The Aztecs were a civilization in central America during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. The capital of the Aztec empire was Tenochtitlan which was built on islands in Lake Texcoco. The capital of Mexico, Mexico city, is built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan. Although the Aztec culture was not as advanced as Greece or Rome, education was mandatory, and everyone could read. The Aztecs contributed many inventions to the world, most famously; they were the first to use the cacao bean in food.