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Chiconautla, Mexico: A Crossroads of Aztec Trade and Politics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Deborah L. Nichols
Affiliation:
6047 Silsby Hall, Department of Anthropology, Dartmouth College Hanover NH 03755deborah.nichols@dartmouth.edu
Christina Elson
Affiliation:
Anthropology Division, American Museum of Natural History, 79th St at Central Park West, New York City, NY 10024celson@amnh.org
Leslie G. Cecil
Affiliation:
Stephen F. Austin State University, Box 13047-SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX 75962cecillg@sfasu.edu
Nina Neivens de Estrada
Affiliation:
Tulane University, Dept. of Anthropology, 1326 Audubon Ave., New Orleans, LA 70118ninaneivens@yahoo.com
Michael D. Glascock
Affiliation:
University of Missouri, 2032 Research Reactor Center, 1513 Research Park Drive, Columbia, MO 65211glascockm@missouri.edu
Paula Mikkelsen*
Affiliation:
Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History, 79th St at Central Park West, New York, NY 10024 (Present address: Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, pmm37@cornell.edu)
*
1(Present address: Paleontological Research Institution, 1259 Trumansburg Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, pmm37@cornell.edu)

Abstract

Chiconautla, situated on the northeastern shore of Lake Texcoco and the southern edge of the Teotihuacan Valley, lay at an important juncture for east-west exchange in the Basin of Mexico with connections to asfar away as the Gulf Coast. Recently, we completed an INAA study on ceramics from Chiconautla to examine marketing and exchange patterns from A. D. 950 to 1521. We present these data and contextualize them in light of contexts excavated at the site by George C. Vaillant, in particular materials from an Aztec noble residence he called “Casa Reales.” We also examine historical information regarding Chiconautla’s role in Aztec society as it existed at the eve of Spanish conquest. We evaluate the site’s particular position at the crossroads of important trade routes in light of recent models of Aztec markets and exchange and what these patterns say about shifting political affiliations in this critical region.

Chiconautla, ubicado en el margen noreste del Lago de Texcoco y en el límite sur del Valle de Teotihuacan, se sitúa en un lugar estratégico para facilitar el intercambio este-oeste en la Cuenca de México con conexiones tan lejanas como la Costa del Golfo. Recientemente completamos un estudio de INAA en muestras cerámicas de Chiconautla para examinar los sistemas de mercado y patrones de intercambio entre 950 y 1521 d. C. Presentamos aquí estos datos, organizados de acuerdo a los contextos excavados por George Vaillant en el sitio de Chiconautla, en particular los materiales que provienen de una residencia noble Azteca de las que él llamó “Casas Reales.” También examinamos información histórica acerca del papel que jugó Chiconautla en la sociedad Azteca en la víspera de la conquista española. Evaluamos la posición particular del sitio en la confluencia de importantes rutas de comercio tomando como referencia los modelos recientes propuestos para entender los mercados e intercambios Aztecas, y lo que dicen estos patrones acerca de los cambios de afiliaciones políticas en esta crucial región.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 by the Society for American Archaeology.

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References

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