari, dianggap sebagai sumber utama kehidupan yang pemuja khususnya adalah pejuang. Para prajurit diadili dengan misi untuk memberi matahari korban pengorbanan. Altar khusus untuk matahari digunakan untuk pengorbanan dalam upacara penobatan, sebuah fakta yang menandakan pentingnya keilahian. Jalur matahari timur-barat menentukan sumbu ritual utama dalam desain kota Aztec. TONANTZIN Nenek yang terhormat, termasuk di antara banyak nama dewa-dewa perempuan. TEZCATLIPOCA. Tuhan Yang Maha Kuasa Tonatiuh, dewa matahari. XILONEN Telinga maya muda, dan Chicomecoatl, tujuh ular, merupakan dewa utama jagung yang mewakili pokok utama masyarakat Mesoamerika. XIPE TOTEC. Dewa musim semi dan pertumbuhan kembali. XIUHTECUHTLE dewa api. Kaisar Aztec Berikut ini adalah daftar Kaisar Aztec: CUAUHTEMOC - (Dia yang menundukkan seperti seekor elang.) 1520-1521 Cuauhtemoc, c.1495-1525, menjadi penguasa AZTECS pada tahun 1521, saat pengepungan TENOCHTITLAN, dan memimpin Resistansi terakhir dari kota itu melawan conquistador Spanyol. Setelah berminggu-minggu berkelahi jalanan, dia menyerah pada Hernan CORTES. Tindakan ini menandai berakhirnya kerajaan Aztec dan awal kekuasaan Spanyol di Meksiko. Cuauhtemoc pertama kali diperlakukan dengan baik oleh orang Spanyol, kemudian dipenjara dan disiksa, dan akhirnya digantung saat Cortess berbaris ke Honduras, dengan tuduhan merencanakan pengkhianatan. Sebuah makam di bawah gereja di tempat kelahirannya, Ixcateopan di Guerrero, dikatakan mengandung jenazahnya, namun tidak semua ilmuwan menerima atribusi ini. Buku Aztec, Dokumen, dan Penulisan Berdan, Frances F. dan Anawalt, Patricia, eds. Codex Mendoza, 4 jilid. (1992) Berdan, Frances. Aztec dari Meksiko Tengah: Masyarakat Kekaisaran. Holt, 1982. Rekonstruksi etnografis budaya Aztek prakiraan. Carrasco, David, ed. Untuk Mengubah Tempat: Lansekap Cerai Aztec (1991) Caso, Alfonso. Suku Aztec, Orang Matahari. Oklahoma, 1978. Trans. Lowell Dunham. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1958. Menganggap bahwa Aztec terutama orang-orang beragama dan hidup sesuai dengan itu. Castillo, Bernal Diaz, Penemuan dan Penaklukan Meksiko, trans. Oleh A. P. Maudsley (1956) Chimalpain s Diferentes Historias Originales de los Reinos de Culhuacan y Meacutexico y de Otras Provincias Clendinnen, Inga. Aztec: Sebuah Interpretasi. Cambridge, 1991. Menggambarkan kehidupan suku Aztec biasa. Cortes, Hernan, Surat dari Meksiko, trans. Oleh AR Pagden (1971) Cortez, Hernando Cartas de Relacioacuten (serangkaian lima huruf yang ditulis oleh penakluk raja Charles V, diterbitkan dalam bahasa Spanyol oleh Porruacutea Hermanos dan dalam bahasa Inggris oleh Norton Co. seperti yang diterjemahkan oleh J. Bayard Morris) Davies, Nigel. Aztec: Sebuah Sejarah. Oklahoma, 1980 1986. Sejarah politik mencakup kekaisaran 400 tahun sebelum penaklukan Spanyol. Del Castillo, Bern Diaz. Penemuan dan Penaklukan Meksiko. New York: Farrar, Straus, dan Cudahy, 1956. Duran, Buku tentang Dewa dan Ritual dan Kalender Kuno oleh Doris Heyden dan Fernando Horcasitas dalam edisi 1971 oleh Univ of Oklahoma Press) Hassig, Ross. Aztec Warfare: Ekspansi Kekaisaran dan Kontrol Politik. Oklahoma, 1988. Pemeriksaan Kekaisaran Aztec dalam hal tujuan dan sasarannya sendiri. Karen, Ruth Serpent berbulu: Rise and Fall of the Aztecs. Empat Angin, 1979. Asal-usul peradaban, organisasi budaya brutal, dan penaklukan militer oleh orang-orang Spanyol. Le, Miguel. Gambar Aztec tentang Diri dan Masyarakat. Ed. J. Jorge Klow de Alva. Salt Lake City: Universitas Utah Press, 1992. Leon-Portilla, Miguel. Gambar Aztec tentang Diri dan Masyarakat. Utah, 1992. Pengantar Budaya Nahua (subtitle). Leon-Portilla, Miguel, ed. The Broken Spears: Akun Aztec dari Penaklukan Meksiko. Beacon, 1962. Terjemahan dari pilihan akun asli penaklukan. Leon-Portilla, Miguel's Aztec Thought and Culture (Univ Oklahoma Press, 1963 beberapa cetakan), Sebuah analisis klasik tentang pikiran Aztec, sebuah terjemahan dari penulis 1956 asli Spanyol: La FilosofiacuteaNahuatl (UNAM, Mexico City). Matos Moctezuma, Eduardo. Aztec. Rizzoli, 1989. Menarik bukti arkeologi dan etnohistoris. Aztec Mighty. National Geographic, 1981. Gambaran Ilustrasi tentang kemuliaan berumur pendek mereka. Moctezuma, Eduardo Matos. Kuil Agung suku Aztec. Trans. Doris Heyden. New York: Thames dan Hudson, Ltd. 1988. Soustelle, Jacques s La Vida Cotidiana de los Aztecas en Viacutesperas de la Conquista (1956, Fondo de Cultura Econoacutemica, Mexico City, banyak cetakan), terjemahan dari karya asli Prancis yang diterbitkan di 1955. Tezozomoc, Fernando Alvarado s Croacutenica Mexicayotl (1975, UNAM, Mexico City). Townsend, Richard F. The Aztecs (1992) Weaver, Muriel Porter. Suku Aztec, Maya, dan Tokoh Mereka Arkeologi Mesoamerica. New York: Seminar Press, 1972. Lebih lanjut mengenai hal ini: Aztec Indians Disclaimer: Indian Indian Heritage Foundation atau Indians.org tidak secara pribadi mendukung atau mendukung komentar yang dibuat dalam artikel ini. Kembali ke daftar - Masyarakat Adat LiteraturAztec Budaya dan Masyarakat Suku Aztec adalah orang Mesoamerika Pra-Columbus di Meksiko tengah pada abad ke-14, 15 dan 16. Mereka menyebut diri mereka Mexica. Republik Meksiko dan ibukotanya, Mexico City, mendapatkan nama mereka dari kata Mexica. Ibu kota kerajaan Aztec adalah Tenochtitlan, dibangun di atas pulau terangkat di Danau Texcoco. Kota Meksiko dibangun di atas reruntuhan Tenochtitlan. Kolonisasi Spanyol di Amerika mencapai daratan pada masa pemerintahan Huey Tlatoani. Moctezuma II (Montezuma II). Pada tahun 1521 Hernan Cortes dan tentara sekutu Indian Amerika yang jumlahnya jauh lebih banyak daripada suku Aztec yang membela, menaklukkan Aztec melalui peperangan kuman, perang pengepungan, perang psikologis, dan pertarungan langsung. Menurut sejarah mereka sendiri, ketika orang-orang Meksiko tiba di lembah Anahuac (Lembah Meksiko) di sekitar Danau Texcoco, kelompok-kelompok yang tinggal di sana menganggap mereka tidak beradab. Orang-orang Mexicas meminjam sebagian besar budaya mereka dari Toltec kuno yang setidaknya mereka anggap paling sedikit bingung dengan peradaban Teotihuacan yang lebih kuno. Bagi orang-orang Mexicas, Toltec adalah pencetus semua budaya Toltecayotl adalah sinonim untuk budaya. Legenda Mexica mengidentifikasi Toltec dan kultus Quetzalcoatl dengan kota mitos Tollan, yang juga mereka identifikasikan dengan Teotihuacan yang lebih kuno. Pusat peradaban Aztec adalah Lembah Meksiko, lembah oval besar sekitar 7.500 kaki di atas permukaan laut. Kekaisaran Aztec mencakup banyak kota dan kota, terutama di Lembah Meksiko. Kota terbesar di kekaisaran adalah ibu kota, Tenochtitlan. Tenochititlan Kota Capitol Aztec - Piramida Pemukim awal membangun rakit kayu, kemudian menutupinya dengan lumpur dan menanam benih untuk menciptakan akar dan mengembangkan lahan yang lebih padat untuk membangun rumah di lahan berawa ini. Kanal juga dipotong melalui rawa sehingga rumah khas Aztec kembali ke kanal dengan sampan yang diikat di pintu. Kisah orang-orang Aztec yang naik ke tampuk kekuasaan sangat menakjubkan, dan merupakan salah satu cerita paling menakjubkan dalam sejarah dunia. Mereka adalah sekelompok orang yang tidak dikenal yang tiba di Lembah Meksiko selama abad ke-12 dan 13 M. dan menjadi kekuatan terbesar di Amerika pada saat orang-orang Spanyol tiba, pada abad ke-16. Sedikit yang diketahui tentang suku Aztec paling awal, mereka tidak menyimpan catatan tertulis. Sejarah mereka disampaikan dari mulut ke mulut dari satu generasi ke generasi berikutnya. Legenda mengatakan bahwa mereka berasal dari Pulau yang disebut Aztlan, yang berarti Tempat Putih - Tempat Kijang. Dalam kodeks Aztec Tira de la Peregrinacion, biasa disebut Migration Scrolls. Gulungan tersebut memiliki Aztec yang meninggalkan Aztlan, yang digambarkan sebagai sebuah pulau di danau dengan Chicomoztoc yang digambarkan sebagai tujuh kuil di tengah pulau. Suku Aztec merasa mereka adalah orang-orang pilihan Huitzilopochtli. Suku Aztec percaya Huitzilopochtli dewa perang mereka adalah pelindung mereka, bagaimana mereka mencari tanah perjanjian mereka. Suatu ketika pada abad ke-13 abad ke-12 suku Aztec terbentang ke Lembah Meksiko, dipimpin oleh kepala suku Tenoch. Mereka adalah orang-orang miskin dan compang-camping yang bertahan hidup dari hama, ular, dan makanan curian. Mereka adalah kebencian dan ditolak oleh semua penghuni lembah di sekitarnya, karena kebiasaan mereka yang biadab dan tidak berbudaya. Mereka diusir dari satu lokasi ke lokasi lain. Pada awal abad ke-14, Huitzilopochtli memberi tahu Tenoch untuk memimpin bangsanya ke tempat berlindung di sebuah pulau rawa di Danau Texcoco. Ketika sampai di tempat tujuan, mereka harus mencari seekor elang yang bertengger di atas kaktus, tumbuh dari batu atau gua yang dikelilingi air. Di lokasi itu, mereka membangun kota mereka dan menghormati Huitzilopochtli dengan pengorbanan manusia. Kota yang mereka bangun disebut Tenochtitlan, kota Tenoch. Pada tahap awal Tenochtitlan, pembangunan, kehidupan Aztec sangat sulit di lokasi yang tidak diinginkan. Tenochtitlan terletak di sebuah pulau berawa dengan sumber daya terbatas, mereka membangun beberapa gubuk dan gubuk lumpur, dan beberapa kuil kecil. Suku Aztec harus bekerja terus-menerus untuk memelihara sebuah kota di atas tanah rawa. Ada juga ketegangan antara Aztec dan orang-orang tetangga