Modern peoples have always been fascinated with the iconic architecture, mystical religious beliefs, and once-thriving societies of the ancient Aztecs. From the fertile areas of the Oaxaca Valley and the Valley of Mexico to the great deserts of the north, this authoritative resource explores the development of the ancient civilizations of the Aztecs and their predecessors. Organized chronologically, it describes the native cultures, from the earliest farming villages to the establishment of great states and urban civilizations such as Teotihuacan and Monte Alban. By investigating the connections between these civilizations and the more obscure civilizations of northern Mexico, it offers readers insight into the birth of new cultures such as the Toltec Empire. An engagingly written, thoroughly researched text and superb photography explore, in-depth, such topics as the Aztec calendar, religion, society, and political organization, providing fresh insight into the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the Aztecs.