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Secrets of the Dead:
"Aztec Massacre"

60 min., 2008, DVD 1580

In the News

video homepage

 

Aztec Massacre video.

 

The remains at the the scene of a massacre at Zultepec suggest that major fighting occurred between Aztec and Spanish forces.

The remains at the the scene of a massacre at Zultepec suggest that major fighting occurred between Aztec and Spanish forces.

Forensic archaeological investigations at this ancient site have uncovered four hundred skeletal remains buried in a mass grave. How did they discover some of the human remains belonged to Spanish Conquistadors?

Aztec HomePage

Conquistadores HomePage

Abstract Terms / Concepts Notes
Cultures Sites Individuals Bibliography / Resources

Wikipedia:
Conquistador

Mesoamerica > Aztec


In the news...


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Aztec eagle in cactus.

"According to new research, some Aztec warriors (above)
fiercely attacked Spanish conquistadors
"

 

A re-enactment of an Aztec human sacrificefrom the eighth season of Secrets of the Dead.

"A re-enactment of an Aztec human sacrifice
from the eighth season of Secrets of the Dead.”

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Terms / Concepts

  • forensic anthropologists

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Notes

  • ritual war

    • the skilled Aztec warrior was judged by his ability to take captives unmarked and in perfect condition

    • 1487 -- thousands of prisoners were sacrificed at the inauguration of a new church on Lake Texcoco

      • continued for four days

    • by 1502 "the bloody empire extended from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean"

    • the maintenance of their empire required no garrisons or occupation forces

    • The Spanish made war in a new way

      • they did not take prisoners
      • they were not interested in prisoners for sacrifice, just elimination
      • They joined forces with the enemies of the Aztec
        • esp. the Tlaxcalans

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  • tzompantli (Aztec skull rack)

      • skulls in Mesoamerica generally represent death and the promise of resurrection

      Aztec tzompantli, or skull rack.

      Tzompantli, or skull rack



  • in 1519 the Indian population = 20,000,000

    • by 1608 it had declined to about 1,000,000

  • disease brought in by the Spanish eventually killed many more than war

  • The Aztec calendar predicted the return of a fair-skinned God at year "One Reed" (1519)

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  • The Aztec had more than 1000 gods

    • they represented birth, death and rebirth
    • many were decorated with skulls and snakes
    • earthquakes and volcanoes reminded the Aztecs that the gods controlled this world
    • every night the earth goddess devoured the sun
    • only human blood offering would bring it back
  • Aztec goddess.
    Aztec goddess

  • religious syncretism

    • Dia de los Muertos
      • the skull is not a mecabre representation, but a fact of life, representing death and the promise of resurrection

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Cultures

    • capital = Tula, Hidalgo

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Sites / Locations

  • Teotihuacán (Teotihuacanos)

    • was abandoned more than 500 years before the arrival of the Aztecs

    • Aztec mythology was built around this mysterious city

  • Tula, Hidalgo (Toltecs)

  • Lake Texcoco

  • Tenochtitlán (Aztec)

    • "The Venice of the Americas"

    • in the early 1500s = 300,000 people

      • four times the size of London of Henry VIII

    • "One of the most spectacular cities on earth."


  • Zultepec

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Individuals

  • Mochtezuma II
  • Quetzalcoatl
  • Hernán Cortez

Cortez Attacking Tenochtitlan
Cortés attacking Tenochtitlán

 

|

 

Aztec Map

Map of the Aztec Empire

 

Cortes' Route into Mexico

Cortes' Route into Mexico

(larger map)

 

Cortez Attacking Tenochtitlan

Cortés attacking Tenochtitlán



 

Aztec Sunstone Calendar

Aztec Sunstone Calendar

Aztec "Calendar"

 

Aztec eagle in cactus.

Aztec legendary eagle


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