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Archaeology: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What Is History, Anyway? A Handful of...
Drop in on a collection of quotes from historians--some professional, some decidedly not--trying their hand at defining the dark art of history.
The 10 Most Important Aztec Gods and Goddesses
Learn more about the most important Aztec gods and and the religion of the Aztec people
When Did People Begin Using and Controlling Fire?
The discovery of fire was one of the earliest discoveries of humans. Fire's purposes are multiple, some of which are to add light and heat, to cook plants and animals, to clear forests for planting, to heat-treat stone for making stone tools, to burn clay for ceramic objects.
What Does A.D. Mean, Anyway?
The initials A.D. (used with or without periods) is an abbreviation for the Latin
Main Scientific Theories about When and How the...
Scientists are sure that the original colonists of the Americas arrived at least 15,000 years ago--but how they got there is still under debate.
Where Was the Ancient City of Babylon?
The archaeological site of Babylon was the capital of a small city state of Mesopotamia, named Babylonia, located in what is now Iraq, near the modern town of Hilla.
Here's How Cattle Came to Be Domesticated -...
The history of the relationship between humans and cattle is a long and varied one, with at least two and perhaps three domestication events.
Is Your Cat Truly Domesticated? According to...
The modern day cat was permanently domesticated about 4000 years ago, in Egypt; but archaeologists say it may have been closer to 10,000 years ago.
What You've Always Wanted to Know about Otzi...
The Iceman is the name of a 5,300-year-old human body discovered high in the Swiss/Italian Alps in 1991.
What Is a Hominin and How Is It Different from...
Learn more about the Homininae subfamily, including Hominini (humans and their ancestors), Panini (chimps), and Gorillini (gorillas).
What Does the Abbreviation 'BP' Stand for in...
Archaeologists use the term 'BP' to mean 'years before humans began to screw up the atmosphere by testing nuclear devices'.
Interested in a Career in Archaeology? Read...
Have you always dreamed of being an archaeologist, but don't know how to become one? To become an archaeologist takes education, reading, training, and persistence. Here's how you can get started exploring that dream job
What Can Archaeology Tell Us About Who Aryans...
The Aryan Invasion Myth was developed in the late 19th century to explain the blossoming of the Indus River Civilization; but it stems from a flawed argument and old fashioned racist supremacism.
How the Dog Came to Be Domesticated
When and where the partnership of dog and humans first occurred is currently under considerable debate.
Animal Domestication: When and Where It First...
Domestication is the process of genetically adapting an animal or plant to better suit the needs of human beings; this page includes a definition of domestication and a table of domestication dates for animals in the world.
The Long History of Humans Taming Plants on...
A collection of plant histories, when and where humans domesticated them, with a table of dates and places and links to the stories themselves.
Why Don't Archaeologists Use the Term...
Cro-Magnons are what scholars now call Anatomically Modern Humans or Early Modern Humans, mostly because Cro-Magnon refers to to a specific archaeological site which isn't really typical of the rest
What was Life in Europe Like Before Farming?
The Mesolithic period in European history includes the history of the complex hunter-gatherers who developed the technology to cultivate crops.
The Legend of the Aztec God of War and Sacrifice
Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec god of war and sacrifice, learn more about Aztec mythology and religion
The Top Ten
Short list of the main facts and aspects of Aztec culture
Considering a Career in Archaeology? Read These...
What kind of job can I get in archaeology? Does it pay well? Do you have to work when it's hot? These are the questions that everyone who is thinking about being an archaeologist wants to know.
What Genius Culture First Thought of Fermenting...
Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from grapes; and may have been invented nearly 9,000 years ago in China....
How the Kingdom of Aksum Flourished in Ethiopia
The Kingdom of Aksum (first through sixth centuries AD) was one of the most powerful kingdoms in sub-Saharan Africa, connecting the Roman empire and the rest of the world in the region of the Red Sea.
The Origins of Agriculture Around the World
The history of farming begins some 12,000 years ago, in the hilly flanks of the Zagros Mountains of southwest Asia
Out of Africa Hypothesis
The Out of Africa or African Replacement Hypothesis argues that every living human being is descended from a small group in Africa.