di daratan yang membenci mereka. Terlepas dari hambatan ini, suku Aztec bekerja keras untuk memperbaiki kualitas hidup mereka. Mereka mengadopsi sistem pertanian pertanian yang disebut Chinampas. Dan dalam waktu singkat, tanah itu berubah menjadi pulau subur dan sangat produktif. Seiring kerajaan Aztek berkembang, pengrajin khusus dan buruh biasa dibawa ke Tenochtitlan untuk memperluas kota. Karena dibangun di atas lahan rawa, taruhan kayu besar diangkut ke tanah yang empuk untuk memberi pondasi yang aman bagi bangunan baru. Mereka bisa menggunakan batu Tezontli untuk membangun bangunan di atas tanah yang tidak stabil. Meskipun tindakan pencegahan ini, kuil dan istana yang lebih besar seringkali tenggelam di bawah permukaan tanah. Akibatnya, bangunan tua terus diperbaiki atau dibangun kembali dengan bangunan baru yang dibangun di atas inti yang lebih tua. Pada 1376, suku Aztec tahu bahwa mereka harus memilih seorang kaisar keturunan kerajaan, untuk mendapatkan rasa hormat dari tetangga mereka. Dengan jenius politik, mereka memilih pria bernama Acamapichtli sebagai kaisar mereka. Dia berhubungan dengan penguasa terakhir Culhuacan, dan garis keturunannya kembali ke masa pemerintahan penguasa Toltec Quetzalcoatl. Dengan pemilihan Acamapichtli sebagai kaisar sejati Aztec, mereka dapat mengklaim keturunan dari Toltec yang hebat. Selama abad ke-15 kekuatan militer bangsa Aztec meningkat. Mereka tumbuh dari sebuah suku kecil tentara bayaran menjadi kekuatan militer yang kuat dan sangat disiplin. Mereka juga membentuk aliansi dengan tetangga kuat mereka Texcoco dan Tacuba, yang dikenal sebagai Triple Alliance. Ini adalah saat untuk membangun dan kota Tenochtitlan tumbuh dan makmur. Pada akhir peraturan Tenochtitlans, pada tahun 1520, 38 provinsi-provinsi anak-anak sungai yang ditaklukkan telah dibuat, siapa yang harus melakukan pembayaran. Namun, beberapa suku di perbatasan tetap independen. Hal ini mempermudah kapten Spanyol, Cortez untuk mengalahkan mereka. Para imam melaporkan tanda-tanda malapetaka, namun Montezuma, penguasa Aztec, mengira Cortez adalah dewa yang kembali. Ketika Spanyol melihat hadiah emas yang ditawarkan Montezuma kepada mereka sebagai hadiah, mereka ingin menaklukkan kota. Orang Spanyol mengalahkan suku Aztec dan orang-orang Katolik merasa bahwa tugas mereka menghancurkan semua jejak suku Aztec. Beberapa suku Aztec yang tetap membawa budaya mereka hari ini. Aztec adalah istilah yang digunakan untuk merujuk pada kelompok etnis tertentu di Meksiko tengah, terutama kelompok yang berbicara bahasa Nahuatl dan yang mencapai dominasi politik dan militer atas sebagian besar Mesoamerica pada abad ke-14, 15 dan 16, periode yang disebut sebagai Periode post-Classic akhir dalam kronologi Mesoamerika. Seringkali istilah Aztec mengacu secara eksklusif pada orang-orang Tenochtitlan, terletak di sebuah pulau di Danau Texcoco, yang menyebut diri mereka Mexica Tenochca atau Colhua-Mexica. Terkadang juga termasuk penduduk Tenochtitlans dua negara bagian sekutu utama, Acolhuas Texcoco dan Tepanecs of Tlacopan, yang bersama dengan Mexica membentuk Triple Alliance Aztec yang juga dikenal sebagai Kekaisaran Aztec. Dalam konteks lain, ini bisa merujuk pada semua negara bagian dan masyarakat mereka, yang memiliki sebagian besar sejarah etnik mereka dan juga banyak ciri budaya penting dengan Mexica, Acolhua dan Tepanec, dan yang menyukai mereka, juga mengucapkan bahasa Nahuatl. Dalam arti ini adalah mungkin untuk berbicara tentang peradaban Aztec termasuk semua pola budaya tertentu yang umum bagi orang-orang berbicara Nahuatl pada periode postclassik akhir di Mesoamerica. Dari abad ke-12 Lembah Meksiko adalah inti peradaban Aztec: inilah ibu kota Aliansi Tiga Aztec, kota Tenochtitlan, dibangun di atas pulau-pulau besar di Danau Texcoco. Triple Alliance membentuk kerajaan anak sungainya memperluas hegemoni politiknya jauh melampaui Lembah Meksiko, menaklukkan negara-negara kota lainnya di seluruh Mesoamerica. Pada puncaknya, budaya Aztec memiliki tradisi mitologis dan religius yang kaya dan kompleks, serta mencapai pencapaian arsitektur dan artistik yang luar biasa. Unsur budaya Aztek yang sangat mencolok bagi banyak orang adalah praktik pengorbanan manusia. Pada tahun 1521, dalam episode yang mungkin paling dikenal dalam kolonisasi Spanyol di Amerika, Hernan Cortes, bersama dengan sejumlah besar sekutu pribumi Nahuatl, menaklukkan Tenochtitlan dan mengalahkan Aztec Triple Alliance di bawah kepemimpinan Hueyi Tlatoani Moctezuma II. Dalam rangkaian acara sering disebut sebagai The Fall of the Aztec Empire. Selanjutnya Spanyol mendirikan pemukiman baru Kota Meksiko di lokasi ibukota Aztek yang hancur. Ibukota kerajaan Aztec adalah Tenochtitlan, sekarang merupakan tempat Kota Mexico modern. Dibangun di atas serangkaian pulau di Danau Texcoco, rencana kota didasarkan pada tata letak simetris yang terbagi menjadi empat bagian kota yang disebut perkemahan. Kota itu terjalin dengan kanal yang berguna untuk transportasi. Tenochtitlan dibangun sesuai rencana tetap dan berpusat di daerah ritual, di mana Piramida Besar Tenochtitlan naik 50 m di atas kota. Rumah terbuat dari kayu dan lobak, atapnya terbuat dari buluh, meski piramida, kuil dan istana umumnya terbuat dari batu. Di sekitar pulau, tempat tidur chinampa digunakan untuk menanam bahan makanan dan juga, dari waktu ke waktu, untuk meningkatkan ukuran pulau. Chinampas, taman terapung yang tidak diketahui, telah lama ditinggikan tempat tidur tanaman yang terletak di dasar danau yang dangkal. Mereka adalah sistem pertanian yang sangat efisien dan bisa menyediakan hingga tujuh tanaman setahun. Berdasarkan hasil chinampa saat ini, diperkirakan bahwa 1 hektar chinampa akan memberi makan 20 orang dan 9.000 chinampas bisa memberi makan 180.000. Antropolog Eduardo Noguera memperkirakan populasi di 200.000 orang berbasis di rumah menghitung dan menggabungkan populasi Tlatelolco (pernah menjadi kota mandiri, namun kemudian menjadi pinggiran kota Tenochtitlan). Jika termasuk pulau kecil dan tepian yang mengelilingi Danau Texcoco, perkiraan berkisar antara 300.000 sampai 700.000 jiwa. Peradaban Aztec berisi sekitar 15 juta orang yang tinggal di hampir 500 kota dan kota. Sekitar 300.000 orang tinggal di Tenochtitlan. Di kota yang terkenal ini, pemerintah menguasai dan bertanggung jawab menangani pajak, hukuman, kelaparan, dan perdagangan pasar. Hukuman di kota Tenochtitlan diberlakukan karena melanggar peraturan undang-undang pemerintah. Pelanggar diperbudak menjadi kondisi kerja yang membosankan untuk jangka waktu tertentu. Jika pelanggaran itu terjadi kecil-kecilan, pemutus hak hukum dikenai tuduhan atau denda. Sistem pemerintahan semacam ini hanyalah satu dari sekian banyak hal yang mempengaruhi aspek kehidupan sehari-hari Aztec. Kota Tenochtitlan benar-benar menakjubkan. Tingkat kejahatannya sangat rendah, dan hampir tidak mungkin menemukan sampah di kota. Penduduk kota itu pintar, dan setia kepada kota. Strukturnya menakjubkan, termasuk Kuil Utama, Piramida Agung, dan banyak istana terkenal. Orang-orang Aztec bekerja mengatasi hal-hal yang sulit didapat, seperti makanan. Sebaliknya mereka mempertahankan pekerjaan lain dan melakukan perdagangan dengan mancanegara. Segala sesuatu tentang Tenochtitlan sangat indah, dan kota ini berdiri sebagai salah satu kerajaan terbesar sepanjang masa. Tenochtitlan didirikan dengan cara yang menarik. Seharusnya mitos di balik pendirian Tenochtitlan: Huitzilopochtli (dewa Aztec) mengatakan kepada salah satu pemimpin dalam sebuah mimpi, Ketika Anda mengikuti perintah saya dan membunuh keponakan saya Capil dan merobek hatinya, dan membuangnya ke danau. , Jantung jatuh di atas batu, dan dari batu ini berkembang kaktus napal dan pada saat ini seekor elang sekarang bertengger. Di sana Anda akan mendirikan sebuah kota bernama Tenochtitlan. Pemimpin mendengarkan Huitzilipochtli, dan mengikuti perintahnya di Anno Domini 1325. Alasan di balik penamaan kota Tenochtitlan adalah bahwa itu berarti tempat batu dan nopal. Jantung Capil mendarat di batu, di mana nopal tumbuh tidak berarti nopal. Pemimpin ini, namanya tidak dikenal, mengikuti perintah tuhannya, meskipun daerah ini menjadi salah satu potongan terburuk lan di Meksiko. Tenochitlan dibangun di tempat Kota Meksiko sekarang berdiri, dan tanahnya berawa dan dipenuhi ular, jumlah kecil yang ada di sana. Pada awalnya, posisi Tenochtitlans berada di dua pulau, namun dalam jangka waktu yang singkat, danau tersebut melingkari danau tersebut dengan cara membangun dermaga yang terpasang di pulau-pulau kecil oleh teman sebaya, dan membangun permukiman di dermaga ini di atas Danau Texcoco. Meski bukan tanah terbaik, pemimpin ini merancang kota ini dengan sempurna. Ada empat tanggul besar yang keluar dari pusat kota untuk memisahkan dermaga dan pulau-pulau kecil. Keempat tanggul ini terdiri atas empat kuadran di kota. Masing-masing kuadran berisi perkembangan perumahan, dan apa yang dikenal sebagai taman terapung. Rumah-rumah itu dicat putih dengan atap adobe. Alasan rumah-rumah itu dicat putih sehingga cahaya akan memantulkannya dan membuat penghuni rumah tinggal di rumah. Rumah-rumah itu juga dikemas rapat untuk membuat satu-satunya saat ketika matahari akan menerpa mereka pada siang hari. Taman terapung penting untuk Tenochtitlan karena hanya ada sedikit lahan untuk pertanian. Penduduk