The Economics of Aztec Inequality or, the Inequality of the Aztec Economy

Author(s): Michael Smith

Year: 2015


In discussions of Aztec society, the economy and inequality are typically treated as separate realms. The former is discussed in terms of production, exchange, and consumption, while the latter is framed around nobles versus commoners and various hierarchies. Although no one would claim that these two topics are unrelated, the full extent of their interconnection is rarely acknowledged. We cannot understand Aztec economic processes and institutions without reference to patterns of inequality, nor does Aztec inequality make sense apart from consideration of the economy. Frances Berdan has made contributions to both topics, and to their joint analysis. I explore the connections among the economy and patterns of inequality, putting Frannie Berdan’s research into a broader context.

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The Economics of Aztec Inequality or, the Inequality of the Aztec Economy. Michael Smith. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395704)


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