Monday, September 7, 2009

Aztec Weapons: Ancient Technology Examined

The Aztec culture originated in the four-corner area of present day Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado. In the late twelfth century they began a slow migration southward until they reached Mexico and gained prominence in the late 1400s. The Aztecs were an advanced civilization that built intricate cities such as Tenochtitlan, which was their capital. Along the way, Aztec weapons of various types were crafted and created by this people. Indeed, it was the Aztec weapons that aided in giving this culture a strong edge for hundreds of years.

The Aztec army was highly organized and well trained. However, their main objective on the battlefield was not to force their opponents to retreat, but to capture as many of them alive as possible. This practice gave rise to the particular types of Aztec weapons that were used in battle.

In a close-range battle, the Aztecs would employ Aztec weapons such as bows and arrows, spears, and wooden swords. This sword, which was studded with sharp stones, was not meant to kill, but to restrain. Thus, the ultimate goal in battle was to disable their opponents, with a blow to the knee or leg, so that men from the rear could bind them with ropes. These captured warriors were used as laborers within the ever growing Aztec Empire.

There are number of museums and cultural centers in the Southwest United States and in Mexico that feature a wide and interesting selection of Aztec weapons. In addition, there are a number off solidly written books on the market that study Aztec culture, including Aztec weapons. These books readily are available through any major bookseller in the brick and mortar world, including most university bookstores. Additionally, there are many online venues through which books on the Aztec civilization can be purchased.