Where is Camaxtli? Assessing the Iconography of Tlaxcallan Collective Government

Author(s): Aurelio López Corral

Year: 2018


Scholars have acknowledged, for many decades, that Late Postclassic Tlaxcalla (n1250/1300-1519 A.D.) was a state level political entity ruled by a form of collective government having Camaxtli as its main patron deity. Both conceptions are constantly reproduced in academic work although they derive explicitly from sixteenth century historical sources. Unfortunately, few works have undertaken the task of contrasting colonial writings against archaeological evidence in order to test if such information is valid. In an effort to better understand prehispanic Tlaxcallan sociopolitical organization, including the role of Camaxtli as a group unifying figure, this work examines the degree of collective ideology dissemination among the different social sectors by identifying political propaganda in artistic expressions such as polychrome pottery, mural painting, sculptures and figurines. Recognizing artistic depictions of deities, individuals, cargo positions, leaders, or ancestors is relevant to anthropological theory because it can shed light on aspects of the prevalent form of governance, its political orientation, and the ideological traits reproduced throughout the society.

Cite this Record

Where is Camaxtli? Assessing the Iconography of Tlaxcallan Collective Government. Aurelio López Corral. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443265)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 18.48 ; max long: -94.087; max lat: 23.161 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21899