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A distant sound is heard. It sounds like a deep drum being hit with a heavy
instrument. You hear it again and strain your eyes in the direction of the sound. All
around you is dense jungle. Snakes slither between your legs. You hear the sound once
again. In front of you is a dense stand of ferns. You part them and look down into a wide
open valley. The valley gets so wide and it is so green that it takes your breath away. But
that is not what you are looking at. You are staring at a huge city with glittering buildings
shining in the spring sunlight. Smoke rises up from some of the many houses. You can
see and hear children playing in the wide open fields in front of the shining buildings.
Lamas and chickens are being bought and sold. You see bags of gold jewelry being
bought and sold. Beyond the market place you can watch a religious ceremony. You hear
the scream of a person being sacrificed to one of the gods. Beyond the city there are roads
made of stone and canals full of pedestrians and canos. Who are these people and what
are they doing here you wonder?
The above paragraph describes what an early explorer in Mexico might have seen
between 1400 and 1500 AD. The Aztec nation is one of the largest and most advanced
Indian nations to ever exist on earth. Just about every part of the Aztec life was advance
to such a state that at that time of the world the people were living better than many
European nations. The Aztec nation is unique in its history, economy, environment, and
way of life then any other nation at that time.
Perhaps three to four thousand years ago, small bands of hunting-gathering
peoples made their way across the land bridge that was the frozen Bering Strait, migrated
southward through what is now Alaska, Canada, the United States, Central America,
South America, and Mexico, settling along the way. One such hunting- gathering group
settled in the Central Valley of what is now Mexico (Nichol...
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