The Aztecs were an American Indian people who ruled a mighty empire in Mexico from the 1400's to the 1500's. The Aztecs had one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas and built cities as large as any in Europe at that time. They also practiced a remarkable religion that affected every part of their lives and featured human sacrifice. The Aztecs built towering temples, created huge sculptures, and held impressive ceremonies all for the purpose of worshipping their gods. The Spaniards destroyed their magnificent empire in the year 1521, but the Aztecs left a lasting mark on Mexican life and culture .
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Long before any white man ever set foot in this hemisphere, there were fully functional and highly developed societies here. These civilizations were sophisticated, could even be considered more advanced than the European nations at the time. While the rest of the Eastern world was in the dark Middle Ages, the people here were flourishing. The Aztecs were the Native American people who dominated northern México at the time of the Spanish conquest led by Hernan CORTES in the early 16th century. According to their own legends, they originated from a place called Aztlan, somewhere in north or northwest Mexico.
(4) The Aztecs finally settled in central Mexico, where Mexico City is now located, and began building Tenochtitlan in 1325. Over time the civilization's control spanned from Tenochtitlan east to the Gulf of Mexico and south to Guatemala. (1) Throughout this time the Aztecs conquered civilizations and occasionally combined the rituals and traditions, which helped ... ... middle of paper ... ...e="2"> The Anthropological study of Religion handout Journal of American Folklore Review http://www.docfilm.com/mexfilms/tec/jaftec.htm. 18 November 2003. Aztec Culture.
From about AD 100 to 650 the valley was dominated by the city of Teotihuacan, center of a powerful religious, economic, and political state. After the decline of Teotihuacán, the Toltec people migrated into central Mexico from the north and established a conquest state there. The Toltec civilization reached its height in the 10th and 11th centuries. In the 13th century wandering bands of Nahuatl-speaking warriors, often called Chichimec, invaded the valley.
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Tenochtitlan became the most powerful member of the alliance with Texcoco and Tlacopan. It began to build up to what eventually became the Aztec empire. Many years before the Aztec empire was created, the heart of the Maya civilization was also developing. The first farmers settled in the area of El Petén as early as 2500 BC, in search for fertile land for crops. By 800 BC, the Maya lowlands were completely settled.