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Science and Technology

The Aztecs were a reasonably modern and powerful that could be equated to ancient Rome in terms of it is level of technical sophistication. The Aztecs were not as sophisticated as their contemporaries in all areas of science and engineering science but they were very innovative in areas that they necessitated to be and did very well with what little they had and what the obstacles that they had to face. The Aztecs employed some dissimilar technologies and their sophisticated psychological result of perception learning and reasoning of a great deal of sciences to try to regulate and better their each day lives.

The Aztecs applied a combining of astronomy, canal building and highly developed agricultural science to plant the right plants at the right time in order to feed their empire. Astronomy was used to make calendars which would have determined the best time to get started to plant and harvest each food. Canal building and irrigation permitted the Aztecs to feed their plants rich riverbed soil by building island farms in the middle of rivers and canals, a farm of this assortment was a Chinampa. Building farms in the middle of rivers permitted the Aztecs to quickly deliver goods to the nearest market. The Aztecs likewise built farms on slopes by building terraces from the soil, this also served to limit soil erosion. Due to the high demand for feed that existed in the Aztec empire, slash and burn were also mutual methods of farming, this likewise lead to an ever increasing demand for land.

The societal progression of the Aztecs relied to a great extent on math to determine the best date to do sure things, the construction of buildings, canals, roads, taxes and even religious events. The Aztecs devised 3 calendars each having signification in a dissimilar area of life; a ritual calendar, an annual and a long count calendar. Even though the ritual calendar was devoted to religion, all of the calendars had galore degree of religious value as Aztec society tied everything to religion.

As sophisticated as the Aztecs were they lacked a heap of technologies that were available elsewhere and accordingly had their own distinguishable response to problems. The most shocking thing when it comes to Aztec engineering is that there is a lack of the use the wheel and pack animals, to remunerate the Aztecs had good roads, professional runners, a lot of rest stops located each 6-10 miles, river highways, a great deal of causeways and secure toll roads. Another strange technical trait of this civilization was that metallurgy did not go very far beyond copper, tin, lead and jewellery gold and silver. To pay for the fixed psychological result of perception learning and reasoning in metallurgy they used obsidian in place of metal in a good deal of tools which required sharpness.

Medical inventions were spacious in the Aztec empire as it fought numerous battles very often. Medical inventions in the Aztec empire ranged from talk therapy and medicinal herbs to bone realignment surgery. Talk therapy was widely used to undertake to resolve psychological difficulties and is a somewhat simple conception that is still used today. Due to the abundance of plants and herbs in the area of their control, the Aztecs had the prospect to experiment on their medicinal purposes this lead to them having numerous treatments to a great deal of sicknesses and troubles that they knew of. In order to keep away from any need for any such treatment the Aztecs practiced good sanitary exercises such as brushing their teeth with fibrous roots and using washing their mouth with mild abrasives such as ash, this was supplemented by cleansing rituals. Surgery in the Aztec empire was rudimentary but it still performed a great deal of of it is aim such as setting bones by way of wooden nails.

All in all without the science and engineering that the Aztecs had, they would not have been anyplace almost as successful as they were as galore dissimilar technologies and their sophisticated cognition of galore sciences were a key requirement in their undertake to undertake to regulate and better their each day lives. They beat each obstacle that they faced with the exception of a fatal misinterpretation coupled with a threat possessing both innovative weapons and unheard of illnesses.

Music, Art and Literature


Music played a big share of the Aztec life because it provided the Aztec humans with enjoyment, passing on history and culture, as well as creating a spiritual connection with life. Music was a subject taught in Aztec schools and students would pick up instruments as early as when they 12 years old. Music was likewise seen by the tecuhtli as a way to demonstrate their wealth so they ofttimes had their own private band or musicians to play for them at home.

