The Aztec and Maya

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The Aztec and Maya were both American Indian people. The Aztec were ruled by a mighty empire in Mexico during the 1400's and early 1500's. The Maya however, developed a magnificent civilization in Central America and Southern Mexico. Both civilizations contributed a great deal to the modern world and invented items that are still used today.

According to the Aztec Legend, the ancestors of the people who founded Tenochtitlan, came to the Valley of Mexico. The Aztec wandered for many years before settling in the valley in 1200's. At first, they were subjects of people who lived in the area, but later, in the mid 1300's, the Aztec founded their own city, Tenochtitlan. By the early 1400's, Tenochtitlan had become a powerful city and controlled the region around it, nearly forming a city-state. Tenochtitlan became the most powerful member of the alliance with Texcoco and Tlacopan. It began to build up to what eventually became the Aztec empire. Many years before the Aztec empire was created, the heart of the Maya civilization was also developing. The first farmers settled in the area of El Petén as early as 2500 BC, in search for fertile land for crops. By 800 BC, the Maya lowlands were completely settled. Just after this time, was the classic period, which lasted from 250 to 900 AD. During these years, the Maya founded their greatest cities and made their remarkable achievements in the arts and sciences. The city of Teotihuacan had the strongest influence on Maya art and architecture; it was similar to their capital city. The collapse of Teotihuacan, about year 600, affected the Maya greatly. As a result of this, the Maya stopped construction work in their cities and halted the erection of stelae. After a short period of time, the Maya civilization recovered and continued to grow for another 300 years. Today people are still trying to discover the reasons for the collapse of the Teotihuacan. They believe it may be due or caused by disease, crop failure, and the...
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