Throughout this course, one of the most interesting units was the study of Aztec society. It was interesting to learn about such a technologically advanced city that was so far from the cities of Western Europe that are perceived as the most intelligent places of innovation. Using this interest in Aztec culture, picking jewelry to study came easily because it is such a universally appreciated adornment. And while it is understood that every culture and civilization wore/wears jewelry, to learn about a civilization that is not obsessed with stones (diamonds, rubies, etc) like in Europe is appealing, interesting, and different.
Through various primary and secondary sources, it can be concluded that jewelry reflects the social hierarchy that existed in Aztec civilization. The importance of the nobility and of the military was emphasized over every other aspect of society, and the elaborate structure of Tenochtitlan being based on the emperor’s home reflects this importance. It is also interesting to look at how the marketplaces played an integral part in jewelry, as it allowed the consumer to browse and shop similarly to today. It was through incredible study of Aztec society that the power of jewelry in modern day Mexico City was revealed and appreciated.
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Codex Mendoza. Aztec Codex. Mexico City, 1520. University of Arizona, Colonial and Aztec Codex Facsimiles. http://www.library.arizona.edu/exhibits/mexcodex/aztec.htm#Mendoza. (October 31, 2014).
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