By Lynn V. Foster
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Additional resources for A Brief History of Mexico
Unprecedented, however, was the Aztecs domination of most of the land and their onerous demands for tribute. Their enemies soon would find an opportunity to fight back. 43 3 The Age of Conquest They came in battle array, as conquerors, and the dust rose in whirlwinds on the roads, their spears glinted in the sun, and their pennons fluttered like bats. They made a loud clamor as they marched, for their coats of mail and their weapons clashed and rattled . . they terrified everyone who saw them An Aztec account (translated by Miguel León-Portilla) The greatest thing after the creation of the earth, excepting the incarnation and death of he who created it, is the discovery of the Indies.
650 and 750 Teotihuacán’s elite lost control. The sacred center of the city was burned and sacked and never again occupied. The city never recovered its farflung trade or prestige. Archaeologists remain uncertain as to whether the populace rose up in rebellion against oppressive ruling powers or whether other city-states, competing for the lucrative trade of Teotihuacán, invaded the city. What is certain is that after 800 years, Teotihuacán ended cataclysmically. D. 900) In contrast to highland Teotihuacán, the Maya flourished in the southern lowland rain forests of Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize (see map, page 8) where colorful bird feathers and jaguar pelts were valued trade items.
Whether that contact was always peaceful is unclear, given the defensive position of Monte Albán. Yet there was an enclave of Oaxaqueños at Teotihuacán, and archaeologists have found remnants of a Teotihuacano-style palace at Monte Albán from the Early Classic period. The two cities certainly traded, but whether this trade was in the form of tribute or exchange remains uncertain. Although Monte Albán differed from the central Mexican city in its artistic preference for portraiture and its use of writing on public monuments, the warrior dress of its rulers and the mural art of its elaborate stone tombs shows borrowing from that great city.
A Brief History of Mexico by Lynn V. Foster