Tenochtitlan menggunakan irigasi untuk menanam tanaman sepanjang tahun dan membuat kebun terapung dengan mengisi daerah dangkal danau dan menancapkan tanah dengan pepohonan. Taman terapung sukses besar, dan juga menambah keindahan kota. Tenochtitlan mungkin salah satu, jika bukan kota dengan desain terbaik di dunia, dan pusat kota membuktikan ini benar. Pusat Tenochtitlan terdiri dari banyak kuil, yang terpenting adalah Kuil Utama, istana, piramida, dan sebuah plaza yang besar. Bagian tengahnya kira-kira lima ratus lima puluh meter persegi, tapi tampak jauh lebih besar karena semuanya penuh sesak rapat. Ada hampir selusin kuil di tengahnya, tapi yang terpenting adalah Kuil Utama. Kuil Utama didedikasikan untuk dewa tlaloc hujan dan dewa matahari Huitzilopochtli, yang oleh orang Aztec dianggap sebagai pelindung mereka. Kuil Utama adalah sebuah kuil besar, yang kata-kata tidak bisa menggambarkan. Tempat itu bebas dari sampah apapun dan memiliki dinding yang sangat tinggi di mana kota lain bisa dibangun. Itu penting bagi Aztec Tenochtitlan, dan mereka beribadah setiap hari di dalamnya. Ada juga banyak istana dan piramida. Istana-istana itu didedikasikan untuk para raja dan bangsawan, dan piramida dibuat untuk pengorbanan. Suku Aztec dari Tenochtitlan meskipun perlu memberi nutrisi kepada dewa-dewa dengan hati manusia, karena jika tidak, maka matahari tidak akan terbit setiap hari, atau akan ada kekeringan yang sangat besar. Orang banyak menggunakan tawanan perang untuk pengorbanan mereka. Tempat pengorbanan utama adalah Piramida Agung. Pesawat itu memiliki seratus empat belas langkah, dan menambah keindahan kota. Plaza berada di pusat kota yang mati, dan dicat putih. Tidak ada sampah sama sekali, dan tembok besar mengelilinginya. Plaza dan semua bangunan ini membuat pusatnya terlihat seperti keindahan. Penduduk Tenochtitlan adalah apa yang mungkin membuat Tenochtitlan menjadi kerajaan besar yang dikenang seperti sekarang ini. Tenochtitlan tersebar di atas 26.400 kaki, dan menampung lebih dari 400.000 penduduk. Itulah kepadatan penduduk terbesar yang pernah tercatat dalam sejarah Meso-Amerika. Semua penduduk Tenochtitlan adalah suku Aztec, dan memiliki budaya dan agama yang sama. Mereka semua politeistik, percaya pada banyak tuhan. Yang paling penting bagi mereka adalah Huitzilopochtli, dewa matahari. Suku Aztec menyembahnya setiap hari di Kuil Utama. Karena tanah itu bukan tempat yang bagus untuk menanam tanaman, suku Aztec dipaksa untuk mengatasi kenyataan ini, yang mereka lakukan dengan sangat baik. Sebagian besar warga yang tinggal di Tenochtitlan memegang pekerjaan yang tidak terkait dengan makanan. Penduduk kota metropolitan membuat kerajinan, mengkhotbahkan agama mereka, diperdagangkan dengan peradaban lain, atau menjadi bagian dari pemerintah. Orang-orang Spanyol dan negara-negara lain kagum dengan kualitas kota dan penduduknya, jadi karena itu banyak diperdagangkan dengan mereka. Suku Aztec menerima hampir semua makanan mereka dari perdagangan luar negeri. Suku Aztec adalah ras orang-orang yang diawetkan Tenochtitlan selama lebih dari dua ratus tahun. Banyak hal yang bertanggung jawab atas jatuhnya Tenochtitlan. Tiga penyebab utamanya adalah serangan berulang-ulang oleh Cortes, kelaparan hebat yang diakibatkan oleh penurunan perdagangan luar negeri, dan banyak penyakit yang dibawa oleh keluarga Euorope. Tenochtitlan dilindungi dengan baik oleh Danau Texcoco, tapi Cortes dan tentaranya terlalu kuat. Kota ini jatuh pada tahun 1540, dan Cortes menghancurkan kota tersebut. Dia membangun di atasnya apa yang sekarang dikenal sebagai Kota Meksiko. Meski kota itu sendiri hancur, kenangan dan keindahan kota pun akan tetap abadi. Kekaisaran mencapai puncaknya pada saat Ahuitzotls memerintah pada tahun 1486-1502. Penggantinya, Motehcuzoma Xocoyotzin (lebih dikenal dengan Moctezuma II atau Montezuma), telah menjadi Hueyi Tlatoani selama 17 tahun ketika orang-orang Spanyol, yang dipimpin oleh Hernan Cortes, mendarat di Gulf Coast pada musim semi tahun 1519. Meskipun ada beberapa pertempuran awal antara keduanya, Cortes bersekutu dengan musuh lama Aztec, Konfederasi Tlaxcala, dan tiba di gerbang Tenochtitlan pada tanggal 8 November 1519. Orang-orang Spanyol dan sekutu Tlaxcallan mereka menjadi tamu yang semakin berbahaya dan tidak diinginkan di ibu kota. Pada bulan Juni, 1520, permusuhan pecah, yang berpuncak pada pembantaian di Kuil Utama dan kematian Moctezuma II. Orang-orang Spanyol itu melarikan diri dari kota pada tanggal 1 Juli, sebuah episode kemudian ditandai sebagai La Noche Triste (the Sad Night). Mereka dan sekutu asli mereka kembali pada musim semi tahun 1521 untuk mengepung Tenochtitlan, sebuah pertempuran yang berakhir pada 13 Agustus dengan penghancuran kota. Selama periode ini, kekaisaran yang sekarang runtuh melewati garis sukses suksesi yang cepat. Setelah kematian Moctezuma II, kekaisaran jatuh ke tangan kaisar yang sangat lemah, seperti Cuitlahuac, sebelum akhirnya diperintah oleh penguasa boneka, seperti Andres de Tapia Motelchiuh, dipasang oleh orang Spanyol. Meskipun kemunduran kekaisaran Aztec, sebagian besar budaya Mesoamerika masih utuh setelah jatuhnya Tenochtitlan. Memang, kebebasan dari dominasi Aztec mungkin telah dianggap sebagai perkembangan positif oleh sebagian besar budaya lainnya. Kelas atas kerajaan Aztec dianggap sebagai bangsawan oleh orang-orang Spanyol dan umumnya diperlakukan seperti semula. Semua ini berubah dengan cepat dan penduduk asli segera dilarang belajar hukum, dan memiliki status anak di bawah umur. Orang-orang Tlaxcalan tetap setia kepada teman-teman Spanyol mereka dan diizinkan untuk datang dalam penaklukan lain bersama Cortes dan anak buahnya. Pertanian Aztec pra-penaklukan adalah sebuah kerajaan yang makmur secara pertanian, dan mereka melakukannya tanpa roda atau binatang ternak. Mereka memiliki empat metode utama pertanian yang cukup berhasil. Bentuk pertanian paling awal dan paling dasar yang diterapkan oleh Aztec dikenal sebagai budidaya hujan. The Aztecs also implemented terrace agriculture in hilly areas, or areas that could not be used for normal farming. Terracing allowed for an increased soil depth and impeded soil erosion. The terraces were built by piling up a wall of stones parallel to the contour of the hillside. Dirt was then filled in, creating viable, flat farmland. There were three types of terrace agriculture, each one used for specific circumstances. The three types were hillslope contour terraces (steeper slopes), semi-terraces (gentle slopes, walls were made with Maguey plants rather than stones), and cross-channel terraces. Terracing was used mostly in the highlands of the Aztec empire. In the valleys of the empire, irrigation farming was used. Dams diverted water from natural springs to the fields. This allowed for harvests to be successful on a regular basis. The prosperity of a field was not dependent upon the rain. Irrigation systems had been in place long before the Aztecs. However, they built canal systems that were longer and much more elaborate than any previous irrigation systems. They even managed to divert a large portion of the Cuauhtitlan River to provide irrigation to large areas of fields. The network of canals was a very complex and intricate system. In the swampy regions along Lake Xochimilco, the Aztecs implemented yet another method of crop cultivation. They built what are called chinampas. Chinampas are areas of raised land, created from alternating layers of mud from the bottom of the lake, and plant matterother vegetation. These raised beds were between 2 and 4 meters wide, and 20 to 40 meters long. They rose about 1 meter above the surface of the water, and were separated by narrow canals, which allowed farmers to move between them by canoe. The chinampas were extremely fertile pieces of land, and yielded, on average, seven crops annually. In order to plant on them, farmers first created seedbeds, or reed rafts, where they planted seeds and allowed them to germinate. Once they had, they were re-planted in the chinampas. This cut the growing time down considerably. The Aztecs are credited with domestication of the subspecies of Wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo, which is native to this region. Song and poetry were highly regarded there were presentations and poetry contests at most of the Aztec festivals. There were also dramatic presentations that included players, musicians and acrobats. Poetry was the only occupation worthy of an Aztec warrior in times of peace. A remarkable amount of this poetry survives, having been collected during the era of the conquest. In some cases poetry is attributed to individual authors, such as Nezahualcoyotl, tlatoani of Texcoco, and Cuacuauhtzin, Lord of Tepechpan, but whether these attributions reflect actual authorship is a matter of opinion. Miguel Leon-Portilla, a well-respected Aztec scholar of Mexico, has stated that it is in this poetry where we can find the real thought of the Aztecs, independent of official Aztec ideology. It is also important to note that the Spanish classified many aspects of the AztecNahuatl culture according to the lexicon and organizational categories with which they would distinguish in Europe. In the same way that the second letter of Cortez made a mention of mesquitas, or in English, mosques, when trying