The Toltec

By: Abimael Ocampo

The Toltec were an early civilization from the Americas in central Mexico. Their civilization was one that took over the "Teotihuacan" civilization, and then fell eventually being taken over by the Aztecs.

The Toltec People

The Toltec were violent and liked war. They are said to have ended because of how weak war had left them. Other than that they were also builders. They built pyramids and palaces. They’re also said to have been the first in the region to work with gold, silver, and copper, taking metalworking to Meso-America. They also had a polytheistic religion, one of their gods being Quetzalcoatl. They spoke in the Nahuatl language.


The Toltec were polytheistic, but focused their practices on Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatl was a deity who represented the forces of good and evil. He resided in Tula until he left in search of his homeland. In his honor, they built a large pyramid in Cholula. The Toltec also practiced human sacrifice, sun worship, and a sacred ball game called tlatchli.


The center of the Toltec empire was built on Tula, on a high ridge, about 30 miles Northwest from what is present New-Mexico. The city itself was 5-6 sq. miles big. The two gods that the Toltec were very important to the region.

The red area is where most of the Toltec civilization lived and confined.


The Toltec got their food from crops that they grew with irrigation systems. The crops consisted of beans, maize, & peppers. They were also hunters and gathers for food. They hunted, and gathered their food as well. Weapons were very important to the toltec because of their fighting ways.  The toltec used short swords and armor made of carved wood. The Toltecs used a lot of  agricultural techniques like, irrigation and hill terracing to grow their crops, which were later on used by the Aztecs. Toltec artisans used obsidian  to make weapons, which they sold to nearby civilizations, which is where some of their economy got its money from.

The Toltec warriors short swords.


The toltec lived under large rock structures. They are said to be monumental. Their homes were set up in a grid set-up. Most of them look really like pyramids.

A Toltec pyramid building.

Cool Facts

  • The name Toltec actually means “master builders” in Nahuatl.
  • They built many churches and Olmec inspired pyramids, one of which was in the famous city of Cholula.
  • The Toltec were polytheistic, but focused their practices on Quetzalcoatl
  • The Toltec god, Quetzalcoatl, was adopted by the Mayas and the Aztecs. The Aztecs credited the Toltecs as their “teachers” for herbal medicine.
  • The Toltec were a very distinct and influential civilization, but sadly because of their quick downfall not much is known about them.

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