Here's How Chickens Became Domesticated
The history of chickens and when they were domesticated is something of a puzzle, but most likely it was about 8,000 years ago in Thailand.
What Society Cultivated Wheat First?
Wheat was one of the very first crops domesticated by our ancestors, some 10,000 years ago in southeastern Turkey.
Who doesn't want to be an archaeologist when...
What kind of real-life career choices do I have with a degree in archaeology?
Hagia Sophia NOVA Video: 1,500 Year Old Sacred...
A 2015 NOVA video on the 1500-year-old Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, highlights its long cultural and architectural history, as well as preservation efforts.
Great Zimbabwe, the Great Stone House of the...
Great Zimbabwe is an important African Iron Age site, one of hundreds of such sites in Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa dated between the 10th and 15th centuries AD.
An Introduction to Seriation
Breaking apart your data representations shows a clearer picture of seriation.
If You Could be a Viking, Would You Be a...
Viking society was highly stratified, with three distinct classes, from slave to aristocracy; and clearly defined professions that described life.
Tenochtitlan: How a City in a Swamp Became the...
The Aztec culture site called Tenochtitlan was located in a very peculiar place today, in a marsh in the middle of a lake surrounded by mountains--a place now called Mexico City.
How Ancient Civilizations Used Bitumen (AKA Tar)
Bitumen is a naturally-occurring organic byproduct of decomposed organic materials used by humans for many very useful things for the past 40,000 years.
Is the history of the Inca written in knotted...
The quipu (also spelled khipu or quipo) is the only known precolumbian information system in South America.
Why Would Anybody Domesticate a Goat?
Beginning about 10,500 years ago, Neolithic people started keeping goats, for their milk, meat, dung, wool... but maybe not their sweet natures.
What Science Knows about the Culture and...
The Inca were the largest pre-hispanic empire of South America when it was 'discovered' by the Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century AD.
Did the Aztecs Really Think Cortes was the...
The Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent, is one of the most famous pre-Columbian deity and his cult was widespread in many Mesoamerican cultures.
Tlaloc, the Aztec Rain God
Tlaloc, the rain god, was one of the most important gods in Aztec religion
Did the Ancient Inca Keep Their Records in...
The ancient Inca empire ruled much of South America when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the 16th century AD, and they did it all without a written language. But did they?
Where Did Lactose Intolerance Come From? Why...
Why some people can drink milk without becoming ill and others cannot is a genetic trait that arose from our domestication and dependence on other mammals.
What Were the Rules of the Oldest Known Sport...
The Mesoamerican ball game was an exciting, dangerous game played by most cultures in central America.
Why Did Shihuangdi Need a Terracotta Army?
The exquisite terracotta army of the first Qin Dynasty ruler Shihuangdi represents the emperor’s ability to control the resources of the newly unified China, and his attempt to recreate and maintain that empire in the afterlife.
Learn All About the Dating Techniques Used to...
A short course on the various dating methods used in archaeological science over the centuries. Part 1: Relative Dating
Cultural Resource Management
Cultural Resource Management is, essentially, a process by which the protection and management of the multitudinous but scarce elements of cultural heritage are given some consideration in a modern world with an expanding population and changing needs.
AnYang: Bronze Age Capital in China
Three seasons of excavations at the ancient Chinese city of AnYang have produced a wealth of information at this Bronze Age capital of the Shang Dynasty.
Pharaoh Hatshepsut's Deir el-Bahri
Hatshepsut's Deir el-Bahri (also spelled Deir el-Bahari) is one of the most beautiful temples in Egypt, built by the architects of Queen Hatshepsut, a pharaoh of the New Kingdom.
Aztec Origins
This page describes the mythical and archaeological origins of the Aztec people, and the founding of their capital city of Tenochtitlán
All the Varieties of Potatoes Come from One...
The plain old Idaho baking potato is only one of literally thousands of varieties of the original potato, first domesticated in South America
When was the Common Bean Domesticated? And Who...
The common bean comes in a multitude of colors shapes and sizes, and as you've no doubt been told, they're really good for you. They are an American domesticate, and their domestication history is an interesting one...
The Types and Characteristics of Ancient...
Monumental architecture refers to large man-made structures of stone or earth.
Need Ideas for an Archaeology Paper? Try These...
