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  • Print publication year: 2015
  • Online publication date: March 2015

13 - Teotihuacan: an early urban center in its regional context

from Part III - Early urban landscapes

Summary

Urbanization in the Ancient Near East is inseparably tied to the name of the city of Uruk in southern Mesopotamia. This chapter discusses the earlier developments, focusing on the communication technologies, which can count as forerunners of writing. Presumably, Uruk was surrounded with a city wall built over during subsequent phases of city growth. The appearance of writing in southern Mesopotamia is preceded by a long development of various means of information storage and processing, related to the evolution of a stratified social system and highly differentiated economy. Information on the time before 3300, including both the older part of the Late Uruk period, and the Early Uruk and Late Ubaid periods, is scarce. The best evidence comes from a deep sounding in Uruk itself, which reaches back into the fifth millennium BCE. Finally, it presents a picture of the interdependence between urbanization and the development of communication technologies.

Further readings

Andrews, Bradford W., “Stone Tool Production at Teotihuacan: What More Can We Learn from Surface Collections?”, in Kenneth G. Hirth and Bradford W. Andrews (eds.), Pathways to Prismatic Blades: A Study in Mesoamerican Obsidian Core-Blade Technology, Los Angeles: The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, 2002, pp. 47–60.
Barba, Luis A., and José Luis Córdova Frunz, “Estudios energeticos de la producción de cal en tiempos teotihuacanos y sus implicaciones,” Latin American Antiquity 10 (1999), 168–79.
Beramendi-Orosco, Laura E., Galia González-Hernández, Jaime Urrutia-Fucugauchi, Linda R. Manzanilla, Ana M. Soler-Arechalde, Avto Goguitchaishvili, and Nick Jarboe, “High-Resolution Chronology for the Mesoamerican Urban Center of Teotihuacan Derived from Bayesian Statistics of Radiocarbon and Archaeological Data,” Quaternary Research 71 (2008), 99–107.
Blanton, Richard E., and Lane Fargher, Collective Action in the Formation of Pre-modern States, New York: Springer, 2008.
Cabrera Castro, Rubén, “La excavation de la Estructura IB en el interior de la Ciudadela,” in Rubén Cabrera Castro, Ignacio Rodríguez García, and Noel Morelos García (eds.), Memoria del Proyecto Arqueologico Teotihuacan 80–82, Mexico City: Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 1982, pp. 75–87.
Cabrera Castro, Rubén, and Sergio Gomez Chavez, “La Ventilla: A Model for a Barrio in the Urban Structure of Teotihuacan,” in Alba Guadalupe Mastache, Robert H. Cobean, Ángel García Cook, and Kenneth G. Hirth (eds.), Urbanism in Mesoamerica, University Park: Pennsylvania State University, 2008, Vol. II, pp. 37–83.
Cap, Bernadette, “‘Empty’ Spaces and Public Places: A Microscopic View of a Late Classic Plaza at Chan, Belize,” in Cynthia Robin (ed.), Chan: An Ancient Maya Farming Community in Belize, Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2012.
Charlton, Thomas H., “Teotihuacan Non Urban Settlements: Functional and Evolutionary Implications,” in Emily McClung de Tapia and Evelyn C. Rattray (eds.), Teotihuacan: nuevos datos, nuevas síntesis, nuevos problemas, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1987, pp. 473–88.
Cowgill, George L., “Origins and Development of Urbanism: Archaeological Perspectives,” Annual Review of Anthropology 33 (2004), 525–49.
Cowgill, George L., “Rulership and the Ciudadela: Political Inferences from Teotihuacan Architecture,” in Richard M. Leventhal and Alan L. Kolata (eds.), Civilization in the Ancient Americas: Essays in Honor of Gordon R. Willey, Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 1983, pp. 313–43.
Cowgill, George L., “Teotihuacan as an Urban Place,” in Alba Guadalupe Mastache, Robert H. Cobean, Ángel García Cook, and Kenneth G. Hirth (eds.), Urbanism in Mesoamerica, University Park: Pennsylvania State University, 2008, Vol. II, pp. 85–112.
Cowgill, George L., “The Urban Organization of Teotihuacan, Mexico,” in Elizabeth C. Stone (ed.), Settlement and Society: Essays Dedicated to Robert McCormick Adams, Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute, 2007, pp. 261–95.
Díaz Oyarzabal, Clara, “Chingú y la expansion teotihuacana,” in Evelyn C. Rattray, Clara Díaz Oyarzabal, and Jaime Litvak King (eds.), Interacción cultural en Mexico central, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, 1981, pp. 107–12.
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Gómez Chávez, Sergio, “La Ventilla: un barrio de la antigua ciudad de Teotihuacan,” unpublished BA thesis, Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, 2000.
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Longstaffe, Fred J., Michael W. Spence, Rebecca Storey, and Christine D. White, “Immigration, Assimilation, and Status in the Ancient City of Teotihuacan: Stable Isotopic Evidence from Tlajinga 33,” Latin American Antiquity 15 (2004), 176–98.
McClung de Tapia, Emily, “Patrones de subsistencia urbana en Teotihuacan,” in Emily McClung de Tapia and Evelyn C. Rattray (eds.), Teotihuacan: nuevos datos, nuevas sintesis, nuevos problemas, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1987, pp. 57–74.
Millon, René, “Social Relations in Ancient Teotihuacan,” in Eric R. Wolf (ed.), The Valley of Mexico, Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1976, pp. 205–48.
Millon, René, Bruce Drewitt, and James A. Bennyhoff, The Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan: 1959 Investigations, Philadelphia, PA: Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 1965.
Plunket, Patricia, and Gabriela Uruñuela, “Tradition and Transformation: Village Ritual at Tetimpa as a Template for Early Teotihuacan,” in Nancy Gonlin and Jon C. Lohse (eds.), Commoner Ritual and Ideology in Ancient Mesoamerica, Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2007, pp. 33–54.
Rattray, Evelyn C., “Anaranjado Delgado: cerámica de comercio de Teotihuacán,” in Evelyn C. Rattray, Clara Díaz Oyarzabal, and Jaime Litvak King (eds.), Interacción cultural en México Central, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1981, pp. 55–80.
Sanders, William T., and Larry J. Gorenflo, Prehispanic Settlement Patterns in the Cuautitlan Region, Mexico, University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, 2007.
Spence, Michael W., “Domestic Ritual in Tlailotlacan, Teotihuacan,” in Patricia Plunket (ed.), Domestic Ritual in Ancient Mesoamerica, Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, 2002, pp. 53–66.
Spence, Michael W., “The Scale and Structure of Obsidian Production in Teotihuacan,” in Emily McClung de Tapia and Evelyn C. Rattray (eds.), Teotihuacan: nuevos datos, nuevos síntesis, nuevos problemas, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 1987, pp. 430–50.
Sugiyama, Saburo, Human Sacrifice, Militarism, and Rulership: Materialization of State Ideology at the Feathered Serpent Pyramid, Teotihuacan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
Sugiyama, Saburo, and Ruben Cabrera Castro, “The Moon Pyramid Project and the Teotihuacan State Polity,” Ancient Mesoamerica 18 (2007), 109–25.
Sullivan, Kristin S., “Commercialization in Early State Economies: Craft Production and Market Exchange in Classic Period Teotihuacan,” Ph.D. dissertation, Arizona State University, 2007.
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