Xalla, Teotihuacan: A Multifunctional Palace for the Ruling Elite of Teotihuacan

Author(s): Linda R. Manzanilla

Year: 2017


In corporate societies such as Teotihuacan, it is not easy to detect the places where the ruling elite dwelt, made decisions, managed goods and labor, or participated in cult activities. Teotihuacan is very different from the Maya urban sites: no royal tomb has been found, rulers are not depicted or easily recognized. The corporate organization may have permeated the ruling elite, where a possible council of lords may have headed the Teotihuacan state. Xalla, with a surface of ca. 50,000 m2, is located 235 m. to the north of the Pyramid of the Sun. Since 1997, it has been under research by Linda R. Manzanilla; 15% of it has been extensively excavated. It may have been one of the seats of power for ancient Teotihuacan. The main plaza consists of four equivalent elevated precincts, one to each cardinal point, and set around a temple in the center. These four precincts had iconographical elements related to different deities, suggesting that the possible co-rulers may have been related to particular gods. The ruling elite of Xalla had embedded craftsmen located in Plaza 5: lapidary craftsmen, painters, garment-makers, carpenters, perhaps also potters. Xalla has also a royal treasure of mica.

Cite this Record

Xalla, Teotihuacan: A Multifunctional Palace for the Ruling Elite of Teotihuacan. Linda R. Manzanilla. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429091)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 12120