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The second largest city in the valley of Mexico in the Aztec period was Texcoco with some 25, inhabitants dispersed over hectares 1, acres. The center of Tenochtitlan was the sacred precinct, a walled-off square area which housed the Great Temple, temples for other deities, the ballcourt , the calmecac a school for nobles , a skull rack tzompantli , displaying the skulls of sacrificial victims, houses of the warrior orders and a merchants palace.
Around the sacred precinct were the royal palaces built by the tlatoanis. The centerpiece of Tenochtitlan was the Templo Mayor , the Great Temple, a large stepped pyramid with a double staircase leading up to two twin shrines — one dedicated to Tlaloc , the other to Huitzilopochtli.
This was where most of the human sacrifices were carried out during the ritual festivals and the bodies of sacrificial victims were thrown down the stairs.
The temple was enlarged in several stages, and most of the Aztec rulers made a point of adding a further stage, each with a new dedication and inauguration.
The temple has been excavated in the center of Mexico City and the rich dedicatory offerings are displayed in the Museum of the Templo Mayor.
Archaeologist Eduardo Matos Moctezuma , in his essay Symbolism of the Templo Mayor , posits that the orientation of the temple is indicative of the totality of the vision the Mexica had of the universe cosmovision.
He states that the "principal center, or navel, where the horizontal and vertical planes intersect, that is, the point from which the heavenly or upper plane and the plane of the Underworld begin and the four directions of the universe originate, is the Templo Mayor of Tenochtitlan.
Other major Aztec cities were some of the previous city state centers around the lake including Tenayuca , Azcapotzalco , Texcoco , Colhuacan , Tlacopan , Chapultepec , Coyoacan , Xochimilco , and Chalco.
In the Puebla valley, Cholula was the largest city with the largest pyramid temple in Mesoamerica, while the confederacy of Tlaxcala consisted of four smaller cities.
In Morelos, Cuahnahuac was a major city of the Nahuatl speaking Tlahuica tribe, and Tollocan in the Toluca valley was the capital of the Matlatzinca tribe which included Nahuatl speakers as well as speakers of Otomi and the language today called Matlatzinca.
Most Aztec cities had a similar layout with a central plaza with a major pyramid with two staircases and a double temple oriented towards the west.
Aztec religion was organized around the practice of calendar rituals dedicated to a pantheon of different deities.
Similar to other Mesoamerican religious systems, it has generally been understood as a polytheist agriculturalist religion with elements of animism.
Central in the religious practice was the offering of sacrifices to the deities, as a way of thanking or paying for the continuation of the cycle of life.
The main deities worshipped by the Aztecs were Tlaloc , a rain and storm deity , Huitzilopochtli a solar and martial deity and the tutelary deity of the Mexica tribe, Quetzalcoatl , a wind , sky and star deity and cultural hero, Tezcatlipoca , a deity of the night, magic, prophecy and fate.
The Great Temple in Tenochtitlan had two shrines on its top, one dedicated to Tlaloc, the other to Huitzilopochtli. Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca each had separate temples within the religious precinct close to the Great Temple, and the high priests of the Great Temple were named " Quetzalcoatl Tlamacazqueh ".
In some regions, particularly Tlaxcala, Mixcoatl or Camaxtli was the main tribal deity. A few sources mention a deity Ometeotl who may have been a god of the duality between life and death, male and female and who may have incorporated Tonacatecuhtli and Tonacacihuatl.
Additionally the major gods had many alternative manifestations or aspects, creating small families of gods with related aspects.
Aztec mythology is known from a number of sources written down in the colonial period. One set of myths, called Legend of the Suns, describe the creation of four successive suns, or periods, each ruled by a different deity and inhabited by a different group of beings.
Each period ends in a cataclysmic destruction that sets the stage for the next period to begin. In this process, the deities Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl appear as adversaries, each destroying the creations of the other.
The current Sun, the fifth, was created when a minor deity sacrificed himself on a bonfire and turned into the sun, but the sun only begins to move once the other deities sacrifice themselves and offers it their life force.
In another myth of how the earth was created , Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl appear as allies, defeating a giant crocodile Cipactli and requiring her to become the earth, allowing humans to carve into her flesh and plant their seeds, on the condition that in return they will offer blood to her.
And in the story of the creation of humanity, Quetzalcoatl travels with his twin Xolotl to the underworld and brings back bones which are then ground like corn on a metate by the goddess Cihuacoatl, the resulting dough is given human form and comes to life when Quetzalcoatl imbues it with his own blood.
