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Study Questions and Sources

Guide to the Aztec Empire


Aztec Calendar Stone

Aztec Calendar Stone

Chez Cåsver

Main Sources on the Aztec Civilization

Susan Toby Evans and David L. Webster. 2001. Archaeology of Ancient Mexico and Central America: An Encylopedia. Garland Publishing, Inc. New York.

Aztec Archaeology: A Select Bibliography on the Archaeology of the Aztec Civilization.

For Further Reading

Museo del Templo Mayor. A wonderful resource for more information on the living ways of the Aztecs from Arizona State University, named after the main temple in Tenochtitlan, the Templo Mayor.

Conquistadors. From the American Public Broadcasting Service, a site in support of the Michael Wood series on the Spanish conquest of the American continents (including but not limited to Aztecs).

Tenochtitlan. A great introduction to the city by Inga Clendinnen on Common Place.org.

History of Chocolate, from the Field Museum.

Aztec Warfare, illustrations from codexes.

Recent Books of Interest

Michael E. Smith. 2004. The Atzecs. 5th edition. Gareth Stevens.

Gary Jennings. Aztec; Aztec Blood and Aztec Autumn. Although these are novels, some archaeologists do use Jennings as a textbook on the Aztecs.

John Pohl. 2001. Aztecs and Conquistadores. Osprey Publishing.

Charles Phillips. 2005. The Aztec and Maya World.

Frances Berdan et al. 1996. Aztec Imperial Strategies. Dumbarton Oaks.

Study Questions

  1. Why would the Spanish chroniclers of the Aztecs exaggerate the violence and blood of the Aztecs in their reports back to Spain?
  2. What advantages are there to placing a capital city on a marshy island in the middle of a lake?
  3. The following English words are derived from the Nahuatl language: avocado, chocolate, and atlatl. Why do you think these words are the ones we use today?
  4. Why do you think the Mexica chose to ally with their neighbors in the Triple Alliance rather than conquering them?
  5. What role do you think disease played with the fall of the Aztec empire?

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