Want to build your own empire? Take a page from the Aztec's book! Fair warning though...that book might be soaked in blood.
|Social Studies||History of Technology|
|Technology||History of Technology|
But one of the many bummers about all that progress is the violence that came with it.
Hey, bad stuff comes with the good.
No matter how glorious and diversified a bag of jellybeans may be, there’s always a couple [Man picks a jellybean out of a bowl]
of those gross licorice flavored ones hiding in the mix. [Man eats the jellybean and spits it out]
So as society got more organized, war became bigger, bloodier, and…well, more organized, [Soldiers on a battlefield]
And no, we're not talking new inventions. [Men hitting each other with sticks]
People were stuck with their same old arrows and clubs until metalworking got popular. [Man shoots an arrow]
But now, societies were big and organized enough to intentionally create armies and [Soldiers coming off a production line]
go conquer peoples.
Which is basically the first step in empire building.
So if any of you are planning on building an empire of your own, you're welcome. [Kid with his thumbs up]
Some of you may be saying…
"You mean to tell us that we can build an empire with nothing more than stone-tipped [Kid asking a question in class]
arrows and spears…?
Get out of town."
Well, we most certainly will not get out of town. [Man sat on his lawn]
We like it here and we're still paying our mortgage.
But we also have proof…
Take the Aztecs, who dominated Mexico from the 1300s -1500s, relying mostly on weapons [Aztecs stood next to a map of Mexico]
made of wood and stone.
Yeah, the Americas never got into the whole, "metal weapons" thing.
But that didn't stop them.
The Aztecs had large-scale warfare down pat. [Aztecs chuck metal spears]
Their entire society in fact was built around warfare.
Men could climb in rank through military achievement…AKA killing people. [Aztec soldier kills man who has given him a medal]
Their religion revolved around sacrifices to the gods…AKA killing animals and people. [Aztec man chucks a person into a fire]
And a big chunk of the economy was built around tribute from conquered societies…AKA societies
conquered by…killing people. [Aztec soldiers going around killing everyone]
By the early 1500s, that culture of crazy bloody war had paid off.
The Aztecs had built a loosely-stuck-together empire stretching across Mexico, and they
did it all with Stone Age weapons. [Stone temple]
They had bows, arrows, and atlatls, sure, but they also had their own special
invention: the maquahuitl.
A maquahuitl was a flat wooden club with super sharp pieces of obsidian attached to the edges. [Picture of a maquahuitl]
They were the weapons of the elite…kinda like swords were for knights.
And they were great for hacking and slashing at close quarters, which the Aztec were pretty [Aztec chopping down trees with his maquahuitl]
into, as you might've guessed…
Maquahuitls definitely didn't revolutionize the world of weapons.
But they're a good example of creative, effective weapons that existed before metalworking came [Aztec hitting a rock]
on the scene.
And if nothing else, those Aztec warriors looked seriously ferocious while swinging
If we pulled one of these out when someone was trying to mug us, we bet the robber would [Robber holds knife up to a man]
go home and cry to his mom. [Man pulls out a maquahuitl and the robber runs away]