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An example of monumental archetecture within the Aztec society is the great pyramid of Tenochtitlan It was created by the revered speaker Montecuzoma I who was the ruler of the Aztecs in 1466 The pyramid was not finished until the rule of Montecuzoma II around 1508 Carrasco Moctezumas Mexico Pg 49 The pyramid was known to the Aztecs as the icpac tlamanacali or The Great Pyramid Its base was square and 150 yards to a side It rose toa height of 70 yards and had smooth sides The staircase ascending the front was actually two staircases one for people going up and one for people going down The staircases were separated by an ornamental gutter for blood to flow down The pyramid was used as an sacrificial altar on which people were sacrificed to the gods known to the Aztecs as the Flowery Death Jennings Aztec Pg 92 The temporal and spiritual heart of the Aztec empire was the island capital of Tenochtitlan and more specifically its ceremonial precinct and the Great Pyramid Crisscrossed by canals paralleled by streets it was described by the conquistadors as another Venice Like that country the ready access to water transport made heavy commerce a reality It is said that 200000 canoes could be found on the lake in the early 16th century Coe Atlas of Ancient America pg 125 It is difficult to estimate the size of the city when Cortes first arrived but it is estimated at 100000 with the Aztec empire containing more then 10 million Coe Atlas of Ancient America pg 128 Unlike European provinces Aztec cities and towns had working drinking water and waste treatment systems An intricate plumbing system using clay pipes ran down from the mountains around Mexico valley to all of the towns and cities in the valley As
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