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In the Aftermath of Teotihuacan: Epiclassic Pottery Production and Distribution in the Teotihuacan Valley, Mexico

  • Destiny Crider (a1), Deborah L. Nichols (a2), Hector Neff (a3) and Michael D. Glascock (a4)

Abstract

Despite the political fragmentation of Central Mexico following the breakup of the Teotihuacan state, the Epiclassic Coyotlatelco ceramic style was widespread in the Basin of Mexico and adjoining areas. Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was used to determine sources of Coyotlatleco pottery from Teotihuacan in collections made by the Teotihuacan Mapping Project and from rural sites in the Teotihuacan Valley. A sample of Mazapan, Early Postclassic pottery from rural sites also was analyzed. The INAA results indicate that most Coyotlatelco serving vessels consumed at Teotihuacan and in rural villages in the Teotihuacan Valley were locally made with few imports from elsewhere in the Basin. Following the decline of the Teotihuacan state Epiclassic polities in the Basin of Mexico had an “inward” economic orientation. During the Early Postclassic rural villagers continue to mostly consume locally made Mazapan pottery. We discuss implications of these findings for models of the Postclassic political economy and the Classic to Postclassic transition.

Resumen

A pesar de la fragmentación política del Centro de México que sobrevino a la desintegración del estado Teotihuacano, el estilo cerámico Coyotlatelco del Epiclásico se mantuvo disperso en la Cuenca de México y en sus áreas aledañas. El análisis instrumental de activación neutrónica de fragmentos de cerámica Coyotlatelco indica que la mayoría de las vasijas de servicio consumidas en Teotihuacan y en las aldeas rurales del Valle de Teotihuacan fueron hechas localmente y que hubo pocos ejemplares importados de otros lugares dentro de la Cuenca. Estos hallazgos están basados en 103 muestras de tiestos de cerámica del Epiclásico provenientes de las colecciones del Teotihuacan Mapping Project dirigido por René Millon, y del Teotihuacan Valley Settlement Project dirigido por William T. Sanders. Los resultados de 68 muestras de cerámica adicionales indican que esta tendencia continúa durante el Postclásico Temprano en los sitios rurales del valle de Teotihuacan. El patrón que muestra productos cerámicos localmente manufacturados y consumidos es consistente con los recientes hallazgos de otros sitios de la Cuenca de México (específicamente Chalco y Cerro Portezuelo). Estos hallazgos demuestran que la amplia distribución de cerámicas decoradas del Epiclásico y algunas del Postclásico Temprano no se debió al dominio de un centro de producción único en la Cuenca de México.

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In the Aftermath of Teotihuacan: Epiclassic Pottery Production and Distribution in the Teotihuacan Valley, Mexico

  • Destiny Crider (a1), Deborah L. Nichols (a2), Hector Neff (a3) and Michael D. Glascock (a4)

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