In spite of what could be considered a great quantity of restored monuments at the site, archaeological excavations at Teotihuacan continue to this day, and have given as a result a gradual increase in the quality and quantity of knowledge which is had about this city, of which, certainly, questions as important as the original name and the ethnic affiliation of its founders are unknown. The first Toltec leaders were Ce Tecpatl Mixcoatl and his son Ce Acatl Topiltzn that became a great ruler and went on to acquire the name of the great god, the Feathered Serpent amongst his many titles. Aztec oral histories and their surviving codexes describe the Toltecs as wise, civilized, wealthy urban people who lived in Tollan, a city filled with buildings made of jade and gold. Much of what is known about the Toltecs is based on what has been learned about the Aztecs, another Mesoamerican culture that postdated the Toltecs and admired the Toltecs as predecessors. The city of Tula (Tollan) is found on a promontory which dominates the Tula River and presents good defensive conditions. Accounts by the Tlaxcaltecas, the primary enemy of the Aztecs at the time of the Spanish Conquest, show that at least some of them considered it an honor to be sacrificed. The "Toltec Empire" was a semi-mythical origin story told by the Aztecs. , A contrary viewpoint is argued in a 2003 study by Michael E. Smith and Lisa Montiel who compare the archaeological record related to Tula Hidalgo to those of the polities centered in Teotihuacan and Tenochtitlan. The Toltecs interacted with societies of the Mesoamerican that in turn influenced each other’s culture. Aztec mythology is the body or collection of myths of Aztec civilization of Central Mexico. However, this skeptical school of thought acknowledges that Tula still contributed to central Mexican cultural heritage in unique ways. French expeditionary photographer Desirée Charnay (1828–1915) raised money to follow the legendary journey of Quetzalcoatl from Tula eastward to the Yucatan peninsula. They adorned their temples and palaces with paintings and sculptures. It's possible, perhaps likely, that much of that flow of ideas came about as a byproduct of the establishment of inter-regional trade networks, trade networks including such materials as obsidian and salt which were established by the 4th century CE (and probably much earlier) but really kicked into gear after the fall of Teotihuacan in 750 CE. Tenochtitlan 23. A Critique of the Mixteca-Puebla Concept", Portal:Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Population history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Painting in the Americas before European colonization, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Toltec&oldid=985900942, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Articles lacking in-text citations from February 2017, Articles needing additional references from January 2013, All articles needing additional references, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 28 October 2020, at 16:44. It is possible that these newcomers, which included the Chichimecs, the Mixtecs, and the Aztecs, destroyed the Toltecs. Tzahuindanda, who the legend says took from a sack as many warriors as he wanted.  This caused Graulich and Gillespie to suggest that the general Aztec cyclical view of time, in which events repeated themselves at the end and beginning of cycles or eras was being inscribed into the historical record by the Aztecs, making it futile to attempt to distinguish between a historical Topiltzin Ce Acatl and a Quetzalcoatl deity.  Florescano adds that the Mayan sources refer to Chichén Itzá when talking about the mythical place Zuyua (Tollan). ), situated in the basin of the Coatzacoalcos river, in the state of Veracruz. Now customize the name of a clipboard to store your clips. Learn more about ancient American cultures at HISTORY.com. approx. Priests would have stood on the platform at the top to perform religious duties and sacrifices. From the 13th century, the Valley of Mexico was the heart of Aztec civilization; here the capital of the Aztec Triple Alliance, the city of Tenochtitlan, was built upon raised islets in Lake Texcoco. The indigenous were not slaves, chattel bought and sold or removed from their home community, but the system was one of forced labor. Required fields are marked *.  The Aztec oral and pictographic tradition also described the history of the Toltec Empire, giving lists of rulers and their exploits. Top image: Magnificent columns in the form of Toltec … Modern-day Mexico City is built on the site of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. San Lorenzo was sacked in the year 900 B.C., and the monumental sculptures endured an attempt to destroy them; some were buried, and others were moved to the ceremonial center of La Venta. The term Prehispanic America is commonly used in Spanish-speaking countries. And who were the Toltecs, the legendary rulers of this glorious city? To one side of the square was constructed a great pyramidal base, composed of several inclined superimposed sections, lined with slabs arranged in rows of four. Agriculture played a key role in the Aztec civilization. Along with these distinct relics, the Toltecs also built distinctive pyramids that mirror other sites, such as Chichén Itzá. It is at a distance of 40 kilometers to the northeast of Mexico City and forms a part of the municipalities of San Juan Teotihuacan and San Martín de las Pirámides, in the northeast of the state of Mexico. Tula was the capital of the militaristic Toltecs. Today Durán's work still holds relevancy to those studying Mesoamerican societies and based on his findings Durán claims that the Toltecs were disciples of the "High Priest Topiltzin.
The later Aztec culture saw the Toltecs as their intellectual and cultural predecessors and described Toltec culture emanating from Tōllān [ˈtoːlːaːn] (Nahuatl for Tula) as the epitome of civilization; in the Nahuatl language the word Tōltēcatl [toːlˈteːkat͡ɬ] (singular) or Tōltēcah [toːlˈteːkaʔ] (plural) came to take on the meaning "art… They also constructed buildings around central courtyards, characteristic of the later civilizations of the area. The empire is believed to have slowly disintegrated through a combination of natural phenomena such as drought, famine and internal dispute.
The Aztecsc. As they increased in numbers, the Aztecs … Death and ritual blood sacrifice ensured the sun would rise again and crops Aztec accounts don't all agree: at least one says that Quetzalcoatl destroyed Tollan as he left, burying all the marvelous things and burning everything else. But his piety excited anger among the sorcerers of Tollan, who were intent on destroying his people. There is also a form of government that is part of the Toltec package, a council-based government rather than a centralized kingship, but where that arose is anybody's guess. However, in the city of Tollan, there were signs of violent destruction and the site was looted by the Aztecs. They called themselves Mexica.
Among modern scholars it is a matter of debate whether the Aztec narratives of Toltec history should be given credence as descriptions of actual historical events. They Had a Connection to Chichen Itza. The Toltecs are believed to have originated from the Tolteca-Chichimeca people who had migrated from the deserts of the northwest to the Mexico Valley.
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