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AztecsAn example of monumental archetecture within the Aztec society is the great pyramid ofTenochtitlan It was created by the revered speaker Montecuzoma I who was the ruler ofthe Aztecs in 1466 The pyramid was not finished until the rule of Montecuzoma IIaround 1508 Carrasco Moctezumas Mexico Pg 49The 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 hadsmooth sides The staircase ascending the front was actually two staircases one for peoplegoing up and one for people going down The staircases were separated by an ornamentalgutter for blood to flow down The pyramid was used as an sacrificial altar on whichpeople were sacrificed to the gods known to the Aztecs as the Flowery DeathJennings Aztec Pg 92The temporal and spiritual heart of the Aztec empire was the island capital ofTenochtitlan and more specifically its ceremonial precinct and the Great PyramidCrisscrossed by canals paralleled by streets it was described by the conquistadors asanother Venice Like that country the ready access to water transport made heavycommerce a reality It is said that 200000 canoes could be found on the lake in the early16th century Coe Atlas of Ancient America pg 125It 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 128Unlike European provinces Aztec cities and towns had working drinking water andwaste treatment systems An intricate plumbing system using clay pipes ran down from themountains around Mexico valley to all of the towns and cities in the valley As the waterran into each town or city it was the dispersed to 10 or 12 places around town were itflowed into a pool for drinking water or was piped into public baths and toilets Onlynobles had working drinking and bathing systems
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