Discover the Aztec Marketplace

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This WebQuest teaches students about the importance of the Aztec marketplace.  This information comes on the heels of the student's learning about the early civilizations.  They will use their imaginations to travel back in time, and become part of the Aztec culture.  One important aspect of this Quest is that it culminates in a live trading marketplace.  During this activity the student's will learn to barter and trade with other merchants and farmers. 

Arizona State Standards: 

Strand 1
Concept 2: Ancient Civilizations
PO4: Identify the early civilizations (e.g., Maya, Aztec, Inca/Inka) that developed into empires in Central and South America.

NCSS Themes:

  • Time, Continuity, and Change
  • People, Places, and Environments
  • Production, Distribution, and Consumption
  • Science, Technology, and Society
Before engaging students with this WebQuest, activate prior knowledge by reviewing the idea of the marketplace. 

The Marketplace was established to gains means
of trade for the Mesoamerican nation. There were many marketplaces located
around the Basin of Mexico, but the city of Tenochtitlan's marketplace lied in
the western lake of Texcoco. Since the population of the city of Tenochtitlan
was quite large the markets were held in many communities at 5-day intervals, 5
days being equivalent to one Aztec week (Berdan 2005: 151). In Tenochtitlan,
there was sounding of the drums from the temple of Quetzalcoatl in the morning
and evening (Hassing 1945). These markets would consist of farmers who would
specialized in different areas of productions as well as "Pochtecas"
(Merchants), who will be described in detail later. Also, officials would
patrol the market to ensure fair bartering and control order within the
marketplace. The tributes were placed on the merchants when they arrived at the
market. With the marketplace set, the Aztec empire flourished, tribute came in
from the market as well as the conquered nation brought a lot of wealth to the
Aztec nation. As stated in the Economy and Polities how the development of the
tribute acted as means to establish not only areas of wealth, but to aid in the
journey of the Aztec warriors.

Teacher background knowledge can be found by following the link under resources.

All of the images are royalty free and have been taken from the National Geographic stock photos website at http://www.nationalgeographicstock.com

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