Huitzilopochtli is the deity tied to the Mexica tribe and he figures in the story of the origin and migrations of the tribe.
On their journey, Huitzilopochtli, in the form of a deity bundle carried by the Mexica priest, continuously spurs the tribe on by pushing them into conflict with their neighbors whenever they are settled in a place.
In another myth, Huitzilopochtli defeats and dismembers his sister the lunar deity Coyolxauhqui and her four hundred brothers at the hill of Coatepetl.
The southern side of the Great Temple, also called Coatepetl, was a representation of this myth and at the foot of the stairs lay a large stone monolith carved with a representation of the dismembered goddess.
Aztec religious life was organized around the calendars. As most Mesoamerican people, the Aztecs used two calendars simultaneously: a ritual calendar of days called the tonalpohualli and a solar calendar of days called the xiuhpohualli.
Each day had a name and number in both calendars, and the combination of two dates were unique within a period of 52 years.
The tonalpohualli was mostly used for divinatory purposes and it consisted of 20 day signs and number coefficients of 1—13 that cycled in a fixed order.
The xiuhpohualli was made up of 18 "months" of 20 days, and with a remainder of 5 "void" days at the end of a cycle before the new xiuhpohualli cycle began.
Each day month was named after the specific ritual festival that began the month, many of which contained a relation to the agricultural cycle.
Whether, and how, the Aztec calendar corrected for leap year is a matter of discussion among specialists. The monthly rituals involved the entire population as rituals were performed in each household, in the calpolli temples and in the main sacred precinct.
Many festivals involved different forms of dancing, as well as the reenactment of mythical narratives by deity impersonators and the offering of sacrifice, in the form of food, animals and human victims.
Every 52 years, the two calendars reached their shared starting point and a new calendar cycle began.
This calendar event was celebrated with a ritual known as Xiuhmolpilli or the New Fire Ceremony. In this ceremony, old pottery was broken in all homes and all fires in the Aztec realm were put out.
Then a new fire was drilled over the breast of a sacrificial victim and runners brought the new fire to the different calpolli communities where fire was redistributed to each home.
The night without fire was associated with the fear that star demons, tzitzimime , might descend and devour the earth — ending the fifth period of the sun.
To the Aztecs, death was instrumental in the perpetuation of creation, and gods and humans alike had the responsibility of sacrificing themselves in order to allow life to continue.
As described in the myth of creation above, humans were understood to be responsible for the sun's continued revival, as well as for paying the earth for its continued fertility.
Blood sacrifice in various forms was conducted. Both humans and animals were sacrificed, depending on the god to be placated and the ceremony being conducted, and priests of some gods were sometimes required to provide their own blood through self-mutilation.
It is known that some rituals included acts of cannibalism , with the captor and his family consuming part of the flesh of their sacrificed captives, but it is not known how widespread this practice was.
While human sacrifice was practiced throughout Mesoamerica, the Aztecs, according to their own accounts, brought this practice to an unprecedented level.
For example, for the reconsecration of the Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in , the Aztecs reported that they sacrificed 80, prisoners over the course of four days, reportedly by Ahuitzotl , the Great Speaker himself.
This number, however, is not universally accepted and may have been exaggerated. The scale of Aztec human sacrifice has provoked many scholars to consider what may have been the driving factor behind this aspect of Aztec religion.
In the s, Michael Harner and Marvin Harris argued that the motivation behind human sacrifice among the Aztecs was actually the cannibalization of the sacrificial victims , depicted for example in Codex Magliabechiano.
Harner claimed that very high population pressure and an emphasis on maize agriculture, without domesticated herbivores, led to a deficiency of essential amino acids among the Aztecs.
Harris, author of Cannibals and Kings , has propagated the claim, originally proposed by Harner, that the flesh of the victims was a part of an aristocratic diet as a reward, since the Aztec diet was lacking in proteins.
Ortiz also points to the preponderance of human sacrifice during periods of food abundance following harvests compared to periods of food scarcity, the insignificant quantity of human protein available from sacrifices and the fact that aristocrats already had easy access to animal protein.
The Aztec greatly appreciated the toltecayotl arts and fine craftsmanship of the Toltec , who predated the Aztec in central Mexico.
