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date: 21 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The Gulf Lowlands were an environmentally and culturally heterogeneous region characterized by a history of complex societies that predated their incorporation into the Aztec Empire by millennia. This chapter provides an overview of the different incorporation strategies implemented throughout the Gulf Lowlands, the divergent responses to imperial machinations, and the resultant provincial variability reflected in archaeological assemblages of contact nodes. The sample of research mentioned here is representative of a quickening trend highlighting the ways that Gulf Lowland provinces were internally organized, how they were selectively and externally linked to changing imperial interests, and what their roles were in connecting imperial and Mesoamerican networks. Although rarely detailed in ethnohistorical accounts, archaeology shines a light on a region that is often relegated to the peripheries of Mesoamerican prehistory because of its documentary omissions.

Keywords: Gulf Lowlands, Veracruz, Aztec Empire, provincial variability, archaeology

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