Mexican inventions and discoveries are objects, processes or techniques invented or discovered, partially or entirely, by a person from Mexico. These also include concepts or practices introduced by Mexican people and their indigenous ancestors. Some of the objects, processes or techniques developed in the Pre-Columbian era were also invented or discovered independently in other cultures. This list shows only inventions and discoveries first introduced in present-day Mexican territory, or those that vary significantly in concept, figure, or use.

Pre-Hispanic

Musical instruments

A drawing from the 16th century Florentine Codex showing a One Flower ceremony with a teponaztli (foreground) and a huehuetl (background).
A drawing from the 16th century Florentine Codex showing a One Flower ceremony with a teponaztli (foreground) and a huehuetl (background).

Art

Wall painting in Teotihuacan.
Wall painting in Teotihuacan.

Calendrics

Aztec Sun stone
Aztec Sun stone

Engineering

The Palace and aqueduct at Palenque
The Palace and aqueduct at Palenque
Toilet in Teotihuacan.
Toilet in Teotihuacan.
The Palace Observation Tower at Palenque.
The Palace Observation Tower at Palenque.

Metal production

Copper bells, axe heads  and ornaments from various parts of Chiapas (1200–1500) on display at the Regional Museum in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.
Copper bells, axe heads and ornaments from various parts of Chiapas (1200–1500) on display at the Regional Museum in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas.

Games and entertainment

Food preparation

A tamal dulce breakfast tamal from Oaxaca, Mexico. It contains pineapple, raisins and blackberries.
A tamal dulce breakfast tamal from Oaxaca, Mexico. It contains pineapple, raisins and blackberries.
Molcajete used to grind spices
Molcajete used to grind spices

Crops and cultivation

Chia seed measuring 2 mm
Chia seed measuring 2 mm
Native Oaxaca criollo avocados, the ancestral form of today's domesticated varieties
Native Oaxaca criollo avocados, the ancestral form of today's domesticated varieties
One of the remaining chinampas in Xochimilco
One of the remaining chinampas in Xochimilco

Livestock

Fashion

Page from the Codex Mendoza depicting warriors wearing Ichcahuipilli armor, and wielding fans and tepozli(spears).
Page from the Codex Mendoza depicting warriors wearing Ichcahuipilli armor, and wielding fans and tepozli(spears).

Dog breeds

Artist Diego Rivera with a Xoloitzquintle at the Casa Azul
Artist Diego Rivera with a Xoloitzquintle at the Casa Azul

Body armor

Dentistry

Medication

Aztec Herbal Medicines[18]
Botanical name Nahuatl name Uses
Artemisia mexicana Itztuahyatl Weakness, colic, reduce fever; coughing
Bocconia frutescens Cococxihuitl Constipation, abscesses, swelling
Bromelia pinguin Mexocotl heat blisters in the mouth
Carica papaya Chichihualxo-chitl Latex unripe fruit for rash ulcer; ripe fruit digestive
Casimiroa edulis Cochitzapotl sedative
Cassia occidentalis or Cassia alata Totoncaxihuitl Astringent, purgative, anthelmintic, relieves fever, inflammation of rashes
Chenopodium graveolens Epazotl Against dysentery, anthelmintic, helps asthmatics breathe
Euphorbia calyculata Cuauhtepatli; chupiri Purgative, skin ailments, mange, skin sores
Helianthus annuus Chilamacatl fever
Liquidambar styraciflua Ocotzotl; xochiocotzotl quanhxihuitl Rashes, toothache, tonic for stomach
Montanoa tomentosa Cihuapatli Diuretic, oxytocic, cures hydropesia
Passiflora jorullensis Coanenepilli Causes sweating, Diuretic, pain reliever, poisons and snake bites
Perezia adnata Pipitzahuac Purgative, cathartic, coughing, sore throat
Persea americana Auacatl; ahuaca quahuitl Astringent, treat sores, remove scars
Pithecolobium dulce Quamochitl Astringent, causes sneezing, cures ulcers and sores
Plantago mexicana Acaxilotic Vomit and cathartic
Plumbago pulchella Tlepatli; tletlematil; itzcuinpatli Diuretic, colic, gangrene
Psidium guajava Xalxocotl Digestion, dysentery, mange
Rhamnus serrata Tlalcapulin Dysentery, bloody bowels
Salix lasiopelis Quetzalhuexotl Stops blood from rectum, cures fever
Schoenocaulon coulteri; Veratrum frigidum Zoyoyatic Causes sneezing, kills mice/lice/flies
Smilax atristolochiaefolia Mecapatli Causes sweating, diuretic, relieves joint pain
Tagetes erecta Cempohualxochitl Causes sweating, cathartic, cures dropsy
Talauma mexicana yolloxochitl Comforts heart, used against sterility
Theobroma cacao Cacahuaquahuitl Excess diarrhea, can cause dizziness

