⌛ Mesoamerican Religion: The Role Of Religion In Aztec Life

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Mesoamerican Religion: The Role Of Religion In Aztec Life

Ancient City lights chaplin For almost 30 centuries—from its unification around B. Military education was Mesoamerican Religion: The Role Of Religion In Aztec Life by seasoned warriors Mesoamerican Religion: The Role Of Religion In Aztec Life various military Mesoamerican Religion: The Role Of Religion In Aztec Life Path Of The Law Holmes strategies. Download as PDF Printable version. MacNeish, Richard S. However, it was a time of technological advancement in architecture, engineering, and weaponry.

Aztec Religion - GODS

Art was an important cornerstone of Aztec culture and considered very important among the nobility as well as the commoners. Aztec art was rich in symbolism and reflected religious influence. Aztec music included a variety of sacred hymns, ghost songs, and songs of everyday life. Important instruments included drums of various types, rattles, flutes, and horns etc. For entertainment, Aztec culture also had various games such as the Aztec ball game called Ullamaliztli, patolli, and others. Aztec Culture Aztec Men Share a Meal — Aztec society had a rich culture that was influenced by various Mesoamerican civilisations of the past and enriched by them through original contributions over the course of centuries.

Education was considered very important by the Aztecs and was necessary for all the Aztec children. In Aztec culture, education also included basic military training which was necessary for the male students. Military education was given by seasoned warriors in various military tactics and strategies. The knowledge imparted through education in Aztec culture included religions knowledge, history, literature, astrology, medicine, engineering, and medicine etc.

There were separate schools for the children of the nobility and those of the commoners. Aztec culture had rich mythology and a polytheistic religion with many gods having specific functions. Aztecs believed that the world was created by the major Aztec gods Tezcatlipoca, Nanauatl, Ehecatl, and Quetzalcoatl. The Aztec belief system was rich in rituals and religious ceremonies were held at the end of each day Aztec month. One of the most important aspects of Aztec belief system was human sacrifice which was performed during each religious ceremony. Prisoners of war, and sometimes even children, were used in these sacrifices.

Aztec Culture Aztec Drums Florentine Codex — Aztec music included a variety of sacred hymns, ghost songs, and songs of everyday life. Egyptian pyramids are much older than American ones; the earliest Egyptian pyramid, the Pyramid of Djoser, was built in the 27 century BC. Built by the Olmecs, the first major Mesoamerican civilization a group famous for other firsts, like chocolate and the use of for sports , the pyramid dates to between B. American pyramids were generally built of earth and then faced with stone, typically in a stepped, or layered, shape topped by a platform or temple structure.

At one point, historians concluded that in contrast with Egyptian pyramids , pre-Columbian pyramids were not intended as burial chambers but as homes for deities. However, more recent excavations have unearthed evidence that some pyramids did include tombs, and there is also evidence that city-states used the pyramids for military defense. More temples have been discovered there than in any other Mesoamerican city. Like many Mesoamerican pyramids, each was constructed around a core of rubble held in place by retaining walls. The walls were then faced with adobe bricks, and then covered with limestone. The base of the Pyramid of the Sun measures feet per side, with five stepped terraces reaching a height of some feet.

Its massive size rivals that of the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza. Within the current pyramid is another, earlier pyramid structure of almost the same size. In , archaeologists discovered a cave underneath the Pyramid of the Sun, leading to a chamber in the shape of a four-leaf clover. It was dedicated around A. The Maya , another dominant civilization of Mesoamerica, made temple-pyramids the glorious centers of their great stone cities. One of the most famous, the magnificently carved Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque Mexico , was a funerary monument to the seventh century king Hanab Pakal. The tallest Maya pyramid, located in Tikal, Guatemala, dates to the eighth century A. Another Maya monument, built in the ninth and 10th centuries A. Constructed around A.

Its four stairways have 91 steps each, which combined with the single step at the entrance to the temple adds up to stairs exactly—the number of days in the Mayan year. The Maya had a complex astronomical and cosmological system, and often angled their ceremonial buildings, like pyramids, so that they would face sunrise or sunset at particular times of the year. The Aztecs , who lived in the Mexican valley between the 12th and 16th centuries, also built pyramids in order to house and honor their deities.

