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The Changing Face of Mexico

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

The Aztecs, or Mexica, were a powerful empire in central Mexico. Infamous for their practice of human sacrifice, which earned them the enmity of many peoples subject to their rule, they created remarkable agricultural, urban, and architectural innovations that are often overlooked. The Aztec empire arose at the end of the twelfth century CE and lasted until overthrown in 1521 by the Spanish conquistadores and their indigenous allies. The Aztec language, Nahuatl, is still a widespread language throughout the valley of Mexico.