Northern Gulf Coast Trade in the Mesoamerican Postclassic: The Evidence from Brownsville

Author(s): Lauren Bussiere; Nadya Prociuk

Year: 2018


The Postclassic period (ca. 1000-1520 CE) in the coastal Gulf of Mexico was characterized by an increase in trade and interaction between groups moving along the coastline and larger inland polities such as the Aztec empire. While exchange between Mesoamerican groups is increasingly well documented, the extent of interaction between people in Mesoamerica and those living further northward is poorly understood. Evidence of the nature and strength of cultural ties between the Huasteca of the Gulf coastal lowlands and more northerly coastal peoples exists in several collections from south Texas sites, namely those of the Brownsville Complex in the Rio Grande Delta. Although they appear superficially to be a marginal culture isolated from the larger interaction spheres of both the Aztec tributary polities to the south and the Toyah and Rockport cultures of Texas, the people of the Brownsville Complex may in fact represent the northern periphery of Mesoamerican interaction.This paper reviews the evidence for Brownsville Complex connections to the Huasteca and other coastal peoples and characterizes the relationship between these groups within the greater context of Postclassic interaction along the Gulf Coast and beyond.

Cite this Record

Northern Gulf Coast Trade in the Mesoamerican Postclassic: The Evidence from Brownsville. Lauren Bussiere, Nadya Prociuk. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443178)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22772