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Home > People > Culture > Aztec and Mayan Compared

Difference Between Aztec and Mayan

Aztec vs Mayan

Aztecs are a group of people belonging to specific ethnic groups of Central Mexico. Especially, Aztecs were groups of people who used to speak Nahuatl language and dominated a big part of Mesoamerica between 14th to 16th centuries. Word Aztec belongs to Nahuatl language meaning ‘people from Aztlan’, the mythological place for people speaking this language. Mexica people of Tenochtitlan, the place where Mexico City is currently located, are also called Aztecs. Mexican Valley has become center of Aztec Civilization since the 13th century. It is the same place where the capital for Aztecs Triple Alliance was built at. This Triple Alliance made the tributary empire which was to make to expand the political hegemony of Aztecs in areas other than Mexican Valley at a time when cities in rest of Mesoamerica were being conquered. The top point of the Aztec Culture has traditions, both religious and mythological where remarkable architecture along with artistic accomplishments can be seen. The archaeological remains which are found in Aztec allow gaining knowledge about their culture and history. Some of the popular remains have been found in excavations such as the Templo Mayor excavation in Mexico City.

Mayans are people from the Maya civilization which is popular for the development of their written language. Other reasons for its popularity are the developments and achievements in architecture, astronomical and mathematical systems and in the field of art. Establishment of the civilization was during Pre Classic period. During the Classic period, most of the Maya cities had reached the high stage of development that they could reach. These developments continued until Spanish arrived. The interaction with other areas of the region and the way cultures of the Mesoamerican civilizations merged in to each other results in Maya civilization sharing numerous features with these civilizations. Mayans developed the art of writing calendar and epigraphy though these weren’t originated by them. Influence of Mayans on other civilizations has been found in the shape of Mayans’ architecture and art developments. Mayans did not disappear at any time during the Classic period and they still form a sizable portion of population in the Maya area. They still continue to have their beliefs and traditions that they still follow even today.

Difference Between Aztecs and Mayans

Mayans and Aztecs have got numerous differences which are discussed here. People from both civilizations believed in sacrifice. Aztecs believed in sacrifice of human whereas Mayans believed in offering blood as a sacrifice. Mayans were a far better civilization as they had a different approach to scientific processes. Mayans were interested in study of stars and they also made a calendar which is still comparable to the one in use today. They were good students of astronomy while Aztecs were mostly involved in war and events that were full with the show of power and force. Mayans were people who were much gentle and kind as compared to Aztecs who were proud of wars. Also, the ruling methods of these people were different as well. The Aztecs had only one supreme ruler who ruled them all while Mayans had rule divided in to states which were ruled by a separate ruler.


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  • Erica

    Just add more reasons and details how they are same. I recommend using bullets to be more organized including captions

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