Kevin Jacinto Lopez - Period 6 Aztec and Inca
Kevin Jacinto Lopez - Period 6
Aztec and Inca
It is said that the city, Tenochtitlan, was very clean and hygienic, unlike many cities during the time. Every day there were workers who took out the trash which kept the city clean. The people also had to take a bath everyday, not just for cleaning but to also cleanse themselves which was part of their religion.
Tenochtitlan was a large city at the time, housing 240,000 people. There were aqueducts which provide many people fresh water to wash and drink. It had temples, many were to sacrifice people to the gods.
It was built around and founded in 1325. It is said that the city was built because a prophet said that if the Aztec see an eagle sitting on a cactus and was eating a snake, they should build Tenochtitlan there. Of course this is proved to be a myth, but it is a fun little myth.
Tenochtitlan was taken over and destroyed in 1521 y the man known as Hernan Cortes. At first, he was thought to be a god when he first came. After he took over the city, he destroyed Tenochtitlan and in it Mexico City took its place.
Tenochtitlan was once the capital of what was once the Aztec society. Now it is the capital of Mexico, called Mexico City.
The people of the Inca once built trails, which we now call Inca trails, original right? Many of the trails were thin because there was no traffic, with the only things on the trails were llamas and people. Some paths lead to Machu Picchu
The fountains of Machu Picchu were a brilliant work of architecture. They brought fresh water to the inhabitants of Machu Picchu. It is often called the stairway of fountains.
The ruins of Machu Picchu was "discovered" by Hiram Bingham. He did not really discover this lost place, since many people lead the explorer to the place, and some documents suggest that other explorers found this place. It's just that they did not really reveal it to much of the public.
There were many structures in this pace. The three main ones were the Temple of the Sun, the Room of the Three Windows, and the Inti Watana. The temple of the sun was where they worshiped it, or so I read on websites
The reason to build this magnificent place still is unknown this day. Some people think they built Machu Picchu to farm natural resources and to worship the sun.
Of course for a meal, you need a drink. The Aztec used to drink hot chocolate, which is very delicious in my opinion, although only the rich could afford it. The poorer people drank octli, which was a drink that consisted of the juice of the maguey plant. People say it is delicious.
There was also food made in feasts. They had appetizers, which were baked and crispy tortilla chips and even popcorn. I love popcorn, buttered or not. In my opinion, the Aztec had great tastes, but of course this was for the rich. They had many courses for the meal, so I am only going to include one. One of their courses was roasted turkey, on of the only domesticated animals they had.
The Aztec also hunted for their food. They often hunted animals such as duck, rabbits, tigers, turkeys, before I mention the other animal, and at this time and today's society, killing this animal would be unacceptable and cruel. They sadly also hunted dogs.
They farmed and raised all the food they ate. The agriculture of the Aztec was brilliant. They used chimampas, which were long sticks tied together, and had mud cover over it. They farmed on these chimampas to grow their food.
The Aztec used to eat vegetables, like we do today. This included maize, which is something very similar to corn, beans, and squash. They often used chilies and tomatoes to spice up the flavor.
Aztec Family Life
The children of the Aztec families had a chance to get an education. Well, it was more like it was more of a mandatory thing than an option. The children would not go to school until their teen years. So during the years as a child, they would be normally taught by their parents. They would also help around the house when they were not in school.
Women could stay home to cook the family food. They could also make clothes for the family to wear, but that is not all. Although men were seen superior, women had power and respect. They could even start their own business out of their home, which is surprising since during that time, most societies would have men get all the power and have the women get nearly no power or respect.
Girls also went to school, which was unusual at the time, so this was one of some things that were special about the Aztec. They learned about the religion that the Aztec practiced. These topics included their ritual songs and dancing.
The husband normally worked outside the house. The husband had many occupations outside, such as working as a farmer or he can be a warrior, but all boys had to learn to fight, so they had some experience in fighting. When they were younger, they could have joined the military as an occupation too.
The boys would go to a school meant for boys only. There, they would have to learn everything the Aztec thought they should know and learn. They learned how to farm crops. Some of them grew up to work outside growing crops in chimampas. They also learned how to do pottery too. But they had to learn to fight, and some of them became warriors.
The religion that the Aztec believed in was called the Mesoamerican religion. Their religion had Polytheism, where the people who believed in the religion believed in more than one god
People who believed in this religion thought that the world had to be created for 5 times until it was complete, mainly because the gods were fighting. One of them had to be sacrificed later on to be the sun, but in the end every god had to be sacrificed. The Aztec believed that they had to sacrifice people to not have the world end, like the gods did in the beginning.
