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35 Interesting Facts about the Aztecs You Did Not Know
Did you know that the fall 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. Learn more about Aztec religion, culture, history, and weird customs & traditions from our article prepared by one of the leading specialists in the field of history and anthropology. Be sure to use some of 35 Aztecs facts in your academic paper to impress your teacher with your in-depth knowledge of the subject.
Inspiring, Fun, and Scary Facts about the Aztec Civilization
Before we move on, there are two things we would like you to know:
- some of the facts presented in this article may seem shocking or even disgusting to you;
- if you cannot write an Aztec 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.
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 popular even in present-day society. Let's consider some of the basic facts of the Aztec religion:
- Religious practices were of paramount importance to the Aztecs who worshipped more than 40 gods and goddesses, some of whom were believed to have resided in the ancient city of their Tenochtitlan.
- Hernan Cortes was allowed to erect a small Christian chapel in the palace of Axayacatl.
- The Aztecs believed that in order for the Sun to rise, they had to make bloody sacrifices to Huitzilopochtli, the god of the Sun and war, who was the main deity in their pantheon.
- Some of the Aztecs' 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 destroy the entire world if they stopped making children sacrifices to Tlaloc, the god of rain.
- Aztec temples were considered the most important constructions and no ruler could make a decision without consulting with the priests.
The Aztec pyramids are just the thing to explore for art students, as well as students studying advanced engineering & construction. Here are some fact to consider when choosing this topic:
- Symbolism had always played a major role in Aztec architecture. Using various colors and patterns, the Aztecs embedded secret messages in each of their buildings.
- While the black color was used to designate the North, blue denoted the South. The rest of the directions, i.e., the East and West, were represented by the red color. Some of the Aztecs' gods were also associated with one of the four cardinal directions.
- Each of the Aztecs' cities had a 'mountain' at its center, which was represented by pyramid temples.
- The step pattern was the basic element of the majority of the pyramids. Almost all of them were meant to serve religious purposes.
- Most of the pyramids are symmetrical and come in different shapes.
The Aztec culture is still one of the most interesting and mysterious in the world, so while choosing a topic for your essay, you may benefit from some of the below facts about it:
- Mandatory gender-based schooling was one of the most distinctive features of Aztec society. Education was a privilege of children of noble birth, while all others were home educated.
- The Aztecs didn't call themselves that way. This name was given to them by modern historians long after their civilization ceased to exist. Their own name would be something like Aztlan which is a territory in the north of Mexico.
- The Aztecs were known as one of the smartest and most educated nations at the time. They were also credited with inventing an advanced system of writing and keeping records.
- The Aztecs did not place any headstones over their graves and to some, their burial ceremonies may seem weird and even terrifying.
- Selling children or killing them to make a sacrifice was perfectly normal and absolutely legal in Aztec society. The Aztec children were raised to believe that they should be ready to sacrifice their lives to save the world.
You have probably heard about the scary and cruel rituals of the Aztecs, haven't you? In fact, they would seem as such to any civilized person these days, but for the Aztecs, it was part of their daily routine. Let's look at some other not so cool facts about the Aztecs that you may include in your essay:
- Most of the pre-Columbian civilizations in South America practiced human sacrifice.
- The idea behind was to prevent a major earthquake that had the potential of destroying an entire planet.
- The Aztecs never sacrificed foreigners in place of their own people.
- The Aztecs removed a person's heart when they were still alive. The rituals were bloody and cruel, and there was no way the victims could escape them.
- The majority of sacrificed people were volunteers, not victims.
As mentioned above, Tenochtitlan was the main 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 below topics:
- The Aztecs dominated Mesoamerica, which covered territory roughly the size of 1/3 of present-day Europe.
- It took something like 200 years for the Aztec civilization to fully develop.
- Public offices in Tenochtitlan were awarded on a merit-based principle.
- All buildings in Tenochtitlan were totally white.
- Tenochtitlan was the first city in the history of humankind where education was provided for free.
The masterpieces the Aztecs left behind speak volumes about this people, but we would like to focus on some other interesting Aztecs facts:
- Aztec artists were usually rewarded with clothes, beans, cacao, and corn for creating outstanding works of art.
- Aztec artists mainly came from noble families and were well-educated.
- Aztec artists mostly produced jewelry, knives, weapons, statues, and mosaics.
- Mosaics, which are images assembled from tiny pieces of glass, stone and other materials, were the most popular art form in the Aztec empire.
- Turquoise, coral, and obsidian were the most popular materials for creating the above pieces of art.
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.
- Some Aztecs were in the habit of killing their dogs because they believed the animals would accompany them in the afterlife.
- The Aztecs had no knowledge of iron or steel.
- The Aztecs were wiped out by some unknown European disease.
- The Aztecs were the first to introduce the rest of the world to chocolate.
- The fall of the Aztec empire signified the end of the last Native American civilization.
Now that you know all these facts you can use them to impress your history or geography tutor. Writing an essay on this topic is a lot easier when you have several interesting things you can refer to, so use them wisely!back to all posts