The hardest thing a student does is pick a research paper topic. Archaeology, the study of a million years of human behavior, is an excellent starting place.
Chaac
Chaac, was the Mayan god of rain, water and lightning. His origins are very ancient and he was worshiped all over the Maya area...
A Beginner's Guide to the Stone Age
A definition and chronology of the Stone Age (more commonly known to scholars as the Paleolithic era), which in human prehistory is the name given to the period between about 2.5 million and 20,000 years ago.
Olmec Timeline and Definition
A guide to the Olmec civilization, including timelines, important sites, important facts, subsistence and settlement, burning issues, and a bibliography
Learn All about Maya Civilization with This...
Facts about the economics, politics, warfare, rituals, architecture, and other interesting things to know about the Maya Civilization. Page 3.
What is the Evidence for a 6th Century Fog...
The dust veil of AD 536 was a period of a year to 18 months when the world experienced some kind of calamity, and historic records and dendrochronological records from around the world hold the evidence.
Myth-busting About Arrowheads
Arrowheads are often the subject of a number of myths, legends and misconceptions; here is a description of the top myths and the top unknown facts.
Who Were the Vikings, Anyway?
The Vikings were a farming culture, who originated in Scandinavia about the 4th century AD, and began to spread out and conquer the Europe in the 9th century AD. They were mostly defeated or subsumed into other cultures by the 13th century AD.
Clovis May Not Have Been First in the Americas,...
Clovis refers to mobile big game hunters who roamed the Americas hunting elephants and bison for a very brief time 12,000 years ago.
Here Are the Basic Facts and Timeline of the...
After classical Egypt, the first civilization in Africa was called Kush or Kushite, located on the third cataract of the Nile River in what is now the Sudan.
How Long Have Horses Been Our Pards?
The history of the domesticated horse (Equus caballus) is complex, the results of the spread of this marvelous creature throughout the world.
How Hunter-Gatherers Lived Off the Land
Hunter gatherers is the name anthropologists have given to people who rely on a combined living of hunting game and gathering root vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Hunting and gathering was the lifestyle of all human beings until the invention of agriculture about 8000 years ago; and, to state it simply, hunter-gatherers hunt game and collect plant foods.
Heinrich Schliemann and the Discovery of Troy
Heinrich Schliemann, that quintessential archaeologist of the 19th century, claimed to have discovered the real site of Troy. But did he?
Three Cultural Groups which Combined to Make...
A military and political pact formed by the Aztec of Tenochtitlan and other two cities of the Valley of Mexico. This is when the Aztec Empire began.
The Ancient Maya or Mayans?
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Ochre is the First Pigment Known to Have Been...
The natural yellow-red-brown pigment known as ochre was humankind's first paint pot, used by our hominid ancestors nearly 300,000 years ago.
The Amazing History of American Corn
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Maize ( Zea mays
Is Cascajal Block the earliest example of...
The mother-sister controversy in Mesoamerican archaeology is a debate over the relative importance of the Olmec civilization over the rest of central America. Page 2.
Sacred Cenote (Well of the Sacrifices)
Chichen Itza - Sacred Cenote - A Walking Tour of Chichen Itza - Ancient Maya Ruins of Mexico. Page 19.
Angkor or Khmer Empire Ruled Southeast Asia...
The Angkor Civilization (or Khmer Civilization) is the name given to an important civilization of southeast Asia, including all of Cambodia and southeastern Thailand and northern Vietnam
Did Amelia Earhart Crashland on a Pacific...
The TIGHAR project searching for traces of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan was begun in the 1980s, and the earliest archaeological investigations were focused on Nikumaroro island. Page 2.
What is the Importance of the Maya Book Known...
The Popol Vuh, often dubbed the Bible of the Maya, is a colonial document which narrates the creation myth of the Maya Quiché of Guatemala and the Story of the Hero Twins
What Is Stratigraphy?
In archaeology, the study of stratigraphy involves looking at the geological and archaeological layers that make up an archaeological deposit to better understand the processes that created the site.
What Else Does Science Know about the Makers of...
The Moche culture were a highly ritualized South American society, who lived along the arid coast of what is now Peru between 100 and 800 AD.
The Collapse of Angkor
The end of the Khmer Empire (or Angkor civilization) came about as a direct result of the civilization's inability to adapt to an extended drought brought about by climate change.