Tenochtitlan, the great Aztec capital, housed the Great Pyramid, a four-stepped structure some 60 meters high. At its top, two shrines honored Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of sun and war, and Tlaloc, god of rain and fertility. The Great Pyramid was destroyed along with the rest of the Aztec civilization by the Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes and his army in The ethnic identity of the Olmecs is still widely debated. Based on linguistic evidence, archaeologists and anthropologists generally believe that they were either speakers of an Oto-Manguean language, or more likely the ancestors of the present-day Zoque people who live in the north of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

According to this second hypothesis, Zoque tribes emigrated toward the south after the fall of the major population centers of the Gulf plains. The Olmec culture represents a milestone of Mesoamerican history, as various characteristics that define the region first appeared there. Among them are the state organization, the development of the day ritual calendar and the day secular calendar, the first writing system, and urban planning. The development of this culture started to BCE, [12] though it continued to consolidate itself up to the 12th century BCE. However, throughout Mesoamerica numerous sites show evidence of Olmec occupation, especially in the Balsas river basin, where Teopantecuanitlan is located. This site is quite enigmatic, since it dates from several centuries earlier than the main populations of the Gulf, a fact which has continued to cause controversy and given rise to the hypothesis that the Olmec culture originated in that region.

Among the best-known expressions of Olmec culture are giant stone heads, sculptured monoliths up to three metres in height and several tons in weight. These feats of Olmec stonecutting are especially impressive when one considers that Mesoamericans lacked iron tools and that the heads are at sites dozens of kilometers from the quarries where their basalt was mined. The function of these monuments is unknown. Some authors propose that they were commemorative monuments for notable players of the ballgame, and others that they were images of the Olmec governing elite. The Olmec are also known for their small carvings made of jade and other greenstones. As Cuicuilco declined, Teotihuacan began to grow in importance. The next two centuries marked the period in which the so-called City of the gods consolidated its power, becoming the premier Mesoamerican city of the first millennium, and the principal political, economic, and cultural center in Central Mexico for the next seven centuries.

The Classic period of Mesoamerica includes the years from to CE. Normally, the Classic period in Mesoamerica is characterized as the stage in which the arts, science, urbanism, architecture, and social organization reached their peak. This period was also dominated by the influence of Teotihuacan throughout the region, and the competition between the different Mesoamerican states led to continuous warfare. This period of Mesoamerican history can be divided into three phases. Early, from to CE; Middle, from to ; and Late, from to The early Classic period began with the expansion of Teotihuacan, which led to its control over the principal trade routes of northern Mesoamerica.

During this time, the process of urbanization that started in the last centuries of the early Preclassic period was consolidated. The cities of this era were characterized by their multi-ethnic composition, which entailed the cohabitation in the same population centers of people with different languages, cultural practices, and places of origin. During this period the alliances between the regional political elites were strengthened, especially for those allied with Teotihuacan.

Also, social differentiation became more pronounced: a small dominant group ruled over the majority of the population. This majority was forced to pay tribute and to participate in the building of public structures such as irrigation systems, religious edifices, and means of communication. The growth of the cities could not have happened without advances in agricultural methods and the strengthening of trade networks involving not only the peoples of Mesoamerica, but also the distant cultures of Oasisamerica. The arts of Mesoamerica reached their high-point in this era. Especially notable are the Mayan stelae carved pillars , exquisite monuments commemorating the stories of the Royal families, the rich corpus of polychrome ceramics, mural painting, and music.

Centuries later, long after Teotihuacan was abandoned c. Many scientific advances were also achieved during this period. The Maya refined their calendar, script, and mathematics to their highest level of development. Writing came to be used throughout the Mayan area, although it was still regarded as a noble activity and practiced only by noble scribes, painters, and priests. Astronomy remained a matter of vital significance because of its importance for agriculture, the economic basis of Mesoamerican society, and to predict events in the future such as lunar and solar eclipses, an important feature for the rulers, proving to the commoners their links with the heavenly world.

