The Aztec Empire
The origin of the Aztecs Empire
Tenochtitlan is an archaeological ruin located under the streets of modern Mexico City in the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs wandered for years in search of a new homeland before locating the capital city for their empire at Tenochtitlan in 1325. The Aztecs, or Mexica as they called themselves, were not originally from the Valley of Mexico, but rather migrated from the north, from a island called Aztlan, "The Place of Herons." Historically, the Mexica and other tribes located in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States, known as the Chichimeca, left their homes because of a great drought. This story is told in several surviving codices (painted folding books), in which the Mexica are shown carrying with them the idol of their patron deity Huitzilopochtti. After two centuries of migration, at around AD 1250, the Mexica arrived in the Valley of Mexico.