The Aztec considered Toltec productions to represent the finest state of culture. The fine arts included writing and painting, singing and composing poetry, carving sculptures and producing mosaic, making fine ceramics, producing complex featherwork, and working metals, including copper and gold.
Artisans of the fine arts were referred to collectively as tolteca Toltec. The Mask of Xiuhtecuhtli; ; cedrela wood, turquoise, pine resin, mother-of-pearl, conch shell, cinnabar ; height: Kneeling female figure; 15th—early 16th century; painted stone; overall: Frog-shaped necklace ornaments; 15th—early 16th century; gold; height: 2.
The Aztecs did not have a fully developed writing system like the Maya, however like the Maya and Zapotec, they did use a writing system that combined logographic signs with phonetic syllable signs.
Logograms would, for example, be the use of an image of a mountain to signify the word tepetl, "mountain", whereas a phonetic syllable sign would be the use of an image of a tooth tlantli to signify the syllable tla in words unrelated to teeth.
The combination of these principles allowed the Aztecs to represent the sounds of names of persons and places. Narratives tended to be represented through sequences of images, using various iconographic conventions such as footprints to show paths, temples on fire to show conquest events, etc.
Epigrapher Alfonso Lacadena has demonstrated that the different syllable signs used by the Aztecs almost enabled the representation of all the most frequent syllables of the Nahuatl language with some notable exceptions ,  but some scholars have argued that such a high degree of phoneticity was only achieved after the conquest when the Aztecs had been introduced to the principles of phonetic writing by the Spanish.
The image to right demonstrates the use of phonetic signs for writing place names in the colonial Aztec Codex Mendoza.
Song and poetry were highly regarded; there were presentations and poetry contests at most of the Aztec festivals. There were also dramatic presentations that included players, musicians and acrobats.
There were several different genres of cuicatl song : Yaocuicatl was devoted to war and the god s of war, Teocuicatl to the gods and creation myths and to adoration of said figures, xochicuicatl to flowers a symbol of poetry itself and indicative of the highly metaphorical nature of a poetry that often utilized duality to convey multiple layers of meaning.
A key aspect of Aztec poetics was the use of parallelism, using a structure of embedded couplets to express different perspectives on the same element.
For example, the Nahuatl expression for "poetry" was in xochitl in cuicatl a dual term meaning "the flower, the song". A remarkable amount of this poetry survives, having been collected during the era of the conquest.
In some cases poetry is attributed to individual authors, such as Nezahualcoyotl , tlatoani of Texcoco, and Cuacuauhtzin , Lord of Tepechpan, but whether these attributions reflect actual authorship is a matter of opinion.
The Aztecs produced ceramics of different types. Common are orange wares, which are orange or buff burnished ceramics with no slip.
Red wares are ceramics with a reddish slip. Very common is "black on orange" ware which is orange ware decorated with painted designs in black.
Aztec I is characterized by floral designs and day- name glyphs; Aztec II is characterized by a stylized grass design above calligraphic designs such as s-curves or loops; Aztec III is characterized by very simple line designs; Aztec four continues some pre-Columbian designs but adds European influenced floral designs.
There were local variations on each of these styles, and archeologists continue to refine the ceramic sequence. Typical vessels for everyday use were clay griddles for cooking comalli , bowls and plates for eating caxitl , pots for cooking comitl , molcajetes or mortar-type vessels with slashed bases for grinding chilli molcaxitl , and different kinds of braziers, tripod dishes and biconical goblets.
Vessels were fired in simple updraft kilns or even in open firing in pit kilns at low temperatures. Aztec painted art was produced on animal skin mostly deer , on cotton lienzos and on amate paper made from bark e.
The surface of the material was often first treated with gesso to make the images stand out more clearly. The art of painting and writing was known in Nahuatl by the metaphor in tlilli, in tlapalli - meaning "the black ink, the red pigment".
There are few extant Aztec painted books. Of these none are conclusively confirmed to have been created before the conquest, but several codices must have been painted either right before the conquest or very soon after - before traditions for producing them were much disturbed.
Even if some codices may have been produced after the conquest, there is good reason to think that they may have been copied from pre-Columbian originals by scribes.
The Codex Borbonicus is considered by some to be the only extant Aztec codex produced before the conquest - it is a calendric codex describing the day and month counts indicating the patron deities of the different time periods.
After the conquest, codices with calendric or religious information were sought out and systematically destroyed by the church - whereas other types of painted books, particularly historical narratives and tribute lists continued to be produced.
