An unearthed school shows that universal education got an early start in Mexico. Today, the system lags with the indigenous receiving less schooling than the rest of the population.
Courtesy of Centro Cultural de España
The school, called the Calmecac or "house of the lineage" in the Aztec language of Nahuatl, was unearthed in what was once the heart of the Aztec empire, Tenochtitlan, now a dizzying slice of the megalopolis of Mexico's capital. The ruins went on display for the first time in a recently opened exhibit in the cultural center's new wing.
The school, built between 1486 and 1502, was a sacred place of study for the children of Aztec nobility.
And though commoners inside the school walls would have been few and far between, the Aztecs of central Mexico played an important role in the world of education.
They are believed to be among the first to offer universal education at a time when other societies reserved study only for the privileged.