What Were Aztecs Temples Made Of?

What Were Aztecs Temples Made Of?

The Aztecs utilized tezontle, a bright and easy-to-cut volcanic stone, as the foundation for their structures. Local stone resources like rubble and limestone were also employed by the Aztecs, and they were often traded.

The Aztecs cut their stones primarily for adornment, giving their structures and materials a distinct appearance that provided texture and visual punch.

The Aztecs built their temples with simple tools like stones, chisels, and blades. Because the soil on their land was prone to sinking owing to the warm and sometimes moist environment, they concentrated on creating solid foundations.

Even though the Aztecs were described as barbaric and uncivilized by the early Spanish conquistadors, they were very sophisticated. Their engineering abilities were impressive, as they solved their agricultural issues by building raised beds amid the lake that surrounded their island house.

What Tools Did The Aztecs Use To Build Temples?

The Aztecs are thought to have utilized sleds, levers, and ropes to lift larger objects, as well as rudimentary tools such as chisels, stones, and blades for building. Because it was easy to cut, a volcanic stone called tezontle was utilized to build the foundations of their structure.

In contrast to the enormous stone temples, Aztec dwellings were mostly made of interconnected wood planks. Mud bricks were possibly utilized as well (adobe). The houses’ floors were generally composed of earth, although they might also have been made of stone.

The Aztec civilization had access to a wide range of resources that aided in the creation of implements. Obsidian, copper, andesite, flint, wood, siding, and chert were among the materials they frequently utilized.

Aztecs utilized wood and local soil, as well as a particular type of sun-dried brick known as adobe, as construction materials. These were the most prevalent materials used to create Aztec structures. Lime plaster was imported to build the walls and floors of the nobility’s enormous mansions.

What Were The Aztec Temples Like?

Aztec temples were, and still are, sacred and glory. They are located at the top of the Aztec pyramid. Temple pyramids were tall structures forming four main platforms with grand stairways running up one side, designed using ancient Mesoamerican architectural traditions dating back thousands of years.

Religious rites and sacrifices were performed in temple-pyramids. Cholula, near Mexico City, is home to one of the world’s biggest pyramids.

The majority of pyramids began as simple platforms composed of organic materials like clay and wood. As the Aztecs grew more powerful and affluent, they constructed larger pyramids directly on top of the previous ones! Larger, more magnificent temples would honor the gods and, perhaps, make them pleased, thus it was necessary to rebuild pyramids.

 Within the levels of pyramids, many magnificent gifts to the gods have been discovered. The stages of the building of Tenochtitlan’s Great Temple are seen the figure right up there. Some of the pyramids had seven levels!

Round pyramids were less frequent, although they have utilized extensively across the Aztec kingdom. They were smaller than traditional pyramids and featured stairs leading up to a circular temple with a cone-shaped top.

Inside the levels of Aztec temple pyramids, archaeologists are continually discovering amazing artifacts. At every step of construction, offerings to the gods were put in these structures. Here are a few of the most valuable items discovered thus far: human remains, jaguar throne, and the ChacMool.

What Is The Most Famous Aztec Temple?

The Templo Mayor (Main Temple) at Tenochtitlan, the Aztec empire’s capital, was located in the city’s heart, and it was here that the most significant ritual and ceremonial events in Aztec culture took place. It commanded the Sacred Precinct as well as the entire city.

The spectacular building, which stood around ninety feet tall, was made up of two stepped pyramids rising side by side on a massive platform. It commanded the Sacred Precinct as well as the entire city. The twin pyramids represented two holy mountains: the Hill of Sustenance on the left, whose patron deity was Tlaloc, the ancient god of rain, and the Hill of Coatepec on the right, which was the birthplace of the Aztec battle god Huitzilopochtli.

The statues of the two major deities were devoted to and housed in the temple buildings on top of each pyramid. Broad stairs bordered by balustrades provided access to these shrines. At their base, sculptures of figures holding standards showed banners made of colorful paper and feathers, while closer to the top, sculptures of figures holding standards displayed banners made of brilliant paper and feathers.

The Templo Mayor’s seven major construction periods began with a modest edifice erected in 1325, possibly dedicated to Huitzilopochtli, when Tenochtitlan was created. The Templo Mayor increased in size and complexity through time, eventually becoming the spectacular building observed by the Spaniards in 1519.

The Templo Mayor was demolished during the Spanish Conquest in 1521, and what remained was buried. The stones were employed to construct structures such as the Cathedral in the Viceroyalty of New Spain’s newly formed capital (1521-1821).

How Did The Aztecs Move Building Materials?

The Aztecs utilized canoes as barges to transport heavy building materials over great distances to their construction sites. To decrease the weight of materials to carry, stones would be mined and fashioned on-site. 

When you look at the massive structures the Aztecs created, especially in their capital city of Tenochtitlan, you’d think they couldn’t have done it with wheeled vehicles. The Aztecs, on the other hand, were excellent city designers and engineers.

When they arrived at Lake Texcoco in the early 1300s, they used canals and dikes to transform a marshy island in the lake into a prosperous metropolis with regulated water flow. They also built elevated agricultural beds on the lake that they could control with boats.

Summary: 

Aztec temples, like other religious and cultural components of the Aztec society, had a long history that reached well beyond the Aztec kingdom. Many large pyramids existed before the Aztec Empire was founded, and these pyramids were eventually proclaimed sacred and utilized as temples by the Aztecs. 

The Great Pyramid of Cholula, for example, began construction in the 3rd century BC and was completed by the 9th century AD, long before the Aztecs arrived. The Aztecs, on the other hand, built several new pyramids that served as temples. The renowned Templo Mayer, which began building about 1325, is an example of this latter kind of temple.