What did the Inca Aztec and Maya have in common?
The Maya, Aztec, and Inca had developed large, complex civilizations prior to the arrival of the Spanish. The civilizations of the Maya, Aztec, and Inca that once flourished in Central and South America shared common elements. The three civilizations were as diverse as the terrains in which they lived.
Between 1800 and 300 BC, complex cultures began to form. Many matured into advanced pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations such as the: Olmec, Izapa, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec, Purépecha, Totonac, Toltec and Aztec, which flourished for nearly 4,000 years before the first contact with Europeans.
- Cuzco was the center of the Incan empire. The Incas, an American Indian people, were originally a small tribe in the southern highlands of Peru. In less than a century, during the 1400s, they built one of the largest, most tightly controlled empires the world has ever known.
- Fall of the Aztec Empire. For more on the conquest of Mexico by Spain, see also Spanish Conquest of Mexico, Siege of Tenochtitlan, and Hernán Cortés. The Aztecs were conquered by Spain in 1521 after a long siege of the capital, Tenochtitlan, where much of the population died from hunger and smallpox.
- Itzcoatl's successor Montezuma (Moctezuma) I, who took power in 1440, was a great warrior who was remembered as the father of the Aztec empire. By the early 16th century, the Aztecs had come to rule over up to 500 small states, and some 5 to 6 million people, either by conquest or commerce.
HISTORY OF MESOAMERICAN CIVILIZATION. The first civilization in central and north America develops in about 1200 BC in the coastal regions of the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico. Known as the Olmec civilization, its early site is at San Lorenzo.
- ClassZone.com. The Maya, Inca, and Aztecs built great civilizations in Mexico and in Central and South America between 1,800 and 500 years ago. The first of these was the Maya civilization. About 2,800 years ago, people known as the Maya lived in farming villages on the Yucatan Peninsula and the highlands to the south.
- Tenochtitlán was an Aztec city that flourished between A.D. 1325 and 1521. Built on an island on Lake Texcoco, it had a system of canals and causeways that supplied the hundreds of thousands of people who lived there.
- The Olmec civilization is believed to have been centred around the southern Gulf Coast of Mexico area (today the states of Veracruz and Tabasco) - further south east than the heart of the Aztec empire. The Olmec culture developed in the centuries before 1200BC (BCE), and declined around 400BC.
Updated: 2nd October 2019