to convey his impression of Aztec architecture, early colonists and missionaries divided the principal bodies of nahuatl literature as poetry and prose. Poetry was in xochitl in cuicatl a dual term meaning the flower and the song and was divided into different genres. Yaocuicatl was devoted to war and the god(s) of war, Teocuicatl to the gods and creation myths and to adoration of said figures, xochicuicatl to flowers (a symbol of poetry itself and indicative of the highly metaphorical nature of a poetry that often utilized duality to convey multiple layers of meaning). Prose was tlahtolli, also with its different categories and divisions (Garganigo et al). The most important collection of these poems is Romances de los senores de la Nueva Espana, collected (Tezcoco 1582), probably by Juan Bautista de Pomar. Bautista de Pomar was the great-grandson of Netzahualcoyotl. He spoke Nahuatl, but was raised a Christian and wrote in Latin characters. (See also: Is It You, a short poem attributed to Netzahualcoyotl, and Lament on the Fall of Tenochtitlan, a short poem contained within the Anales de Tlatelolco manuscript.) The Aztec people also enjoyed a type of dramatic presentation, a kind of theatre. Some plays were comical with music and acrobats, others were staged dramas of their gods. After the conquest, the first Christian churches had open chapels reserved for these kinds of representations. Plays in Nahuatl, written by converted Indians, were an important instrument for the conversion to Christianity, and are still found today in the form of traditional pastorelas, which are played during Christmas to show the Adoration of Baby Jesus, and other Biblical passages. Music and dance formed an essential part of the indigenous rites and ceremonies. Research about music of the Aztec people dates back to the writings of Bernal del Castillo, who was appalled by the music of these people because he viewed it during their ritualistic sacrifices, which were very different from rituals of Christian worship. Others, such as the Franciscan monk Fray Bernardino de Sahagun and the Dominican monk Diego Duran, were able to look at the music from different viewpoints, noting the unique instruments and the qualities of pitch and harmony that were achieved with these instruments - new sounds to their ears. Some musical instruments used are Tetzilacatl, Teponaztli, Tecomapiloa, Omichicahuaztli, Huehuetl, Coyolli, Chililitli, Caililiztli, Chicahuaztli, Cacalachtli, Ayotl, Ayacahtli, Tetzilacatl. The Aztec sculptures which adorned their temples and other buildings were among the most elaborate in all of the Americas. Their purpose was to please the gods and they attempted to do that in everything they did. Many of the sculptures reflected their perception of their gods and how they interacted in their lives. The most famous surviving Aztec sculpture is the large circular Calendar Stone. which represents the Aztec universe. Class Structure In Aztec society, warriors, priests, and the nobility were considered to be among the most respected in the Aztecan social hierarchy Because of the Aztecs emphasis on warfare, the warrior class was highly valued, and often warriors would volunteer for the most important Aztec sacrificial rituals. The long distance traders also enjoyed considerable privileges and often served the government as ambassadors and spies. The most outstanding artisans, physicians and truly wise teachers were also highly respected. The Aztec society was divided into 3 classes: slaves, commoners, and nobility. The highest class were the pipiltin or nobility. Originally this status was not hereditary, although the sons of pillis had access to better resources and education, so it was easier for them to become pillis. Later the class system took on hereditary aspects. The nobilities were the people who were nobles by birth, priests, and those who earned their rank. The very highest social sphere was occupied by a minority of families known as the pipiltin . These people were members of the hereditary nobility and occupied the top positions in the government, the army and the priesthood. The nobles chose a supreme leader known as the tlatoani from within their own group in Nahuatl this name means he that speaks . This leader was greatly revered and ruled until his death. The second class were the macehualtin, originally peasants. Eduardo Noguera estimates that in later stages only 20 of the population was dedicated to agriculture and food production. The other 80 of society were warriors, artisans and traders. Eventually, most of the macehuallis were dedicated to arts and crafts. Their works were an important source of income for the city. The most numerous social group was known as the macehualtin these people were engaged in agriculture and the common trades. Although they worked the land in family units and were allowed to kept their produce, the land itself was collectively owned by the inhabitants of the neighborhood or calpulli. Commoners were given lifetime ownership of an area of land. The lowest group of commoners were not allowed to own property. They were tenant farmers, they just got to use the land and never be owners. The lower social orders were made up by peasants, who like the European serfs, were attached to the lands owned by the nobility and were obliged to cultivate them in exchange for part of the harvest. Slaves or tlacotin also constituted an important class. Aztecs could become slaves because of debts, as a criminal punishment or as war captives. A slave could have possessions and even own other slaves. However, upon becoming a slave, all of the slaves animals and excess money would go to his purchaser. Slaves could buy their liberty, and slaves could be set free if they had children with or were married to their masters. Typically, upon the death of the master, slaves who had performed outstanding services were freed. The rest of the slaves were passed on as part of an inheritance. Traveling merchants called pochtecah were a small, but important class as they not only facilitated commerce, but also communicated vital information across the empire and beyond its borders. They were often employed as spies. This slavery was very different from what Europeans of the same period were to establish in their colonies, although it had much in common with the slaves of classical antiquity. (Sahagun doubts the appropriateness even of the term slavery for this Aztec institution.) First, slavery was personal, not hereditary: a slaves children were free. A slave could have possessions and even own other slaves. Slaves could buy their liberty, and slaves could be set free if they were able to show they had been mistreated or if they had children with or were married to their masters. Typically, upon the death of the master, slaves who had performed outstanding services were freed. The rest of the slaves were passed on as part of an inheritance. Another rather remarkable method for a slave to recover liberty was described by Manuel Orozco y Berra in La civilizacion azteca (1860): if, at the tianquiztli (marketplace the word has survived into modern-day Spanish as tianguis), a slave could escape the vigilance of their master, run outside the walls of the market and step on a piece of human excrement, and then present their case to the judges, who would grant freedom. They would then be washed, provided with new clothes not owned by the master, and declared free. Because a person who was not a relative of the master could be declared a slave for trying to prevent a slaves escape, people typically would not help the master prevent the slaves escape. Orozco y Berra also reports that a master could not sell a slave without the slaves consent, unless the slave had been classified as incorrigible by an authority. (Incorrigibility could be determined on the basis of repeated laziness, attempts to run away, or general bad conduct.) Incorrigible slaves were made to wear a wooden collar, affixed by rings at the back. The collar was not merely a symbol of bad conduct: it was designed to make it harder to run away through a crowd or through narrow spaces. When buying a collared slave, one was informed of how many times that slave had been sold. A slave who was sold four times as incorrigible could be sold to be sacrificed those slaves commanded a premium in price. However, if a collared slave managed to present him- or herself in the royal palace or in a temple, he or she would regain liberty. An Aztec could become a slave as a punishment. A murderer sentenced to death could instead, upon the request of the wife of his victim, be given to her as a slave. A father could sell his son into slavery if the son was declared incorrigible by an authority. Those who did not pay their debts could also be sold as slaves. People could sell themselves as slaves. They could stay free long enough to enjoy the price of their liberty, about twenty blankets, usually enough for a year after that time they went to their new master. Usually this was the destiny of gamblers and of old ahuini (courtesans or prostitutes). Motolinia reports that some captives, future victims of sacrifice, were treated as slaves with all the rights of an Aztec slave until the time of their sacrifice, but it is not clear how they were kept from