The people of Central Mexico and American City states during the period 12th to 15th centuries were known as the Aztecs. The Aztec Empire was founded by people who were once nomads called the Mexicas. Believing their chroniclers that their god Huitzilopchtli had sent them a sign, they began to build the city of Tenochtitlan, which later became Mexico City. It grew to become one of the largest cities of the world at that time. The Mexica people were a strong power; they formed alliances and grew in military strength to start conquer surrounding lands. Tenochtitlan became the heart of the Aztec civilization.
There are many stories surrounding the origins of chocolate and its introduction to the world. However, the Aztecs and Mayan Indians take credit for introducing chocolate or "Xocoatl" as they called it. An article in "The Daily Mail," dated November 13, 2007, reports that scientists discovered the origins of chocolate date back at least 3,100 years ago to Central America. It was originally used by the Aztecs to make a kind of celebratory beverage.
The Aztecs invented a calendar wheel to measure time. The Aztecs are credited with using many different calendars, one of which uses the same 356 days in a year presently in use. The Aztecs, though, divided their calendar into 18 month periods. An example of the Aztec calendar was found by workers in Mexico City in the 1700s. The stone was disc-shaped and covered with pagan symbols. It is believed to have been buried by the Spanish Conquistadors who routed the Aztec Empire.
The Aztecs first introduced popcorn to the rest of the world, but the Zapotec and the Moche people had been popping their own corn long before the time of the Aztecs. When the Spanish arrived, they found the Aztecs using popcorn as ornaments to adorn the headdresses of the nobility and the priests, apart from eating it. It is safe to say that Aztecs popularized the invention of popcorn and that the Spanish wrote about it.
Discoveries have been made over the years that show the Aztecs had practiced advanced medicine. They used the passion flower to help relax the muscles and prevent muscle spasms during surgeries to increase the success rate of surgeries. The passion flower is still widely grown in Mexico; it is used by herbalists and natural health practitioners as an herbal remedy to help treat epilepsy, high blood pressure, muscle cramps, menstrual cramps, hysteria, neuralgia and insomnia.