The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture that dominated the Tula-centered nation during the early postclassical period of Mesoamerican chronology (circa 800-1000 AD).
Much of what is known about the Toltecs is based on knowledge of the Aztecs, another Mesoamerican culture that came after the Toltecs and saw the Toltecs as pioneers.
Because the vast records about the Toltecs from the 14th to 16th centuries may have been tainted with Aztec praise and mythology, it is difficult to parse true history.
Later Aztec cultures regarded the Toltecs as their intellectual and cultural pioneers and described the Toltec culture derived from the Nahuatl language of Tula as a microcosm of civilization.
In fact, in the Nahuatl language, the word Toltec means "craftsman". The oral and hieroglyphic traditions of the Aztecs also describe the history of the Toltec Empire, listing the rulers and their exploits.
Among modern scholars, it is a matter of debate whether the Aztec narrative of Toltec history should be considered a description of real historical events.
While all scholars acknowledge that a large part of the narrative is mythical, some insist that some degree of historical authenticity can be salvaged from the source by using critical comparative methods.
Others argue that continuing to analyze narratives as a source of actual history is futile and hinders a practical understanding of culture.
Another debate related to the Toltecs remains the reason behind the architectural and iconographic similarities between the archaeological site of Tula and the Mayan site of Chichen Itza, which is best understood. There is no consensus on the extent or direction of influence between the two sites.
Historians believed that the stories told by the Aztecs contained truth. Theories abound about the actual role the Toltecs played in Mesoamerica, from the central valleys of Mexico all the way to certain Mayan city-states.
Désiré Shanay, the first archaeologist to work in Hidalgotura, defended the historicist view based on his impressions of the Toltec capital.
He was the first to notice the similarity in architectural style between Tula and Chichen Itza, a famous Mayan archaeological site. This led him to theorize that Chichen Itza was violently occupied by Toltec forces under Kukulkán.
Following Chanai, the term "Toltec" is associated with the influx of certain central Mexican cultural features into the realm of Mayan domination in the late classical and early postclassical eras. The post-classic Mayan civilizations of Chichen Itza, Mayapan and the Guatemalan Highlands are known as "Toltecized" or "Mexicanized" Mayans.
Some 20th-century historicist scholars, such as David Carrasco, Miguel Leon Portilla, Nigel Davis, and Nicholson, considered the Toltecs to be a distinct ethnic group.
This school of thought associates the "Toltecs" with the archaeological site of Tula, who is believed to be the Toranite of Aztec mythology.
Historians who support the racial group theory also believe that much of central Mexico may have been ruled by the "Toltec Empire" between the 10th and 12th centuries AD.
One possible clue they point to is that the Aztecs referred to several Mexican city-states as Tolan, "land of the reeds," such as "Torland Joloran."
Archaeologist Lauret Cersiuri and historian Enrique Florescano argue that the "original" Tolan may have been Teotihuacan.
On the other side of the argument are those who believe that the Aztec story is blinded by mythology and cannot be seen as an accurate description of the Toltec civilization. Multiple theories place the Toltec and Tula sites within a more general framework:
Some scholars believe that the Toltec era is best thought of as the fifth of the five "suns" or epochs in Aztec mythology. This fourth sun immediately preceded the fifth sun of the Aztecs, prophesied by Quetzalcoatl God.
Some researchers believe that the only reliable historical data in the Aztec chronicles are the names of some rulers and possibly some attributed to their conquests.
Skeptics believe that the ancient city of Teotihuacan and the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan had a much greater influence on Mesoamerican culture than Tula. However, this skeptical school acknowledges that Tula still contributes in a unique way to the cultural heritage of central Mexico.
Recent academic research does not consider Tula of Hidalgo as the capital of the Toltecs described in Aztec records. Conversely, "Toltec" denotes only the inhabitants when Tula was at its highest point. Separating the term "Toltec" from the Aztec account, it attempts to find archaeological clues about the ethnicity, history, and social organization of the inhabitants of the Tula site.
Although the inhabitants of the Tula site remain a mysterious group whose ethnic and social dynamics are unknown, they have left a large archaeological record that modern scholars have attempted to parse.
Tula also possessed intricate carvings of eagles, jaguars, hummingbirds, and butterflies, all of which were heavily used by the Aztec Empire.
In addition, the ruins of Tula include two courts used for religious rubber ball matches that appeared in many Mesoamerican civilizations. In addition to these unique ruins, the Toltecs also built unique pyramids that reflect other sites. #历史开讲 #