Most of the music was sacred hymns, which were to honor the dead rulers and gods. Sacred hymns were instructional because they transposed historical cognition of the past rulers and cultural psychological result of perception learning and reasoning of the gods to the next generations. Sacred hymns were normally only sung at particular occasions to honor the dead rulers or gods. Cantares was another genre of music and they were similar to the sacred hymns because they esteemed the dead and their noble actions. Cantares were likewise called ghost songs and sung in rituals or for the duration of battle. The Aztec also played happier songs that were not with regards to the dead in their every day life, such as songs of energy, love, and excitement.

The Aztec applied a potpourri of instruments in their music. To the Aztec, percussion was the major division of their music. Drums made out of turtle shells, logs, or skin were played with hands or mallets. More often times than not, drums were the only instrument in Aztec music specially in cantares, to lead the warriors into battle. Other forms of percussion used by the Aztec include rattles, filled with pebbles and shaken. For melody, there were very few instruments that the Aztec had. Most of Aztec melody comes from the flute or huilacapitztli and these are still frequent in Central Mexico today. Horns and trumpets were rare but still present in Aztec music.


The Aztecs prized art and it showed in almost each aspect of their civilization. A huge percentage of the Aztec population were artisans who felt that they had been blessed by the gods and tried to express their thoughts wherever they could. The results were marvelous pottery, masks, and architectural art found allround the Aztec Empire.

The majority of Aztec art depicted dead rulers, gods, or nature. There was a lot of spiritual art in the Aztec Empire and these may be seen mainly on the architecture. The Aztec masons built big monuments, temples, and palaces committed to the gods covered with inscriptions or symbolic representations of dead rulers or gods. The natural themes were specified on animals and insects. However, more then not the animals or insects represented gods or the dead and not the animal itself.

Besides the huge monuments, temples and palaces, art developed by artisans were ofttimes swapped in the marketplace. Ceremonial knives, head dresses, jewelry, coloured costume are just numerous examples of the potpourri of art forms found in the Aztec Empire. Art was likewise worn in the form of jewelry, clothing, and headdresses and the upper class showed their power by altering aspect daily. Legend states that the emperor never wore the same costume twice. The upper class also kept family treasuries of their jewelry. Art was likewise found on masks, shields, pottery, and almost everyplace in the Aztec world. Artists paints on walls and carved on pillars to record what they saw or felt. The pictorial replications of people or animals were astoundingly realistic. In comparison to the European art at the time, Aztec art was more realistic.


The Aztec spoke Nahuatl and they recorded the majority of their creative writing of recognized artisti value on agave paper which was made out of agave plant fiber. These sheets were folded in half and creative writing of recognized artisti value was recorded on them. The majority of Aztec creative writing of recognized artisti value was sacred and discussed topics from predicting the future to rituals. There were also books talking about the calendar and when sacrifices will have to take place. The most necessary book from the Aztec Empire is called the Dresden Codex and it was a combining of astronomy and medicine. The Nahuatl glyphs were likewise found spacious on the architecture because not a lot of of the agave books stay today.

The Economy

The Aztec economy was the biggest and one of the most innovative in the world by the commence of the 16th century. The Aztec economy’s huge size was due to a law which made it illegal to trade merchandise anyplace other than the indicated market place. This law was enforced by the notion that one would obtain the wrath of the market god if they swopped anyplace else. So by the begin of the 16th century, Tlatelolco’s marketplace was the biggest in the world, with up to 60,000 persons merchandising in it and closely just as much in the other major cities such as Teotihuacan. Since retail was such a huge share of the Aztec lifestyle, the empire relied on it for a assortment of political reasons. Trade played a major share of creating a system of networks that the Aztec employed to receive payments from regions as well as supply the regions with agricultural and military goods. Trade was likewise an substitute to war, which the Maya predecessors glorified, because trade enabled the Aztec to disseminate their political and dynastical influence all around Mexico.

