Aztec and Inca DBQ

6 June 2016

Both the Aztecs and the Incas demonstrated outstanding cultural, intellectual, and religious developments in their societies. These Empires maintained a high level of cultural development due to their social, architectural, and religious aspects. The social effects of the Aztec and Incan Empires clearly emphasized the amazing cultural development that occurred there. The Mendoza Codex (Document 1) is an example that shows the daily activities and customs of the Aztec society. It shows the type of work done by people depending on their gender. The men were taught how to fish and hunt while the women were taught how to work with crafts. The point of view is the author(s) that wrote the Mendoza Codex and believed what was right for each gender.

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The page from the Codex Mendoza (Document 6) shows how advanced the Aztec marketplace was because of the great variety of goods they contained. The point of view was probably from the author(s) that wrote the Codex Mendoza and saw the items that were being sold there. In the memoirs of the conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo, he describes the quality and vast amounts of goods sold at the Aztec marketplace (Document 7).

He states how the items were displayed and the policies that enforced order throughout the marketplace. Bernal Diaz is the author of this document and does show bias because he compared the Aztec marketplace to the marketplace of Portugal, and is truly only interested in gold, silver, and slaves, rather than everything else that is offered in the marketplace. The picture of the Chinampa system shows the importance of the agricultural method of the Aztecs as well as how the geography of the area promoted its use (Document 8). Much force needed to be exerted by the workers in order to harvest the crops because of the soil-dredged islands. Although it required a lot of labor, it resulted in great benefits since they produced many crops. The author’s POV is most likely a historian who studied the agricultural aspects of the Aztec society.

The picture of the Incan Bridge shows the intercommunication between people from different parts of the area to do so with ease (Document 10). The bridges not only encouraged communication between people, but also aided them to gather crops from one side of the area to the other, and the increase trade between the two parts of the Incan Empire. The POV is most likely an artist who liked the fact of a bridge to connect the two parts.

The picture from the First New Chronicle and Good Government, illustrated by Felipe Guanan Poma de Ayala, depicts how the ruler had servants to assist him whether it be in his duties or his palace (Document 11).The POV is a writer, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala who wrote this manuscript to and included this picture to show how the ruler was depicted in the society. Architecture also contributed to the development of culture in the Mesoamerican societies. The picture of the carved glyph on the Tenayuca Pyramid in Mexico City exhibits the skill and precision that architects had in constructing a building (Document 2).

Although all these sculptors had were rocks to carve into the rock, they did so in a way that was very proficient and showed their expertise in architecture. The POV is a historian/photographer who was interested in the architectural developments in the Aztec society. The twelve cornered stone, shows the great amount of skill and effort the Incan architects had and needed in order to make such reliable and dependable walls (Document 9). This picture shows how precise the aligning is of the carved rocks that a knife blade cannot even fit between them.

The POV is a photographer who was interested in the rock formations constructed in the palace. Apart from architecture, the Incan engineers built reliable bridges, just like the one that still stands today (Document 10). This shows the expertise in bridge making as well as how the bridge could have helped architects build their structures, by using the bridge to cross over the chasm and retrieve rocks that could be used as carving rocks or as building materials. The photograph of Machu Picchu shows the great amount of effort and skill required to create a society that could be depended on and maintained in the mountains (Document 13).

The POV is a photographer that was probably astonished at how well Machu Pichu was surviving even though it was in the mountains. It consisted of about two hundred buildings, mostly being residences, and the rest being temples, storage structures, and other public buildings. This photograph also shows how the builders of this city had to create a way for the city to not fall down, which also took much thought and skill. A good additional document would be an explanation from an architect or constructor that described some of the obstacles they needed to surpass in order to erect the magnificent buildings and temples. Religion was also a great supporter for the cultural development in the Aztec and Incan Empires.

The civil calendar used by the Aztecs shows the sophistication and complexity of activities throughout the course of the year, and how they paid close attention to religious ceremonies and the agricultural cycle (Document 3). In this society the gods needed to be worshipped in order to produce great and bountiful harvests, so the veneration of gods was a necessity. The POV is the constructor of the calendar and how he was very religious to contract this picture.

The chart (Document 4) describes the rituals that were associated for each month of the year and how it coincided with the Aztec calendar. The chart shows the intense religious devotion of many gods through ways of sacrificing people of certain age groups for each month. The POV is probably a calendar constructor who followed the religious duties of the gods and constructed this calendar to inform the people on the months of sacrificing’s. The photograph from the Florentine Codex by Friar Bernadino, exhibits the great sacrificial society of the people (Document 5). The picture depicts a human sacrifice.

This document shows bias because to the people of Central America because human sacrifice is part of their religion and the way of worshiping their gods and giving their offerings to them, while to someone else not from this society and not familiar with the religious sacrifices, these ways are seen as heretic and the people are considered savages. The First New Chronicle and Good Government by Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala exhibits the great devotion of Incas and their leaders to their sun god (doc. 12). They were strictly believers of the Sun God and many other gods. Since the document was written by someone who is of Incan descent, it shows bias. The author sees the Kings rejection to the Christian missionary Fray Vincente, as an act of great courage, loyalty, and devotion to his god, and is seen as a religious figure to other followers of the Sun God.

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