Ancient Maya Bloodletting Rituals
Bloodletting rituals and sacrifices were a widespread practice among the ancient people of Mesoamerica.
What You Need to Know About the Early Stone Age
The Lower Paleolithic period (2.7 million to 200,000 years ago) is the first archaeology, that is to say, that period when the first evidence of what scientists consider human behaviors occurred.
History of the Most Precious Cargo of the...
Frankincense, an aromatic resin from a tree which grows in arid Arabia, east Africa and India, is one of the best known, and most desired incenses in the world.
Top 10 Ancient American Civilizations
The continents of North and South America were 'discovered' by the European civilizations in the late 15th century AD, but their civilizations were vast and complex long before the first European landed. The following are a taste of the complexity of the civilizations of ancient America.
What Alchemy Did it Take to Make Medieval...
Damascus steel, the legendary steel blade scimitar of the Islamic side in the Crusades, was a formidable piece of weaponry for the middle ages. Modern science has given us new insights into how this iron metal was forged, and why this useful technology became lost.
What Have Archaeologists Discovered about...
Making moai--the haunting statues of Easter Island--involved carving a range of volcanic and sea-made materials, and then moving them into place
A Thousand Years of African Kingdoms and the...
In Africa, unlike the Europe and Asia, the Iron Age is not prefaced by a Bronze or Copper Age, but rather all the metals came at once.
Was the Upper Paleolithic the Height of...
The Upper Paleolithic period saw great changes in the world as Homo sapiens became the only hominid running around on our planet.
The Secret Innovations and Inventions of...
Ancient farming methods used by farmers throughout the world varied quite a bit. Farmers developed many ways to maintain soils, ward off frost and freeze cycles and protect their crops from animals. On this page you'll find core concept definitions, articles on examples of archaeological research into ancient farming, detailed examination of some special farming techniques and bibliographies of related topics.
Aztec Religion
The Aztecs had a complex set of beliefs, ceremonies and gods, each one overlooking an aspect of human life...
Site Formation Processes
In archaeology, the term Site Formation Processes refers to the events that created an archaeological site.
Who Were the First People Who Arrived in the...
Pre-Clovis is the name archaeologists have given to the oldest and now fairly well-established human occupations of the Americas.
What Are the Major Plant Processing Pathways...
Most plants fall into three groups, based on their chemical makeup: C4, C3, and CAM; archaeologists are particularly interested in C3 and C4 plants. Here's why.
The Vikings had a well-earned reputation for...
Viking raids were a characteristic of the Scandinavian early medieval pirates called the Vikings, particularly during the first 50 years of the Viking Age (~793-850)
Artifacts of the Royal Cemetery of Ur
The bull-headed lyre discovered at the Royal Cemetery of Ur likely belonged to a musician, buried with one of the retainers in an elite burial.
A Beginner's Guide to the Persian Empire
At its height about 500 BC, the Persian empire had conquered Asia as far as the Indus River, Greece, and North Africa including what is now Egypt and Libya.
Temple of the Warriors
Chichen Itza - Temple of the Warriors - A Walking Tour of Chichen Itza - Ancient Maya Ruins of Mexico. Page 7.
Lucy (Hominid at AL 288, Ethiopia)
Lucy is the name of the nearly complete skeleton of an Australopithecus afarensis, found in 1974 at AL 288, a site in the Hadar archaeological region on the Afar Triangle of Ethiopia.
Anthropology Defined
Anthropology is the study of human beings; their culture, their behavior, their beliefs, their ways of surviving; but that's just my opinion. Here is a collection of other definitions.
An Aztec God of Fertility and Patron of Warriors
Tonatiuh (pronounced Toh-nah-tee-uh) was the Aztec sun god. This deity had both a positive and negative aspect.
Tezcatlipoca
Tezcatlipoca was the Aztec god of night, north direction and patron deity of Aztec kings
Cultural Evolution
Cultural evolution is the theory that culture changes over time as an adaptive response to stimulus.
El Castillo (Kukulcan or the Castle)
El Castillo (Kukulcan or the Castle), Chichen Itza, Mexico. Page 16.
Who were the Ancient Mississippians?
