Calibrating Variation in Domestic Midden Assemblages Among Aztec Period Households in Western Morelos

Author(s): Dennis Lewarch

Year: 2017


Archaeologists and geographers calibrate the flow of commodities among households and settlements to infer patterns of production, consumption, economic function, and social class. Michael Smith and his colleagues developed sophisticated measurements of wealth and social class using residential architecture attributes and domestic artifact assemblage diversity from excavations at three Aztec Period sites in Morelos. Here, data from over 4,000 surface collection units in eight Aztec Period sites in the Coatlan del Rio Valley, Western Morelos, are partitioned into over 300 domestic middens. Collections are from plowed fields without direct surface evidence of house foundations, and were generated by occupants from a variety of household sizes, ranging from single, isolated houses to patio complexes with as many as five or six structures. I use 38 ceramic vessel classes, 15 stone tool classes, spindle whorls, and figurines to measure the flow of ceramics and lithics among households, identify artifact suites that likely correlate with economic functions, and infer stone tool and textile production localities. I compare patterns in the Coatlan data to those discussed by Smith and others at the excavated sites of Capilco, Cuexcomate, and Yautepec to expand their interpretations regarding Aztec Period social and economic organization in Morelos.

Cite this Record

Calibrating Variation in Domestic Midden Assemblages Among Aztec Period Households in Western Morelos. Dennis Lewarch. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429592)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13256