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Aztecs Essay

The Aztecs were an Indian people who lived in Central and Southern Mexico. They lived from the 14th to the 16th century. They made a huge empire based on conquest, paying tribute, and religious sacrifice of humans and animals.
This is a map of the Aztec Empire by Larry B.
The Aztecs made terraces, which were steps descending down a hall to control the flow of water. This kept their crops from flooding. Like the Olmec civilization, the Aztecs also used a slash and burn method of farming. Chinampas, artificial islands made by weacing giant reed mats and covering them with muded and plants, were used to extend crops into the swamp. Although they seemed to float, the chinampas were anchored to the ground by plant roots. All this helped the Aztecs grow and abundance of corn, chili peppers, squash, tomatoes, beans, and other kinds of food.
The Aztecs were late arrivals to the Lake Texcoco area. They were surrounded by very strong neighbors, so they were forced to live on the swampy, western side of the lake. As the Aztecs grew in number they made excellent military and civil organizations. By 1325, they founded the city of Tenochtitlan. The city was located on present day Mexico City. It was very hard to build Tenochtitlan because the Aztecs only had a small piece of land in the surrounding marshes. The Aztecs made the swampy, shallow lake into chinampas. In this case the islands were made by piling up mud from the lake bottom. They used them as their city foundations. Then they built causeways and bridges to connect the city to the mainland. To easily move people and goods, canals were dug and lined with stone. All this made it easy to defent the city from attack. Because of Tenochtitlan’s location and high organization, the city grew rapidly. By 1519 there were about 60,000 people in the city every day. Goods were exported and traded in many other parts of the Aztec Empire.

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