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Nahuatl-speaking people who held sway over what is now central Mexico from the 10th to the 12th century. Whether their urban centre was Tula or Teotihuac is a matter of dispute. In the 10th century they formed a number of small states of various ethnic origins into an empire. They introduced the cult of Quetzalc, and other Toltec religious and military influences spread through the Yucatán region and were absorbed by the Maya. They were noted as builders and craftsmen; artifacts include fine metalwork, gigantic statues, and carved human and animal standard-bearers. They were succeeded by the Aztec. See also Mesoamerican civilization.
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