The heart of the city was laid out in a grid pattern and it is remarkably similar to the Mayan city of Chichen Itza.  The Itza were a group of mixed Putún Maya and Toltec descent, which had welcomed immigrants from Tollan time before moving into the Yucatán Peninsula, and had adopted the religious teachings of the Toltecs. These would become a common feature of temples in Mesoamerica. The Toltec civilization flourished in ancient central Mexico between the 10th and mid-12th centuries CE. The warriors are dressed ready for battle with a drum headdress and butterfly pectoral and each holds an atlatl or spear-thrower at their side. , Totonacapan was the name of a kingdom in Veracruz. They conquered most of the Totonac area including El Tajin. Migration & Trade In the 19th century, French archaeologist Désiré Charnay was the first person who pointed out that the main plazas of Tula and Chichen Itza were similar, a fact that led him to postulate that the city could have been conquered by Toltecs led by Topiltzin Quetzalcoatl, who Charnay referred as Kukulkan. A short kilt protected the lower half of the torso, and the legs and ankles were covered with sandals and straps.  Toltec heritage became the standard of the nobility in most of Mesoamerica, and because of this, many rulers of later kingdoms and empires would claim Toltec lineage as a way to legitimize their power, including the Aztec emperors, as well as the Mixtec kings in Oaxaca and the K'iche' and Kakchiquel rulers in Guatemala.. Stone carvings of cuauhxicalli vessels and chacmools used in sacrifices and also tzompantli (skull racks) all attest to the influence the Toltecs would have on their more famous successors. They are clothed in butterfly breastplates. Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted.  Because of the violence, many of those who supported Ce Acatl Topiltzin fled Tollan, with a sizeable portion of these exiles heading towards the Maya cultural area. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. Because of their skill and their bravery in battle, the Toltec were able to instill enough awe and respect among their neighbors that cities such as Tula could be built without heavy defenses incorporated into their design. According to Mexican archaeologist Román Piña Chan, the cult of Quetzalcoatl, or Kukulkan as is known in Yucatan, was introduced in the region by the Itza around 987 AD. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms.  Cē Ācatl Topiltzin preached against the practice of human sacrifices, arguing that the supreme deity whose name he took for himself wasn't pleased with the practice of ritual killings. }); Toltec Civilization Timeline. The monumental Atlanteans are at the top of the Temple Tlahuizcalpantecutli also called "Morning Star" from which all the main plaza is seen, these sculptures are characterized by their large size (an example of the skill the Toltecs had for working with stone). We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. Last modified April 27, 2018. Generally the aristocratic ranks of the Mesoamerican cultures held the commanding positions, but within the priestly and warrior groups certain commoners, especially those who demonstrated courage, wisdom, intellect and the ability to lead, might advance to certain levels of power. According to said accounts, there was a city named Tlachicatzin in a country ruled by the city of Huehuetlapallan, whose inhabitants called the people of Tlachicatzin "Toltecah", for their fame as dexterous artisans.