What Was Mexico Called in Ancient Times?

Mexico is a country with a rich and fascinating history, dating back to ancient times. In fact, the land we now know as Mexico was inhabited by several indigenous civilizations that had their own unique names for the region.

One of the earliest civilizations to inhabit Mexico was the Olmec civilization. They lived in what is now southern Mexico from about 1400 BCE to 400 BCE. The Olmecs called their land “Xicallancahual,” which means “Land of Rubber.”

Another significant civilization in ancient Mexico was the Maya civilization. They thrived in the Yucatan Peninsula from about 2000 BCE to 1500 CE. The Maya referred to their homeland as “Mayab,” which means “The Land of Few.”

Moving forward in time, we come to the Aztecs, who dominated central Mexico from about 1325 CE until the Spanish arrived in 1521. The Aztecs called their capital city Tenochtitlan and referred to their empire as the “Triple Alliance” or “Aztec Empire.” However, they did not have a singular name for all of Mexico.

It wasn’t until after Spanish colonization that the region became known as “Mexico.” The name comes from Mexica, which was a term used by the Aztecs to refer to themselves. Today, many indigenous languages are still spoken in Mexico alongside Spanish.

In conclusion, ancient Mexico was known by several different names depending on which civilization inhabited it at the time. From Xicallancahual to Mayab and beyond, each culture had its own unique name for this fascinating land. It wasn’t until Spanish colonization that it became known as Mexico, named after the Mexica people who inhabited central Mexico during that time period.