The Aztecs: New Perspectives (Understanding Ancient Civilizations)

The Aztecs: New Perspectives (Understanding Ancient Civilizations)

Dirk R. Van Tuerenhout

Language: English

Pages: 358

ISBN: B01JXMO6AK

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Aztecs: New Perspectives (Understanding Ancient Civilizations)

Dirk R. Van Tuerenhout

Language: English

Pages: 358

ISBN: B01JXMO6AK

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A wealth of new archaeological findings and interpretations has sparked a richer understanding of the Aztecs, dispelling many myths. The Aztecs: New Perspectives looks at evidence from ancient, colonial, and modern times to present a contemporary, well-rounded portrait of this Mesoamerican culture. Like no other volume, it examines daily Aztec life both at, and away from, the seats of power, revealing the Aztecs to be accomplished farmers, astronomers, mathematicians, and poets as well as ruthless warriors and tireless builders of empire.

The Aztecs ranges from the mysterious origins of the Aztlan tribe to the glory years of empire and ultimate defeat. But the story doesn't end there. To present the most complete picture possible, the author goes to the most fascinating source available the living ancestors who keep the Aztec language and many aspects of their ancient worldview alive. There is no better volume for exploring the realities of Aztec life as it was, and as it influences our world today.

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three contingents of migrants (Smith 1996: 40). The first arrivals settled in the Valley of Mexico, but the second settled in the surrounding areas because they found the Valley itself already occupied by the first wave. The Mexica were the last group to arrive in Central Mexico, around AD 1250. Because all choice real estate had already been snapped up by the other two waves of immigrants, the Aztecs were forced to settle in Chapultepec, or “Grasshopper Hill.” Chapultepec today 68 THE AZTECS

bk. 19, 27, 30) mentions how the returning pochteca would have cacao beans in their inventory. There is one thing that these pochteca items intended for private sale had in common: they were high-value, low-bulk items. We learn through Sahagún that the pochteca community was a very close-knit one. We know that the pochteca lived in their own neighborhoods in the capital and very likely in other Aztec cities as well (Hassig 1993: 113, 117–118). We know that twelve cities in the Valley of Mexico

Princeton Art Museum, shows a woman standing up and pouring cacao out of a cylindrical vessel into a vessel placed on the floor in front of her. Such actions helped to aerate the cacao (i.e., to introduce air bubbles into it). This generated a foam head, always appreciated as a sure sign of quality cacao. Failure of such a foam head forming would have implied inferior cacao being used (Coe 1994: 103). One should remember that there were a myriad of applications for chocolate among Mesoamerican

for Anthropological Research. Sanders, William T. A. Kovar, T. Charlton, and R. A. Diehl. 1970. The Natural Environment, Contemporary Occupation and Sixteenth Century Population of the Valley (Teotihuacan Valley Project Final Report). University Park: Pennsylvania State University. (Sanders and his colleagues spent enormous amounts of energy studying the ecology and settlement patterns in the Valley of Teotihuacan, which is part of the Valley of Mexico.) Sanders, William T., and Robert S.

surrounding the city. Waters coming from the snowfields up in the mountains, the local springs, and the seasonal streams all collected into a series of lakes. Three interconnected lakes went along a north–south axis: Lake Xaltocan-Zumpango in the north, Lake Texcoco in the middle, and Lake Chalco-Xochimilco in the south. This lake system covered 1,000 sq. km, or about one-eighth of the total area of the Valley of Mexico. Lakes Texcoco and Xaltocan were salty; Lake ChalcoXochimilco was a

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