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35 Interesting Facts About Aztecs

Did you know that the downfall of the Aztec empire meant the collapse of the last Mesoamerican native civilization, and this is just one of the many interesting facts about these cruel yet fascinating people? Now, we offer you to learn more about their religion, culture, history, and weird customs and traditions. This article was prepared by one of the leading specialists in the field of history and anthropology. It only takes a minute or two to read the following 35 facts. Be sure to use them in your academic paper to impress your teacher with your in-depth knowledge of the subject.

Before we move on, there are two things we would like you to know:

  • Some facts presented in this article may seem shocking or even disgusting to you.
  • If you cannot write an essay for some reason, you can always rely on our team of 1,500 academic writers and editors who can deal with any of your assignments, no matter how tight its deadline is.

So, make yourself comfortable because we're about to set out on a journey to uncover the secrets of one of the greatest civilizations of the ancient times - the Aztecs.

Religion

A nation's culture is based on religious beliefs, and the Aztecs were no exception to this rule. Their history is full of episodes associated with religion, and many of their dogmas are prevalent even in present-day society. Let's consider some of the basic facts of the religion of these people.

  1. Religious practices were of paramount importance to the Aztecs who worshiped more than 40 gods and goddesses, some of whom were believed to have resided in the ancient city of Tenochtitlan.
  2. Hernan Cortes was allowed to erect a small Christian chapel in the Palace of Axayacatl.
  3. These people believed that, for the Sun to rise, they had to make bloody sacrifices to Huitzilopochtli, the god of the Sun and war, who was the chief deity in their pantheon.
  4. Some rituals required hearts to be ripped out of living humans, and they did their best to get them. They also believed that a powerful earthquake might annihilate the entire world if they stopped making children sacrifices to Tlaloc, the god of rain.
  5. Their temples were considered the most important constructions, and no ruler could make a decision without consulting with the priests.

Pyramids

The Aztec pyramids are just the thing to explore for art students, as well as students studying advanced engineering and construction. Here are some facts to consider when choosing this topic.

  1. Symbolism had always played a major role in Aztec architecture. Using various colors and patterns, these people embedded secret messages in each of their buildings.
  2. While the black color was used to designate the North, blue denoted the South. The rest of the directions were represented by the red color. Some of their gods were also associated with one of the four cardinal directions.
  3. Each of the cities had a "mountain" at its center, which was represented by pyramid temples.
  4. The step pattern was the basic element of the majority of the pyramids. Almost all of them were created in regards to serving religious purposes.
  5. Most of the pyramids are symmetrical and come in different shapes.

Culture

The ancient culture of these people is still one of the most fascinating and mysterious in the world, so while choosing a topic for your essay, you may benefit from some of the below facts about it.

  1. Mandatory gender-based schooling was one of the most distinctive features of Aztec society. Education was a privilege of children who were the elite, while all others were homeschooled.
  2. Others did not name the Aztecs as they called themselves. The name we know now was given to them by modern historians long after their civilization ceased to exist. Their actual name would sound something like Aztlan, which is a territory in the north of Mexico.
  3. This tribe was known as one of the smartest and most educated nations at the time. They were also credited with inventing an advanced writing system and the system of keeping records.
  4. The people of that culture did not place any headstones over their graves and to some, their burial ceremonies may seem weird and even terrifying.
  5. Selling children or killing them to make a sacrifice was perfectly normal and legal in Aztec society. The children were raised to believe that they should be ready to sacrifice their lives to save the world.

Sacrifice

You have probably heard about the scary and cruel rituals of the Aztecs, haven't you? They would seem as such to any civilized person these days, but for these people, it was part of the daily routine. Let's look at some other not-so-cool facts about the Aztecs that you may include in your essay.

  1. Most of the pre-Columbian civilizations in America at the southern part practiced human sacrifice.
  2. The idea behind was to prevent a major earthquake that had the potential of destroying an entire planet.
  3. The Aztecs had never sacrificed foreigners in place of their own people.
  4. They removed a person's heart when those were still alive. Their sacrificial rituals were particularly sanguinary, and there was no way "offerings" were able to escape.
  5. Most of the sacrificed people were volunteers, not victims.

Tenochtitlan

As mentioned above, Tenochtitlan was the most significant city of the Aztecs where their gods and goddesses preferred to spend time. That may be something worth writing about, so why not check out some of the topics below to include in your writing?

  1. The Aztecs dominated Mesoamerica, which covered a territory roughly the size of 1/3 of present-day Europe.
  2. It took something like 200 years for the Aztec civilization to develop fully.
  3. Public offices in Tenochtitlan were awarded on a merit-based principle.
  4. All buildings in the city were white.
  5. Tenochtitlan was the first city in the history of humankind to start providing free education.

Art

The masterpieces the Aztecs left behind speak volumes about these ancient people, but we would like to focus on some other interesting Aztecs facts.

  1. Artists were usually rewarded with clothes, beans, cacao, and corn for creating outstanding works of art.
  2. Artists among the Aztecs came from noble families and were educated well.
  3. Their artists mostly produced jewelry, knives, weapons, statues, and mosaics.
  4. Mosaics, images assembled from tiny pieces of glass, stone, and other materials, were the most widespread art form in the empire.
  5. Turquoise, coral, and obsidian were the most popular materials for creating the above pieces of art.

History

You may find some of the things described in this section hard to believe or outlandish, but strange as it may seem, they are still based on fact.

  1. Some people from this tribe were in the habit of killing their dogs because it was believed that the animals would go with them in the afterlife.
  2. They never possessed any knowledge of iron or steel.
  3. The Aztecs were wiped out by some unknown European disease.
  4. These people put the beginning of chocolate consumption in the world.
  5. The fall of the ancient Aztec empire indicated the end of the last Native American civilization.

Now, after having read the facts on this page, composing an essay about Aztecs culture is not the same perplexing task as it seemed at the beginning. So you will easily impress your history or geography tutor. We hope you'll be brought right to the category of the lucky ones who got the high grade for an essay. Writing is a lot easier when you have several interesting things you can refer to, so use them wisely! Thank you for reading!

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