Aztec Science

  • Frances Berdan
Living reference work entry

The name Aztec most commonly refers to Nahuatl-speaking people who dominated the Basin of Mexico, and indeed much of central and southern Mexico, in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. The most prominent of these people called themselves Mexica. They settled their island city of Tenochtitlan (today Mexico City) in AD 1325, in the midst of a large number of well-established cities. The Mexica, as hunter and gatherer immigrants from the northern Mexican deserts, were latecomers to the Basin of Mexico and combined their nomadic-style culture with the ways of life of long-settled villagers and urban dwellers. In the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, numerous different ethnic groups coexisted in the Basin of Mexico; these groups were politically organized in city-states and exhibited visible emblems of their specific cultural identities (such as patron gods, clothing styles, and distinctive languages and dialects). Three of these groups, the Mexica of Tenochtitlan, the...


Celestial Body Herbal Remedy Seed Selection Precious Stone Spanish Conquest 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California State University San BernardinoSan BernardinoUSA