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Mesoamerican Archaeology. Toltec Aztec. Post-Classic. Collapse of many of the great nations and cities of the Classic Era, although some continue, such as in Oaxaca, Cholula, and the Maya of Yucatán, such as at Chichen Itza and Uxmal.

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post classic
Post-Classic
  • Collapse of many of the great nations and cities of the Classic Era, although some continue, such as in Oaxaca, Cholula, and the Maya of Yucatán, such as at Chichen Itza and Uxmal.
  • This is sometimes seen as a period of increased chaos and warfare.
  • The Toltec for a time dominate central Mexico in the 11th - 13th century, then collapse.
  • The northern Maya are for a time united under Mayapan.
  • The Aztec Empire rises in the 14th century and seems on the path to asserting a dominance over the whole region not seen since Teotihuacan, when Mesoamerica is discovered by Spain and conquered by the Conquistadors.
tula and the toltecs
Tula and the Toltecs
  • A.D. 900-1200
  • Development of city north of Teotihuacan after its collapse in 900 A.D.
  • located on the Tula river and near the Lerma rivers for easy communication with others.
  • this new capital was closer to the northern limits of agriculture.
  • Toltec history embellished by Aztecs, Spaniards and others after their collapse in 1200 A.D.
tula grande
Tula Grande
  • Was occupied during the prime phase of Tula 950-1150 A.D.
  • 13 km in area, with a population of 30-60,000 residents.
  • craftspeople, tradespeople, religious leaders, but not farmers.
  • workshops included manos and metates makers. toolmakers.
  • city laid out on n-s axis.
rise of the aztec
Rise of the Aztec
  • From A.D. 1200 to A.D. 1370 the Basin of Mexico was occupied by various central Mexican peoples.
  • Chichimec people settled in the area from the North and gradually overcame the people living there at that time.
  • primarily due to Xolotl, who ruled a somewhat barbaric horde.
  • Technically squatted in the area of Tenochtitlan and were know as the Mixeca but today Aztecs is more common.
the chichimec period
The Chichimec Period
  • The Aztec originated from somewhere in north or northwest Mexico.
  • At that time the Aztecs (who referred to themselves as the Mexica or Tenochca) were a small, nomadic, Nahuatl-speaking aggregation of tribal peoples living on the margins of civilized Mesoamerica.
  • Sometime in the 12th century they embarked on a period of wandering and in the 13th century settled in the central basin of México.
the chichimec period1
The Chichimec Period
  • The Aztecs finally found refuge on small islands in Lake Texcoco where, in 1325, they founded the town of TENOCHTITLAN (modern-day Mexico City).
  • Other Chichimecs followed who were more civilized but stole women and practiced sacrifice.
    • brought knowledge of the Maya calender system, cultivated crops with irrigation, constructed with stone.
how were they all fed
How were they all fed?
  • Used the Chinampas (floating gardens) for agriculture.
    • 25,000 acres of chinampas at the time of contact.
    • gardens never actually floated, but were created by making use of the vegetaion in the swamps.
    • Floating water plants were used to build up gardens and then were dragged onto shore for chinampas.
    • They became anchored to the native cypress.
    • Lake mud was piled on and canals were built.
chinampas
Chinampas
  • However, although chinampas were very productive, the number of people living in the area at the time of contact could not keep up with subsistence and surplus food demands.
  • These marsh plots also brought in birds and fish that could be gathered while they were working.
chinampas1
Chinampas

Ancient Aztecs tending to chinampas

http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~delacova/aztec-society.htm

cultural innovations trade economics market system
Cultural Innovations:Trade, Economics, Market System
  • Part of inter-related regions which consisted of Morelos to the south, Puebla to the east, Mezquital to the north, and Toluca to the west.
    • although many crops the same, some areas had their specialty crops.
    • tropical fruits, cotton, cacao from Morelos, beans from Puebla.
    • flowers were also a big part of the economy because one of the great pleasures was of the smelling of flowers.
aztec market tlateloco
Aztec Market (Tlateloco)
  • Market days were held once each five days, four times each month. Sometimes daily in larger towns.
    • reflected community craft specializations as well as imported goods.
    • also slaves were traded, and dogs for food (400 on a slow day).
  • Bernal Diaz de Castillo says that he didn’t even have time to list how many things were offered one day at the market of Tlateloco.
    • commodities and goods exchanged by barter.
cultural innovations
Cultural Innovations
  • Writing
    • Nahuatl language spoken at conquest, living language today.
    • Many codices and glyphs to describe lifeways of Aztecs, as well as Spanish accounts.
  • Several Significant Codices:
    • Codex Borbonicus
    • Florentine Codex
    • Codex Mendoza
codex borbonicus
Codex Borbonicus

http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~delacova/aztecs4.htm

florentine codex
Florentine Codex

Human sacrificehttp://www.rose-hulman.edu/~delacova/florentine-codex.htm

codex mendoza
Codex Mendoza

Tribute 

http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~delacova/codex-mendoza.htm

cultural innovations1
Cultural Innovations
  • Art
    • Stone carving to communicate ideas.
    • Free-standing figures of Aztec deities.
    • Aztec Calender stone.
    • Atlantean figures and chocmools
  • Metallurgy
    • acquired from Maya.
    • Mostly gold, silver.
slide25
Art

Stone box with representations of corn cobs

Obsidian vessel carved in the shape of a monkey

Polychrome terracota plaque with molded and apliquéd sculpture of a human face

http://www.mesoweb.com/features/jpl/99.html

slide26
Art

Stone box with representations of corn cobs

Obsidian vessel carved in the shape of a monkey

Polychrome terracota plaque with molded and apliquéd sculpture of a human face

http://www.mesoweb.com/features/jpl/99.html

jewelry
Jewelry

Necklaces found in the Great Temple at Tenochtitlan

http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~delacova/aztec-jewelry.htm

masks
Masks

http://www.rose-hulman.edu/~delacova/aztec-masks.htm

spanish arrival cortes
Spanish Arrival: Cortes
  • Spanish arrive in A.D. 1519 at Vera Cruz.
    • March inland to Tenochtitlan
    • Received by Moctezuma II, who was then held captive by Cortes and his men.
  • Moctezuma II dies, replaced by nephew (dies almost immediately from small pox), replaced by another nephew: Cuahtemoc.
mexico revolts
Mexico Revolts
  • The siege began on May 21, 1521 and lasted for 85 days.
  • Finally ended when the Spanish captured the northeast section of the city and eventually conquered the remaining Aztecs.
  • Cuauhtemoc sets our from the city and surrenders to Cortes sometime around August 14, 1521.
spanish arrival cortes1
Spanish Arrival: Cortes
  • Spanish arrive in A.D. 1519 at Vera Cruz.
    • March inland to Tenochtitlan
    • Received by Moctezuma II, who was then held captive by Cortes and his men.
  • Moctezuma II dies, replaced by nephew (dies almost immediately from small pox), replaced by another nephew: Cuahtemoc.
  • Cuahtemoc is forced to surrender in AD 1521.