running away. The children of poor parents could be sold, usually for only a certain time period. Slaves could buy back their freedom. Slaves that escaped and reached the royal palace without being caught were given their freedom instantly. Aztec codices are books written by pre-Columbian and colonial-era Aztecs. These codices provide some of the best primary sources for Aztec culture. The pre-Columbian codices differ from European codices in that they are largely pictorial they were not meant to symbolize spoken or written narratives. The colonial era codices not only contain Aztec pictograms, but also Classical Nahuatl (in the Latin alphabet), Spanish, and occasionally Latin. Although there are very few surviving pre-conquest codices, the tlacuilo (codex painter) tradition endured the transition to colonial culture scholars now have access to a body of around 500 colonial-era codices. According to the Madrid Codex, the fourth tlatoani Itzcoatl (ruling from 1427 (or 1428) to 1440) ordered the burning of all historical codices because it was not wise that all the people should know the paintings. Among other purposes, this allowed the Aztec state to develop a state-sanctioned history and mythos that venerated Huitzilopochtli. The principal food of the Aztec was a thin cornmeal pancake called a tlaxcalli. (In Spanish, it is called a tortilla.) They used the tlaxcallis to scoop up foods while they ate or they wrapped the foods in the tlaxcalli to form tacos. They hunted for most of the meat in their diet and the chief game animals were deer, rabbits, ducks and geese. The only animals they raised for meat were turkeys and dogs. The Aztecs have been credited with the discovery of chocolate. The Aztecs made chocolate from the fruit of the cacao tree and used it as a flavoring and as an ingredient in various beverages and kinds of confectionery. In 1519, Hernan Cortez tasted Cacahuatt, a drink enjoyed by Montezuma II, the last Aztec emperor. Cortez observed that the Aztecs treated cacao beans, used to make the drink, as priceless treasures. He subsequently brought the beans back to Spain where the chocolate drink was made and then heated with added sweeteners. Its formula was kept a secret to be only enjoyed by the nobility and the warrior class. The Aztec economy can be divided into a political sector, under the control of nobles and kings, and a commercial sector that operated independently of the political sector. The political sector of the economy centered on the control of land and labor by kings and nobles. Nobles owned all land, and commoners got access to farmland and other fields through a variety of arrangements, from rental through sharecropping to serf-like labor and slavery. These payments from commoners to nobles supported both the lavish lifestyles of the high nobility and the finances of city-states. Many luxury goods were produced for consumption by nobles. The producers of featherwork, sculptures, jewelry, and other luxury items were full-time commoner specialists who worked for noble patrons. In the commercial sector of the economy several types of money were in regular use. Small purchases were made with cacao beans, which had to be imported from lowland areas. In Aztec marketplaces, a small rabbit was worth 30 beans, a turkey egg cost 3 beans, and a tamal cost a single bean. For larger purchases, standardized lengths of cotton cloth called quachtli were used. There were different grades of quachtli, ranging in value from 65 to 300 cacao beans. One source stated that 20 quachtli could support a commoner for one year in Tenochtitlan. A man could also sell his own daughter as a sexual slave or future religious sacrifice, generally for around 500 to 700 beans. A small gold statue (approximately 0.62 kg 1.37 lb) cost 250 beans. Money was used primarily in the many periodic markets that were held in each town. A typical town would have a weekly market (every 5 days), while larger cities held markets every day. Cortes reported that the central market of Tlatelolco, Tenochtitlans sister city, was visited by 60,000 people daily. Some sellers in the markets were petty vendors farmers might sell some of their produce, potters sold their vessels, and so on. Other vendors were professional merchants who traveled from market to market seeking profits. The pochteca were specialized merchants organized into exclusive guilds. They made lengthy expeditions to all parts of Mesoamerica, and they served as the judges and supervisors of the Tlatelolco market. Although the economy of Aztec Mexico was commercialized (in its use of money, markets, and merchants), it was not a capitalist economy because land and labor were not commodities for sale. The Mexicas were especially interested in education. Boys and girls were carefully educated from birth. During the first years of life, fathers educated boys, while mothers took care of girls. Once family education was over, the children of the nobles and priests went to the calmecac, and all others went to the tepochcalli. The Aztecs believed that education was extremely valuable and insisted that boys, girls and young people attend school. There were two main types of school, the so-called tepochcalli and the calm-cac. Boys and girls went to both, but were kept separate from each other. The tepochcalli was for the children of common families and there was one in each neighborhood. Here, children learned history, myths, religion and Aztec ceremonial songs. Boys received intensive military training and also learned about agriculture and the trades. Girls were educated to form a family, and were trained in the arts and trades that would ensure the welfare of their future homes. The calmecac was for the children of the nobility, and served to form new military and religious leaders. Teachers were greatly admired. Until the age of fourteen, the education of children was in the hands of their parents, but supervised by the authorities of their calpolli. Part of this education involved learning a collection of sayings, called huehuetlatolli (sayings of the old), that embodied the Aztecs ideals. Judged by their language, most of the huehuetlatolli seemed to have evolved over several centuries, predating the Aztecs and most likely adopted from other Nahua cultures. At 15, all boys and girls went to school. The Mexica, one of the Aztec groups, were one of the first people in the world to have mandatory education for nearly all children, regardless of gender, rank, or station. There were two types of schools: the telpochcalli, for practical and military studies, and the calmecac, for advanced learning in writing, astronomy, statesmanship, theology, and other areas. The two institutions seem to be common to the Nahua people, leading some experts to suggest that they are older than the Aztec culture. Aztec teachers (tlatimine) propounded a spartan regime of education with the purpose of forming a stoical people. Girls were educated in the crafts of home and child raising. They were not taught to read or write. All women were taught to be involved in religion there are paintings of women presiding over religious ceremonies, but there are no references to female priests. Family Life In the context of the family, men and women played distinct roles. Aztec women married at about 16. In school boys were taught arts and crafts, and the girls were taught to cook and other necessities to raise a family. Farming - Irrigation The Aztecs made terraces, which were steps descending down a hall to control the flow of water. This kept their crops from flooding. Like the Olmec civilization, the Aztecs also used a slash and burn method of farming. Chinampas, artificial islands made by weaving giant reed mats and covering them with mudded plants, were used to extend crops into the swamp. Although they seemed to float, the chinampas were anchored to the ground by plant roots. All this helped the Aztecs grow and abundance of corn, chili peppers, squash, tomatoes, beans, and other kinds of food. The Aztecs were late arrivals to the Lake Texcoco area. They were surrounded by very strong neighbors, so they were forced to live on the swampy, western side of the lake. As the Aztecs grew in number they made excellent military and civil organizations. By 1325, they founded the city of Tenochtitlan. The city was located on present day Mexico City. It was very hard to build Tenochtitlan because the Aztecs only had a small piece of land in the surrounding marshes. The Aztecs made the swampy, shallow lake into chinampas. In this case the islands were made by piling up mud from the lake bottom. They used them as their city foundations. Then they built causeways and bridges to connect the city to the mainland. To easily move people and goods, canals were dug and lined with stone. All this made it easy to defend the city from attack. Because of Tenochtitlans location and high organization, the city grew rapidly. By 1519 there were about 60,000 people in the city every day. Goods were exported and traded in many other parts of the Aztec Empire. Games and Sports A game similar to handball was played by the northern and central Americans from 1500 B.C. most famously by the Aztecs as the Mesoamerican ballgame. None of these reference a rebound game using a wall, however, and these ancient games