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16 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
How did they rule?
Indirect rule. Supported local dynasties so long as they delivered quarterly tributes on time.

Burden spread over large population. There is population explosion;
early period 1150-1350=175 000 in Valley of Mexico.
Late period 1350-1519- nearly one million.
living conditions of Aztecs;
Excavations at Cuexcomate and Capilo;

small houses; 15m2
heavy use of thriving marketing system; exchanged home-made craft-goods for foreign goods. Which was outside imperial control (ignored by early writers of Aztecs; ignored for temples of Classic Maya.

Major craft; cotton textiles found at every excavated house; also ceramic artifacts used in spinning cotton.
documents indicate rich and poor did this.

Textiles most common item expected as tribute by state and Empire. Also a currency used in the markets
Household industries found in Cuexcemote and Capilco (rural)
Textiles; important, found in every excavated house with artifacts related to cotton spinning.

paper production; out of bark of wild fig trees. Found 'bark beaters' made of basalt. Books of picture writing burnt in offerings.
Imported products found in most houses
local pottery and foreign pottery found, 10% from elsewhere.

foreign obsidian blades. Nearest 100km away. Sharp edges indicates used in many household and craft activities.

Bronze needles from West. Mexico.

Incense burners and ceramic figurines of humans and deities=domestic rituals of purification and curing. Spanish priests detailed these rituals in the Gt Temple.
What signs of wealth differentiation is there? How did the normal population live.
Artifacts found in nobles house varied in quantity but not kind, and they had bigger and better quality houses.

Costly imported goods at houses of nobles and commoners=both ready access to extensive Aztec marketing system.
What did they grow? What was their ag. system?
Major Aztec sites not survive= destroyed by conquistadors or built over= only small peasant villages survived.

Grew maize, beans, corn. Houses not tightly packed indicated farming land.

All available land cultivated. Built dams, canals to irrigate, terraced stone walls on hillsides to create new fields.

Drained swamps outside Tenochitlan to create raised fields (Chinampas)

Had one of most productive ag. systems of ancient world (Feder) Managed landscape of cultivation.
What was Yautepec? How did it differ from rural centers?
Spanish only built over part of the city. Excavation of a large mound revealed the royal palace= only Aztec palace extensively excavated

Average house size larger; 26m2 and better quality.

More numerous craft industries than rural. Made obsidian blades, lip plugs, ear plugs, obsidian jewelry, ceramic spindle whorls and figurines.
Did commoners live well?
Relatively prosperous, enterprising people. No signs of grinding poverty.

Access to wide range of imported goods and marketing system operated outside state control (documents and arch. data)

This evidence suggests tributary burden not overbearing and no evidence that nobles controlled craft production or exchange.
Layout of Cuexcomate
two temples on either side of the city. Compounds surrounding it.

Larger rooms and artifacts more numerous in surrounding compound suggests noble residences.
What caused the decline in Aztec civ.?
Overpopulation and scarcity of land decreased the standard of living between 1st period and second. Evidenced in decrease of artifacts found suggesting a decrease in the wealth of the elite
Trade specialisation;
two main;
utalitarian=obsidian tools like knives and sickles.

luxury goods

traded obsidian between city states.

At the two sites; no evidence for metallurgy. They obtained bronze sewing needles from other parts of Mexico.
How long did the Aztecs last?
roughly 300 years.
how did the Aztecs gain their territory?
through military conquests and threats. took over regional areas and demanded tribute. In return the Aztecs let the states run themselves = decentralised government.
What was the capital

Island capital, surrounded by man made islands.

Started as peaceful but moved to militaristic and brutal.
What was the population of Capilco?
135 people
What was the population of Cuexcomate?
800 people