What is Aztec Design?
If you’ve ever wondered what is Aztec design, you’re not alone. Mesoamerican culture and art are fascinating and inspiring. Learn about Mesoamerican art, religion, and architecture. And discover why it has been reintroduced to the world. There’s more to Mesoamerican art than just the zigzag pattern. Keep reading to discover what the Aztecs used to decorate their buildings.
You may be wondering if Aztec design is Mesoamerican art or not. Well, both of these cultures are remarkably similar. They developed similar religious beliefs, used art as a means of public utility, and displayed their wealth through monuments, sculpture, and metalwork. But did you know that the Aztecs were also famous for their use of geometric stamps to create textiles? And did you know that their religious ceremony emphasized fertility?
The Mesoamerican art and culture was incredibly diverse. Their art used tools and materials from all over the world, from 260-day years to snarling jaguars. Mesoamerican artists also used figural representation and symbolism in their work. Sculpture often depicted celestial bodies, visions, and transformation, and many of these objects were used in ceremonies and for decorative purposes. Religion also played an important role in these civilizations, with many depictions of goddesses, gods, and deities.
Archaeologists have long studied the Aztec culture and their design. These ancient civilizations are a key link between pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica and the globalized world of the twentieth century. Their study is aided by the numerous manuscripts and eyewitness accounts that document the culture’s social and political changes. Archaeological studies have also shed light on the ancient Aztec city of Tenochtitlan.
While they had different designs and styles, Mesoamerican architecture was characterized by a unique worldview and many unsolved mysteries. This area of the world is one of four world zones, or large geographic regions that developed during periods of early agriculture and hunting and gathering. This makes Mesoamerican architecture more distinctive than other cultures. In addition to their artistic and technological achievements, Mesoamerican people were also known for their rigorous diet of grains and vegetables such as tomato and nopales.
A close look at the Aztec design and Mesoamerican religion will reveal how they viewed life and death. During the time of the Aztec civilization, humans were sacrificed to the gods. This was an integral part of their beliefs and a necessary act of love. The sacrifices ranged from food and flowers to effigies and quail. The larger the sacrifice, the more effort the gods had to exert to receive the offering. They also sacrificed blood, as the blood fed the gods and kept the sun from setting.
The Aztecs possessed a sophisticated priesthood, indicating that they were highly organized. Spanish documents record that each god and temple had an attendant priestly order. High priests, such as Huitzilopochtli and Tlaloc, served as the head of the priestly organization. Other roles included the education of novices, astrology, and temple lands. A priest’s role in an Aztec community included ensuring that the local community maintained calmecacs.
The Late Postclassic period saw the rise of the Mexica empire, and with it, the birth of the first central Mexican city to explicitly draw on the principles of Teotihuacan’s urban planning. Tenochtitlan probably began as an ordinary city-state capital, but as it grew in size, power, and wealth, its rulers sought to establish legitimacy by drawing on the ancient dynasties of Mesoamerica, which explains the eclectic set of planning principles that were characteristic of the time.
The Ciudadela and Street of the Dead Compounds are examples of large walled complexes that deviate from the Mesoamerican norms. Xalla, on the other hand, is a smaller walled complex located between the Sun and Moon Pyramids. The Xalla compound is the closest to the general model of a Mesoamerican palace, but it lacks the central courtyard.