resemble a form of hand tennis. They were very competitive and didnt like to lose. Government The Aztec Empire was an example of an empire that ruled by indirect means. Like most European empires, it was ethnically very diverse, but unlike most European empires, it was more a system of tribute than a single system of government. In the theoretical framework of imperial systems posited by Alexander J. Motyl the Aztec empire was an informal or hegemonic empire because it did not exert supreme authority over the conquered lands, it merely expected tributes to be paid. It was also a discontinuous empire because not all dominated territories were connected, for example the southern peripheral zones of Xoconochco were not in direct contact with the center. The hegemonic nature of the Aztec empire can be seen in the fact that generally local rulers were restored to their positions once their city-state was conquered and the Aztecs did not interfere in local affairs as long as the tribute payments were made. Although the Aztec form of government is often referred to as an empire, in fact most areas within the empire were organized as city-states, known as altepetl in Nahuatl. These were small polities ruled by a king (tlatoani) from a legitimate dynasty. The Early Aztec period was a time of growth and competition among altepetl. Even after the empire was formed (1428) and began its program of expansion through conquest, the altepetl remained the dominant form of organization at the local level. The efficient role of the altepetl as a regional political unit was largely responsible for the success of the empires hegemonic form of control. Human Sacrifice Human sacrifice as shown in the Codex Magliabechiano For most people today, and for the European Catholics who first met the Aztecs, human sacrifice was the most striking feature of Aztec civilization. While human sacrifice was practiced throughout Mesoamerica, the Aztecs, if their own accounts are to be believed, brought this practice to an unprecedented level. For example, for the reconsecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, the Aztecs reported that they sacrificed 84,400 prisoners over the course of four days, reportedly by Ahuitzotl, the Great Speaker himself. However, most experts consider these numbers to be overstated. For example, the sheer logistics associated with sacrificing 84,000 victims would be overwhelming, 2,000 being a more likely figure. A similar consensus has developed on reports of cannibalism among the Aztecs. In the writings of Bernardino de Sahagun, Aztec anonymous informants defended the practice of human sacrifice by asserting that it was not very different from the European way of waging warfare: Europeans killed the warriors in battle, Aztecs killed the warriors after the battle. Accounts by the Tlaxcaltecas, the primary enemy of the Aztecs at the time of the Spanish Conquest, show that at least some of them considered it an honor to be sacrificed. In one legend, the warrior Tlahuicole was freed by the Aztecs but eventually returned of his own volition to die in ritual sacrifice. Tlaxcala also practiced the human sacrifice of captured Aztec warriors. The Aztec spoke a language called Nahuatl (pronounced NAH waht l). It belongs to a large group of Indian languages which also include the languages spoken by the Comanche, Pima, Shoshone and other tribes of western North America. Nahuatl is a group of related languages and dialects of the Nahuan (traditionally called Aztecan) branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Collectively they are spoken by an estimated 1.5 million Nahua people, most of whom live in Central Mexico. All Nahuan languages are indigenous to Mesoamerica. This early literary language based on the Tenochtitlan dialect has been labeled Classical Nahuatl and is among the most studied and best documented languages of the Americas. Today Nahuatl dialects are spoken in scattered communities mostly in rural areas. Variations of this language are still spoken in some of the more remote areas of Mexico in which the indigenous cultures are still alive. Nahuatl is a variation of a larger language group known as Uto-Aztecan. Other variations on this language group are still spoken in some of the regions spanning from central Mexico through northern Mexico on into the southwestern United States including the Pima, Tohono Oohdam of Arizona. Mathematics The Aztecs used a vigesimal system, counting by 20s. The numbers 1-19 were expressed by dots or occasionally by fingers 20 was represented by a flag 400 (i.e. 20 (20) by a sign which looks like a feather or a fir tree and 8,000 (20 x 20 x 20) by a bag or tasseled pouch which was imagined to contain 8,000 cocoa beans. Aztec religion combined elements of polytheism, shamanism and animism within a framework of astronomy and calendrics. Like other Mesoamerican religions, it had elements of human sacrifice in connection with a large number of religious festivals which were held according to patterns of the Aztec calendar. It had a large and ever increasing pantheon the Aztecs would often adopt into their own religious practice deities of other geographic regions or peoples. Aztec cosmology divided the world into upper and nether-worlds, each associated with a specific set of deities and astronomical objects. Important in Aztec religion were the sun, moon and the planet Venus - all of which held different symbolic and religious meanings and we re connected to deities and geographical places. Large parts of the Aztec pantheon were inherited from previous Mesoamerican civilizations and others, such as Tlaloc, Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca, were venerated by different names in most cultures throughout the history of Mesoamerica. For the Aztecs especially important deities were Tlaloc the god of rain, Huitzilopochtli the patron god of the Mexico tribe, Quetzalcoatl the culture hero and god of civilization and order, and Tezcatlipoca the god of destiny and fortune, connected with war and sorcery. Each of these gods had their own temples within the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan - Tlaloc and Huitzilopochtli were both worshipped at the Templo Mayor. A common Aztec religious practice was the recreation of the divine: Mythological events would be ritually recreated and living persons would impersonate specific deities and be revered as a god - and often ritually sacrificed. Gods and Goddesses Philosophy Aztec philosophy saw the concept of teotl as a fundamental unity that underlies the entire universe. Teotl forms, shapes, and is all things. Even things in oppositio - light and dark, life and death - were seen as expressions of the same unity, teotl. The belief in a unity with dualistic expressions compares with similar dialectical monist ideas in both Western and Eastern philosophies. Aztec priests had a panentheistic view of religion but the popular Aztec religion maintained polytheism. Priests saw the different gods as aspects of the singular and transcendent unity of teotl but the masses were allowed to practice polytheism without understanding the true, unified nature of the Aztec gods. Aztec philosophers focused on morality as establishing balance. The world was seen as constantly shifting with the ever-changing teotl. Morality focused on finding the path to living a balanced life, which would provide stability in the shifting world. Aztec philosophy saw the arts as a way to express the true nature of teotl. Art was considered to be good if it in some way brought about a better understanding of teotl. Aztec poetry was closely tied to philosophy and often used to express philosophic concepts. Precolumbian Aztec society was the highly complex and stratified society that developed among the Aztecs of central Mexico in the centuries prior to the Spanish conquest of Mexico, and which were built on the cultural foundations of the larger region of Mesoamerica. Politically the society was based around the independent citystate, called an Altepetl, composed of smaller divisions called Calpulli, which were again normally composed of one or more extended kinship groups. Socially the society depended on a rather strict division between nobles and free commoners both groups which were divided into elaborate hierarchies of social status, responsibilities and power. Economically the society was dependent on agriculture and also to a large extent warfare, other economically important factors was commerce, long distance and local, and a high degree of trade specialization. Recreation was important. Trade and Commerce Prior to the fall of the Aztec, the Aztec people had a stable economy driven by a successful trade market. The markets, which were located in the center of many communities, were well organized and diverse in goods, as noted by the Spanish conquistadors upon their arrival. The regional merchants, known as tlanecuilo tended to barter utilitarian items and foodstuffs, which included gold, silver, and other precious stones, cloth and cotton, animal skins, both agriculture and wild game, and woodwork. The trade market of the Aztec people was not only important to commerce, but also to the socialization, as the markets provided a place for the people to exchange information within their regions. This type