Two general economic systems existed in the Aztec Empire, the political and the mercantile systems. The political system was similar to the feudal system found in most empires around the world. Unlike the rigid feudal system, the Aztec political system was somewhat different. There were numerous king figures or tlatoani who ruled over city states. The tlatoani expected tributes to be salaried from their lords or tecuhtli. The lords were administrators, judges or high rated warriors. The tecuhtli enforced a sure region and asked for tributes to be paid. These would either come directly from slaves whom the tecuhtli owned or from calpulli of the region. The calpulli was the community chieftan and his role was to enforce the collection of tributes by the commoners. Although there is a good deal of flexibleness when one looks at the Aztec Empire as a whole, the system is rather rigid and promotes only cash flow to those in power.

Since the political system was not a outstanding economic system, a second scheme existed to advertize trade and economic action – the mercantile system. Although the mercantile scheme existed, tributes or taxes still had to be remunerated by the merchants, artisans, or warriors that traded. In fact, 80% of the Aztec population consisted of merchants and artisans, while only 20% of the population was farmers. The strength of the dealer class was so strong that it was anticipated to overtake the tecuhtli class within a few decades after 1500. The market square was controlled by the pochtecatlatoque or the senior merchants who are appointed by the tecuhtli to oversee the marketplace. Their roles would be to coordinate the marketplace like the innovative day supermarket so goods that fell in the same category could be found together. Furthermore, they likewise set the merchants up in a grid format so it was easy to navigate through the marketplace. Since these marketplaces would see close to 60,000 humans a day, establishment was a key obligation for the pochtecatlatoque. The pochtecatlatoque were also responsible for enforcing the law such as ensuring that all trades are reasonable to both the marketer and the buyer. A major fraud that occurred a good deal of times in Aztec markets is the trade of phony cacao beans. Merchants accused of attempting to counterfeit cacao beans from wax and amaranth dough were executed on raised platforms in the middle of the marketplace. The pochtecatlatoque were also the accumulators of tributes from the merchants.

The mercantile scheme permitted a huge share of the population to trade which bolstered economic action in the Aztec Empire. The markets likewise permitted trade of productions that come from all regions of the Aztec Empire. For example one could normally find beans, vegetables, herbs, fruits, turkeys, deer, ducks and other forms of feed along with a wide potpourri of pots, plates, jewelry, stones, military equipment, and much more. The markets were also a place for the sale of slaves. Male slaves were oftentimes purchased by merchants to support transport goods or sold to cacao or other vegetable plantations for labor. Female slaves were often times purchased as prostitutes. Slaves were likewise purchased by the tecuhtli or wealthy merchants as sacrifices for their gods. The existence of the mercantile scheme let the less wealthy commoners and merchants the capacity to trade merchandise to the wealthy and consumerist tecuhti who loved to buy jaguar skins, jade studded masks, and obsidian sacrificial knives.

The major Aztec trade scheme let the empire operate as a tributary empire. The Aztec empire was not a rigidly controlled empire because city states in general had the majority of control over themselves. However with the Triple Alliance of Tenochtitlan, Texcoco, and Tlacopan, their combined military might forced conquered the majority of central Mexico. The conquered regions or states then had to compensate tribute or a tax to the Triple Alliance. Tribute would be gathered by a potpourri of people, from senior merchants to chieftains but the collection of tributes was only made perhaps by the lack of control on the city states. The lack of control permitted a mercantile system which complemented the collection of tributes because so much economic action occurred that the commoner was capable to recompense the tributes and still have sufficient cacao beans or exotic feathers to live. Furthermore, the mercantile scheme set up a network of trade routes that were applied by the Aztec Empire to send soldiers, equipment, or furnishes to sure areas of need.

The major trade route was called the Teotihuacan corridor and it connected the city to the regions where the raw materials were produced. When the raw materials entered the city, artisans and other craftsmen fictitious productions then sent them to the major trade center in Tlatelolco. The Teotihuacan corridor was an crucial route because it let the Aztec officials to control the motion of raw materials. Although trade in Europe was rather stagnant because of the short life of agricultural goods, the Aztec were selling nonperishable commodities such as cotton, jewelry, skins and respective forms of pottery. The Aztec extended trade routes in all directions and set up merchandising posts allround Mexico with warehouses to store goods temporarily. The logistics of Aztec’s land trade was in an outstanding manner modern when equated to their global counterparts.

The Aztec also swapped on water, but this was in general fixed to freshwater rivers and tributaries. The Aztec relies on canoes for all of their aquatic travels even on the seas, when they built more prominent canoes. Transporting by canoe was an essential aspect of the Aztec economy because of the way the chinampas the Aztec used to grow their crops were in shoal lakes. Therefore, canoes made it more comfortable to load and transport the agricultural goods. Furthermore, since the major syndication hubs were located besides rivers, canoes were a fast and effective way to move any good in the Aztec Empire. Sea trade produced in a minor form with syndication posts traditionalisti along the Tucatan peninsula and Belize and according to historical records contact was made with tribes in Ecuador. However, the lack of better engineering science fixed the Aztec to short distances by sea.

The entire economy of the Aztec Empire was for the most part a barter system, but sure productions played such an essential share of the people’s lives that they started out to be employed as a form of currency. The Aztec likewise did not have scales or balances so the barter system worked by size rather than weight. However, the most prominent currency was the cacao bean and it was so commonly applied as currency that some merchants even tried to make counterfeit cacao beans. The cacao bean was used as currency because of the Aztec legend that it was given to them by a god, but the more practical reason was the popularity of cacao as a food. The Aztec made liquid frothy chocolate drinks flavored spices and corn. Like the federal reserve’s held by the Bank of Canada, the royal warehouses kept rooms full of dried cacao beans. Other forms of currency that were not as general as the cacao bean were cotton mantles or clothing, pieces of tin, copper axe blades, transparent quills full of gold dust, and feathers of tropical birds.

Law, Government and Military


Law of the Aztec Empire was very rigorous in the society to keep the remainder of the social structure within the country. The Aztec law was reasonable in a way that it does not distinguish persons for their social status. In the Aztec society, nobles and higher-class persons treated harsher even more than peasants to show a good example to them. Under the Aztec legal system, crooks were seriously punished. Death sentence was ordinarily employed in the Aztec society. Other punishments are restitution, slavery, shaving the offender’s head. Sometimes, punishment could go beyond just the defender, but extend to the family of the guilty party. The Aztecs had a prison system which included, a “death row”, a debtor’s prison, and a prison for persons who were found guilty of minor crime. Conditions in the prison were too cruel that galore prisoners passed from physical life while in custody. Mostly offenses were punishable by death together with: homicide, rape, abortion, robbery, marketing property, fraud, incest, treason, use of the emperor’s insignia, and witchcraft. Capital punishment means hanging, drowning, stoning, beating, burning, quartering, and strangulation. Again, Victims’ families may intervene in the execution of a sentence, and pardon the criminal. If the victim chooses to pardon the criminal then the criminal becomes a slave of the victim’s family. Here are examples of the punishments related to marriage; Adultery was many times punished by stoning to death. A husband who murdered his adulterous wife was sentenced to death for taking the law into his own hands. For the divorce law, commonly the court tries to reconcile the couple. The couple’s property would be divided evenly as well as their children would be separated by their sex. Also, public drunkenness was punished by death young people; however, the law in regards to drunkenness was dissimilar to senior individuals. For example, it was versus the law to be drunk in public! Unless it was at a festival or you were a senior citizen. Ancient Aztec laws were rigorously enforced, and I think that in all likelihood hindered a lot of disruption and upheaval, as most every one just abided by the rules.


