THE TOLTEC INDIANS
Chalchiuh Tlatonac - first Toltec king, founder of Tula
Mixcoatl or Mixcoatl Totepeuh
Topiltzin Ce Acatl Quetzalcoatl, son of Mixcoatl, the most
famous Toltec ruler
DATES & LOCATION
Founded by Topiltzin Ce Acatl, a peaceful ruler and national
Tula (also called Tollán) was the capital of the Toltecs
Located in central Mexico.
Dominated between 900- 1200 C.E.
Established around 968 C.E.
Maize was the basic food source
Supplemented with beans, chili peppers, amaranth, squashes,
Medicinal plants and drugs also grown
Farming in milpas and household gardens
Earth worked with stone or wooden hoes
Planting with wooden digging sticks
Polycropping common (beans and squash with maize)
MATH & ASTRONOMY
Their calendar was a system of ideograms and paper made
from fig tree bark.
Calendar had 52 years
Showed 260 days per year.
Temples were designed in such a way that they were in
alignment with the sun for the summer and winter solstices
when they performed rituals.
Are the earliest known people to have become skilled and used
metallurgy for weaponry and art.
ART & ARCHITECTURE
One of the first to use and become experts in metallurgy.
Master architects used stone pillars to support the roofs of large buildings
and designed flat-topped stone pyramids as bases for temples.
Painters and sculptors decorated these structures with figures of warriors and animals
Were considered master craftsman by many civilizations.
Toltec means “master builders” in Nahuatl
Believed to have developed the art of melting metals (metalurgica), like
silver and copper.
ECONOMY & TRADE
Established trade connections with people as far away as what
is now the Mexican states of Zacatecas, Veracruz, and Peubla.
Much of what was traded was the artwork of the Toltecs.
People made small personal ornaments and small statues for
Metal and stone tools were also produced and traded.
RELIGIOUS PRACTICES & BELIEFS
Quetzalcoatl - a peaceful nature God
Tezcatlipoca- a war god.
Tezcaltlipoca - the night and the darkness
Tláloc - god of the rain and the vegetation
Centéotl - god of the corn
ltzpapáloti - or butterfly of obsidian
Tonatiuh - or solar god.
They practiced human sacrifice and the use of the "tzompantli", the rack where the
skulls of the death were hung.
The Ball Game known as pok-a-tok, originated in Meso-America. The
field basically consists of an I-shaped patio with stone markers set into
the side walls. We could say that the markers were like goals. The
markers had to be touched with a ball that the players hit with their hips.
The ball was made of raw rubber and was very bouncy. The ball was also
very heavy; the violence with which the game was played and the
likelihood of being hit by the ball made it extremely dangerous. The
players protected their hips, forearms, knees and legs. At times, the
game was played for fun, while in other cases it was a religious ceremony
which ended with the sacrifice of the losing team.
Two Chieftains or kings ruled the Toltec state together.
Formed a warrior aristocracy.
Was the first of the extreme militaristic cultures in the region.
Used military to defeat and dominate neighboring empires and
REASONS FOR DEMISE
The division of responsibilities between the chieftains.
Agriculture was especially sensitive to drought
Problem became critical with population growth
Tula may have become overpopulated by 1100
Climate change and decrease in precipitation may have caused many years
Historical accounts contain many references to food problems
Often coupled with stories of conflicts and battles over land, famine may
have coincided with period of greatest influx of population
Problems of multi-ethnicity
Continual flow of migrants into the city caused strains
Migrants may have been toughened and warlike