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Aztec Weapons and Warfare

Aztec Weapons and Warfare.

The Aztec’s were a brutal and warlike race; they practiced bloodthirsty rituals and trained their soldiers well. In battle they wielded a wide variety of weapons, from obsidien tipped spear to swords covered in shards of obsidien. The Aztec weapons had evolved over centuries of battle and as a result they were well equiped to deal with invading Spanish invantry.

All Aztec weapons were made out of, or with, obsidian. Spears were given points of obsidien and swords there edge. Obsidian is a black glassy mineral similar to pained glass. It can be sharpened to a far keener edge than steel though however it will quickly lose its edge to becomes blunt. Obsidian is often associated with volcanoes as it rests on top of the lava flows whenever a volcano erupts.

The Atlatl, or spear thrower as it translates into English, was a weapon used to hurl obsidian tipped spears great distances of well over 100 metres. The Atlatl was a long wooden stick with a cup on one end to hold the spear in. It was held from the base and flicked forward with a swift wrist movement. Later improvements used more flexible wood and flexible darts which resembled six foot arrows more so than spears. Ingeniously the Aztecs added a weight to the middle of the atlatl which allowed them to launch spears far more quietly, accuratly and therefore successfully. Occasionally the Aztecs would poison the spears that they shot with with an Atlatl for an increased chance of killing the enemy.

The Quauhololli was the most feared weapon that the Aztecs used. It was a huge club made of heavy stone used to smash enemy’s skulls. The death was normally swift but if the person was not killed they would almost definitely suffer from severe brain damage or be incapacitated.

The maquahituitl was the most common weapon used by the Aztecs elite warriors, the knight cadres. It was a long sword made out of wood but the edges were imbedded with shards of tough obsidian. The weapon could have easily beheaded a person as it was known to be able to cut off a horses head. Despite this the sword lacked a tip which left the Aztecs at a huge disadvantage when up against the Spanish. This was due to the fact that, unlike the Spaniards steel pointed swords the Aztec Knight Cadres could not stab them only hit them with the side of the weapon leaving them open to a frontal assault from the Spanish warriors.

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User Comments
  1. lulz

    On December 9, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    spelled infantry wrong

  2. Elliot912

    On December 10, 2008 at 1:32 am

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    On December 17, 2008 at 10:59 am

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  5. LethalFire

    On January 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    More atlatl information plz

  6. Spanish Student

    On February 19, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I was wondering what your name is so that I could cite it

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  7. wize guy

    On March 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    good info! spelled Maquahuitl wrong

  8. cody

    On March 26, 2009 at 3:38 pm


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    hey got any pics of a Quauhololli

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    On July 12, 2009 at 12:40 am

    yea me mexica and I spell the azteca that way this is interesting and help full thx to those that correct the spelling for the items that were use by aztecs but any one tellme the name of the shield in Nahuatl

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    On October 8, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Thanks for the help

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