This allowed other regional power centers to flourish and compete for control of trade routes and natural resources. In this way the late Classic era commenced. Political fragmentation during this era meant no city had complete hegemony. Various population movements occurred, caused by the incursion of groups from Aridoamerica and other northern regions, who pushed the older populations of Mesoamerica south. Among these new groups were the Nahua , who would later found the cities of Tula and Tenochtitlan, the two most important capitals of the Postclassic era.

In the Maya region, Tikal , an ally of Teotihuacan, experienced a decline, the so-called Tikal Hiatus, after being defeated by Dos Pilas , and Caracol , ally of Calakmul , lasted about another years. These and other city-states of the region found themselves involved in bloody wars with changing alliances, until Tikal defeated, in order, Dos Pilas, Caracol, with the help of Yaxha and El Naranjo , Waka , Calakmul's last ally, and finally Calakmul itself, an event that took place in with the sacrifice of Yuknom Cheen's son in Tikal. That led to construction of monumental architecture in Tikal, from to ; the last date documented there was Toward the end of the late Classic period, the Maya stopped recording the years using the Long Count calendar, and many of their cities were burned and abandoned to the jungle.

In Oaxaca, Monte Alban reached its apex c. Its fate was not much different from that of other cities such as La Quemada in the north and Teotihuacan in the center: it was burned and abandoned. In the last century of the Classic era, hegemony in the valley of Oaxaca passed to Lambityeco , several kilometers to the east. Teotihuacan initially competed with Cuicuilco for hegemony in the area. In this political and economic battle, Teotihuacan was aided by its control of the obsidian deposits in the Navaja mountains in Hidalgo. The decline of Cuicuilco is still a mystery, but it is known that a large part of the former inhabitants resettled in Teotihuacan some years before the eruption of Xitle , which covered the southern town in lava. Once free of competition in the area of the Lake of Mexico, Teotihuacan experienced an expansion phase that made it one of the largest cities of its time, not just in Mesoamerica but in the entire world.

During this period of growth, it attracted the vast majority of those then living in the Valley of Mexico. Teotihuacan was completely dependent on agricultural activity, primarily the cultivation of maize , beans , and squash , the Mesoamerican agricultural trinity. However, its political and economic hegemony was based on outside goods for which it enjoyed a monopoly: Anaranjado ceramics, produced in the Poblano—Tlaxcalteca valley, and the mineral deposits of the Hidalgan mountains. Both were highly valued throughout Mesoamerica and were exchanged for luxury merchandise of the highest caliber, from places as far away as New Mexico and Guatemala. Because of this, Teotihuacan became the hub of the Mesoamerican trade network.

Teotihuacan refined the Mesoamerican pantheon of deities, whose origins dated from the time of the Olmec. Trade links promoted the spread of these cults to other Mesoamerican societies, who took and transformed them. It was thought that Teotihuacan society had no knowledge of writing, but as Duverger demonstrates, the writing system of Teotihuacan was extremely pictographic, to the point that writing was confused with drawing. The fall of Teotihuacan is associated with the emergence of city-states within the confines of the central area of Mexico. The Maya created one of the most developed and best-known Mesoamerican cultures. Although authors such as Michael D. Coe believe that the Mayan culture is completely different from the surrounding cultures, many elements present in Maya culture are shared by the rest of Mesoamerica, including the use of two calendars, the base 20 number system, the cultivation of corn, human sacrifice , and certain myths, such as that of the fifth sun and cultic worship, including that of the Feathered Serpent and the rain god, who in the Yucatec Maya language is called Chaac.

The beginnings of Mayan culture date from the development of Kaminaljuyu , in the Highlands of Guatemala, during the middle Preclassic period. According to Richard D. The archaeological evidence indicates that the Maya never formed a united empire; they were instead organized into small chiefdoms that were constantly at war. They probably had a greater mastery of the art of war than Teotihuacan, yet the idea that they were a peaceful society given to religious contemplation, which persists to this day, was particularly promoted by early- and midth century Mayanists such as Sylvanus G.

Morley and J. Eric S. Confirmation that the Maya practiced human sacrifice and ritual cannibalism came much later e. Writing and the Maya calendar were quite early developments in the great Maya cities, c. Archaeologists once thought that the Maya sites functioned only as ceremonial centers and that the common people lived in the surrounding villages. However, more recent excavations indicate the Maya sites enjoyed urban services as extensive as those of Tikal, believed to be as large as , inhabitants at its peak, circa , Copan , and others.

