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Aztlan, the Mexican Atlantis

An island known as Aztlan is Mexico's Atlantis?the lost land of the Aztecs. Described in ancient legends, some people think it doesn't exist, while others have spent their lives searching for it. Some archeologists think it may be in Utah.

Alistair Bell writes that the Aztecs, a warlike tribe that practiced human sacrifice, wandered through Mexico for years before creating a great empire in what is now Mexico City around 1325. It was destroyed when the Spanish arrived. Aztlan was their original cultural center. Archeologist Jesus Jauregui says, "Aztlan is a mythical place, not a historical one." But they said the same thing about Atlantis, which several researchers have now identified. Someday soon we'll know which Atlantis site is the real one.

The Aztec language is related to the language of the Ute Indians of Utah as well as the Hopi and Comanche. A cave painting has been discovered in Sego Canyon, Utah that looks like a deity on an Aztec stone calendar. Caves found on Antelope Island in Utah may be the site of the Aztec legend about the tribe passing through seven caves. While all this proves the Aztecs were once in the area, it doesn't prove that Aztlan is there. Researcher Armando Solorzano says, "Some people say they also migrated from California. There is another belief that the Aztecs came from Florida."

But Mexicans living in the U.S. think Aztlan is in Utah. "Mexican Americans are very interested in it because it gives them identity as an ethnic group," says Solorzano. "With this massive wave of immigration from Mexico now, the immigrants are saying, 'We are returning to Aztlan,' so there is a lot of political misunderstanding and conflict." If their ancient home was in the U.S., many Mexicans wouldn't feel they were here illegally.

Mexican immigrants dream of Aztlan because, like the rest of us, they want to make one hell of a profit and still get to heaven.

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