The Chihuahua could be one of a handful of native American breeds, with roots in early civilizations in Cantral America and Mexico. This theory is supported by the evidence of Toltec carvings, ehich date back to the ninth century A.D. These show a small dog, with a round head and large, erect ears called the Techichi, who strongly resembles the modern Chihuahua. The Toltecs were once conqered by the Aztecs, who developed one of the most sophisticated cicilizations in the world. It was famous for art, culture, learning, and architecture. But the lives of Aztecs were dominated by religion. Their chief aim was to appease the gods with ceremonial sacrifices - and these included humans as well as animals. The human "victims" lived a life of luxury until the fateful say, and it is thought that the animals were treated in a similar way. The Techichi dogs lived in temples and were cared for by priests. They were prized for their special mystical powers and were thought to have the ability to see into the future. They were also famed for their healing power, with the belief that they cured the disease by absorbing it into themselves, or by passing it to someone else. When the time came for a blood offering, these dogs were sacrifised in large numbers. The red Techichi had a very special role in the Aztec's view of afterlife. They believed he could guide the soles of the dead to the underworld, making the journey across the river that seperated the world of the living from the world of the dead. Because of these special powers, became the custom to kill a Techichi when someone died, and to bury him with the human remains. This legend is borne by fact - many graves that have been excavated in Mexico contain the skeletons of small dogs. The Aztecs were conquered by the Spaniesh in the sixteenth century, and little more was heard of the Techichi. It could be that the dogs went feral, living off of small rodents, but this is only speculation. There is a time period of more than 300 years before documented evidence comes to light.