Aztecs

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aztecs




Mayans, Incas and Aztec Civilizations


The Mayan, Inca, and Aztec civilizations each originated from Latin America. The Mayans
lived in southern and central Mexico, other Mayans lived in Central America in the present
day countries of Belize, Guatemala, and ancient Honduras. The Incas lived along the long
coastal strip, and in the high peaks and deep fertile valleys of the Andes Mountains, and
along the edges of the tropical forest to the east; this would be the country of Peru,
Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina in present days. The Aztecs were from Aztlan
located in both north and northwest Mexico.

These civilizations were possible because the people in the areas became sedentary and
agricultural. They were able to do this because of the vast natural resources and
climates of where they lived. Their cultures were for the most part male dominated,
possessions usually past through the male line from one male member to another male.
Women would normally move to the male’s village when they got married. All three empires
had some form of writing, the use of a calendar and math. They all had elaborate and
highly decorated ceremonial architecture, including temple-pyramids, palaces and
observatories, all built without metal tools. They had no metal tools, no draft animals,
and very little use of the wheel. They did understand the use of the wheel but because of
the geography where they lived they could use it very little.

All three civilizations were warlike; because they were sedentary and could grow enough
food for the people to eat they always had large populations, which gave them manpower for
military expeditions. The Aztecs and Incas had military warehouses setup in different
areas in case of war. They mainly used clubs and relied upon man-to-man conflict with no
real tactics. If the Mayan commander was captured or killed they would just retreat until
they appointed a new commander. They did not have a set military hierarchy, they just
picked who they thought was best for the job at that time. Expansion was the cornerstone
of the Aztec civilization, because their religion demanded that a large number of human
sacrifices be made to the gods. To get these sacrifices the Aztec went to war with other
tribes; in this way they captured more slaves for sacrifices and also more land to add to
their empire. The Aztec was a strong civilization who had specialized war chiefs and an
organized system for amassing large armies in a short time.

Each Maya City governed the area surrounding it; some large cities each controlled one or
more of the smaller cities. If the leader died his younger brother or son would succeed
the ruler. This led generations of a single family to rule for hundreds of years. In the
Andes, the Incas, kept their power by providing entertainments and giving luxurious gifts
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