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Aztecs: Incas Essay

1153 words - 5 pages

Aztecs: Incas
     At the time the Spaniards arrived to the New World they found different Indian civilizations with many similitude and differences. In Mexico the Spaniards found a very stable empire called the Aztecs; the Aztec empire controlled a region stretching from the Valley of Mexico in central Mexico east to the Gulf of Mexico and south to Guatemala. The Aztec built great cities and developed a complex social, political, and religious structure. Spaniards found another Indian civilization called Incas Empire; it was a vast kingdom in the Andes Mountains of South America, but at the time of the Spaniards conquest the empire was in a huge crisis caused by ...view middle of the document...

Tenochtitlán featured a huge temple complex, a royal palace, and numerous canals. Aztec cities were also dominated by giant stone pyramids topped by temples where human sacrifices were dedicated to their Gods.
     Aztec society was highly structured, based on agriculture, and guided by a religion that pervaded every aspect of life. The Aztec worshiped Gods represented natural forces that were vital to their agricultural economy. Although Aztec society had strict classes, a person’s status could change based on his or her contribution to society. The society was divided into different classes like for example the leader, the nobility, local rulers, military, priestly, artisans, and commoners (Class notes from 5/12/05).
     Furthermore, the Aztecs wrote in pictographs, or small pictures symbolizing objects or the sounds of syllables, as well they used pictographs for their counting system, which was based on the number 20; in addition, the Aztecs had a calendar called calendar stone, which weighs 22 metric tons and measures 3.7 m in diameter. The calendar stone represents the Aztec universe. The face of the sun (an Aztec God) is carved in the center.
     The other civilization conquest by the Spaniards was the Inca Empire. At the moment of the first contact between Spaniards and the Incas the Empire was in crisis, their leader “Topa” died and leaved the empire without a successor (Class notes 5/12/05). The Incas conquered a number of neighboring peoples as they expanded their area of influence outward from their home in the Cuzco valley of highland Peru. Also the Incas built a wealthy and complex civilization that ruled between 5 million and 11 million people. The empire language was called “Quechua”. The Inca society was strictly organized, from the emperor and royal family down to the peasants. The emperor was thought to be descended from the Sun God, and he therefore ruled with divine authority; all power rested in his hands.
     In the religion the supreme God of the Incas was the Creator God, Viracocha. The Incas also worshiped the Sun God, Inti, from whom the royal family was believed to be descended, and a number of other nature Gods that were vital to the success of their crops. The Incas also believed that certain objects and places were sacred.
     In addition, the priests treated most illness with healing ceremonies, the Incas were...

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