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The Aztecs

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  1. The Aztecs www.artzia.com

  2. Background • Originally named Mexica • Located in what is now central Mexico • The empire lasted during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries CE http://www.geocities.com/kimmykim7072003/aztec_empire.jpg

  3. Background • Tenochtitlan was the capital city and is located in what is now present day Mexico city • The Aztec empire caused the biggest demographic explosion in Mesoamerican history http://www.mte.asd103.org/art/images/Aztec.jpg

  4. Government • The Aztecs where ruled by a single emperor called the Huey Tlatoani which roughly translates to “The Great Speaker”and was located in the capitol city of Tenochtitlan • There was also a ruling counsel comprised of the wisest and most powerful leaders from the Calpulli • Calpulli is a group of extended families that controlled the use of local lands and preformed other territorial and social functions

  5. Government • Each urban settlement had a calpulli and four main leaders would be selected to a governing board the most powerful being named Tlatoani • The Tlatoani from the all over the emperor would then comprise the main ruling counsel in the capital city • The Aztecs grew rapidly by conquering nearby cities and would force them to pay tributes • These tributes would eventually result in the increased welfare of the common people

  6. Characteristics of the Nahuatl Language • It is an agglutinant language. Words and phrases are constructed by joining prefixes, root words and suffixes to form an idea. • It is a flexive language. The morphology of words may change (flex) according to their function in a phrase. • It uses mostly reverential forms of speech that gives a respectful frame to human relations.

  7. Social Structure • The Aztec society was divided into three socal classes: the macehualli (people) or peasantry, the pochteca or merchants and traders, and the pilli or nobility • Slaves or tlacotin consisted as a large part of the Aztec society • Though people were born into a certain class it was possible to move up the ranks within a life time

  8. Religion • Main deity in the Aztec religion was Huitzilopochtli and was known as both the sun god and war god • Human sacrifice was practiced heavily in the Aztec religion • The Aztecs believed that by performing these sacrifices that it gave power to the gods which in turn would insure the survival of the Aztec universe

  9. Religion • War captives were used in the sacrifices and in times of peace the Aztec would have to resort to ritualistic warfare or flower war • In the year 1487 the Aztecs reported killing 84,400 war prisoners in four days at the great pyramid of Tenochitlan • After a town was conquered the inhabitants where no longer eligible of sacrifice and became Aztec citizens

  10. Art • The favored form of art in the Aztec empire was sculpture • Most Sculptures were made from limestone, which is still abundant in Mexico today • Aztec sculpture was like most other Mesoamerican cultures and was mostly directly related to religion http://library.thinkquest.org/16325/y-art.html

  11. Art • The Aztecs also made other religious and non-religious artifacts such as jade masks • Clothing was also a popular art form and women from around the empire would use bead, flower, and metal decorations • These artifacts were sold in markets by visiting merchants www.latinamericanstudies.org/.../aztec-mask.gif

  12. Architecture • There where four main types of architecture in the Aztec society: sacrificial temples, emperors temple, and shines of the gods http://library.thinkquest.org/10098/aztec.html

  13. Sacrificial Temple http://www.chipotletx.com/assets/images/aztectemple.jpg

  14. Emperor Palace http://library.thinkquest.org/10098/aztec.html

  15. Homes http://www.sylviastuurman.nl/stories/four corners/english.php

  16. Tenochtitlan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec

  17. Resources • http://www.mte.asd103.org/art/images/Aztec.jpg • www.artzia.com • http://www.geocities.com/kimmykim7072003/aztec_empire.jpg • http://library.thinkquest.org/16325/y-art.html • www.latinamericanstudies.org/.../aztec-mask.gif • http://library.thinkquest.org/10098/aztec.html • http://www.chipotletx.com/assets/images/aztectemple.jpg • http://www.sylviastuurman.nl/stories/four corners/english.php • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec