Nowadays, however, scholars are of the opinion that the Toltecs were more likely to have migrated into the region of central Mexico from the northwestern desert, perhaps during the 9 th or early 10 th century AD. Many dynasties of the conquest period,… Toltec pyramid at Tula, Hidalgo. One possible clue they point to is that the Aztecs referred to several Mexican city-states as Tollan, “Place of Reeds,” such as “Tollan Cholollan.”. Indeed, in the Nahuatl language the word “Tōltēcatl” [toːlˈteːkat͡] (singular) or “Tōltēcah” [toːlˈteːkaʔ] (plural) came to take on the meaning “artisan.” The Aztec oral and pictographic tradition also described the history of the Toltec Empire, giving lists of rulers and their exploits. Historicists believe that Aztec accounts of the Toltecs can be trusted as historical sources. Many questions still remain about the inhabitants of this site, including questions about their origin and their demise. Some 20th-century historicist scholars, such as David Carrasco, Miguel León Portilla, Nigel Davies and H. B. Nicholson, argued that the Toltecs were a distinct ethnic group. The later Aztec culture saw the Toltecs as their intellectual and cultural predecessors, and described Toltec culture emanating from Tōllān [ˈtoːlːaːn] (Nahuatl for Tula) as the epitome of civilization. This site also raises questions about the flow of influence between multiple Mesoamerican cultures before the rise of the Aztec Empire. No consensus has yet emerged about the degree or direction of influence between these two sites. The Postclassic Maya civilizations of Chichén Itzá, Mayapán, and the Guatemalan highlands have been referred to as “Toltecized” or “Mexicanized” Mayas. This led him to posit the theory that Chichén Itzá had been violently taken over by a Toltec military force under the leadership of Kukulcan. Theories abound about the role the Toltecs actually played in Mesoamerica, from the central Mexican valleys all the way down to certain Maya city-states. He was the first to note similarities in architectural styles between Tula and Chichén Itzá, a famous Maya archeological site. Recent scholarship does not frame Tula, Hidalgo, as the capital of the Toltecs as described in the Aztec accounts. Multiple theories place the Toltec and the site of Tula within a more general framework: While the residents of the site of Tula, Hidalgo, remain a mysterious group, and their ethnic and social dynamics are obscure, they left behind substantial archeological records that modern scholars have attempted to parse through. The historicists believe that there is truth within the stories told by the Aztecs. Others believe that Aztec accounts are too shrouded in myth to be trusted as sources of truth. This fourth sun immediately precedes the fifth sun of the Aztec people, which was prophesied to be presided over by Quetzalcoatl. Much of what is known about the Toltecs is based on what has been learned about the Aztecs, another Mesoamerican culture that postdated the Toltecs and admired the Toltecs as predecessors. Historicists supportive of the ethnic group theory also argue that much of central Mexico was possibly dominated by a “Toltec empire” between the 10th and 12th centuries CE. The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture that dominated a state centered in Tula in the early Postclassic period of Mesoamerican chronology (c. 800–1000 CE). Certain Mayan sites, such as Chichén Itzá, share distinctive archeological traits with religious monuments and buildings in Tula. Some researchers argue that the only historically reliable data in the Aztec chronicles are the names of some rulers and possibly some of the conquests ascribed to them. Rather, it takes “Toltec” to mean simply an inhabitant of Tula during its apogee. Some scholars argue that the Toltec era is best considered the fourth of the five Aztec mythical “suns” or ages. The historical traditions also state that these migrations were responsible, along with a series of natural disasters, for the collapse of a great empire ruled by a people called the Toltec from their capital of Tollan, or Tula. They also connect this city with other cultural sites in Mesoamerica. He was the first to note similarities in architectural styles between Tula and Chichén Itzá, a famous Maya archeological site. Désiré Charnay, the first archaeologist to work at Tula, Hidalgo, defended the historicist views based on his impression of the Toltec capital. Stone carving of Quetzalcoatl. Along with these distinct relics, the Toltecs also built distinctive pyramids that mirror other sites, such as Chichén Itzá. During the early part of the 6 th century AD, Huémac, a legendary chief, is said to have led the Toltecs southwards in search of a new settlement. Furthermore, the site of Tula includes two ball courts for the religious rubber ball game that appears in many Mesoamerican civilizations. However, this skeptical school of thought acknowledges that Tula still contributed to central Mexican cultural heritage in unique ways. Archaeologist Laurette Sejourné, followed by the historian Enrique Florescano, argued that the “original” Tollan was probably Teotihuacán. Since so much of what remains on record about the Toltecs may have been tainted by Aztec glorification and mythology in the 14th through 16th centuries, it is difficult to parse out the true history. Another controversy relating to the Toltecs remains how best to understand the reasons behind the perceived similarities in architecture and iconography between the archaeological site of Tula and the Mayan site of Chichén Itzá. A scholar that utilizes Aztec accounts of Toltec culture to piece together the history of the Toltec people. This led him to p… These stone statues highlight the artistic style of the city of Tula. Theories abound about the role the Toltecs actually played in Mesoamerica, from the central Mexican valleys all the way down to certain Maya city-states. https://www.boundless.com/world-history/textbooks/boundless-world-history-textbook/. The feathered serpent deity that appears in carvings at Tula and also in much later buildings and mythology in the Aztec Empire. Similarities to the pyramid at Chichén Itzá can be seen, including the sloped shape and external steps. Separating the term “Toltec” from those of the Aztec accounts, it attempts to find archaeological clues to the ethnicity, history, and social organization of the inhabitants of the site of Tula. Among modern scholars it is a matter of debate whether the Aztec narratives of Toltec history should be given credence as descriptions of actual historical events. These same Atlantean figures, as they are called, also appear at the Mayan sites of Chichén Itzá and Potrero Nuevo. Skeptics argue that the ancient city of Teotihuacán and the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan were much more influential sites for Mesoamerican culture than Tula. The historicists believe that there is truth within the stories told by the Aztecs. Toltec warrior statues at Tula. He also appears regularly in carvings at Tula. While all scholars acknowledge that there is a large mythological part of the narrative, some maintain that by using a critical comparative method some level of historicity can be salvaged from the sources. This powerful feathered serpent deity has deep mythological roots in Aztec stories. Tula also boasts intricate carvings of eagles, jaguars, hummingbirds, and butterflies, all of which the Aztec Empire used prolifically. Désiré Charnay, the first archaeologist to work at Tula, Hidalgo, defended the historicist views based on his impression of the Toltec capital. On the other side of the argument lie those who believe that the Aztec stories are clouded by myth and cannot be taken as accurate accounts of the Toltec civilization. Gigantic stone statues of Toltec warriors that only appear at the sites of Tula, Chichén Itzá, and Potrero Nuevo. Much of what is known about the Toltecs is based on what has been learned about the Aztecs. This school of thought connected the “Toltecs” to the archaeological site of Tula, which was taken to be the Tollan of Aztec myth. Others maintain that continued analysis of the narratives as sources of actual history is futile and hinders access to actual knowledge of the culture.