Toltec Civilization Essay Research Paper Toltec Civilization — страница 2

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purpose of bringing forth a civilization is to make life better. What technology does is make life easier. A good example of this is the wheel. The wheel is considered the most important invention in history. The reason it was invented, it seems, was to make the movement of large, heavier objects easier. It, therefore, makes life easier. Technological advancements of this kind do not occur naturally without the help of civilized minds. One trait, almost exclusively exhibited by civilized societies, is the idea that the group is more important than the one. If one picks almost any civilization that ever arose on the planet, one will see this trait. The only place that I have seen where this is not true is in early European monarchies. A couple of Europe’s monarchies were all

right; the king or queen genuinely cared about the people. But, in most that I have learned about, the monarchs cared only for themselves, and gaining power. One must look at the carnage they have waged upon every other civilization on Earth, especially in the Americas. Putting the group before the one is obviously a needed characteristic for any civilization to survive. As I will show you, not only did the Toltecs excell in technology and emphasize the group, but they also taught two other tribes how to become civilized. Technology In Aztec, “Toltec” means “builder” (Tomkins, p. 20). This was no coincidence. When the Aztecs rewrote history, they attributed to the Toltecs the invention of painting, literature, sculpture, astronomy, and architecture (Gruzinski, p. 14). In

Aztec culture, a master craftsman of any type was called Toltec, which was the highest form of compliment (von Hagen, Sun, p. 29). What stands out most in Toltec technology has to be its architecture. Their first major city was Teotihuacan, located a couple of miles east of what is now Mexico City. Teotihuacan was by far the greatest city in all Mexico, as it is still the largest. It was built around 200 B.C. and occupied by Toltecs for about 1100 years until 900 A.D., when they were forced out by unknown forces (Sabloff, p. 112). The first feature the visitor to Teotihuacan notices is the Sun Temple, the largest pyramid in Mexico, even rivaling Egyptian pyramids. This poses an interesting question: are they related? The pyramid is 216 ft. high and covers about 10 acres. It was

built using a stepped-wall architecture, which is what all subsequent pyramids were based on (von Hagen, Sun, p. 31). An interesting discovery about this pyramid is that it appears to have been built in stages. A series of 6 smaller pyramids have been found underneath the outer shell (Tompkins, p. 334). The pyramid was probably used for ceremonial purposes, as is evidenced by the haunting figure of chac-mool. The chac-mool is a statue reclining in a semi-situp position. The head, which is held upward, faces away from its stomach, where it holds a dish. On this dish were placed freshly torn human hearts (Sabloff, p. 112). The temple shows an overall sense of planning. Could such a masterpiece been erected by even an army of primitive people? Only large scale planning could have

acomplished this, which can be seen in Teotihuacan’s three other large structures: the Moon temple, the temple of Quetzalcoatl, and the priest-king’s palace (von Hagen, Aztec, p. 39). Planning on a much grander scale can easily be seen if looking at the city as a whole. First, apparently every square foot of the city was paved. Instead of reinventing concrete for the Romans, though, the Toltecs used small stones and a type of mortar. No small task (Tompkins, p. 189). Through the center of the city there is a completely straight road running the length of the city North and South. At the North end is the Moon Temple, and at the other end is the palace and temple of Quetzalcoatl. In the center, facing west, is the Sun Temple. They are all evenly spaced (von Hagen, Aztec, p.

39). Even the houses of the common people show a sense of purpose. They are evenly laid out in subdivisions coming off the main road. Each house itself was functionally laid out with different rooms set up for different things (Tompkins, p. 189). The most mysterious thing about the city was its destruction. The whole city was buried under dirt, even the monolithic Sun temple! After digging up some buildings, a digger named Leopoldo Batres noticed that they appeared to have been burned. this burning would support the idea that some foreign tribe forced them out. But Bateres noticed one other small detail that says something different. The burial of some of the smaller buildings was done in a peculiar fasion: the interiors were filled with neatly piled stones fit together with