23 megacuriosities about the Aztec Empire
1. They called themselves "mexica", so much so that "aztecs" is a denomination given by Europeans
2. The deceased were usually buried under their homes.
3. Often when someone died a dog would be killed so that he could be a guide to the afterlife
4. If an Aztec was heavily indebted, they had the choice to sell themselves as slaves or even trade their children for it.
5. But slavery was not eternal: they could buy freedom back
6. The capital of the Aztec Empire was called Tenochtitlán and was in the middle of a lake - today the lake was practically all drained, giving rise to Mexico City.
7. Tenochtitlán had an efficient garbage collection system and was considered extremely clean
8. When discovered by Europeans, Tenochtitlán was larger than many cities in the Old Continent.
9. Aztecs Never Discovered the Wheel
10. The Aztecs Never Never Had Iron or Steel
11. Aztecs were one of the first peoples to invest in early childhood education.
12. Salmonella bacteria brought by Europeans are believed to have killed more than 15 million Aztecs - 80% of the population - in just 5 years between 1545 and 1550
13. The language of the Aztecs, the Nahuatl, had an alphabet with numerous designs and images, like the Egyptian hieroglyphics.
14. The Aztecs used this alphabet to make numerous records of their civilization, even of everyday subjects such as taxes.
15. Many of the wars between the Aztecs and other peoples were only intended to generate prisoners who would serve as human sacrifice on both sides.
16. Several Mesoamerican peoples, such as the Aztecs, played a game in which a rubber ball had to pass through extremely small hoops.
17. Human sacrifices were common after the ullamaliztti matches, the above game - most of the time, the captain and players of the defeated team
18. But because being sacrificed was an honor, some historians believe that even the winners of ullamaliztti matches were killed.
19. The Aztecs, along with other Central American civilizations, introduced chocolate to the European palate.
20. So much so that the word “chocolate” originates from the Aztec term “chocolatl”
21. Cocoa seed was so prized - as a gift from the gods - that it was even used as a currency by the Aztecs.
22. The fall of the Aztec Empire occurred in August 1521, when the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortéz invaded Tenochtitlán with the help of enemies of the Aztecs.
23. 250, 000 people are believed to have died in this bloody battle, which eventually gave rise to Mexico City over the ruins of Tenochtitlán.