While Mayan civilization coexisted with Aztec civilization, it was much older, dating as far back as 2000 BC and possibly even farther. The Mayans were responsible for many of the developments that shaped Aztec culture.
Aztecs got their religious pantheons from the Mayans, as well as their intricate mythology. They also shared a belief in human sacrifice and cannibalism as vital to keeping the land fertile. This was especially important to them, because both societies were primarily agricultural. The Aztecs got their all-important maize from the Mayans, who had been cultivating it for thousands of years along with beans, squash, and chilies – all foodstuffs that are now in use all over the world, thanks to the Mayans and Aztecs.
A world without the delicious chilies these civilizations gave us would be a very sad place to live indeed. Politically, Mayans and Aztecs were both ruled by kings or monarchs, who were believed to have lineage that extended back to the gods, a trait they had in common with many rulers of the major civilizations in Europe, Africa, and Asia.