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As the Whorl Turns: Function and Meaning in Mesoamerican Textile Production  

Geoffrey McCafferty and Sharisse McCafferty

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Woven textiles were highly prized commodities in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, to the extent that they were commonly used as tribute items and even as a standard of value in commercial ... More

Aztec Agricultural Production in a Historical Ecological Perspective  

Emily McClung de Tapia and Diana Martínez Yrizar

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
This chapter provides a brief discussion of the main themes relevant to historical ecology and how it differs from cultural ecology as used in Mesoamerican archaeology. A historical ... More

Aztec Agricultural Strategies: Intensification, Landesque Capital, and the Sociopolitics of Production  

Christopher Morehart

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
The Aztec Empire was built on an agricultural base. However, the relationships between agriculturalists and the state and the characteristics of farming systems were not monolithic. ... More

Aztec Metallurgy  

Dorothy Hosler

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
Aztec artisans produced a spectacular, sophisticated, and technically versatile metallurgy. Although they had integrated certain materials and techniques from contemporaneous and earlier ... More

Aztec Obsidian Industries  

David M. Carballo and Alejandro Pastrana

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
Obsidian was the primary lithic or stone material used for cutting activities in Aztec society, including domestic food production, craft production, hunting, warfare, and ritual. The ... More

Central Mexican States and Imperial Tribute Systems  

Frances F. Berdan

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
This article discusses central Mexican tribute systems. Tribute in central Mexican prehistory consisted of one-way movements of goods and labor from conquered polities to their conquerors. ... More

Ceramic Technology and Production  

Prudence M. Rice

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
This article discusses Mesoamerican ceramic technology and production. Some of the most beautiful art objects of the ancient Western Hemisphere were created by Mesoamerican potters. ... More

Crafting and Manufacturing in Mesoamerica: Critical Engagements with Theory and Method  

E. Christian Wells

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Production systems have long been an important subject of archaeological research in Mesoamerica. Studying how and why people formed particular groups and how those groups allocated labor ... More

The Domestication of Stone in Mesoamerica  

John Clark

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
Mesoamericans mastered stone and made cutting, killing, and pounding tools capable of accomplishing all the tasks performed by hard metals in other preindustrial civilizations. The general ... More

Markets, Merchants, and Systems of Exchange  

Kenneth Hirth

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
The production and exchange of goods and services is a fundamental feature of all human societies, and this certainly was the case in ancient Mesoamerica. Complex forms of exchange linked ... More

Mesoamerican Metallurgical Technology and Production  

Blanca Maldonado

Print publication date:
Sep 2012
Online publication date:
Nov 2012
This article attempts to link multiple lines of evidence to produce as complete a picture as possible of the chaîne opératoire of prehispanic metal production in Mesoamerica. It discusses ... More

Pregnant in the Dancing Place: Myths and Methods of Textile Production and Use  

Geoffrey McCafferty and Sharisse McCafferty

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
This chapter summarizes information about Aztec textiles and their production, providing important information about the economics of this valued good as well as insights into female ... More

The Structure of Aztec Commerce: Markets and Merchants  

Kenneth Hirth and Deborah L. Nichols

Print publication date:
Jan 2017
Online publication date:
Dec 2016
This chapter discusses the nature of commerce in Aztec society. It examines the role of merchants, crafts persons, and the marketplace in the structure of Aztec economy. The community of ... More

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