The Mississippian culture is what archaeologists call the precolumbian horticulturalists and mound builders, who were spread across the American midwest and southeast, between about AD 1000-1550.
Legends of the Maya God of Creation, Itzamna
Itzamna is one of the most important ancient Maya gods. He was considered the god of creation and the inventor of writing, and divination...
Aztec Sacrifices
The Aztecs, or more properly the Mexica, practiced several different types of ritual sacrifice to secure the benevolence of the gods.
How Many Times Do You Need to Domesticate Sheep?
The sheep (Ovis aries) is one of the earliest animals ever domesticated, from the mouflon and more than 10,000 years ago.
The Invention of Pottery
Recent archaeological evidence shows that the oldest ceramics in the world so far were discovered in mainland China, and dated to 20,000 years ago.
History of Rice, Part One
Archaeology has traced the history of rice to nearly 12,000 years ago.
Mayan Economics
The Mayan civilization had an extensive economic system based on trade and agriculture. Here are some details of that system.
What Connects Llamas and Alpacas, Vicunas and...
Llamas and alpacas are two different species of camel in South America, both domesticated in about the same location and time in the Andean highlands.
The Sacred Cenote - Well of the Sacrifices
Chichen Itza - A Walking Tour of Chichen Itza - Ancient Maya Ruins of Mexico. Page 20.
The Buzz about Honey Bee History
The honey bee (Apis mellifera) was first managed--although not by any means domesticated--perhaps 7,000 years ago.
An Illustrated History of Glass
Glass is a transparent hard substance created by the application of enormous amounts of heat to sand or quartz. Nature's glass is made by volcanic action, superheating and creating the substance called obsidian.
Archaeology is the Study of ... What?
What is Archaeology? The study of archaeology has been defined in a number of silly and serious ways. Here's a collection of pithy quotes from archaeologists and non-archaeologists.
Chinampa - Floating Gardens
Chinampa systems are a type of American traditional agriculture that has been practiced for at least 1,000 years
Ancient Art Sculpture on a Very Grand Scale
Megalithic structures are immense collections of stone, earth and wood, some of which were built during the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods of Europe.
How Did All the Little Piggies Get to Market?
Pigs (Sus scrofa) were domesticated in the Fertile Crescent about 11,000 years ago, but that's not the only place humans changed wild animals into a nicely behaved, edible food crop.
Some of the Earliest Colonists to America...
The Pacific Coast Migration Model is a theory concerning the original colonization of the Americas that proposes that people entering the continents followed the Pacific coastline
Natufian Period
The Natufian culture is the name given to the sedentary hunter-gatherers living in the Levant region of the near east between about 12,500 and 10,200 years ago.
Multiregional Hypothesis
The Multiregional Hypothesis argues that our earliest hominid ancestors radiated out from Africa and Homo sapiens evolved from several different groups of Homo erectus in several places throughout the world.
Dendrochronology
Dendrochronology is the name given to the archaeological dating technique which uses the growth rings of long-lived trees as a calendar.
Important Facts You Should Know About...
A few important facts about Neandertals, part of an intensive study guide about these human ancestors. Page 2.
What Graduate Students Should Know about...
A letter of intent addressed to each graduate school you apply to is your opportunity to show your strengths and that you recognize your weaknesses.
The Bering Land Bridge: Peopling America, and...
The Bering Land Bridge allowed human population into the Americas some 15,000 years ago: and scholars suggest it may partly regulate global climates.
Feudalism
Feudalism is a system of political organization, in which an elite individual called a lord controls several common people (vassals).
Capacocha Ceremony
The capacocha ceremony is the name of an Incan ritual, which involved the sacrifice of children, as reported in historical chronicles and evidenced archaeologically.
What Great Leap Forward does the Levallois...
Levallois is the name archaeologists have given to a distinctive flint knapping technique, which makes up part of the ancient Acheulean and Mousterian artifact assemblages.
Oracle Bones
Oracle bones are a type of artifact found in archaeological sites from the Shang Dynasty in China.
Despite their violent reputation, Vikings were...
Viking settlers lived not so much in villages, but rather on isolated, regularly spaced farmsteads surrounded by grain fields, and led by chieftainships with multiple farmsteads.
