When victims reached the altar they were stretched across a sacrificial stone. A priest with an obsidian knife cut open the victim\'s chest and tore out his heart. The heart was placed in a bowl called a chacmool. This heart was used as an offer to the gods. If they were in dire need, a warrior would be sacrificed, but for any other sacrifice a normal person would be deemed sufficient. It was a great honor to be chosen for a sacrifice to the gods. The Aztec held many religious ceremonies to ensure good crops by winning the favor of the gods and then to thank them for the harvest. Every 52 years, the Aztec held a great celebration called the Binding up of the Years. Prior to the celebration, the people would let their hearth fires go out and then re-light them from the new fire of the celebration and feast. A partial list of the Aztec gods: CENTEOTL, The corn god. COATLICUE, She of the Serpent Skirt. EHECATL, The god of wind. HUEHUETEOTL, The fire god. HUITZILOPOCHTLI, The war/sun god and special guardian of Tenochtitlan. MICTLANTECUHTLE, The god of the dead. OMETECUHLTI and his wife OMECIHUATL, They created all life in the world. QUETZALCOATL, The god of civilization and learning. TEZCATLIPOCA, The god of Night and Sorcery. TLALOC, The rain god. TONATIUH, The sun god. TONANTZIN, The honored grandmother. XILONEN, "Young maize ear," Maize represents a chief staple of the Aztecs. XIPE TOTEC, The god of springtime and re-growth. Aztec dances: The Aztec Dance is known for its special way of expressing reverence and prayer to the supernatural gods of the sun, earth, sky, and water. Originally, the resources accessible to the native Indians were limited, yet they were able to create lively music with the howling of the sea conch, and with rhythms produced by drums and by dried seeds which were usually tied to the feet of the dancers. Summary: Overall, I feel that the Aztec civilization was very advanced. It had a very complex structure in which there were lower class, middle class and upper class peoples. They had a good system of transportation and irrigation through the use of canals. They had a strong warfare system, which was seen by their conquering of many lands. They also had their own language, and their own mathematical system. Their scholars were also very intelligent, they had developed their own system of time measurement and a calendar system that was very accurate. References: 1) Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Version 7.0.5 CD-ROM Grolier Inc.1995 2) Microsoft Encarta 96 CD-ROM Microsoft, 1996 3) Internet Addresses:
http://www.mexicana.com/english/community/29nf-aztec.shtml
http://udgftp.cencar.udg.mx/ingles/Precolombina/Azteca/mexintro.html
http://www.rmplc.co.uk/eduweb/sites/wickham/topics/aztecs/aztecs.html