Mesoamerica´s landscape is divided into two main geographical areas:highlands, or land high above the sea, and lowlands, or land that low and level. The highlands lie between the mountains of the Sierra Madre, a mountain system in Mexico.
The Olmec culture began along Mexico´s Gulf Coast around 1200 B.C. Archaeologists are not sure but in 400 B.C., the Olmec civilization dissapeared.
The Zapotec people would build one of the first major cities in Mesoamerica, but their beginnings were humble. Monte Alban became the center of the Zapotec civilization. Around A.D. 750 Monte Alban´s power began to weaken. By 900, the city had dissapeared.
Cortez and the end of the Aztec Empire
The Maya emerged around the same time as the Zapotec did. This culture began to develop to the east of the Zapotec in areas of present day southern Mexico and Central America around 1500 B.C. Like Olmec farmers, Maya farmers were developing successful agricultural practices. Sadly, in 1700 B.C., the Maya mysteriously dissapeared.
Aztec power depended on the empire´s huge military, which conquered many people and then demanded tribute from defeated populations. The Aztecs acomplished in making technology. With their technology, the created a city called, Tenochtitlan.