General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Sep 2017/8 Reed
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Aztec questions on display, Bridge & Patrixbourne Primary School

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Daily life

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The roles of men and women

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Health, nutrition & medicine

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Tenochtitlan — cityscape, architecture etc

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Warriors and the army

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Calendars, codices, astronomy

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The Sunstone

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The ballgame

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The Spanish conquest

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The Maya

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Here's what others have said:

Mexicolore replies: Most definitely! The symbols attached by a line depict the person’s name. For example, the first Aztec emperor Acamapichtli’s name means ‘Handful of Reeds’ and this symbol - a hand grasping a bundle of reeds - can be seen attached to his head by a black line.
Mexicolore replies: We’ve no idea! Probably just like any other ghosts.....
Mexicolore replies: • As far as we understand the Aztecs didn’t have a symbol for grandparents; the closest we get to them in Aztec iconography would be the depiction of the elderly in general with wrinkled faces...
• No, Guadalajara wouldn’t have been part of the Aztec empire: the most westerly outpost of the empire - in the direction of Guadalajara - would have been the shores of Lake Cuitzeo, near Morelia. Remember that the Aztecs never conquered the Tarascans, whose lands fell in between the Aztec territories and present-day Guadalajara.
Mexicolore replies: if you mean twins, triplets, etc. then yes, though these wouldn’t have been as common as today. In fact twins were thought to be particularly precious and ‘special’ in Aztec times.
Mexicolore replies: We think it was Yaotl (warrior) for a boy and Teyacapan (‘First-born’) for a girl; but remember that ‘official’ names were based on the calendar (the day you were born on) and of course these were evenly distributed throughout the year, so we can only talk about most popular nicknames rather than names in Aztec times.
Mexicolore replies: Many! The museum of the Templo Mayor (main Aztec temple) in Mexico City is full of sacrifice flints/obsidian blades, and they’re finding new ones all the time. Many ‘ofrendas’ (ritual offerings) include knives, as indications that the individuals themselves had been sacrificed to the gods. But many others are found with faces depicted on them: these represent the calendar/day sign ‘Tecpatl’, which is no. 18 in the calendar cycle of 20 signs. And yet others are undecorated and represent the black, dry, cold northern region of the universe, ravaged by fierce winds, ruled by the god Black Tezcatlipoca, one of whose characteristics was an obsidian blade symbolizing black wind.
Mexicolore replies: It was a sacred and ritual game that to a large extent represented the forces of the universe: the ball itself represented the movement of the Sun during the day in the sky. You can learn more about the meaning of the game in our ‘Aztefacts’ section - the article called ‘Oh balls!’
Mexicolore replies: After the heart was removed and burnt in the sacred bowl (the smoke would carry the heart’s ‘fuel’ up to the Sun God), the rest of the body was disposed of - not by being thrown away as rubbish, but by being thrown down the temple steps and then ceremoniously cut up and distributed, though not just to anyone - usually to the family of the warrior who had captured the victim (in battle) in the first place.
Mexicolore replies: There are two points here: the Aztecs would name a child ‘officially’ in the days following his/her birth, according to the sacred calendar (by consulting a soothsayer trained to read and interpret the day signs), but they would also (later) give the child a nickname, often linked to their features, looks or personality. You can see some examples of these on our website - go to the ‘Aztec Life’ section and click on ‘Tiger Top’.
Mexicolore replies: The game is still played, though nothing like on the scale in ancient times. Where it’s still played, it’s often just for tourists - very much like the ‘Voladores’ pole-flying ceremony from Papantla. There are a few regional variations, and one researcher (Professor Manuel Aguilar-Moreno) has studied a version that’s still played today at night (and they set fire to the ball!) - in olden days this would have represented the belief in the night-time Sun God who descends every day to illuminate the world of spirits in the underworld before being born again the next morning.

We’d be very surprised if the temple-pyramids didn’t have guards in ancient times, though we can’t think of a source of evidence for this right now...