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aztec - Wendy Drennon ANT 4163 Dr Mary Pohl 16 April 2008...

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Wendy Drennon ANT 4163 Dr. Mary Pohl 16 April 2008 Aztecs and Cuisine The food that this society consumes today is usually not grown in their back yards. We have professional farmers who are employed by big companies that distribute the goods into the stores; we then go to the store to buy what we need. We exchange a small payment of money and then it is ours. Like the food journey today, the Aztecs had farmers who work on the land producing crops. These items would then be transported from the farm to the market and trade for money. Then you can see the types of food undergoing mass consumption in the Aztec Empire, by daily meals and timely feasts. The fields that were growing crops could not do so without the aid of farmers and horticulturalists. According to Richard F. Townsend, “Farmers are described as general field workers charged with preparing the soil, weeding, breaking up clods, hoeing, leveling, setting boundary markers, planting, and irrigating, as well as winnowing and storing grains. Horticulturalists were more specialized, with knowledge of the planting of trees and transplanting, as well as seeding. These specialists would have needed a detailed understanding of the crop sequences and rotations necessary to ensure continuing high levels of production. Horticulturalists are also known to have played a managerial or supervisory role, for they were expected to read the tonalamatl almanacs to determine the best times for planting and harvesting”
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Drennon (Townsend 174). If this was so for the Aztec nation then that would mean that they had a stratified social class so that there were jobs for specialists like horticulturalists. It was through the combination of farmers and horticulturalists hard work that produced enough crops to feed an Empire. Surely there was some other way to acquire food without buying it from the market. “During the 15 th Century the city had a population estimated between 150,000 and 200,000” (Townsend 174). We can use this estimated population number to see the peak of society and the number of people being maintained. “Conclusions about the adequacy of the native diet depend to a large extent on the estimated population of Central Mexico on the eve of the Conquest. The larger the population, the more
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