Important Facts about the Olmec
Facts about the Olmec concerning their colossal heads of stone, their written language, their rituals, their artwork. Page 3.
Aztec Creation Myth
The story of how the Aztecs believe world originated, passed down by oral tradition, incorporating gods and myths adopted and modified from other tribes.
Settlement Patterns
One of the core concepts of the study of archaeology is settlement pattern studies.
The opposite of monocultural agriculture is...
Mixed cropping, also known as inter-cropping or co-cultivation, is a type of agriculture that involves planting two or more of plants simultaneously in the same field.
Mousterian
The Mousterian industry is an ancient Middle Stone Age method of making stone tools, associated with our hominid relatives the Neanderthals in Europe and both Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis in Africa.
El Mercado (The Market)
Chichen Itza - El Mercado (the Market) - A Walking Tour of Chichen Itza - Ancient Maya Ruins of Mexico. Page 8.
Were the Ancient Vikings Really a Bunch of...
The Viking Age was a time of great change on the European continent. The Viking Age traditionally refers to the period in northern Europe between the first Scandinavian raid on England, in AD 793, and ends with the death of Harald Hardrada in 1066, in a failed attempt to attain the English throne.
How Can Archaeologists Tell if an Animal is...
The mechanism of domestication is an evolutionary one, and very slow; archaeological evidence for domestication of a particular animal is subtle.
Who Were the Aztecs and Where Did They Live?
Aztecs are the collective name given to seven Chichimec tribes of northern Mexico
A Beginner's Introduction to the Islamic...
The Islamic Civilization is in reality a mosaic of wide variety of cultures, from North Africa to the western periphery of the Pacific Ocean, and from Central Asia to sub-Saharan Africa.
I found an artifact--what the heck is it?
Artifact identification - finding someone to give you information about an artifact that you found or inherited - may be as simple as finding your nearest archaeologist.
Learn All About the Ancient Mesopotamian City...
The Mesopotamian city of Ur, known as Tell al-Muqayyar, was an important Sumerian city state between about 2025-1738 BC.
Aztlán, The Mythical Homeland of the...
Aztlan is the mythical homeland from which the Aztec/Mexica migrated to the Valley of Mexico in the 13th century.
What Archaeologists Have Learned about the City...
Jericho (also called Tell es-Sultan) is the name of tell situated on an ancient lake bed plain in what is known as the West Bank, in the territory belonging to Palestine.
Great Ball Court and Temple of the Jaguars
Chichen Itza - Great Ball Court and Temple of the Jaguars - A Walking Tour of Chichen Itza - Ancient Maya Ruins of Mexico. Page 10.
Who were the Nasca and why did they draw those...
The Nazca (often spelled Nasca in archaeological texts) civilization was located in the Nasca region as defined by the Ica and Grande river drainages, on the southern coast of Peru between about AD 1-750.
Where Are the Ruins of the Famed Kilwa Kisiwani?
On a small island off the coast of Tanzania lies the site of Kilwa Kisiwani, also called Kilwa, the most important of about thirty-five trading sites on the Indian Ocean during the 11th through 16th centuries AD.
What Culture First Domesticated the Cotton Plant?
Refer to this page to learn more about the origin of cotton domestication and cultivation
Oasis Theory
The Oasis Theory is a core concept in archaeology, referring to one of the main hypotheses about the origins of agriculture.
History of Shoes
Shoes are the use of typically organic materials (cloth, plant matter, wood, leather) to protect our feet, and they were likely invented some 40,000 years ago.
Caral: The Earliest Civilization in the New World
A collection of sites in the Supe Valley of Peru are proving to be the ancestral source of the Inca and other later civilizations of South and Central America. Caral and the other Supe Valley sites promise to teach us why people choose to become urban dwellers.
Were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon really in...
Secrets of the Dead: the Lost Gardens of Babylon from public television discusses the somewhat controversial theories from Stephanie Dalley about the whereabouts of the missing Ancient Wonder of the World
Centeotl
Centeotl was one of the many aspect of the maize god for the Aztec
Macuahuitl - The Wooden Sword of Aztec...
The macuahuitl is a Nahua term referring to an offensive weapon used by the Aztecs in combat. It is sometimes called a sword even if this tool bears no resemblance with the European sword.

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