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22
votes
8answers
17k views

Did Native Americans ever fight the indigenous people living in Mexico before Europeans arrived?

From elementary school, my history teacher used to talk about the fighting between native American tribes. Then, later in the semester, we would briefly discuss the rise of Aztecs, Olmecs, Mayans, etc....
21
votes
3answers
4k views

Why was the Aztec Empire known as an Empire?

Wikipedia defines an Empire as following: The term "empire" does not have a precise definition, but is generally applied to political entities that are considered to be especially large by the ...
13
votes
1answer
7k views

What really happened to the Maya civilization?

Are there any reliable sources that explain the "disappearance" of the Maya? I am highly skeptical about the following account as it states that the cities were destroyed by the war when in actual ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there any documentation that indicates the Aztecs were as violent as they are made out?

The iconography of the Aztecs lead us to believe that they were an especially blood-thirsty culture. But consider the scenario where there was some major catastrophe in the USA, reducing the ...
11
votes
1answer
81 views

How were Mesoamerican inks produced?

One thing that always strikes me when the long progression of wikipedia-clicks takes me from something like 'Tumulus' all the way to 'Mixtec writing' or, more specifically, 'Codex Zouche-Nuttall' is ...
8
votes
2answers
393 views

Which days in the Mayan calendar were most auspicious for performing sacrifices?

In Classic Mayan civilization, human sacrifices were performed. I've read that there were days that were more and less auspicious for sacrifices, but I haven't been able to find out which days those ...
8
votes
1answer
186 views

Did the Mayans view the gods as antagonistic to humanity?

How did the precolonial Maya view their gods' relationship to mankind, specifically: were they considered benevolent, neutral, or antagonistic? I've seen a number of hints that they may have ...
7
votes
2answers
385 views

Was Classic Mayan civilization really so gruesome?

(I don't really know how to ask this question, so help in editing it to better fit the StackExchange format would be quite welcome.) From what I can tell, Classical Mayan civilization was ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

How did the Mayans get cacao?

Did the Mayans have plantations of cacao trees, or did they simply gather the fruit from cacao trees in the wild?
6
votes
1answer
552 views

What are the archaeological evidence for the Aztec's use of entheogens?

A recent Skeptics question, Was honey used preserve psychoactive mushrooms in the ancient past?, caught my attention and I came upon the Wikipedia article on the Aztec use of entheogens. The article ...
4
votes
2answers
360 views

What led to the romantic perception of the Mayan civilization?

When the territories of the Mayan civilization were conquered in Mesoamerica, the European priests burnt all the books and references they could find about the Mayan culture. It was not until 1839 ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

What does the Aztec word “calpuleque” mean?

What does the Aztec word "calpuleque" mean? Who does it refer to? What is its relationship with the words "calpulli", "alteptl" and "tlaotani"?