of trade market was used primarily for locally produced goods, as there was not much traveling needed to exchange goods at the market. With no domestic animals as an effective way to transport goods, the local markets were an essential part of Aztec commerce. However, the Aztec nobility obtained much of their merchandise from neighboring highland basins, distant places within the empire, and from land beyond the empire therefore creating the need for a long distance trade organization. The long distance trade was carried out by merchants called pochteca, who were defined by their positions within the system. These professional merchants occupied a high status in Aztec society, below the noble class. The pochteca were responsible for providing the materials that the noble class used to display their wealth. These materials were often obtained from foreign sources. Due to the success of the pochteca, many of the merchants became as wealthy as the noble class, but were obligated to hide this wealth from the public. The pochteca were an advanced group who reported to 12 locations throughout the Empire, where the high officials were located. The highest officials of the pochteca were the pochtecatlatoque. The pochtecatlatoque were the elder of the pochteca, and were no longer travelers, but rather acted as administrators, overseeing young pochteca and administering the marketplace. The second group of pochteca was the slave traders, known as the tlatlani. These people were often referred to as the richest of merchants, as they played a central role in capturing the slaves used for sacrificial victims. The third group of long distance traders was the tencunenenque, who worked for the rulers by carrying out personal trade. A group of trader spies, known as the naualoztomeca, made up the last group of pochteca. The naualoztomeca were forced to disguise themselves as they traveled, as they sought after rare goods. The naualoztomeca were also used for gathering information at the markets and reporting the information to the higher levels of pochteca. All trade throughout the Aztec Empire was regulated by officers who patrolled the markets to ensure that the buyers were not being cheated by the merchants. Because markets were so numerous, in large cities reaching upwards of 20,000 people, the organization was crucial, and the Aztecs were able to create a successful market due to the success of enforcing the laws of the empire. Several pages from the Codex Mendoza list tributary towns along with the goods they supplied, which included not only luxuries such as feathers, adorned suits, and greenstone beads, but more practical goods such as cloth, firewood, and food. Tribute was usually paid twice or four times a year at differing times. Archaeological excavations in the Aztec-ruled provinces show that incorporation into the empire had both costs and benefits for provincial peoples. On the positive side, the empire promoted commerce and trade, and exotic goods from obsidian to bronze managed to reach the houses of both commoners and nobles. Trade partners included the enemy Tarascan, a source of bronze tools and jewelry. On the negative side, imperial tribute imposed a burden on commoner households, who had to increase their work to pay their share of tribute. Nobles, on the other hand, often made out well under imperial rule because of the indirect nature of imperial organization. The empire had to rely on local kings and nobles and offered them privileges for their help in maintaining order and keeping the tribute flowing. The Aztecs had 3 basic crafts: metal work, feather work, and music. The metal workers had no iron so they used copper, gold, and silver. Transportation The main contribution of the Aztec rule was a system of communications between the conquered cities. In Mesoamerica, without draft animals for transport (nor, as a result, wheeled vehicles), the roads were designed for travel on foot. Usually these roads were maintained through tribute, and travelers had places to rest and eat and even latrines to use at regular intervals, roughly every 10 or 15 km. Couriers (paynani) were constantly traveling along those ways, keeping the Aztecs informed of events, and helping to monitor the integrity of the roads. Due to the steady surveillance, even women could travel alone, a fact that amazed the Spaniards, as that was not at all possible in Europe since the time of the Romans. After the conquest those roads were no longer subject to maintenance and were lost. Due to the aspirations of conquest and the religious beliefs of the Mexicas, war was a very important activity. The Mexicas believed that the gods had sacrificed themselves for mankind, that their blood had given man life, and that the Sun was nourished with the blood of human hearts. This belief led them to sacrifice many prisoners at their temples. Some people were able to resist the Aztecs the most powerful of these were the Tlaxaltecas and the Purepechas. The people were completely prepared for war and great emphasis was placed on the creation of codexes and on the interpretation of the calendars, since both activities were essential to religion and community life. The codexes consist of writing and drawings made by the Mesoamerican people on strips of deer skin, or on a kind of paper made from amate tree bark. Once finished, these strips were folded like a concertina. Although there were surely a large number of codexes, only a few were conserved. Many were destroyed by the Spanish Conquistadors, and others were lost through neglect or due to the fragile materials on which they were created. The Aztec used pictographs to communicate through writing. Some of the pictures symbolized ideas and other represented the sounds of the syllables. They made paper by taking strips of bark from fig trees and pounding it on hard pieces of wood. The administration of Tenochtitlan and its foreign provinces required a great deal of paperwork. Taxes had to be collected, lawsuits between villages or private individuals had all to be recorded, and the merchants kept accounts of their goods and profits. Instructions and reports passed to and fro between the capital and the outlying cities, and like any civilized people of today the Mexicans were familiar with both red tape and official correspondence. The clans maintained land registers, and when Cortes reached Tenochtitlan he had no trouble in procuring from the royal archive a map showing all the rivers and bays along a 400-mile stretch of the north coast. In addition each temple owned a library of religious and astrological works, while a large private household, like that of Moctezuma, employed a full-time steward to look after the accounts which were so many that they filled an entire house. Ixtiuxochiti, a brother of the last native ruler of Texcoco, has left this account in the prologue to his Historia Chichimeca. They had scribes for each branch of knowledge. Some dealt with the annals, putting down in order the things. which happened each year, giving the day, month, and hour. Others had charge of the genealogies, recording the lineage of rulers, lords and noblemen, registering the newborn and deleting those who had died. Some painted the frontiers, limits, and boundary markers of the cities, provinces and villages, and also the distribution of fields, whose they were and to whom they belonged. Other scribes kept the law books and those dealing with the rites and ceremonies which they practiced when they were infidels. The priests recorded all matters to do with the temples and images, with their idolatrous doctrines, the festivals of their false gods, and their calendars. And finally, the philosophers and learned men which there were among them were charged with painting all the sciences which they had discovered, and with teaching by memory all the songs in which were embodied their scientific knowledge and historical traditions. In the law courts, especially those dealing with land and property rights, the disputants supported their claims with genealogies and maps, showing the kings land in purple, the lords in red, and the clan fields in yellow. Of this mass of paperwork hardly anything remains, and nearly all the surviving books from the Aztec homeland are of post-Conquest date. Some are copies of earlier works, while others are written in Aztec script with Spanish or Nahuati commentaries in European letters. The best collection of preConquest books comes from Oaxaca, the land of the Mixtecs, where more than a dozen examples have been preserved. Each book, or codex, consists of a strip, anything up to 13 yards in length and some 6-7 inches high, made of paper, maguey cloth, or deer skin, and folded in zigzag or concertina fashion like a modern map, so that wherever the user opened it he was confronted by two pages. The ends of the strip were glued to thin plaques of wood which served as covers and were some-times decorated with paintings or with discs of turquoise. Both sides of the strip were covered with writing and pictures, and the individual pages were divided into sections by red or black lines. Each page was normally read from top to bottom, though in some codices the arrangement is zigzag or even goes around the page. The strip was scanned from left to right. This enormous