Week Three
The Tenochca Empire (aka the Aztecs)
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I. The Postclassic period

A. Major characteristics

- fragmentation
- migrations
- warfare

- religious exchange

Quetzalcoatl
Tollan
Toltecs

NOTE: this is a larger idea than just people/culture from the city-state of Tula

B. Major sites and centers

1. Oaxaca

- Zapotecs and Mixtecs

Mitla, 1300-1521

2. Maya

- Yucatan peninsula

Chichen Itzá, 750-1200
Mayapán, 1283-1450

- Guatemala/Chiapas highlands

Iximché (Kaqchikel), 1470-1527
Q'umarkaj/Utatlán (K'iche'), 1225-1524

3. Central Mexico

Cholula, 100-1520
Tula, 800-1150
Tenochtitlan, 1325-1521


II. The Tenochca empire

A. Who are the 'Aztecs'?

- Aztlán
- Chicomoztoc
- 'Chichimecs' vs. 'Toltecs'
- Mexica = one of seven Chichimec tribes, founders of Tenochtitlan
- Nahuas = native speakers of Nahuatl in central Mexico
- altepetl = multi-ethnic city-states
- The Triple Alliance, est. 1428

1. Tenochtitlan = the Tenochca Mexica
+ Tlatelolco = the Tlatelolca Mexica

Together they are just the Mexica,
in Spanish, the "mexicanos"

2. Tlacopan = the Tepaneca
3. Texcoco = the Acolhua

B. Aztec imperialism

1. Major expansions

- 1440-1468, Moctezuma I (Tenochca Mexica)
- 1486-1502, Ahuitzotl (Tenochca Mexica)

2. Methods of conquest

- sequential and methods
- goal: trade and tribute
- ritual and the maintenance of empire

Flowery Wars (against Tlaxcala and Huejotzingo)
Human and other sacrifice

3. The imperial city


III. Learning to read 'Aztec' and 'Oaxacan'

- res gestae (primarily Mixtec)
- cartographic histories (primarily Nahua)
- annals (primarily Aztec/Mexica)