The Aztecs developed a number of innovations that helped them survive and allowed their culture to thrive, including floating gardens to grow food, mandatory education for children, a game similar to soccer, herbal medicines and bright red fabric dye. The Aztec culture also produced a highly-organized system of government and a language, Nahuatl, that is still spoken today.Know More
To satisfy their food requirements, the Aztecs developed a way to compensate for their swampy land that was poorly suited for agriculture. They created floating enclosures of mud and decaying plant matter to grow their corn, beans and squash and to raise chickens and turkeys. Human manure from the city fertilized the crops.
The Aztecs developed compulsory education for all their children. Beginning at home, the boys learned the father’s trade, while the girls learned domestic chores. Boys underwent rigorous warrior training, and all children attended a school to learn ceremonial songs and Aztec history.
The Aztec nobles played a game called ollama, which could be a precursor of soccer. The game could get very violent with rituals involving human sacrifice. When one team scored, players could rob the spectators.
Aztec herbal practices were collected in the “Badianus Manuscript,” an illustrated text from 1552 that describes the use of over 180 plants and trees to treat ailments. The Aztecs were also the first to develop a bright red fabric dye from the cochineal beetle.Learn more about Ancient America
The Aztecs traded crops such as beans, corn, pears, squash, tobacco, cotton, tomatoes and peppers as well as turkeys, feathers and blankets. Because they didn't have a monetary system in place, the Aztecs bartered with goods.Full Answer >
The Spanish army, led by Hernán Cortés, conquered the Aztecs. The battle for parts of what is now Mexico lasted for just over two years between the Aztecs and the Spanish.Full Answer >
There were a number of jobs available in Aztec society, and people had access to certain types of work depending on the social group they were born into. Farm work formed the foundation of the Aztec economy, but there were also diverse middle class occupations like merchant, artisan and soldier.Full Answer >
Aztecs used chinampas, or long, narrow man-made islands built on the shallow lakes of Central Mexico, for their most intensive farming. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states that these chinampas provided fertile, dedicated fields composed of layered dirt and mud divided by wide navigable canals.Full Answer >