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Aztec Pictures

More information on Aztec pictures.

The pictures that the Aztecs left behind tell us more than almost anything about their culture, their way of life, and the battles they went through. Pictures were words to them, describing everything from royal meetings to explaining economical situations, to the outcome of a war. There were special people appointed by the king to be picture writers. They also had to have great memories, these scribes, as they would go to these royal meetings and get-togethers and need to remember what was said, often without "taking notes" and have to turn in a full report to the king. Artist's renditions of Aztec Indian pictures we see today are based on what we already know of the Aztecs; their attire, body structure, and adornments. They are also based on what we've found already of the Aztec pictures the left behind. They wrote and kept logs of everything on a daily basis. Many of the picture art/writing diaries were burned by the Spanish because they said they were witchcraft. From the Aztec pictures we have today, we can sort of fill in the gaps of their lives and society. There is still much to be discovered, but a lot of the pieces are solved thanks to their extensive and very intricate way of drawing. They also gave color to their picture art. Each picture was a word, and so the word for snake, coatl, was drawn to the likeness of a snake, and then colored appropriately with inks of flowers, berries, and other dyes. The ancient Aztec pictures are something that really helps us bridge the gap. Without them, we might not have quite the knowledge we have of the Aztecs we have today.


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