Aztecs vs. Mayas

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The Aztecs and the Mayas are two of the most important civilizations in the history of Mesoamerican culture. The Aztecs being warriors and mercenaries; the Mayas intellectuals and artists. Both cultures learned to adapt in different ways to the region where they settled, they both had highly developed societies, they were very religious, they both achieved a high level in science, but yet both empires came to an end.

By the 13th century the entire region, then known as the Valley of Anahuac, was inhabited by many different enemy city-states. Among the last to arrive to the scene were the Aztecs. The Aztecs sustained themselves in this area by offering their services as mercenaries, that is soldiers who receive pay as oppose for soldiers who served to their nation, for the mighty Tepanecs (peoples that controlled that region and most of the tribes that occupied it). Eventually they rebelled against their rulers, effectively taking power over the valley, that giving them their reputation as great warriors among the other tribes of this region and also the other islands.


The beginnings of the Maya have been traced back to 1500 BC, their culture flourished between 600 and 900 BC. While not the earliest of the Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya are considered the most intellectual of these civilizations. The Mayas sustained themselves by farming. Their settlements were situated close to cenotes, natural water holes that allowed their produce to survive in the very hot tropical climate. They not only cultivated maize, beans, squash, and chili peppers, but also ?cash crops? of cotton and cacao, the evergreen tree that produces the seeds that are the source of cocoa and chocolate. (The Maya) In the religious aspect, Aztecs believed in signs and prophesies. A foretold prophecy explains to the Aztecs that after...