Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Aztecs and The Building of Tenochtitlan

The Building of Tenochtitlan
About 1325, the Aztecs began building a capital city on the island in Lake Texcoco. They called the new capital Tenochtitlan (tay»nohch«teet»LAHN). In some ways the place said to be chosen by Huitzilopochtli was a good one. Having water all around made the island city easy to defend against attack. Also, the lake offered fish, water birds, and frogs for food.

However, the island had no farmland and no stone or wood for building. Flooding, too, was a problem.

The Aztecs found ways to solve all the problems caused by their location. First, they built causeways, or land bridges, to connect the island capital to the mainland. Then they made a dike, or earthen wall, 9 miles (14 km) long to protect the city from floods. They drove large posts deep into the ground and built reed houses on top of them. They traded with other peoples to get the wood and stone they needed for palaces and temples.

To solve the problem of not having enough farmland, the Aztecs built
chinampas (chee• NAHM• pahz) in their lake. Chinampas were human-made islands formed by weaving branches together to make huge underwater baskets. Trees planted around the baskets helped keep them in place. Workers then filled the baskets with mud from the lake's bottom. New islands of farmland now rose above the water. On these "floating gardens," farmers grew corn, beans, peppers, and avocados.

All these changes to the environment helped Tenochtitlan grow. By the 1400s Tenochtitlan had become a huge city of more than 300,000 people.

How did the Aztecs solve the problems caused by Tenochtitlan's location?

0 comments:

Post a Comment

ShareThis

Follow us