Plaza, Trade, and Politics in Postclassic Tlaxcallan


Excavated lithic material from plazas at the Postclassic site of Tepeticpac, in the central Mexican state of Tlaxcala, suggests that obsidian production took place in these open spaces that may have served as marketplaces in the Late Postclassic polity of Tlaxcallan. Moreover, although green obsidian is present in Late Postclassic contexts, a decline in its presence is evident from earlier periods. In spite of ethnohistoric sources’ claims that Tlaxcallan was cut off from trade by Tenochtitlan, these data suggest that green obsidian continued to trickle into Tlaxcallan. Given the political and economic role that the plaza played in ancient Mesoamerican cities and the unique position that green obsidian held as a commodity as well as a restricted item because of Tenochtitlan’s control over the quarries allow an evaluation of Tlaxcallan’s changing relations with its neighbors in the course of the Postclassic.

Cite this Record

Plaza, Trade, and Politics in Postclassic Tlaxcallan. Nezahualcoyotl Xiuhtecutli, Aurelio Lopez Corral. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404486)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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