Drainage, aqueducts, and pavement, or Sakbe, meaning "white road", united major centers since the Preclassic. The construction of these sites was carried out on the basis of a highly stratified society, dominated by the noble class, who at the same time were the political, military, and religious elite. The elite controlled agriculture, practiced by means of mixed systems of ground-clearing, and intensive platforms around the cities. As in the rest of Mesoamerica, they imposed on the lowest classes taxes—in kind or in labor—that permitted them to concentrate sufficient resources for the construction of public monuments, which legitimized the power of the elites and the social hierarchy. During the Early Classic Period, c. Finally, it seems the great drought that ravaged Central America in the 9th century, internal wars, ecological disasters, and famine destroyed the Mayan political system, which led to popular uprisings and the defeat of the dominant political groups.

Many cities were abandoned, remaining unknown until the 19th century, when descendants of the Maya led a group of European and American archaeologists to these cities, which had been swallowed over the centuries by the jungle. It was a period in which military activity became of great importance. The political elites associated with the priestly class were relieved of power by groups of warriors.

In turn, at least a half century before the arrival of the Spaniards, the warrior class was yielding its positions of privilege to a very powerful group that were unconnected to the nobility: the pochtecas , merchants who obtained great political power by virtue of their economic power. The Postclassic period is divided into two phases. The first is the early Postclassic, which includes the 10th to the 13th century, and is characterized by the Toltec hegemony of Tula.

Many of the social changes of this final period of Mesoamerican civilization are related to the migratory movements of the northern peoples. These peoples came from Oasisamerica, Aridoamerica, and the northern region of Mesoamerica, driven by climate changes that threatened their survival. The migrations from the north caused, in turn, the displacement of peoples who had been rooted in Mesoamerica for centuries; some of them left for Centroamerica. There were many cultural changes during that time. One of them was the expansion of metallurgy, imported from South America, and whose oldest remnants in Mesoamerica come from the West, as is the case also with ceramics.

The Mesoamericans did not achieve great facility with metals; in fact, their use was rather limited a few copper axes, needles, and above all jewellery. The most advanced techniques of Mesoamerican metallurgy were developed by the mixtecos , who produced fine, exquisitely handcrafted articles. Remarkable advances were made in architecture as well. The use of nails in architecture was introduced to support the sidings of the temples, mortar was improved, the use of columns and stone roofs was widespread—something that only the Maya had used during the Classic period.

In agriculture, the system of irrigation became more complex; in the Valley of Mexico especially, chinampas were used extensively by the Mexica, who built a city of , around them. The political system also underwent important changes. According to this system, the ruling classes proclaimed themselves the descendants of Quetzalcoatl , the Plumed Serpent, one of the creative forces, and a cultural hero in Mesoamerican mythology. Many of the important capitals of the time identified themselves with this name for example, Tollan Xicocotitlan, Tollan Chollollan , Tollan Teotihuacan. These early Postclassic societies can be characterized by their military nature and multi-ethnic populations.

Mesoamerica received new immigrants from the north, and although these groups were related to the ancient Toltecs, they had a completely different ideology than the existing residents. The final arrivals were the Mexica, who established themselves on a small island on Lake Texcoco under the dominion of the Texpanecs of Azcapotzalco. Neither one of them could defeat the other, and it seems that a type of non-aggression pact was established between the two peoples.

When the Spaniards arrived many of the peoples controlled by the Mexica no longer wished to continue under their rule. Therefore, they took advantage of the opportunity presented by the Europeans, agreeing to support them, thinking that in return they would gain their freedom, and not knowing that this would lead to the subjugation of all of the Mesoamerican world.

The Maya probably used the 4 Year College Transitioning as a calendar. Below are the symbols Mesoamerican Religion: The Role Of Religion In Aztec Life concepts associated with each direction:. The Maya also Mesoamerican Religion: The Role Of Religion In Aztec Life the elaborate calendar system used across much of Mesoamerica.