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The Aztecs, Part 1



The Aztecs, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.93

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    denote, prophesy, civilization, inherit, priest, somewhat, series, religion, leading, siege, southeastern, armor, tribe, elders, among, leader
     content words:    United States, Lake Texcoco, Montezuma II, Hernan Cortez, When Cortez


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The Aztecs, Part 1
By Jane Runyon
  

1     When historians write of the Aztec civilization, they are actually referring to a merging of several tribes of natives. The largest tribe was called Mexicas (Muh-hee-kas). It is thought that this tribe originated in the northern part of what is now Mexico. Some scientists think they may even have come from the southwestern section of the United States.
 
2     Over the years, people have researched where the word Mexica might have come from. Some say that the name came from an old Nahuatl word for the sun. Others suggest that it was the name of an ancient leader of the tribe named Mexitli. Still others think it comes from the name of a weed that grew near Lake Texcoco. The word "Aztec" was used to denote all of the people linked to the Mexicas by trade, custom, or religion. The word translates to "someone who comes from Aztlan."
 
3     The people in the Mexica group spoke a common language. This language was called Nahuatl (NAH-wah-tuhl). Over the years, people began to refer to all the peoples as Aztec. Many words from the Aztec language have survived into modern times. Mexico, avocado, and chocolate are words that had their beginnings in Aztec.

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