By Karen Latchana Kenney
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Pottery workers made everyday items, such as clay griddles for baking tortillas, as well as finer pieces meant for use in temples. Vendors at the marketplace sold the many goods and foods produced locally as well as goods that traders brought from far away. indd 53 10/28/14 1:33 PM A CLOSER LOOK TURQUOISE MOSAIC MASK OF XIUHTECUHTLI This Aztec mask is believed to represent the sun god Xiuhtecuhtli. 5 cm), has a wooden base that is covered with a mosaic of turquoise stones, mother-of-pearl shell, and white conch shell.
GODS, HEAVENS, AND THE UNDERWORLDS The Aztecs practiced polytheism, meaning they worshiped many gods. Some gods belonged to certain communities. After conquering new cities, the Aztecs adopted these different gods into their main religion and ceremonial cycle. This was one way to link the peoples of the Aztec empire. All gods had ties to nature, from the waters and rain to fire and the sun. The Aztecs believed the gods controlled every part of their lives. Although the Aztecs had many gods, some gods held a higher status within their mythology.
The second section lists the tributes given to the capital from more than 400 towns. The third section recorded Aztec life. One page of the codex, right, shows how spies were used to gather information about an enemy city. The spies are at the top of the page, shown visiting all parts of the city. The middle shows the Aztec official with a shield and arrows behind him. He is speaking with the people he will later defeat in battle. indd 42 10/28/14 1:33 PM Tlacatécatl, Tlacochcálcatl, Huiznáhuatl, and Ticocyhuácatl.
Ancient Aztecs by Karen Latchana Kenney