Sculptures were carved in stone and wood, but few wood carvings have survived. In Aztec artwork a number of monumental stone sculptures have been preserved, such sculptures usually functioned as adornments for religious architecture.
The Coyolxauhqui Stone representing the dismembered goddess Coyolxauhqui , found in , was at the foot of the staircase leading up to the Great Temple in Tenochtitlan.
The most well known examples of this type of sculpture are the Stone of Tizoc and the Stone of Motecuzoma I , both carved with images of warfare and conquest by specific Aztec rulers.
Many smaller stone sculptures depicting deities also exist. The style used in religious sculpture was rigid stances likely meant to create a powerful experience in the onlooker.
An especially prized art form among the Aztecs was featherwork - the creation of intricate and colorful mosaics of feathers, and their use in garments as well as decoration on weaponry, war banners, and warrior suits.
The class of highly skilled and honored craftsmen who created feather objects was called the amanteca ,  named after the Amantla neighborhood in Tenochtitlan where they lived and worked.
The Florentine Codex gives information about how feather works were created. The amanteca had two ways of creating their works. One was to secure the feathers in place using agave cord for three-dimensional objects such as fly whisks, fans, bracelets, headgear and other objects.
The second and more difficult was a mosaic type technique, which the Spanish also called "feather painting. Feather mosaics were arrangements of minute fragments of feathers from a wide variety of birds, generally worked on a paper base, made from cotton and paste, then itself backed with amate paper, but bases of other types of paper and directly on amate were done as well.
These works were done in layers with "common" feathers, dyed feathers and precious feathers. First a model was made with lower quality feathers and the precious feathers found only on the top layer.
The adhesive for the feathers in the Mesoamerican period was made from orchid bulbs. Feathers from local and faraway sources were used, especially in the Aztec Empire.
The feathers were obtained from wild birds as well as from domesticated turkeys and ducks, with the finest quetzal feathers coming from Chiapas, Guatemala and Honduras.
These feathers were obtained through trade and tribute. Due to the difficulty of conserving feathers, fewer than ten pieces of original Aztec featherwork exist today.
Mexico City was built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, gradually replacing and covering the lake, the island and the architecture of Aztec Tenochtitlan.
This meant that aspects of Aztec culture and the Nahuatl language continued to expand during the early colonial period as Aztec auxiliary forces made permanent settlements in many of the areas that were put under the Spanish crown.
The Aztec ruling dynasty continued to govern the indigenous polity of San Juan Tenochtitlan, a division of the Spanish capital of Mexico City, but the subsequent indigenous rulers were mostly puppets installed by the Spanish.
Other former Aztec city states likewise were established as colonial indigenous towns, governed by a local indigenous gobernador. This office was often initially held by the hereditary indigenous ruling line, with the gobernador being the tlatoani , but the two positions in many Nahua towns became separated over time.
Indigenous governors were in charge of the colonial political organization of the Indians. In particular they enabled the continued functioning of the tribute and obligatory labor of commoner Indians to benefit the Spanish holders of encomiendas.
Encomiendas were private grants of labor and tribute from particular indigenous communities to particular Spaniards, replacing the Aztec overlords with Spanish.
In the early colonial period some indigenous governors became quite rich and influential and were able to maintain positions of power comparable to that of Spanish encomenderos.
After the arrival of the Europeans in Mexico and the conquest, indigenous populations declined significantly.
This was largely the result of the epidemics of viruses brought to the continent against which the natives had no immunity. In —, an outbreak of smallpox swept through the population of Tenochtitlan and was decisive in the fall of the city ; further significant epidemics struck in and There has been no general consensus about the population size of Mexico at the time of European arrival.
Early estimates gave very small population figures for the Valley of Mexico, in Kubler estimated a figure , Their very high figure has been highly criticized for relying on unwarranted assumptions.
Although the Aztec empire fell, some of its highest elites continued to hold elite status in the colonial era. The principal heirs of Moctezuma II and their descendants retained high status.
His son Pedro Moctezuma produced a son, who married into Spanish aristocracy and a further generation saw the creation of the title, Count of Moctezuma.
From to , the Viceroy of Mexico was held the title of count of Moctezuma. In , the holder of the title became a Grandee of Spain.
The different Nahua peoples, just as other Mesoamerican indigenous peoples in colonial New Spain, were able to maintain many aspects of their social and political structure under the colonial rule.
