The Aztecs were natives of central Mexico, who left behind a legacy of splendid art, architecture and spiritual and religious icons.
Myth and legend state that the Aztecs had so much gold and golden treasure that the Spaniards who came to conquer in the 1500’s are said to have chronicled rooms filled to the ceiling with gold and golden items.
Much of this is myth, the Spaniards recovered some gold but mass amounts were never recovered and are said to have been spirited away by the Aztecs during the Spanish invasion.
The promise of hordes of gold became an obsession for the Spaniards, an obsession many were prepared to die and kill over.
Cortez a name that many will recognise was an explorer, adventurer and conqueror under the governor of Cuba and later king Charles of Spain. His most famous undertaking was his march into the heart of the Aztec empire in Tenochtitlan with 600 Spaniards and several thousand neighbouring natives, at first he was welcomed by the emperor who hoped to learn more about the foreign invaders.
This welcome included the presenting of lavish gifts of treasure to the Spaniards including gold which enticed the Spaniards to betray the peace and attempt to plunder the Aztec empire eventually leading to their downfall, of which was partly through disease and war with neighbouring states
The main myth tells of great hordes of gold spirited away by the Aztecs and hidden in great caves or in underground lakes deep within their empire keeping it away from the invaders.
Although subjugated to many tortures and cruelties the native Aztecs never gave up the secret of the lost gold although it’s likely they never knew the secret or the gold never existed.
To this day however the legend still exists and if true, the location of supposed hordes of hidden treasure remains a mystery.
Some of the myths that surrounded the legendary Aztec gold included:
- Miles long chains of gold so heavy that thousands of men were required to carry it.
- Rooms filled to the ceiling with vast amounts of golden treasures
There is no denying the Aztecs had gold, some of which ended up in Spanish hands, some of which remained, but tales of vast amounts of hidden treasures are likely just tales, why would a civilisation build up great quantities of riches and just store them in vaults and rooms.
If true however, then central Mexico would be a treasure hunters dream.