General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 19 Sep 2017/8 Reed
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Aztec traders/loadbearers, from Florentine Codex

The wheel - would it have helped?

Aztec porters and merchants. This series of three images combines Aztec with European styles of drawing:-

‘The middle scene shows tameme porters, who were essential to a society that had not invented the wheel and used no beasts of burden. The painter employed a European approach to depict this scene, as it was still a common sight during the colonial period. The ancient style, however, was used to reconstruct scenes from the past - merchants from Tenochtitlan (cactus glyph) and Tlatelolco (hillock glyph) before the monarch Ahuitzotl (water-animal glyph) (top). The lower picture shows a merchant bargaining at the market’.
(Image from the Florentine Codex, info abridged from “Painting the Conquest” by Serge Gruzinski)

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