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The Awesome Aztecs


Attendance was mandatory for all Aztec children, even girls and slaves. ... manners, correct behavior, and important rituals, along with singing and dancing. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Awesome Aztecs

The Awesome Aztecs
The Aztec tribe lived in ancient Mexico for about
400 years. For the first 200 years, the Aztecs
were constantly on the move. No one wanted the
Aztecs as neighbors. The Aztecs practiced human
sacrifice. They believed that if their gods were
not fed, they would not do their jobs. The sun
god would not bring up the sun, and everyone
would die.
To keep their gods happy, the Aztecs believed
that human sacrifice was necessary. They used
people to feed their hungry gods. Some of the
people they sacrificed were Aztecs. However,
most of the people they sacrificed were
captured from neighboring tribes. This did not
make them popular with their neighbors. Sooner
or later, their neighbors would band together to
chase the Aztecs away.
When the Aztecs first arrived in the Valley of
Mexico, other tribes were already living on the
best land in the area. This time, rather than
fight for the best land or for captives to feed
their hungry gods, the Aztecs quietly settled
along the swampy shores of Lake Texcoco. They
built canoes so they could fish, hunt waterfowl,
and trade with other tribesfor the building
materials they needed.
Free School for Everyone
To build the city they wanted, they knew that
they would need many engineers, builders, and
traders. This required an educated population. To
solve this problem, the Aztecs set up a system of
public schools. Attendance was mandatory for all
Aztec children, even girls and slaves. The
Aztecs were the only people up to that time in
history to have free schools that every child had
to attend.
All-Girls School
There were three different schools one for
girls, and two for boys. Girls learned about
religion and were trained to be good wives and
mothers. They learned how to cook, sew, and how
to care for their children. They also learned how
to make beautiful woven textiles.
Sons of the Upper Class
Sons of the upper class went to the nobles
school. Sons of wealthy traders and merchants
also went to this school. They studied law,
writing (hieroglyphics), medicine, engineering
and building, interpretation of dreams and omens,
and self-expression. They also learned about
their history and religious beliefs.
It was a tough school. The boys were humiliated
and tormented to toughen them up.
Sons of Commoners and Slaves
The other boys school was for sons of commoners.
Its main goal was to train warriors and farmers.
Boys had to sleep under skimpy blankets. They
were given hard bread to eat. The commoners
school also taught history, religion, manners,
correct behavior, and important rituals, along
with singing and dancing.
Specialized Professions
No matter which school an Aztec boy attended, he
was trained to be a specialist. Boys studied how
to be farmers, traders, engineers, builders,
astronomers, and doctors. Students who became
builders and engineers designed and built the
amazing Aztec cities, including the capital city
of Tenochtitlan, located on the swampy shores of
Lake Texcoco.
Floating Gardens
As the Aztec population grew, more food was
needed. To solve this problem, Aztec engineers
created floating gardens. They built a series
of rafts, which they anchored to the lake bed.
They piled on dirt and grew crops. They made
walkways out of mud and reeds to connect the
floating rafts. The gardens were quite
successful. The Aztecs grew chili peppers,
squash, corn, tomatoes, and beans.