General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 28 Jan 2020/11 Jaguar
Text Size:

Search the Site (type in white box):

Article suitable for Top Juniors and above

Professor Elizabeth Graham

Question for January 2020

What was the WORST job to have in Aztec times? Asked by Dulwich Prep School. Chosen and answered by Professor Elizabeth Graham.

Follow the link (right) to learn how human waste was put to good use by the Mexica...
Follow the link (right) to learn how human waste was put to good use by the Mexica... (Click on image to enlarge)

Probably collecting the nightsoil (human waste, ie poo) to use as fertiliser. Or perhaps tanning hides.

(NOTE: ‘Tanning is the process of treating skins and hides of animals to produce leather... Before tanning, the skins are unhaired, degreased, desalted and soaked in water over a period of 6 hours to 2 days. Historically this process was considered a noxious or “odoriferous trade” [SMELLY!] and relegated to the outskirts of town’ - Wikipedia.)

Image from the Codex Borgia scanned from our own copy of the ADEVA facsimile edition, Graz, Austria, 1976 (pl. 14, detail).

‘Human waste was put to good use’

Learn more about going to the loo in Aztec times...

Professor Elizabeth Graham has answered 9 questions altogether:

What if an Aztec warrior died or was killed in battle (rather than being taken/taking captive)?

Did the Aztecs force you to be who you are?

Did people get paid for cleaning the city?

Did the Aztecs ever meet the Incas?

Why did the gods destroy the four [previous] worlds if they made them in the first place?

When women went to the market with babies on their backs, did other women ever try to steal them?

What’s the most interesting fact you’ve come across about the Aztecs? (2)

What percentage of Aztec society were slaves?

What was the WORST job to have in Aztec times?

Comment button