Toltec Agriculture: Characteristics And Main Products

The tolteca agriculture was characterized by growing corn, beans, squash, various grains and legumes. The Toltecs used the system of cutting and burning trees to prepare the land. This type of system was quite harmful to the soils where they lived.

Despite damaging the soils, its irrigation system was considered one of the best of the pre-Columbian cultures. Their agriculture was an essential part of trade in the area, where they bartered.

The Toltecs are a pre-Columbian civilization that inhabited Mexican territory. His agriculture was not only important economically, but it was one of the main reasons for his change from nomadism to sedentary lifestyle.

Advanced agriculture for the time

The Toltec irrigation system was above average in the 12th century with respect to other pre-Columbian civilizations.
This system was characterized by the use of channels, so the flow of water was highly controlled.

In addition to the irrigation systems, due to the scarce rainfall in the area, they built dams. The first finds of these implementations date back to 1100 BC.

The Toltec civilization, whose name means ” civilized ” was nomadic for 104 years according to historians.

They became sedentary when they observed that the cultivation of corn and beans was effective in the area for obtaining food.

The Toltecs were located in what is now the state of Hidalgo in Mexico. The soil of this locality was one of the most fertile in Mesoamerica. However, today it is semi-arid due to the constant burning of the trees.

Main products of its agriculture


Corn, one of the main crops of their agriculture, was used more than just the grain.

The Toltecs extracted the root and the leaves for medicine and decorative functions. The same covered most of the areas of sowing in civilization.


Another of the products that they cultivated was cotton, being used in the manufacture of fabrics for their clothing.

Cotton was an important part of the commercialized production with other cultures such as the Mayan.


Amaranth also played a very important role in Toltec agriculture. Studies have revealed that its nutritional properties are enormous.

It was harvested and consumed in times of drought and famine. It contains a large amount of protein, which is why it was one of the main elements of its gastronomy.


The Toltecs were also important producers of maguey (a plant of Mexican origin), with which, thanks to the fermentation, they made a drink called “Pulque”. As a curious fact, the drink “Tequila” comes from the same plant.

In addition, with the cultivation of maguey, its leaves were extracted to make fabrics as with cotton.

Other crops of the Toltec culture include yucca, chili, cacao, papaya, guava, avocado, and others. It was a culture that intensified production in sowing fields. However, advances in architecture are also attributed to him.


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