Aug 20, 2019 | Updated: 11:45 AM EDT

Uncovering The Secrets Of The Aztec Ancient Civilization

Apr 10, 2017 11:11 AM EDT

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Mexicans Flock To Pyramid Of The Sun On Spring Equinox
(Photo : Susana Gonzalez/Getty Images) A traditional Teotihuacan dancer performs in front of a pyramid during spring equinox rituals March 21, 2003 at the ruins of the pre-Hispanic city of Teotihuacan, Mexico. The pyramid was built by hand more than a thousand years ago but it was the Aztec who gave it the name Teotihuacan.

The ancient myths of the Aztec civilization including its life, religion, and society never failed to arouse the world's curiosity. At the center of the attention is the Templo Mayor or the main temple located in the popular central square of Mexico City, which was once known as Tenochtitlan. The unearthing of the ancient temple, that was built between 1325 and 1519, provided a glimpse of the unknown civilization.

Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, a Mexican archaeologist, was responsible for the main Aztec temple's excavation for over two decades. Moctezuma gained various international accolades for his work, including the launch this fall, of the Eduardo Matos Moctezuma Lecture Series. Moctezuma said the Aztecs or Mexicas, who freed themselves from their masters in the 14th century, settled in what is now known as Mexico, with Tenochtitlan as the empire's capital.

The Aztecs were known in history as a bloodthirsty civilization, according to Harvard Gazette. Montezuma said the Aztec culture was based not only on agriculture but war as well, with the god of war Huitzilopochtli and the god of rain Tlaloc as their most significant deities. The co-existence of agriculture and war was reflected in the civilization's practice of conquest and tribute. These two were the most important aspects of their economy since the regions conquered were sustained by the tributes paid by the conquered subjects.

The Aztecs used to be an unknown group of people but they were able to rise in power even before the 16th century when the Spaniards came, according to Crystal Links. Their culture remained a secret for eons because their history was not written but passed on from one generation to the next through word of mouth. The Aztec Migration Scrolls, also known as the Tira de la Peregrinacion codex, depicted how they migrated from Aztlan to the promised land.

They may be poor and ragged but they learned to survive the hard life until they established an agricultural system they called Chinampas. In no time at all, they made the land productive and the Aztecs became sustainable. The Aztec community became known as mercenaries but later on, they became a military force to reckon with, until they were defeated by the Spaniards.

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