Many important and innovative inventions made or introduced by the ancient Aztecs still influence modern life. While the Aztecs are credited with innovations invented by others, the Aztecs were the ones who introduced many of these new ideas and concepts to the world. Many things we use and enjoy today were introduced by the Aztecs over 500 years ago.
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While education was not a new concept, the idea of universal free education for all was. The Aztec schools were divided into a school for girls, a school for upper-class males and a separate school for lower-class males. Girls learnt domestic tasks while the upper-class male school taught skills like dream interpretations, language and other liberal arts. The school for the lower-class males trained the boys for combat as well as teaching them a varied curriculum.
The Aztecs did not invent the popping of corn, but they are credited with introducing it to the rest of the world. In the Aztec culture, corn was popped and used to decorate head pieces. It was also used as an offering and embellishment to the Aztec god of maize or corn and fertility. Enjoying this popular movie snack today would not have been possible without an introduction from the ancient Aztecs.
The Aztecs introduced one of the most delicious winter treats, hot chocolate. Cacao beans were of high value in the Aztec culture. Incorporating the cacao bean into their rituals, the Aztecs concocted a beverage using the beans, corn flour, chilli peppers and water. This spicy hot chocolate was a drink favoured by the upper class. After being introduced to sugar by the Spanish, the Aztec sweetened this treat. Mexican hot chocolate is spicy, chocolatey treat that still can be found today.
The Aztecs utilised several calendars, including one made up of 365 days. These calendars were round wheels, one of which depicted 18 20-day months with an extra five unlucky days at the end of the year. In addition to showing the month, the calendar also detailed the various appropriate seasonal activities. A second, shorter calendar wheel had only 260 days and focused more on counting the days rather than months and seasons.
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