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AZTECS The Aztecs came from Azatlan which is the mythical place of origin(Aztecs of Lost Civilization). Huizilopochtli, the god of war, told the Aztecs to leave Azatlan and wander until they saw an eagle perched on a cactus growing out of a rock and eating a snake(Los Aztecas). The Aztecs traveled many years to find the legend and finally found it while at Lake Texcoco. Lake Texcoco was ruled by the Toltecs between the 10th and 11th centuries(Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia). Since many other tribes also migrated to Lake Texcoco at the same time, the Aztecs were pushed out to the westside of the lake to a swampy area. The only piece of dry land they had was a little island surrounded by marshes. Over a long period of time they built their empire with chinapas. Chinapas were formed by piling up mud from the lake bottom to make little islands(Aztec Empire History). Tenochtitlan (currently Mexico City), which means "Place of the Cactus", became the capital in 1325 and soon there came many islands in which bridges were built to connect the mainland (Los Aztecas). They also dug canals and constructed aqueducts. There were many religious structures, and they built temples and pyramids. By 1502 the Aztec Empire expanded from Guatemala to San Luis Potosi which is in Central and Southern Mexico and extended 800 miles along a northwest-southeast axis. The Aztecs conquered many cities and all became part of the empire which was wedged between high mountains and surrounded by lakes(Aztecs of Lost Civilization/ Azetc Empire History). The three social classes of the Aztecs were slave, commoner, and nobility. The slaves (lowest class) were basically servants, although they could buy there way to freedom or if they escaped from their masters and reached the royal palace without being caught they would earn their way to freedom. There were two kinds of commoners (middle class). The maceualtin were given a lifetime ownership of a plot of land in which they would build their house on. The tlalmaitl were tenant farmers. The nobility (highest class) were usually rulers, chiefs, or nobles(Aztecs/ Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia). The Aztecs typical home was on a log raft covered with mud which had plants on it that stabled the raft with its roots. The home usually had it’s back to a canal with a canoe tied at the door so they could have efficient transportation(Aztec Empire History).

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