The Presence of Teotihuacan’s Iconography at Cacaxtla, Tlaxcala: A Reflection on Its Interpretations

Author(s): Mario Martínez Lara

Year: 2015


The archaeological site of Cacaxtla, is located in the southwest of the modern state of Tlaxcala, Mexico. It has been explored uninterruptedly since 1975, and researchers agree that the site had a long occupation, reaching its height by AD 600-900, and being contemporary to other sites like Teotihuacan. Cacaxtla stands out for its mural painting and, in particular, for its iconography that combines many pictorial traditions from different Mesoamerican sites. In particular, Cacaxtla’s art draws upon the styles of Teotihuacan and the Classic Maya. Studies that focus on the interpretation of the Cacaxtla’s iconography have revealed Teotihuacan influence and, after a bibliographic review, I conclude that, even through the effort to explain the relations between both sites, it has not been clarified which was the ideological basis for the use of similar iconography. Besides, studies have tended to focus on Maya influence in the art of Cacaxtla, relatively few have investigated the importance of themes from Teotihuacan that appear at the site.In this paper, my objective is to show what I think are the principal problems involved in finding those bases and to propose a new way to approach them.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

The Presence of Teotihuacan’s Iconography at Cacaxtla, Tlaxcala: A Reflection on Its Interpretations. Mario Martínez Lara. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396184)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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