The Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas



      Today I learned about the Aztecs, the Mayans, and the Incas.

The Aztecs lived primarily in area known today as Mexico, the Mayans lived in Central America, and the Incas lived along South America’s western edge (i.e. Peru) during the 16th century. A map of this area — called Mesoamerica — is shown on the right. Mesoamerica literally means “middle America” in Greek.
      These were the people encountered by the Spanish Conquistadors in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Although the Spanish took over their land, there are still millions of Mayan, Inca, and Aztec descendants today.
      Here’s a chart that shows their similarities and differences:

Aztec

Mayans

Incas

Located near present-day Mexico

X

Live in Central America

X

Located along South America’s Western edge (i.e. Peru)

X

Houses made of stone bricks or mud (adobe)

X

Most houses made of adobe

X

X

Practiced human sacrifice

X

X

X

Sacrificed victims in temples or on mountaintops

X

X

Sacrificed victims in wells

X

Believed human sacrifice was necessary to “feed the gods”

X

X

X

Conquered by Spanish forces led by Hernando Cortes

X

Conquered by Spanish forces led by Francisco Pizarro

X

To learn more, you can read the book Aztec, Inca, and Maya which can be found on Amazon here.

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