The Aztec had to sacrifice their people, but where do you ask? They had to sacrifice the people in temples built for them. The priest had to do the sacrificing, although the disgusting thing is, is that they did not shower. That's right, they had to have blood all over them and they could not wash it off.
The Aztec had religious ceremonies on every month. On very important and major celebrations, the Aztec would choose one person to act like one of the gods they believed in ad would have to be treated like on, until it was time for the sacrifice.
The after life was believed by the Aztec to have its warriors become the stars of the sky once the warriors. They also believed that the people who wee sacrifice were to join the battle of light and darkness.
Fall of the Aztec empire
Hernan Cortes was born in 1485. He was born in Spain to a noble family, meaning his family was very wealthy and he lived the good life.
Hernan Cortes came to the New World because of the same reason many explorers hoped for, which was for fame and glory.
The Columbian exchange helped bring a end to the Aztec empire. The soldiers that Cortes brought had diseases such as smallpox and measles, but they had some immunity to it, but the Aztec never had heard of these diseases, so they had no immunity.
Another reason the Aztec empire was conquered is because once Hernan Cortes killed their leader, who would be their to guide the Aztec? It was total chaos, and this was what Cortes needed to conquer the Aztec.
When Hernan Cortes went to the Aztec empire to conquer it, he had brought weapons which the Aztec had never heard of. He had brought weapons such as guns, and cannons and had shields made of steel, which the Aztec had never seen, and this scared them. They had brought animals, such as horses to aid them in traveling.
As Cortes was planning on how to conquer the Aztec, many of the people already conquered were mad at the Aztec. They decided to turn on the Aztec so they fed Cortes with some information about the Aztec to help Cortes defeat them.
Montezuma was the emperor of the Aztec empire during the time Hernan Cortes came to his city which was Tenochtitlan.
His death is unknown and controversial, meaning people are arguing about his death that it is still unknown. Some say he was killed by a rock thrown at his head, others say he was executed by the Spanish
Montezuma invited Hernan Cortes peacefully into the city. The reason behind this was that the Aztec thought that Hernan Cortes was one of their gods called Quetzalcoatl. It was thought that Quetzalcoatl would come back to Mexico.
Fall of the Inca
Before Pizarro came to the Incan empire, there was a civil war to find who would be the heir of the throne, since both heirs of the throne to be emperor died, which weakened the empire, and the Spanish weakened it even more.
When Pizarro arrived to the Inca, he suggested a meeting with Atahualpa. Atahualpa agreed, and brought 5,000 bodyguard to guard him. But Pizarro ended up fighting all the bodyguards with his men, and he won. He kidnapped Atahualpa, and the emperor immediately told him that he would give Pizarro a lot of gold and silver. Once Pizarro got all his treasure, he did not take y chances and killed Atahualpa. This seems very similar to what Cortes did. With no leader, the whole empire is weakened.
When Francisco came with all of his soldiers, the same thing happened with Cortes' case. Diseases like smallpox and measles weakened the Inca, until Pizarro could conquer them.
Pizarro also had something similar that Cortes had. He had weapons unknown to the Inca. Pizarro brought guns and horses with him, which helped fight off the many soldiers of the Inca
Francisco Pizarro kidnapped him, and held him for ransom. He ordered a chamber filled with gold. His wish was granted, but he did not wanted to take any chances, so he finally killed Atahualpa.
Francisco Pizarro had originally planed to burn Atahualpa, but the Incan emperor believed that he could not go into the afterlife if his body was burned, so he switched to Roman Catholic. He requested to be strangled instead.
Atahualpa was the last Incan emperor before the fall of the Incan empire. It was Pizarro who killed him.
Francisco Pizarro was born around 1476. He was born in Trujillo, Spain. He was born in a poor family, and in most of his childhood he was illiterate.
Francisco Pizarro was an explorer who accompanied many explorers, such as the one who discovered the Pacific Ocean, and he was the one who caused the downfall of the Incan empire.
The Inca hunted animals such as guinea pigs and llamas, although they did tame llamas. They also hunted deer, ducks, and frogs.
The Inca had appetizers in feasts, such as chicken salad with yellow potatoes. Another appetizer the Inca had were fresh corn tamales. But the main courses looked very good to eat, such as stuffed food.
The Inca used terracing to farm their fruit and vegetables. Terracing is when they dig hills into steps, so erosion won't affect the dirt and crops.
