Basic Aztec facts: AZTEC HOUSES
Your ‘average’ Aztec house was plain and simple, whether you lived in a town or the countryside... One story high, one main room, a rectangular hut with an open doorway (onto a patio), the house backed onto the street... (Written by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)
|Pic 1: The inside of a reconstructed Aztec house (Click on image to enlarge)|
No chimney, no windows, the floor was usually of earth (sometimes stone), and the walls either ‘adobe’ (dried mud bricks), ‘wattle and daub’ (wooden strips woven together, covered in cheapo plaster) or (if you were better off) stone - or a mix: adobe bricks on stone foundations. In towns the outside walls were often whitewashed.
The roof was thatched and sometimes ‘gabled’ (see pic 1) or (in towns) low and flat (see pic 2).
|Pic 2: An Aztec house in the suburbs of Tenochtitlan (Click on image to enlarge)|
The main room was just for sleeping and eating: no-one spent much time there during the day. Lighting was by small flaming torches (made of pine resin) - and from the fire, in the centre of the house.
Sometimes - if you weren’t TOO poor - the kitchen was separate, in the courtyard, which you shared with neighbours.
|Pic 3: A model of a traditional peasant’s house in Mexico: notice the sweatbath! (Click on image to enlarge)|
Close by the house would be the sweat bath (like a sauna), shaped like an igloo (but HOT!) - see pic 3. Then you might have small turkey houses, maybe even bee hives...
Furniture? Think: reed mat bed, wooden chest, broom, digging stick, tools, seed basket, loom, hunting/fishing gear, water jar, pots, grinding stone, griddle, and a little altar.
Here's what others have said:
23 At 1.32pm on Monday November 14 2016, Ikhlas wrote:
22 At 9.44am on Tuesday April 12 2016, Eraser ;) wrote:
Hey mexicolore this did all my work you are the best web site ever made thaaaaaaaaaanks
21 At 7.55am on Saturday March 12 2016, Nora wrote:
This websight is AMAZING it really helped me with project
:-) :-) :-) THANKS
20 At 1.58pm on Thursday February 4 2016, tamiyah wrote:
I had to a project on the aztecs this really helped me THANKS.
19 At 10.16pm on Monday December 7 2015, Milla wrote:
What aspects of their culture influenced their housing?
Mexicolore replies: Great question. We’ve given you a few pointers here -
18 At 8.14am on Thursday July 9 2015, Sky wrote:
What about Aztec children?
Mexicolore replies: What about them...?!
17 At 7.30pm on Sunday December 14 2014, Lema Gaunt wrote:
what were the temples and aqueducts made of? This would be very helpful I cannot find it any where else and this website seems very loaded with information!
Mexicolore replies: In terms of the aqueducts, you can find a good part of the answer in our ‘Ask the Experts’ section, in October 2008 -
And as for temples/pyramids, this may help too -
http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/resources/ideas-for-exploring-temple-design (in our Resources section).
16 At 4.13pm on Wednesday April 30 2014, Aztec questioner wrote:
What was the outside of their house like? I’m talking about gardens, yard, porch, road, etc.
Thank you your website is very helpful!
Mexicolore replies: Some of this is answered above! Shared interior patio/courtyard, yes - sometimes with shared cooking facilities. Gardens - not for poor families but flowers yes, even the poorest home would have had flowers in it. The front of the house would open directly onto the local road.
15 At 4.21am on Monday March 31 2014, Gracie wrote:
I love Aztecs!!!
14 At 3.21pm on Thursday November 14 2013, Austy wrote:
How was food cooked in the kitchen? Obviosly they didn’t have microwaves
Mexicolore replies: On a clay griddle in the middle (pic 1 - spot it?)
13 At 4.55pm on Sunday October 20 2013, jamie wrote:
1)where are the houses located?
2)what was the time period the houses were used
3)what interact with the environment is used to make the houses
Mexicolore replies: Aztec houses, at least in towns, were grouped together around patios, usually with extended families occupying the neighbouring houses. Aztec houses were largely used just for sleeping in - most family members were out and about during the day. As the adobe bricks were sun-dried, the only significant impact on the environment would have been the cutting of trees for wood for those parts of the house, such as the roof, not made of adobe.
12 At 5.25pm on Wednesday May 29 2013, Joan Cline wrote:
How long did the pine-knot torches burn? Can you describe them?
Mexicolore replies: We’ve now added a little feature on these torches to answer your excellent question! Please go to our ‘Aztec Artefacts’ section and click on ‘Pine Torch’. The answer to your first question, BTW, appears to be around 2-3 hours...
11 At 12.45pm on Wednesday January 23 2013, Jodie Searle wrote:
Thanx for the info! it really helped!
it really helped me on my Aztec project! :-)
10 At 5.03am on Sunday January 20 2013, Jodie Searle wrote:
Hi Mexicolore! You came to my school (Stapleford) and I really enjoyed it! Thanx!! What is the climate like in Tenochtitlan?
Mexicolore replies: Thanks for writing, Jodie. We enjoyed coming to Stapleford! Mexico City (where Tenochtitlan used to be) is quite high up, so you tend to get cool-chilly nights and warm days. There have always basically been two opposite seasons in that part of the world: a dry season and a wet season. In Aztec times the dry season was the war season and the wet season was the farming season.
9 At 8.38am on Sunday January 13 2013, Milly wrote:
What furnishings were inside the rich/ poors huts? EXPLAAIINN! ;) x
Mexicolore replies: Excellent question, Milly! In fact we’re already planning a new feature on Aztec Furniture. We’ll try and upload it as soon as we can......... Thanks for writing!
8 At 8.36am on Sunday January 13 2013, Milly wrote:
Thanks very much for this, it helped me in a section of my project! ;) :) :D :P Cheers!
7 At 11.00am on Tuesday January 1 2013, hadi wrote:
thank you so much almost done my project yesss
6 At 9.59am on Thursday December 6 2012, Katherine smith wrote:
It was a really good help for my homework.
5 At 3.52am on Tuesday December 4 2012, jed wrote:
what did rich houses look like
Mexicolore replies: They would probably have had two stories, be made of stone, and have been finely decorated. We have info on this in our ‘Ask the Experts’ section, the answer for February 2007. Here’s a link to the page -
4 At 8.22am on Monday December 3 2012, jed wrote:
my teacher is really
inprest thank you
3 At 8.11am on Monday December 3 2012, jed wrote:
it is really intresting
it tells you everything.
2 At 10.48am on Monday April 23 2012, Mikayla morrison wrote:
What did aztecs use for jail?
Mexicolore replies: They didn’t have what we think of as ‘jails’. They did keep slaves temporarily in cages before they had been sold, but ordinary folk generally paid back their dues to society by working for the people they had wronged or stolen from. Maybe we could learn from this principle even today?
1 At 10.47am on Monday April 23 2012, Mikayla Morrison wrote:
Our teacher is teaching us about diffrent sivilisations and im doing aztecs .I find that the Aztecs are so cool once you learn all about them .