Trade and Tribute Routes among the Spanish and Pipil in Cuscatlan, El Salvador

Author(s): Rosemary Lieske

Year: 2016


In ancient societies political, ideological, and environmental factors played a role in determining settlement patterns and trade routes. The use of GIS-based modeling approaches, such as least cost path analysis, provide us with a greater understanding of how ancient people moved and interacted in the landscape and the possible trade routes that existed among them. In this study I use network and least cost path analyses to reconstruct the network of trade and communication routes surrounding early sixteenth century Ciudad Vieja. As the first Spanish villa in El Salvador, Ciudad Vieja (1528) was the center of tribute and exchange for 52 known Pipil villages in the Cuscatlán region. Least cost path analysis and other GIS-based techniques help to identify the best possible trade and exchange routes of staple goods and tribute among local settlements. Additionally, it will help us identify villages that served as secondary and tertiary centers of exchange outside of Ciudad Vieja.

Cite this Record

Trade and Tribute Routes among the Spanish and Pipil in Cuscatlan, El Salvador. Rosemary Lieske. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404976)

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Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;