I found a few articles about the two cities, but I am not sure where to start with my essay. Eventually, the essay will be about 1300 words, but I need some help with understanding the various beliefs and the cities... Maybe assist me with an outline and a few focus areas?
"Compare Inca religious beliefs and how they shaped the layout of Machu Picchu in Inca culture with the Aztec religion imprinted in the city plan of Teotihuacan."
Hi there! I can understand your desire for structure and topical guidance. While the answer to those does and should in many ways reflect what available material you already have, I'll give the best ideas I have. Religion was of course central in many ways to their societies, and naturally the construction of the cities would reflect this. Whether you want to address similarities and then differences or vice-versa, it would be best to do both.
As far as similarities:
• Both cities were at the crux of their societies.
• Both cities were made mostly of stone, reflecting their naturalistic beliefs.
• Both cities placed the temple at the center of their cities - this reflecting the centrality of religion to their cultures.
• Both temples contained high places, the highest of those being reserved for literal human sacrifice.
• Both religions required sacrifice as a means of appeasing what they perceived as deities' wrath.
• Both religions considered that the world had to be "renewed" in order to cease it from being destroyed.
As far as differences:
• The Aztecs believed in animism, reflected in the fact that much of the city, and the entire temple, contained stone.
• The Incans believed in a modified version of this animism, choosing instead to focus on a sun god who ruled over all; this could be reflected in the Incan decision to fill more of their city and temple areas with growth (as this growth literally relies on the sun to flourish).
• The Aztecs believed that everything living in their society ...
Similarities and differences between Inca and Aztec religious beliefs, and how those could reasonably relate to the temple and city construction and layouts, are discussed with outline and topic ideas.