production of documents was dependent on a steady supply of the raw materials, and each year 24,000 reams of paper, the equivalent of 480,000 sheets, were sent to Tenochtitlan. Aztec paper was made from the inner bark of various species of fig tree. The bark was soaked in a river or in a bath of limey water, and the fibers were separated from the pulp, then laid on a smooth surface, doubled over, and beaten with a mashing stone which had a ridged surface. A binding material (probably a gum of vegetable origin), was added, and the fibers were beaten out into a thin, homogeneous sheet. After smoothing and drying, the processed bark fibers had recognizably become paper, but the surfaces were still porous and rough, unsuitable for painting until they had been given a coating of white chalky varnish or size. On this background the scribe drew his figures, first sketching the outlines in black, then adding the colors with his brush. The principal colors were red, blue, green, and yellow, and the pigments were sometimes mixed with an oil to give added luster. Scribes were respected craftsmen, and the profession was probably hereditary. The Aztecs wrote using symbols similar to the characters used by the Chinese and Japanese. All the symbols were pictures of one kind or another. The symbols can be thought of as ideograms in which the objects express their own natures but also the underlying ideas and not concepts associated with them. Thus the idea of death can be represented by a corpse wrapped for burial, night by a black sky and a closed eye, war by a shield and a club, or speech by a little scroll issuing from the mouth of the person who is talking. Concepts involving the idea of motion, walking, migration, or the sequence of events were usually indicated by a trail of footprints going in the necessary direction. Aztec personal names were of the descriptive type which could usually be written in glyphs. The name of the Emperor Acamapichtli means Handful of Reeds and his glyph is a forearm with the hand grasping a bundle of stalks. Chimalpopoca, the name of the next ruler but one, means Smoking Shield, and his successor was Itzcoatl or Obsidian Snake. There was also a phonetic element in Aztec writing. Every word in spoken language has a sound as well as a meaning, and glyphs were sometimes used to indicate the phonetic value of a word rather than its sense. Thus, to give an example from English, a drawing of an eye may be a pictogram (meaning the eye as part of the body), or an ideogram (expressing the idea of sight and vision), or a phonogram (standing for the sound I). In the latter case, the eye symbol can be used, as a sort of pun, to indicate the first person singular. It is possible to write the sentence, I can be hospitable, as a series of phonetic glyphs: an eye, a tin can, a bee, a horse, a pit or hole, and a table. The Aztecs applied the same technique to the writing of Nahuatl. Pictures were sometimes used for their sound, without reference to their meaning. The symbol for teeth (tiantli in the Aztec language) expressed the syllable tlan the glyph or tree or forest (quauill) stood for the syllable quauh, a stone (tell) for te, a mountain (tepeti) for tepe, and so on. Vowels were sometimes represented phonetically the sound a by the symbol for water (all), or 0 by a road (olli). Names of towns could be expressed by a combination of such phonograms. The sign for the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, was a stone (tell) from which sprouted a prickly pear cactus (nochili) Tochtepecan was indicated by a rabbit (tochtli) above a mountain (tepeti) quauhtitlan by a tree (quauitl) with teeth (tiantli), quauhnauac by a tree with a speech scroll issuing from it (nahuall -speech). These symbols were not placed in sequence, one after the other like the letters and words in a book, but formed part of a larger composition which often took the form of a scene in which many things may be happening at once. An Aztec manuscript is not read in the normal sense of the word, but is deciphered like a puzzle picture in which the glyphs provide. labels and clues to what is going on. The lower part of the picture generally represents the ground, while the upper is the sky. Since the Aztecs had not discovered the rules of perspective, distance is shown by placing the furthest figures at the top of the page and the nearest at the bottom. Relative importance is indicated by size: a victorious king, for example, may be drawn larger than his defeated enemy. All figures are in profile, with no three-quarter views or fore-shortening. Every item in a composition is there to give information, either directly or by implication, and the painter assumes that the person examining the document is familiar with the insignia of rank, the costumes appropriate to the various classes, and the iconography of the different gods. A priest, for instance, is always depicted with his face painted black, his hair long, and his ear-lobe stained red from blood-letting. He can thus be recognized as a priest even when dressed in warrior 5 costume or plain garb. In the same way, an old person can be recognized by the lines which represent the wrinkles on his face. Color was also important. The signs for grass, canes, and rushes look very much the same in black and white, but in color there could be no mistake: in the Codex Mendoza grass is yellow, canes are blue, rushes green. A ruler could be recognized at once from the shape of his diadem and from its color, turquoise, which was reserved for royal use. A scribe who could keep pace with court proceedings had every reason to be proud of his skill Aztec. Both writing and reading were therefore specialized skills, and it is no wonder that the mass of the population remained illiterate. Writing was not taught in the schools attended by plebeian children, and indeed the ordinary man would have no need for it. In a bureaucratic and centralized society the common man received his instructions from above, from the priests who looked after the religious side of his life, or from the secular officials who were drawn from the nobility and had the benefit of a calmecac education. Most modern day Mexicans (and people of Mexican descent in other countries) are mestizos, of mixed indigenous and European Spanish ancestry. During the 16th century the racial composition of Mexico began to change from one that featured distinct indigenous (Mexicas and members of the many other Mexican indigenous groups) and immigrant (mostly Spanish) populations, to the population composed primarily of mestizos that is found in modern day Mexico. The Nahuatl language is today spoken by 1.5 million people, mostly in mountainous areas in the states of central Mexico. Local dialects of Spanish, Mexican Spanish generally, and the Spanish language worldwide have all been influenced, in varying degrees, by Nahuatl. Some Nahuatl words (most notably chocolate and tomato) have been borrowed through Spanish into other languages around the world. Mexico City was built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, making it one of the oldest living cities of America. Many of its districts and natural landmarks retain their original Nahuatl names. Many other cities and towns in Mexico and Central America have also retained their Nahuatl names (whether or not they were originally Mexica or even Nahuatl-speaking towns). A number of town names are hybrids of Nahuatl and Spanish. Mexican cuisine continues to be based on and flavored by agricultural products contributed by the MexicasAztecs and Mesoamerica, most of which retain some form of their original Nahuatl names. The cuisine has also become a popular part of the cuisine of the United States and other countries around the world, typically altered to suit various national tastes. The modern Mexican flag bears the emblem of the Mexica migration legend. Mexicos premier religious icon, the Virgin of Guadalupe has certain similarities to the Mexica earth mother goddess Tonantzin. For the 1986 FIFA World Cup Adidas designed the official match ball to show in its triades Aztec architectural and mural designs. Modern Views of the Aztec Culture Laurette Sejourne, a French anthropologist, wrote about Aztec and Mesoamerican spirituality. Her depiction of the Aztecs as a spiritual people was so compelling that new religions have been formed based on her writings. Some parts of her work have been adopted by esoteric groups, searching for occult teachings of the pre-Columbian religions. Sejourne never endorsed any of these groups. Miguel Leon-Portilla also idealizes the Aztec culture, especially in his early writings. Others, such as Antonio Velazco, have transformed the writings by Sejourne and Leon-Portilla into a religious movement. Antonio Velasco Pina has written three books, Tlacaelel, El Azteca entre los Aztecas, La mujer dormida debe dar a luz, and Regina. When mixed with the currents of Neopaganism, these books resulted in a new religious movement called Mexicanista. This movement called for a return to the spirituality of the Aztecs. It is argued that, with this return, Mexico will become the next center of power. This religious movement mixes Mesoamerican cults with Hindu esoterism. The Mexicanista movement reached the peak of its popularity in the 1990s.