The Spanish recognized the indigenous elites as nobles in the Spanish colonial system, maintaining the status distinction of the pre-conquest era, and used these noblemen as intermediaries between the Spanish colonial government and their communities.
This was contingent on their conversion to Christianity and continuing loyalty to the Spanish crown. Colonial Nahua polities had considerable autonomy to regulate their local affairs.
The Spanish rulers did not entirely understand the indigenous political organization, but they recognized the importance of the existing system and their elite rulers.
They reshaped the political system utilizing altepetl or city-states as the basic unit of governance. In the colonial era, altepetl were renamed cabeceras or "head towns" although they often retained the term altepetl in local-level, Nahuatl-language documentation , with outlying settlements governed by the cabeceras named sujetos , subject communities.
In cabeceras , the Spanish created Iberian-style town councils, or cabildos , which usually continued to function as the elite ruling group had in the pre-conquest era.
Indigenous populations living in sparsely populated areas were resettled to form new communities, making it easier for them to brought within range of evangelization efforts, and easier for the colonial state to exploit their labor.
Today the legacy of the Aztecs lives on in Mexico in many forms. Archeological sites are excavated and opened to the public and their artifacts are prominently displayed in museums.
Place names and loanwords from the Aztec language Nahuatl permeate the Mexican landscape and vocabulary, and Aztec symbols and mythology have been promoted by the Mexican government and integrated into contemporary Mexican nationalism as emblems of the country.
During the 19th century, the image of the Aztecs as uncivilized barbarians was replaced with romanticized visions of the Aztecs as original sons of the soil, with a highly developed culture rivaling the ancient European civilizations.
When Mexico became independent from Spain, a romanticized version of the Aztecs became a source of images that could be used to ground the new nation as a unique blend of European and American.
Aztec culture and history has been central to the formation of a Mexican national identity after Mexican independence in In 17th and 18th century Europe, the Aztecs were generally described as barbaric, gruesome and culturally inferior.
Intellectuals utilized Aztec writings , such as those collected by Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl , and writings of Hernando Alvarado Tezozomoc , and Chimalpahin to understand Mexico's indigenous past in texts by indigenous writers.
This search became the basis for what historian D. Brading calls "creole patriotism. He wrote it expressly to defend Mexico's indigenous past against the slanders of contemporary writers, such as Pauw, Buffon, Raynal, and William Robertson.
Unearthed were the famous calendar stone, as well as a statue of Coatlicue. A decade later, German scientist Alexander von Humboldt spent a year in Mexico, during his four-year expedition to Spanish America.
One of his early publications from that period was Views of the Cordilleras and Monuments of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas. In the realm of religion, late colonial paintings of the Virgin of Guadalupe have examples of her depicted floating above the iconic nopal cactus of the Aztecs.
Juan Diego , the Nahua to whom the apparition was said to appear, links the dark Virgin to Mexico's Aztec past.
When New Spain achieved independence in and became a monarchy, the First Mexican Empire , its flag had the traditional Aztec eagle on a nopal cactus.
The eagle had a crown, symbolizing the new Mexican monarchy. When Mexico became a republic after the overthrow of the first monarchy in , the flag was revised showing the eagle with no crown.
In the s, when the French established the Second Mexican Empire under Maximilian of Habsburg , the Mexican flag retained the emblematic eagle and cactus, with elaborate symbols of monarchy.
After the defeat of the French and their Mexican collaborators, the Mexican Republic was re-established, and the flag returned to its republican simplicity.
Tensions within post-independence Mexico pitted those rejecting the ancient civilizations of Mexico as source of national pride, the Hispanistas , mostly politically conservative Mexican elites, and those who saw them as a source of pride, the Indigenistas , who were mostly liberal Mexican elites.
Although the flag of the Mexican Republic had the symbol of the Aztecs as its central element, conservative elites were generally hostile to the current indigenous populations of Mexico or crediting them with a glorious prehispanic history.
With Santa Anna's overthrow in , Mexican liberals and scholars interested in the indigenous past became more active. Liberals were more favorably inclined to the indigenous populations and their history, but considered a pressing matter being the "Indian Problem.
The late nineteenth century in Mexico was a period in which Aztec civilization became a point of national pride. His policies opening Mexico to foreign investors and modernizing the country under a firm hand controlling unrest, "Order and Progress," undermined Mexico's indigenous populations and their communities.
