The Aztecs emerged in the late 1300s, in the area that today is Mexico, from the Mexica, one of the ancient peoples of the region. Most of the Aztecs were commoners, who provided the labor needed for the culture to thrive. They served as soldiers, farmed the land, and built cities such as Tenochtitlan. The culture began to collapse when the Aztecs were overtaken by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s. This book explores the ancient Aztecs through social structure. It takes a look at the people and details the duties of an emperor, the activities of a farmer, and much more. It also describes some of the discoveries and writings that have led to our present-day understanding of this fascinating culture. Book jacket.