What Two Ancient Civilization Lived in Mexico?

Mexico is home to a diverse range of ancient civilizations that have contributed significantly to the rich history of the country. However, two of the most notable civilizations that lived in Mexico were the Aztecs and the Maya. These two civilizations had distinctive traits, including culture, religion, art, and architecture.

The Aztecs:
The Aztecs were a Mesoamerican civilization that was established in the 14th century. They were known for their advanced social, political, and economic systems.

The Aztecs built their capital city called Tenochtitlan on an island in Lake Texcoco. The city was connected to the mainland by causeways that allowed for easy transportation of goods and people.

The Aztec society was highly structured with a strict hierarchy. At the top of this hierarchy was the emperor who was considered to be divine. The emperor was surrounded by a group of advisors who helped him make important decisions about governance and warfare.

The Aztecs were also known for their religious practices, which involved human sacrifices. They believed that sacrificing humans would ensure good harvests and protect them from disasters like floods or earthquakes.

The Maya:
The Maya civilization existed from around 2000 BC until its collapse around AD 900. The Mayan civilization was located in present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.

The Mayans were skilled architects and mathematicians who developed a writing system called hieroglyphics. They built impressive structures like pyramids with intricate carvings and designs that are still admired today.

Mayans placed great importance on religion and developed a complex calendar system based on astronomical observations. They believed that certain dates were auspicious for specific events like planting crops or conducting rituals.

  • Differences between Aztecs and Mayans:

While both civilizations had similarities such as a focus on religion, art, and architecture, there were also significant differences between the two.

The Aztecs were known for their military prowess and expansionist policies. They conquered neighboring communities and demanded tribute in the form of goods or human sacrifices. On the other hand, the Mayans did not have a central political authority and instead had numerous city-states that were independent of each other.

The Aztecs used a pictorial writing system while the Mayans had a hieroglyphic system that was more complex and advanced.


Mexico has an incredibly rich history that has been shaped by various civilizations. The Aztecs and Maya are two of the most important civilizations that inhabited Mexico.

While they both had similarities such as their focus on religion, art, and architecture, there were also significant differences between them. Studying these ancient civilizations can give us insight into how these societies functioned and what we can learn from them today.