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Fact file

Date: 14th – 16th century

Area: Central Mexico

The Aztecs were people of central Mexico in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.  Aztecs were a civilization with a rich mythology and cultural heritage.

“I love the name,” said Mandy.

“Yeah, don’t you just?” Demi replied.

Their capital was Tenochtitlan, which had a population of 250,000 with a well-adopted governing system.  The Spanish were surprised when they first invaded the city.  The city, literally, had more people than old London town, in some unknown American country (USA was not founded then).

Tenochtitlan was built on raised islands in Lake Texcoco, the site of modern-day Mexico City.

The Aztec society divided into two classes: the people and the nobility.  Nobility was not hereditary.

Slavery was an important class.  Unlike in European cultures, slavery is not hereditary (meaning a slave’s children isn’t a slave), and slaves can possess their own slaves.  Slaves could be set free if they were able to show they had been mistreated or if they had children married to their masters.

The legal age to drink in Aztec society is 60, punishment: death otherwise.

Boys and girls attended school at the age of 15, required for all its members, regardless of sex or social status.

There was the House of Young (history, religion, military, fighting arts, trade or craft) and Calmecac (leaders, priests, school teachers, healers, codex painters).

Aztec staple foods include maize, beans and squash.  They also ate deer, ducks and weird bugs such as crickets and worms.

Aztecs practiced human sacrificing with up to 84,400 prisoners over the course of 4 days at one time.

The Aztecs were conquered by the Spanish in 1521, when a long battle caused much of the population to die of hunger and smallpox.


Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain and fertility:

Aztec Sun Stone, often mistakenly called the Aztec Calendar Stone:

Wooden collar:

OLD RAILROADERS never die, they just derail