The Aztec government was dissimilar from any other government of Europeans’ at that time. The king was the head of the government, but he did not wholly hold the power. He still had to consult his nobles before any decision was made. The Commands basically started out with the king; he had his executive council which included every one from the most eminent priest to consult the gods to the General of the Army, to the treasurer and so on. Four leaders would be chosen to lead, and out of those there would be one leader (mayor) of the city. These leaders control the city the right way and surrounding areas. Instead of king’s tyranny, the surrounding cities and areas remunerated respect to the king by providing gifts. In Aztec, the nobles, priests, career warriors, tax accumulators were underneath the king or ruler on the socio-economic scale. Despite the fact that each citizen of the empire belonged to a class from birth, it was possible for mutual farmers and soldiers to climb up the ladder for the higher-class if they showed good deeds and valour in battle. Even altho slavery was a usual punishment for most of the crimes, nonetheless even slaves had galore rights. A slave could buy freedom for a price if a slave had time to do other work on the side. Merchants and traders were distinguished from the other classes; also, they had some other privileges and rights. The army likewise would fight little wars and conquer lands, supplying sacrifices and expanding the empire. Most of all, it was a seemingly peaceful ruled nation; thence there were plainly rigorous laws to abide by in the ancient Aztec times. Crimes were harshly punished in Aztec. The death penalty was a mutual punishment. Because the persons dire the death, most people were respectful, so there were few major crimes, disputes, or arguments.


War was substantial to the Aztecs in their life. The Aztecs had professional military officers rather of a professional army. All Aztec boys were trained to fight when they were young. They were trained and educated on fighting attainments and weapons at school. It was an honour and obligation for all the Aztec soldiers to fight in battles. The students went on trips to the battlefields led by the real soldiers, and they learned how to take prisoners of war. Manhood was achieved after a soldier captured his primary prisoner. The Aztec’s courage and strength helped them build their empire and establish themselves as the firmest of all the tribes in the Valley of Mexico. The Aztecs were constantly at war with nearby tribes and effortlessly discomfited them. When war was declared, it was delighting time and was realized as a time to exhibit their warrior accomplishments in battle. Soldiers from noble families wore costumes that were designed to frighten their enemies. They were dressed as jaguar warriors with ocelot skins and eagle warriors who wore a helmet that was like the beak of a bird of prey. Normal troops had costumes with patterns and had emblems from feathers and leather. The jaguar and eagle warriors were considered nobility. Their elaborate costumes were worn to show their strength and signification in Aztec society.

The Aztec soldiers and their foes fought with primitive weapons: spears, bows, and arrows. Very sharp obsidian blade wooden clubs were their major weapons. However, obsidian blades soon got their edges broken and were therefore fragile. The Aztec Warriors were wearing close-fitting breastplates and applied wooden shields for protection. Brightly coloured feathers adorned the warrior’s leather or wooden shield. Below the shield was leather strips for shelter of his legs. Their armour was padded cotton made into suits fitted to the body. The Aztecs went to war believing that their gods had given them all Mexican lands. Furthermore, they fought to get more furnishes and land for their growing population as well as to have victims to sacrifice to the god. A place was chosen for the battle where the armies met. The fighting would get started after insults and more cries were called out and drums and conch shell trumpets were played. The battle was most likely short and was stopped for both sides when the weaker side surrendered and prisoners were taken. The Aztec soldiers’ goal was to principally attack enemies’ legs to capture them as prisoners. The soldiers brought back their opponents as prisoners to their city Tenochtitlan. They employed the prisoners as sacrifices in religious ceremonies or as slaves.

By the time Montezuma the second became ruler in 1502, Tenochtitlan was a huge city and most of it is neighbouring cities were already share of the Aztec empire. Conquering new lands meant longer journeys. The warriors complained, but the leaders wanted more power and more tributes to support their huge population. Their priests spurred and encouraged the leaders to conquer new lands to keep the gods happy with blood offerings. The ruler Ahuitzotl had to reward and recompense his warriors to win in battles. When he died, the empire was at it is utmost glory; however, perils of revolt perpetually threatened the empire.

