However, one attestation in the late 16th-century manuscript known as "the Bancroft dialogues" suggest the second vowel was short, so that the true etymology remains uncertain. Tenochtitlan is the southern part of the main island under the red line. The northern part is Tlatelolco. Tenochtitlan covered an estimated 8 to
How did the Aztecs turn an island into such a great city?
First, they reclaimed land from the lake by sinking timbers into the water to The wonders of tenochtitlan as walls. Then, they filled in the area between the timbers with mud, boulders, and reeds.
At the center of the city lay a large ceremonial plaza. Here, the Aztecs gathered for religious rituals, feasts, and festivals. A wall about eight feet high enclosed this area.
It was studded with sculptures of serpents. The palaces and homes of nobles lined the outside of the wall. Inside the plaza, a stone pyramid called the Great Temple loomed feet into the sky.
People could see the pyramid, which was decorated with bright sculptures and murals, from several miles away. It had two steep stairways leading to double shrines. In front of the shrines stood the stone where priests performed human sacrifices. Other structures in the plaza included more shrines and temples, the ritual ball court, military storehouses, and guest rooms for important visitors.
Just outside the plaza stood the royal palace. The two-story palace seemed like a small town. The palace was the home of the Aztec ruler, but it also had government offices, shrines, courts, storerooms, gardens, and courtyards.
At the royal aviary, trained staff plucked the valuable feathers from parrots and quetzals. Wild animals captured throughout the empire, such as pumas and jaguars, prowled cages in the royal zoo.
Each day, as many as sixty thousand people came from all corners of the Aztec Empire to sell their wares. Goods ranged from luxury items, such as jade and feathers, to necessities, such as food and rope sandals.
Merchants also sold gold, silver, turquoise, animal skins, clothing, pottery, chocolate, vanilla, tools, and slaves. Four wide avenues met at the foot of the Great Temple. A thousand workers swept and washed down the streets each day, keeping them cleaner than streets in European cities.
At night, pine torches lit the way. People also traveled on foot on smaller walkways or by canoe on the canals that crossed the city.
Many of the canals were lined with stone and had bridges. Three causeways linked the island to the mainland. The longest of them stretched five miles.
The causeways were 25 to 30 feet wide. They all had wooden bridges that could be raised to let boats through or to protect the city in an enemy attack. The city boasted other technological marvels, like the aqueducts that carried fresh water for irrigation.
Twin pipes ran from the Chapultepec springs, three miles away. While one pipe was being cleaned or repaired, the other could transport water.
A dam ten miles long ran along the east side of the city to hold back floodwaters.Cortes' motives to write about Tenochtitlan is very political in nature.
Cortes is known to be a conquistador and it is in his great interests to have some form of power in this discovery. Seeing how wealthy Tenochtitlan is, he is awed and impressed at all the rare sights. Cortes’ second letter to Charles V details Tenochtitlan almost in minutia.
This letter is considered a primary source because it is a first-hand account of what Cortes witnessed during his discovery and conquering of the people.
What can you infer about Cortes’ motives in writing about “the wonders of Tenochtitlan” and the Aztecs? Why did he choose to write about the topics he addressed in this letter? Who is is intended audience, and how might that have influenced the letter?
Unit 1 – The Wonders of Tenochtitlan The second letter that Hernan Cortés wrote to King Charles V can be identified as a primary source. The reason being, because Cortés write the letter in his native language at the time he was battling the Mexicans. Visit or learn what the 7 wonders of the world are as well as the ancient, modern, natural & forgotten wonders as possible sites of interest on your next trip.
Visit or learn what the 7 wonders of the world are as well as the ancient, modern, natural & forgotten wonders as possible sites of interest on your next trip.