The Inca built storage houses to save the food inside it, in case if there were a famine of food or anything like that. They kept their stock in their and could be kept edible for up to 7 years!
The Inca farmed many type of vegetables. They farmed maize, also known as corn, coca, beans, grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pepper, tomatoes, peanuts, cashews, squash, cucumber, and avocados
Women wore one dress that was a skirt and a blouse combined. It is a one piece dress. It reached all the way to her neck. They commonly used sandals too. The clothes were decorated.
The textiles and wools were made of the fur and hair of the llamas and alpacas that lived near them. The wool and textile were later used for clothing.
Men would wear sleeveless tunics, which I rather think that they are more like t-shirts. They also wore a large cloak too. This was decorated.
Here is a fun fact - An Inca emperor, called Sapa Inca, who was thought to be very important, would wear a textile, or a piece of clothing as one might know it as, one time and then the clothing was burned. He was weird in my opinion.
The type of clothing an Incan wore could show you if they were in a poor or rich family. A noble, or rich person, would wear clothing made of nice comfy wool. A common person would have worn stiff wool.
The Quipu, which is what the rope system was called, recorded the dates and details of important events.
Quechua is spoken by 8-12 million people throughout South America as in today. Most people who speak it live in Peru or Bolivia.
The Inca made a rope system which could be known as numbers and letters
Quechua has been around for hundred of years. It has been around before the 1400's!
The language of the Inca people is called Quechua. Most people could not understand this language at the time they lived in Machu Picchu.
The temples were also meant for there to be a place to sacrifice one of Aztec. The top of these pyramids had a room to do these sacrifices. The priests had to do these sacrifices, but since blood spurted everywhere because of the blood vessels being cut, they had blood all over themselves. The problem with this in my opinion is that they disgustingly did not shower, ever.
Most of the Aztec temples are gone. Nearly all of the temples were destroyed by Hernan Cortes. One of the only remaining pieces of evidence that the temples existed is Temple Mayor.
Each temple was made for a god. Temple roofs had special symbols that was dedicated to different gods in the Aztec religion.
Most temples were made of stone and painted over. But some temples sank because most of those temples that sank were built on Tenochtitlan, which was built over a lake. Workers had to rebuild it time to time.
The Aztec temples were very high. They had many layers, as much as 4 to 5 layers. The Aztec built the layers over old layers. The top had a room where the sacrifices were committed.
The farmers farmed maize, which is more commonly known as corn. Farmers also farmed avocados, tomatoes, guavas, squash and beans. They used these vegetables mainly as food of course.
Chimampas had many challenges that came with it. The farmers had to keep nutrients balanced in the mud. They fixed this by switching out crops, since different crops use different amounts of nutrients. That is just one challenge out of the many that chimampas brought.
These chimampas were made by constructing and staking out a rectangular area which is about 30 m in length and 2.5 m in width. Then the area would be fenced by joining stakes. The area would be filled with mud.
After Cortes invaded the Aztec, they did not use chimampas anymore. But these unused chimampas covered a lot of land.
Chimampas were used to farm around Tenochtitlan. They had swampy but rich mud around the city, which means they were very resourceful.
The Inca built an irrigation system so the water could be distributed equally throughout the pieces of land. This is how they watered the terraces when they were growing crops.
It is very windy up in the mountains, so the terraces were a good idea, since no erosion can pick up the dirt and carry it away. They can easily farm without worrying about erosion.
The Inca cultivated many vegetables, although maize, known as corn, and potatoes. They grew about 200 kinds of potatoes! I did not even know there were that much potatoes before I learned about it.
The terraces were supported by the stone walls, which were not cemented together. The stones fit together nicely. This was important. This way, if there were an earthquake, the stones would jitter around and when it stops, the stones settle in place again.
Terraces helped the Inca farm the food that they need up high in the mountains, since the terraces were step-like, which made it easier to farm.
This invention was very advanced for the time the Inca existed. Some people can not believe how advance they were, since they seemed to know physics and all that, which is incredible! The fountains could be turned "off" and "on", which was amazng
The fountains brought fresh water for all of Machu Picchu's inhabitants to clean or drink. They all depended on it.
These fountains were so brilliantly created. If you move your fingers left to right on one of the little waterfall, if you can call them that, it slows down the water. If you move your fingers in a vertical motion, it speeds up the water if it was slowed down.
A channel of water called the Grand Water channel provides the water for the fountains. The channel has rainwater.
The fountains is sometimes reffered to the stairway of fountains, since it goes downward, like a stairway.