Religion and Values

Religion was a conception held in high regards by the Aztecs. This ancient race believed in humane sacrifices and worshiped their own distinguishable assemblage of gods and goddesses. Like other cultures of the past, the Aztecs often times held religious ceremonies to celebrate their cherished religion. Their religion stemmed from fear of nature and a fear of the world. In a way, it was a method of explaining the complex phenomena of the past. As a result of this, Aztec beliefs often dealt with prophecies, which foretold the beginning and end of disastrous and monumental future events. These prophecies were a method of controlling nature, and finding peace in the chaos of the world that they feared. They built temples to honour their gods, and to hold artifacts of religious importance. At the top of the temple, there was an altar where they would sacrifice humane beings.

The Aztec calendar is one of this civilizations most interesting creations. This ancient schedule was used to as a means to control nature, to predict the events of the future. It consisted of the typical 365-day calendar cycle and a 260-day ritual cycle. Together, the two cycles formed a 52-year century, the Calendar Round. The 365-day cycle was known as the agricultural year, as it was employed to divide the seasons and manage the every year harvest. The ritual cycle was used to schedule their religious celebrations. Each month had it is own name, and was related with it is own god. The time of year determine why kind of rituals were to be held, as well as the god that had to be worshipped.

The actual Aztec calendar itself is disk-like in shape, and was commonly carved of stone. The calendar bares a good deal of ancient carvings applicable to the events and gods to be celebrated each year. The circular monolith itself is likewise known as the Sun Stone, representing how the Aztec year revolved around the rising and sinking sun.

The gods played a indispensable role in Aztec religion. Most distinct features of their lives revolved around their deities. The Aztecs believed that the world occurred in cycles; it would continually be destroyed and reborn, and the next cycle would be reborn.

Tezcatlipoca (Smoking Mirror) is the god of the sky, who is many times affiliated with obsidian, the main factor of Aztec weapons. He was the original ruler of the world. Legend has it that he transformed himself into the sun to govern this planet. However, one of his brothers grew jealous of him, and knocked him from the sky, ending to reign. Furious, he transformed himself into a jaguar and ate each humane being on the planet.

Quetzelcoatl, the feathered serpent deity, was the primordial god of the wind. He was a transgressor amidst the world and the sky, the link among humane and god. In fact, Quetzelcoatl is the combining of a quetzal bird (which represents the heavens) and a snake (representing the land). He is responsible for creating humane beings when the world was born. He is the same god who knocked the firstborn on from the sky. He was the ruler of the second cycle, which was destroyed by a hurricane.

Tlaloc (He Who Makes Things Sprout) was the god of rain, fertility, and water. He was loved for his capacity to fetch life through rain, yet he was dire for his power of creating storms and thunder. He was the ruler of the 3rd sun or cycle, which was destroyed by fire. It was believed that people who drowned in floods would pass on to Tlaloc for guidance. He was married to Jade Skirt, the water goddess, as their similar elementary traits would attest to.

Chalchiuhtlicue (Skirt of Jade) was the water goddess that represented youth and beauty. She was ruler of the fourth world, which she at long last destroyed with a flood to make way for the fifth world. People relied on her for good harvests.

The fifth world (as in this current world) is ruled by no god, since none of the divine deities wanted the obligation of governing the land, believing it to be too much trouble. The Aztecs prevised that an earthquake would demolish this world.

The Aztecs were very religious in everything they did, including war. They believed it was their responsibility to god to fight battles. This was a major driving strength behind their ferocious natures in combat. In a way they dire god, or rather, they dire divine punishment must they lose a battle. Above all, the Aztecs valued humility, honour, and loyalty. These rules used to every one around them, friend or foe. They did not think of their opponents as enemies, but merely as “brothers who chose not to act like brothers”. It is true that the Aztecs enslaved and sacrificed galore people. However, they did this out of “respect”, since they believed that there was no more outstanding honour than to be sacrificed or put into service in the name of their god. In fact, they often sacrificed their finest warriors when the supply of slaves ran short.

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