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The Aztecs, or Mexica, were a powerful empire in central Mexico. Infamous for their practice of human sacrifice, which earned them the enmity of many peoples subject to their rule, they created remarkable agricultural, urban, and architectural innovations that are often overlooked. The Aztec empire arose at the end of the twelfth century CE and lasted until overthrown in 1521 by the Spanish conquistadores and their indigenous allies. The Aztec language, Nahuatl, is still a widespread language throughout the valley of Mexico.