The farms are generally small, and are for the most part tilled by manual labour.
Of this farm he " tilled as much as kept half a dozen men," retaining also grass for a hundred sheep and thirty cattle.
They can, however, only carry on their work extensively under anaerobic conditions, as in waterlogged soils or in those which are badly tilled, so that there is but little loss of nitrates through their agency.
The greatest estates belonged to the king, or had been granted to military chiefs whose sons succeeded them, or were the endowments of temples, but the calpulli or village community still survived, and each freeman of the tribe held and tilled his portion of the common lands.
In the course of two generations the farmers who paid rent for these holdings became more and more numerous, and demesne land tilled by villein-service grew more and more rare.