In world's fairs of the late nineteenth century, Mexico's pavilions included a major focus on its indigenous past, especially the Aztecs.
Mexican scholars such as Alfredo Chavero helped shape the cultural image of Mexico at these exhibitions. The Mexican Revolution — and significant participation of indigenous people in the struggle in many regions, ignited a broad government-sponsored political and cultural movement of indigenismo , with symbols of Mexico's Aztec past becoming ubiquitous, most especially in Mexican muralism of Diego Rivera.
In their works, Mexican authors such as Octavio Paz and Agustin Fuentes have analyzed the use Aztec symbols by the modern Mexican state, critiquing the way it adopts and adapts indigenous culture to political ends, yet they have also in their works made use of the symbolic idiom themselves.
Paz for example critiqued the architectural layout of the National Museum of Anthropology , which constructs a view of Mexican history as culminating with the Aztecs, as an expression of a nationalist appropriation of Aztec culture.
Scholars in Europe and the United States increasingly wanted investigations into Mexico's ancient civilizations, starting in the nineteenth century.
Humboldt had been extremely important bringing ancient Mexico into broader scholarly discussions of ancient civilizations. It was Humboldt…who woke us from our sleep.
Although not directly connected with the Aztecs, it contributed to the increased interest in ancient Mexican studies in Europe.
English aristocrat Lord Kingsborough spent considerable energy in their pursuit of understanding of ancient Mexico. Kingsborough answered Humboldt's call for the publication of all known Mexican codices, publishing nine volumes of Antiquities of Mexico — that were richly illustrated, bankrupting him.
He was not directly interested in the Aztecs, but rather in proving that Mexico had been colonized by Jews. In the United States in the early nineteenth century, interest in ancient Mexico propelled John Lloyd Stephens to travel to Mexico and then publish well-illustrated accounts in the early s.
But the research of a half-blind Bostonian, William Hickling Prescott , into the Spanish conquest of Mexico resulted in his highly popular and deeply researched The Conquest of Mexico His resulting work was a mixture of pro- and anti-Aztec attitudes.
In the assessment of Benjamin Keen , Prescott's history "has survived attacks from every quarter, and still dominates the conceptions of the laymen, if not the specialist, concerning Aztec civilization.
One entire work was devoted to ancient Mexico, half of which concerned the Aztecs. It was a work of synthesis drawing on Ixtlilxochitl and Brasseur de Bourbourg, among others.
When the International Congress of Americanists was formed in Nancy, France in , Mexican scholars became active participants, and Mexico City has hosted the biennial multidisciplinary meeting six times, starting in Mexico's ancient civilizations have continued to be the focus of major scholarly investigations by Mexican and international scholars.
The Nahuatl language is today spoken by 1. Mexican Spanish today incorporates hundreds of loans from Nahuatl, and many of these words have passed into general Spanish use, and further into other world languages.
In Mexico, Aztec place names are ubiquitous, particularly in central Mexico where the Aztec empire was centered, but also in other regions where many towns, cities and regions were established under their Nahuatl names, as Aztec auxiliary troops accompanied the Spanish colonizers on the early expeditions that mapped New Spain.
In this way even towns, that were not originally Nahuatl speaking came to be known by their Nahuatl names. Mexican cuisine continues to be based on staple elements of Mesoamerican cooking and, particularly, of Aztec cuisine : corn, chili, beans, squash, tomato, avocado.
Many of these staple products continue to be known by their Nahuatl names, carrying in this way ties to the Aztec people who introduced these foods to the Spaniards and to the world.
Through spread of ancient Mesoamerican food elements, particularly plants, Nahuatl loan words chocolate , tomato , chili , avocado , tamale , taco , pupusa , chipotle , pozole , atole have been borrowed through Spanish into other languages around the world.
Today Aztec images and Nahuatl words are often used to lend an air of authenticity or exoticism in the marketing of Mexican cuisine.
The idea of the Aztecs has captivated the imaginations of Europeans since the first encounters, and has provided many iconic symbols to Western popular culture.
The Aztecs and figures from Aztec mythology feature in Western culture. Knopf , insisted on a change of title. Aztec society has also been depicted in cinema.
It adopted the perspective of an Aztec scribe, Topiltzin, who survived the attack on the temple of Tenochtitlan.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Aztec. For other uses, see Aztec disambiguation. Ethnic group of central Mexico and its civilization.