Math

An illustration of the Pre-Columbian abacus: the Nepohualtzintzin
An illustration of the Pre-Columbian abacus: the Nepohualtzintzin

Sports

A solid rubber ball used (or similar to those used) in the Mesoamerican ballgame, 300 BCE to 250 CE, Kaminaljuyu. The ball is 3 inches (almost 8 cm) in diameter, a size that suggests it was used to play a handball game. Behind the ball is a manopla, or handstone, which was used to strike the ball, 900 BCE to 250 CE, also from Kaminaljuyu.
A solid rubber ball used (or similar to those used) in the Mesoamerican ballgame, 300 BCE to 250 CE, Kaminaljuyu. The ball is 3 inches (almost 8 cm) in diameter, a size that suggests it was used to play a handball game. Behind the ball is a manopla, or handstone, which was used to strike the ball, 900 BCE to 250 CE, also from Kaminaljuyu.
This page from the Codex Tovar depicts a scene of gladiatorial sacrificial rite, celebrated on the festival of Tlacaxipehualiztli.
This page from the Codex Tovar depicts a scene of gladiatorial sacrificial rite, celebrated on the festival of Tlacaxipehualiztli.

Behavioral products

Chemical

Social

List of Maya numerals from 0 to 19 with underneath two vertically oriented examples
List of Maya numerals from 0 to 19 with underneath two vertically oriented examples

Commerce

Alcoholic beverages

Health and hygiene

Pictogram of an Aztec temazcal in the Codex Magliabechiano
Pictogram of an Aztec temazcal in the Codex Magliabechiano

Astronomy

Maya observatory: El Caracol
Maya observatory: El Caracol

Colonial

Industrial

Economy

Spanish dollar coin minted in Mexico City c. 1809
Spanish dollar coin minted in Mexico City c. 1809

Food

Quesadillas served at a Friendly's restaurant in New Jersey
Quesadillas served at a Friendly's restaurant in New Jersey

Music and musical instruments

George and Laura Bush at the White House with Mariachi Campanas de América.
George and Laura Bush at the White House with Mariachi Campanas de América.

Alcoholic beverages

Sports

A Charro making a risky "suerte" (Luck).
A Charro making a risky "suerte" (Luck).

Fashion

Ranching and farming

Chemical

Modern

Construction and civil engineering

A tridilosa, in the ceiling of the Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte, Mexico
A tridilosa, in the ceiling of the Terminal Central de Autobuses del Norte, Mexico

Chemical

Antidotes

Pharmaceutical

Automotive

Mastretta MXT side
Mastretta MXT side

Transport

Aviation

Firearms

The influence of the G36 receiver, AK styled gas piston and Mexican recoil delaying system can all be seen in this partial cut away of a first generation FX-05 Xiuhcoatl.
The influence of the G36 receiver, AK styled gas piston and Mexican recoil delaying system can all be seen in this partial cut away of a first generation FX-05 Xiuhcoatl.

