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1519 Temple of the Green Tomb,

Altun Ha Ruins, Belize.


The Aztec Empire existed from AD 1427 to 1571 and extended from Mexico and Guatemala to the territories of Salvador and Honduras. In AD 1513, Vasco Núñez de Balboa landed in Panama seeking gold. Death and destruction followed Balboa as he decimated the Inca people raided one city after another to obtain his gold. Word traveled north about gold-eaters who consumed gold and murdered women and children. The Spanish explorer, Hernán Cortés had heard stories about gold in Mexico and Central America while in Cuba restocking his ships.

Cortés became entranced with these stories of gold and wealth, left Cuba to find this gold, and arrived in Mexico in AD 1519 with 600 men and a few horses. He soon learned about the Aztec Empire and soon made his way toward their capital city. Two years after his landing, the Aztec Empire crumbled and the invading army burned the capital to the ground in search of gold.

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