General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 18 Apr 2021/2 Flower
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Copper axe money

Aztec copper axe money

Copper axe money, Central Mexico, Post-classical Era, between 10th century and 1521 CE, height 12-14 cms. Royal Museum of Art and History Brussels.

At the markets within the Basin of Mexico, there were three forms of payment available in addition to exchange: cotton cloths, cocoa beans and small, non-functional copper axe blades. It is not yet known why these axe blades were used as a means of payment.

From Aztecs, eds. Doris Kurella, Martin Berger and Inés de Castro, with INAH, Mexico - catalogue for the exhibition Azteken, Linden Museum, Stuttgart, Hirmer Publishers, Germany, 2019, p. 302.

Photo by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore.

‘Beanz meanz money!’