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By: Mandy, Jen W. and Tracy Human Sacrifice • The ritual of human sacrifice remains the Aztecs' most extreme divergence from western ideas of civilization. • To collect live prisoners for sacrifice = capture from warfare • Huitzilopochtli represented the sun, the warrior and ensured the Aztecs' survival –preferred food was human blood Human Sacrifice • Aztecs believed that the continual offering of blood through human sacrifice will prolong the existence of the universe- to insure the sun's arrival each day, a steady amount of human hearts had to be offered in holy sacrifice . “…the men or women who were to • They were unusual for the sacrificed to their gods were extent for which they carried thrown on their backs…A priest out human sacrifice as mass then came out with a stone knife…and with this knife, he sacrifice was institutionalized opened the part where the heart is as a political policy. and took out the heart, without the person who was being sacrificed uttering a word…” Agriculture • Lake-bottom sediments were scooped up along shorelines to form narrow plots or strips of cultivable land called chinampas. • Roots of the plants always have access to moisture provided by lake water = early form of hydroponic agriculture • Extremely productive- several crops a year • Chinampas became known as the “floating gardens” by Spanish settlers. Agriculture (cont.) http://www.western.edu/faculty/pcro ssley/chinampasofmexico/images/i ndexanim1.gif Chinampas allowed Spanish explorers to bring back these exotic vegetables to Europe. • They are still built and cultivated today in lake and swamp areas south of Mexico City. • Chinampas are among one of the greatest achievements of the Aztecs. AZTEc calendar • The Aztec calendar is a Mesoamerican calendar designed and used primarily by the Aztec People • It follows the basic structure of calendars from throughout ancient Mesoamerica. • This calendar is recorded as a carving on the Aztec sun stone (currently on exhibit in a Museum in Mexico City. • The calendar consisted of a 365 day calendar cycle and a 260 day ritual cycle. • These two cycles together formed a 52 year "century", sometimes called the "Calendar Round". Aztec calendar • Every month had a name and days of the month were numbered from one to twenty except for the last month which was numbered only from one to five • The solar calendar of 365 days was inseparable from the Sacred Round. The priests used this ritual calendar of 260 days for divine purposes. • The method of naming the individual days consisted in the combination of twenty pictorial signs with the numbers one to thirteen. Each of the day signs also bears an association with one of the four cardinal directions.
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