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Questions tagged [aztec]

Questions pertaining to the Aztecs and their culture, language, or empire.

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8
votes
1answer
1k views

What is this tool/thing in an Aztec painting?

In between the warrior on the right, and the serpents in the center, is a small object. I’ve circled it in blue. This is from page 57 of the Codex Borgia. Full scans can be seen here. What is it? ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Why did Pre-Columbian Americans not build city walls?

The question At the time of the European invasions after 1492, the most technologically advanced cultures in the Americas had progressed to about the same stage as the Bronze Age in the old world. ...
20
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7answers
4k 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 ...
8
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4answers
3k views

Did native Mexicans prefer Spanish rulers to the Aztecs?

In his letter to Charles V, Hernan Cortes states that "it was only necessary to threaten to return them [the natives] to their native masters in order to make them serve the Spaniards very willingly." ...
7
votes
2answers
400 views

Why was it Spain, not Tlaxcala, that dominated over Mesoamerica despite the Tlaxcaltecs being the major force in the conquest of Tenochtitlan?

It has been a question that makes me wonder, since the very first time I read about the history of the Aztecs. In the fall of Tenochtitlan, as commonly known, the Tlaxcalans (Tlaxcaltecs) was the ...
2
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2answers
289 views

What were the major ethnic / cultural / politcal divisions of pre-conquest Mesoamerica?

Background: I've started a bit of side reading on Mesoamerica immediately prior to the Spanish conquest. The Maya, the Aztecs, and (to the south) the Inca all seem very straightforward to me, but (as ...
3
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3answers
975 views

Contact between the Inca, Maya and Aztecs?

Were these three cultures aware of each others existence? Did they trade with one another?
17
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2answers
4k views

How did Aztec armor and weaponry match up to the Spaniards?

If you discount the germs and the gunpowder, how did the average Aztec warrior match up against the average Spaniard facing him? As I understand it European metallurgy was considerably more advanced, ...
6
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0answers
290 views

How did Tenochtitlan's Templo Mayor disappear for centuries?

According to Wikipedia (amongst other sources), after the Siege of Tenochtitlan, the Templo Mayor was dismantled and a church was built over its ruins. This church would eventually become Mexico City ...
0
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1answer
548 views

Why were the Maya's cities abandoned? [duplicate]

I actually have done research on the Maya, the Inca, and the Aztecs, but I'm wondering about a specific question that we had to study on flashcards for a test on a few days ago, which stated, " What ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Did Cahokia have any communication with Mexica or Mayan civilization?

It's roughly 2,000 kilometers from St. Louis to modern Mexico city, as the crow flies; a little farther to the Yucatan. The Mississippi river and the Gulf of Mexico provide reasonably direct water ...
9
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1answer
572 views

Did the treasure ship Cortes first sent from Mexico ever arrive in Spain?

When Cortes first arrived in Mexico in 1519, some of his men threatened mutiny, saying they'd return to Cuba instead of fighting Indians. To prevent this, Cortes committed one of the most daring acts ...
0
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1answer
448 views

Why was North and South America less developed than other parts of the world? [duplicate]

Let me preface this with stating that the pre-columbian period of mesoamerica and the Andes Mountain regions are my favorite areas of study and I am fully aware of the advanced civilizations that ...
24
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3answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
252 views

What resources did the Nahua value most at the time of Spanish conquest?

I am doing research on how the Spaniards and Nahua felt about gold and wealth (their differences) during the conquest. The Spanish were very open about their thoughts on gold & wealth. But what ...
1
vote
1answer
252 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"?
3
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1answer
211 views

Evidence of Aztecs using Quetzal feathers as commodity money?

I found some webpages on the internet stating that on Aztecs barter-based economy, the remainder of value between two goods (if any) was settled with, among others, Quetzal feathers. Is there any ...
7
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1answer
704 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 ...