The 16th Century Merchant Community of Santa Maria Acxotla, Puebla

Author(s): Kenneth Hirth; Colin Hirth; Sarah Imfeld

Year: 2015


Although merchants were an important component of the prehispanic and post-conquest landscape, not much is known about the internal organization of merchant groups and the structure of their respective communities. This paper examines the size, composition, and internal organization of the small merchant community of Santa Maria Acxotla located in the Puebla-Tlaxcala basin of highland Mexico. Census data collected 39 years after the conquest suggests that specialized merchant communities operated relatively unchanged well into the 16th century. The information from Santa Maria Acxotla is summarized and compared to the Aztec period site of Otumba, Mexico that is known to have contained a pochteca merchant community in the Basin of Mexico. The data from Santa Maria Acxotla provide new data on how merchant communities may have been organized prior to Spanish Conquest.

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Cite this Record

The 16th Century Merchant Community of Santa Maria Acxotla, Puebla. Kenneth Hirth, Sarah Imfeld, Colin Hirth. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395702)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;