Built on an island on Lake Texcoco, it had a system of canals and causeways that supplied the hundreds of thousands of people who lived there.The main streets are very wide and very straight; some of these are on the land, but the rest and all the smaller ones are half on land, half canals where they paddle their canoes.
Instead of minted currency people bartered for goods using “cacao beans for small transactions, cotton blankets for mid-range ones, and quills filled with gold dust for large business operations. Metallurgy played a major role in Tenochtitlán’s economy and society. Metallurgy was now well established for copper, silver, and gold. There was even enough metal to allow copper to be used for agriculture and industrial tools as well as for armaments and jewelry.
Means of travel for trade
Trading journeys could last for a year or more and safety could never be guaranteed, when the caravans had to cross hot, thirsty deserts, dangerous mountain passes and fast-flowing rivers. The rituals observed before a caravan set out reflected these dangerous possibilities. First, the stars would be consulted to ensure that the day of departure was a lucky one. Once the date was decided, the merchants, their wives and children would ceremonially wash their heads and cut their hair. None of them did these things again until the merchants had safely returned.
The Aztec markets were barely regulated by the government. Trade and tribute were critical to the city of Tenochtitlan. One fourth of its food came from tribute it imposed on conquered city-states. The Aztec economy was technically a barter system but there were two unofficial currencies: cotton textiles and cacao beans
Roll of city
As Tenochtitlán’s empire grew so did its trade. Aguilar-Moreno writes that a pivotal moment in the city’s economic history was its capture of the nearby city of Tlatelolco. Tlatelolco was a “trade city” and the union of the two cities made the site of Tenochtitlan-Tlatelolco the economic and political center of the Valley of Mexico.
Tenochtitlán had a great marketplace where sixty thousand people come each day to buy and sell. Its merchandise included ornaments of gold and silver, lead, brass, copper, tin, stones, shells, bones and feathers. Tenochtitlan was truly the hub of a market network that extended throughout the Valley of Mexico.
"Common-place: Imperial City of the Aztecs: Mexico-Tenochtitlan." Common-place: Imperial City of the Aztecs: Mexico-Tenochtitlan. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
"The History of the Aztecs." The History of the Aztecs. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.
"Tenochtitlan." Tenochtitlan. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.