Aztec Achievements

The history of the Aztecs and their tremendous civilization is even today something we all like to read about. Sadly the Aztec achievements are a bit difficult to judge. Why? We all know the story of how the city and citizens were decked with gold for the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. But as it turned out, the arrival of Spanish conquistadors was the downfall of the Aztec civilization. In fact the entire civilization was butchered for a few paltry pieces of gold. The invading Spanish catholic friars and monks also destroyed all Aztecs books and codices which were records of Aztec history and inventions they had made. A great disappointment! But many of the Aztec achievements and innovation have still survived to this day and a few of them were really magnificent. Let’s take a look at what the Aztecs contributed to modern and ancient civilization other than gold and human sacrifice.

Aztec Achievements: Chewing Gum

Chewing gum - the Aztecs were the first to notice that the sap of the plant or the thick milky liquid of the sapodilla tree could be chewed and quickly hardened into a chewable gum. The liquid was referred to as "chicle", and commonly used by the commoner of the Aztecs society. Although the Spanish didn’t really have much use for it and promptly destroyed the trading routes by which the Aztecs used to bring in the sap.

Aztec Achievements: Compulsory Education

Compulsory education-this I found really, really attractive. Imagine cannibalistic, human sacrificing savages to be so forward thinking as to ensure that the children got a good grounding of the culture for free. Even the most modern advanced of nations till date can’t provide such a thing. Really great for a ancient civilization!

Aztec Achievements: Popcorn

Popcorn - Yes, that’s right! Although this was around way before the Aztecs, it’s the Aztecs who bought it to the attention of the Spanish. The popped corn was eaten along with being an ornament of the headdresses of the nobility as well as the headdresses of the priests and Tlaloc, the god of maize and fertility.

Aztec Achievements: Chocolate

Chocolate - An all time favorite! The Aztecs are to be totally credited with discovering now to grind the beans to remove the sweet sap for drinking. Chocolate was highly expensive in the Aztec culture as it was considered as currency. The Aztecs also considered it an important tribute to the gods and it was commonly used during the sacrificial process. They are also credited with brewing the drink xocoatl which comprises a chocolate drink that was of cocoa beans, corn flour, water and chilies. The drink was so valuable, that it was reserved for the noble classes only.

Aztec Achievements: Anti spasmodic medication

Anti spasmodic medication - The Aztecs were really advanced with medical surgeries as well and regularly used the passionflower to relax muscles during surgeries to make operation more successful.

Aztec Achievements: Mathematics and Calendar

Aztecs also independently conceived the idea of zero in their numbering system. They had an advanced understanding on mathematics though not much is known about that. They also devised a surprisingly accurate calendar. Many of their dates and measurements are on the dot for the calendar.