Military technology

Veracruz (fore) and Guanajuato (rear) at Progreso, Yucatán, Mexico
Veracruz (fore) and Guanajuato (rear) at Progreso, Yucatán, Mexico

Music and musical instruments

Students at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City dancing in the quebradita style
Students at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City dancing in the quebradita style

Art

Food

Nachos with cheese, chicken, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole
Nachos with cheese, chicken, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guacamole

Games and celebration

A nine-pointed star piñata
A nine-pointed star piñata

Dog breeds

Alcoholic beverages

Modern technologies

A mouse and mousepad
A mouse and mousepad

Survailance technologies

Communications

Sports

Padel area at ISPO 2014
Padel area at ISPO 2014

Political

Industrial

Tortilla machine
Tortilla machine

Medical

Discoveries

References

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  2. ^ Walker, C. 1980, p. 162.
  3. ^ Coe, M. 2008, p. 193.
  4. ^ Şentürk, Fuat (1994). Hydraulics of Dams and Reservoirs. Water Resources Publication. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-918334-80-0.
  5. ^ "Ancient Mayans Likely Had Fountains and Toilets". Live Science. December 23, 2009.
  6. ^ Murrin, John (2014). Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People Sixth Edition. Wadsworth Cengage Learning. p. 17. ISBN 978-0495904991.
  7. ^ Aveni, Anthony F., Gibbs, Sharon L., Hartung, Horst (June 1975). "The Caracol Tower at Chichen Itza: An Ancient Astronomical Observatory?". Science. 188 (4192): 977–985. Bibcode:1975Sci...188..977A. doi:10.1126/science.188.4192.977. PMID 17759669. S2CID 10865295.((cite journal)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ see Hosler 1988, 1995.
  9. ^ Hosler 1988, Pendergast 1962.
  10. ^ Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World
  11. ^ Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World
  12. ^ [1]. Aztec History. Retrieved February 2015.
  13. ^ "16 Indian Innovations: From Popcorn to Parkas".
  14. ^ "Transoceanic drift and the domestication of African bottle gourds in the Americas", Kistler et al, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, February 10, 2014.
  15. ^ "UF researchers discover earliest use of Mexican turkeys by ancient Maya". EurekAlert!. August 8, 2012.
  16. ^ Emory Dean Keoke (2002), Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World: 15,000 Years of Inventions and Innovations, Checkmark Books, ISBN 9781438109909
  17. ^ Phillips, Charles "The Complete Illustrated History of the Aztec & Maya: The Definitive Chronicle of the Ancient Peoples of Central America & Mexico – Including the Aztec, Maya, Olmec, Mixtec, Toltec & Zapotec" 2015.
  18. ^ Ortiz de Montellano, Bernard. (1975). Empirical Aztec Medicine. Science. 188. 215-20. 10.1126/science.1090996.
  19. ^ "The Prehispanic Computer? The Nepohualtzintzin". Chispa Magazine. September 1986.
  20. ^ [2]. Manufacturing: A Historiographical and Bibliographical Guide. Retrieved February 2015.
  21. ^ Halber, Deborah (July 14, 1999), Rubber processed in ancient Mesoamerica, MIT researchers find, MIT News
  22. ^ [3]. Top 5 Ancient Aztec Inventions. Retrieved February 2015.
  23. ^ Kramer, Miriam (January 2013). "Ancient Maya Predicted 1991 Solar Eclipse". Live Science.
  24. ^ Terry (1909), p. 506.
  25. ^ Encyclopedia of the American West. Retrieved February 2015.
  26. ^ "CRT Cursor Control Mechanism Pad". Xerox Disclosure Journal. November–December 1979. Retrieved 2020-07-23.
  27. ^ Lawrence, E. O., McMillan, E. M., & Alvarez, L. W. (1960). Electronuclear Reactor (No. US 2933442).
  28. ^ [4].Chronicles of Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Manuel Villagómez, TIA and Tortilla Topics
  29. ^ [5] CONACYT informe
  30. ^ [6]. Vision learning