The Toltecs settled primarily in what is now known as
Mexico, from 10th century AD until mid 12th century AD. They were a militaristic society;
this is evident through their architecture. Their architecture was simple, and often
unchanged because they were more concerned with function than form. The other purpose of
their architecture was to induce fear. For example, they built large columns of fearsome
warriors to guard a temple, and often added tzompantlis (low platforms where they made
sacrifices and displayed severed human heads) to their buildings. |
Religion had a great impact on Toltec architecture. Their walls were covered with pictures of jaguars, coyotes, eagles, serpents, and other religious symbols. Many Toltecs worshipped the god Tezcatlipoca, "Smoking Mirrors," who was the patron of warriors and demanded human sacrifice. Thus, the Toltec society had high regards for their soldiers, and oftentimes would incorporate them in their shrines.
The Toltecs generally used limestone in their buildings. Their architectural style usually involved flat-roofed, square column halls. Most Mesoamerican architecture was influenced by the Toltecs because of conquers or trades. For example, such influence is seen in buildings at the Mayan City of Chichen Itza.
1. Ferguson, William M., Rohn, Arthur H., Mesoamerica's Ancient Cities, Niwot, Colorado, University Press of Colorado, 1994