Tracing the Footsteps of the Mapa Tradition in the Central Mexican Highlands


More than four decades ago H.B. Nicholson compared the so-called Palace Stone from Xochicalco to a page in a Late Postclassic or Early Colonial manuscript. Showing numerous calendrical dates and toponymic signs connected by a path marked by footprints the monument readily recalls the mapa tradition that is so well documented in the central Mexican highlands at the time of the Spanish conquest. In this paper we explore the Epiclassic evidence of this tradition, discussing not only central features of the Palace Stone, but also additional monuments from Xochicalco and sites in the vicinity, such as the recently discovered Tetlama stela, that belong to the same genre. Thus, we provide a preliminary analysis of the formal features and contents of these fascinating monuments that record an important narrative history and founding myth of Xochicalco and some of its satellite communities. Furthermore, we shall also introduce the evidence that suggests that the conventions of this tradition can ultimately be traced back to Early Classic Teotihuacan.

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Cite this Record

Tracing the Footsteps of the Mapa Tradition in the Central Mexican Highlands. Christophe Helmke, Jesper Nielsen, Ángel Iván Rivera Guzmán. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396131)


Spatial Coverage

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