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Big Changes in Little Places: An Examination of the Political Strategies of Leaders at Late Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico

Author(s): Kirby Farah

Year: 2017

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Summary

During the Late Postclassic the Basin of Mexico underwent dramatic political and cultural shifts, chiefly due to the formation and rapid expansion of the Aztec Triple Alliance. Xaltocan was among the many regional centers to be conquered and incorporated into the Aztec state. Historical documents indicate that prolonged conflict ultimately resulted in Xaltocan’s conquest and partial abandonment, thus local leaders were not integrated into the new political framework and were replaced by Mexica leaders. This fundamental shift impacted the community as a whole, and several authors have effectively outlined the impacts of the transition to empire on commoner practices (Brumfiel 1991, 1996; Morehart 2010; Overholtzer 2012). This paper builds on these previous studies, but shifts the focus to Xaltocan’s leaders and their social relationships with both the community and the state. Archaeological data collected from the successive residences of Xaltocan’s leaders throughout the Postclassic demonstrate how both private domestic practices and public displays changed for Xaltocan’s leaders over this transition. This paper will also address wider theoretical themes, particularly social memory and identity.


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Big Changes in Little Places: An Examination of the Political Strategies of Leaders at Late Postclassic Xaltocan, Mexico. Kirby Farah. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429966)


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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): 14689

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America