Mesoamerica's landscape is divided into two main geographic areas, highlands, or land high above sea level, and lowlands, or land that is low and level. In the highlands, it is very dry and in the low lands, it was more of a rain forest and was very cold.
The Olmec first started along Mexico's Gulf coast around 1200 B.C. this culture lead birth to Mesoamerica. Olmec contained pyramids, and temples built on earthen mounds. In Olmec workers, including those who hauled the rocks for stone sculptures, and farmers made up most of Olmec society.
Zapotec were the first people to create the first cities in Mesoamerica. For centuries, the Zapotec lived in farming villages located throughout the Oaxaca Valley. The Zapotec built magnificent tombs in which they buried the bodies of wealthy people wearing their gold jewelry.
Cortez and the end of the Aztec Empire
The Maya emerged around the same time as the Zapotec. Like the Olmec farmers, Maya farmers developed successful agricultural practices. They produced surpluses of crops. The classes determined where people lived and how they dressed. The Mayan people also played a game called Pok A Tok which determined who would get sacrificed!
The Aztecs built Tenochtitlan on two islands in a swamp in the western part of Lake Texcoco. To feed their growing population, they constructed artificial fields called chinampas. The Aztec developed into skilled warriors. At first, they fought for other kings, but then they overthrew their masters and began fighting for themsel
The Aztec was still able to overpower the Aztec even though they were outnumbered with superior weapons, such as guns and cannons, as well as horses. Because of their ruthless approach to conquest, the Spanish destroyed Aztec buildings, art, and literature. However, some Aztec ruins, artifacts, and writings survived the conquest.