Outline Week 11 Spring 2016 - Anth 1500 lecture outline...

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Anth 1500 lecture outline: Week 11 Teotihuacan and Aztecs Teotihuacan Site was not constructed by the Aztecs, but lies in same basin in the central highlands of Mexico. It is a very important site in the area. Name of site and monuments given by the Aztecs (nahuatl for “city of the gods”). Little is known about inhabitants (Totonacs?) Reached peak around AD 500 (8.5 miles 2 , 125,000 people) Important trade/ redistribution center Over 5000 known structures, Avenue of the Dead (N–S) Pyramid of the Sun : Dominated city, 212 ft tall, 370 ft wide (slightly heighet than Menkure’s pyramid at Giza). Sacred mountain built atop a cave. Talud-tablero architecture common at site (Talud: slope; Tablero: horizontal step) Pyramid of the Moon : Second largest structure. Associated with The Great Goddess (The major deity of Teotihuacan)? Great Compound and Cuidadela (Citadel) : Great compound may be the market place (trade goods: obsidian, shell, flint, cotton, quetzal feathers, rubber). Cuidadela contained a workshop for ritual objects Temple of the feathered serpent: Quetzalcoatl Palace. Quetzalcoatl = important deity throughout Mesoamerica. Burials associated with temple. Warrior sacrifices? Aztecs Referred to themselves as Mexica One of several nomadic groups (Chichimeca) frequent mercenaries After years of military conflict settled in the Valley of Mexico Acted as mercenaries for the Culhua: Aztec ruler agreed to marry the daughter of the Culhuacan’s ruler as part of a peace treaty (distinguished people honored by sacrifices, daughter sacrificed and skin worn by maize god, battle ensued!) – One must remember this is a late narrative, glorifying Aztec vicious reputation.
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1325 : Quetzalcoatl received a vision from Huitzilopochtli (sun/war god)—settle where an eagle is seen holding a snake on top of a cactus (this image is seen on the Mexican flag today. Aztec founded Tenochtitlán (Nahuatl for “place of the fruit of the prickly pear cactus) on an island in Lake Texcoco (Present day Mexico-city). Within 200 years became largest city in Americas (200,000 inhabitants) 4 stone bridges to island. Fed population via chinampas (raised-field) agriculture: provides many advantages; no need for irrigation, easy transportation of food to the city, highly protected from potential enemies. City became a multi-ethnic hub for craft production, redistribution, tribute, and trade (commodities include: food, cotton, lip-plugs, jaguar pelts, feathers, cocoa) Social organization : Ranked society ruled by semi-divine emperor.
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