THIS CHAPTER BEGINS WITH A CONSIDERATION OF MEXICO’S GEOGRAPHYa key factor determining where people lived, what they ate, how they made their living, and how they moved their goods. Next are descriptions of the first known Mexicans and the hunter-gatherer societies in which they lived. The chapter then considers the beginning of agriculture and how cultivating plants allowed people to live in villages. Indigenous people eventually improved their agricultural practices, which permitted larger political entities. Finally, the chapter considers how intensive agriculture and the collection of tribute permitted sophisticated civilizations. Today the best remembered of these civilizations are the Maya and the Aztec.