Maize invention, is perhaps was one of their greatest achievements, since from wild grass, the ancient grandparents, produced the splendid corn plant through what we now call biogenetic engineering.
Development of hydraulic engineering in agriculture, the invention of the corn plant and the Chinampa53. The development of health, food, education and social organization efficient systems, represent the great achievements of our ancestors at the early stages.
"The chinampas are the most developed forms of crops rotation and mixed crops, as well as the more intensive use of plant and seed. This type of cultivation is found in production during the entire year, year after year; surely it's one of the most permanent cultivation systems, intensive and productive in the world." (A. Palerm 1990)
In the Anahuac, hydraulic engineering reached advanced levels, not only by the irrigation extensive use, but in the Chinampa concept, advanced even in our days. Definitely we cannot imagine the wonders of Teotihuacán or Chichen Itza, without the basis of an efficient food system, that supported the challenge involved in the construction of the many knowledge centers that existed throughout the Cem Anahuac. The Tenochtitlan city seen by the spaniards in 1519, built during the decadent postclassical period was an example of engineering and architecture knowledge and application.
"In Spain, and throughout Europe, did not then exist urban conglomerates comparable with Mexico, although some claim it had a population of a million and a half inhabitants, it is likely that it had
53 Chinampa is an ancient Mesoamerican method of agriculture which used small, rectangle-shaped areas of fertile arable land to grow crops on the shallow lake beds in the Valley of Mexico.
53 around half a million (London did not have more than 40 thousand and Paris, the largest city, barely had 65 thousand), and that does not include other cities of the Valley, that also had large populations, such as, Texcoco, Azcapotzalco, Iztapalapa, Tacuba, etc." (Jose Luis Guerrero. 1990)
The hydraulic engineering works required to divide, contain, and regulate the Anahuac Valley Lakes represented a technological advance unknown to Europeans; as well as the reticular street concept, avenues, roads, channels. This decadent postclassical period city, had drinking water, plazas, schools (Calpulli), markets (Tianguis54), cultural centers, courts, libraries, Zoo, temples, ballgame courts, museums, community barns (Cuexcomate55), everything that for people of our time implies a "modern" city.
"This city has many places where there is a continuous market with buying and selling deals." It has another plaza as large as two times the city of Salamanca, all fenced around with portals where there are daily over sixty thousand souls...There is a large house in this large square, as if for hearings, where they are always seated ten or twelve people, who are judges...There are many mosques or idols houses with very beautiful buildings in the sections and neighborhoods... among these mosques there is one which is the main, that there is no human language that can explain its greatness and particularities... There are a good forty high towers and well-constructed, the main has fifty steps to climb to the body of the Tower; the principal is higher than the Tower of the Church of Seville... There are many good and very large houses in this great city.... On an avenue entering this great city, there are two mortar pipes, two steps wide each, and as high as a person and by each of them flows very good fresh water, as wide as the body of man and tall, on one of them sweet water, as wide as a mans body, that flows to the city, from there all are served and drink.
54 A tianguis is an open air market or bazaar that is traditionally held on certain market days in a town or city neighborhood in Mexico. This bazaar tradition has its roots well into the pre-Hispanic period and continues in many cases essentially unchanged into the present day. The word tianguis comes from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec Empire.
55 Cuexcomate is a Nahuatl word that means "clay pot" or "place to keep".