Main article: History of the Aztecs. Main article: Aztec Empire. Main article: Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire. Main articles: Class in Aztec society , Aztec society , and Aztec slavery.
Main article: Women in Aztec civilization. See also: Aztec Empire: Government. Main article: Mexico-Tenochtitlan.
Main article: Aztec religion. Main article: List of Aztec gods and supernatural beings. Main article: Aztec mythology. Main article: Aztec calendar.
Main article: Aztec writing. An Aztec bowl for everyday use. Black on orange ware, a simple Aztec IV style flower design.
Main article: Mexican featherwork. Further information: Society in the Spanish Colonial Americas. Main article: Population history of American indigenous peoples.
See also: Society in the Spanish Colonial Americas. Coat of Arms of Mexico , also present in flag. See also: Aztec cuisine and List of Mexican dishes.
Mesoamerica portal Indigenous peoples of the Americas portal. I believe it makes more sense to expand the definition of "Aztec" to include the peoples of nearby highland valleys in addition to the inhabitants of the Valley of Mexico.
Aztec Gold slot is a legendary one-armed bandit. If you want to find yourself in the gambling hall of the s, play this simple but very entertaining game.
You can get winnings with multipliers of up to 3, for one regular round, as well as a lot of bonuses, and a multi-level prize game. The slot has the same menu as the other games by Megajack.
The game machine has 5 reels and 21 paylines. The number of paylines is regulated with two keys:. In order to get the first prize payouts, you need to collect at least 3 identical symbols on any of the activated lines.
The highest paid symbol is the dragon mask. It is a wild symbol that replaces most of the others when it appears on the central reel.
The combinations with this symbol multiply the payouts by 2. The other symbols you can see during the game include:.
A special symbol is the pyramids. It lets players get in the prize round, if it simultaneously appears on the 3rf, 4th, and 5th reels.
After that, 51 pyramids appear on the screen. Players have an opportunity to choose three of them, within each of which there is a certain prize.
If the diamond pyramid is one of them, the second level begins. During the second level, you will need to choose the stone blocks, which also hide various bonuses.
Players can double their payouts for every prize spin in the risk game. Foolish conquistadors loaded themselves down with gold: smart ones only took a handful of jewels.
That night, the Spanish were spotted as they tried to flee the city: the enraged Mexica warriors attacked, slaughtering hundreds of Spaniards on the Tacuba causeway out of the city.
Most of the great treasures of Montezuma were irrevocably lost that night. The Spanish regrouped and were able to re-take Tenochtitlan a few months later, this time for good.
After the city had been retaken and it came time to divide the spoils, Cortes proved as skilled at stealing from his own men as he had in stealing from the Mexica.
After setting aside the king's fifth and his own fifth, he began making suspiciously large payments to his closest cronies for weapons, services, etc.
When they finally got their share, Cortes' soldiers were dismayed to learn that they had "earned" less than two hundred pesos each, far less than they would have gotten for "honest" work elsewhere.
The soldiers were furious, but there was little they could do. Cortes bought them off by sending them on further expeditions which he promised would bring in more gold and expeditions were soon on their way to the lands of the Maya in the south.
Other conquistadors were given encomiendas : these were grants of vast lands with native villages or town on them. The owner theoretically had to provide protection and religious instruction for the natives, and in return the natives would work for the landowner.
In reality, it was officially sanctioned enslavement and led to some unspeakable abuses. The conquistadors who served under Cortes always believed that he had held back thousands of pesos in gold from them, and the historical evidence seems to support them.
Guests to Cortes' home reported seeing many bars of gold in Cortes' possession. In spite of the losses of the Night of Sorrows, Cortes and his men were able to take a staggering amount of gold out of Mexico: only Francisco Pizarro's looting of the Inca Empire produced a greater amount of wealth.
The audacious conquest inspired thousands of Europeans to flock to the New World, hoping to be on the next expedition to conquer a rich empire.
After Pizarro's conquest of the Inca, however, there were no more great empires to find, although legends of the city of El Dorado persisted for centuries.
It is a great tragedy that the Spanish preferred their gold in coins and bars: countless priceless golden ornaments were melted down and the cultural and artistic loss is incalculable.
According to the Spanish who saw these golden works, Aztec goldsmiths were more skilled than their European counterparts. Diaz del Castillo, Bernal.
London, Penguin Books, Share Flipboard Email. Christopher Minster. Professor of History and Literature.