Mesoamerica_Lec4_VMex_2007

Mesoamerica_Lec4_VMex_2007 - RISE OF CIVILIZATION April 10,...

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1 R ISE OF C IVILIZATION [\Mesoamerica 2007 Lec4 VMex.doc] April 10, 2007 T. D'Altroy M ESOAMERICA IV: T HE V ALLEY OF M EXICO © Terence N. D’Altroy [sources: de Montmollin class notes; Pasztory 1988; Wenke and Olszewski 2007; Blanton et al. 1993; Cowgill 1993; Stuart 1995] Natural Setting 1. central highlands of Mexico a. internally draining basin b. 7,000 km 2 c. 7,000' above msl: generally cool climate d. frost potentially severe problem 2. rainy season: May-October a. gradient: 450 mm/yr in north 1. 1,000 mm/yr in south b. so irrigation is crucial for long-term agricultural success 3. large interconnected lake system a. covers 1,000 km 2 b. produces lakeshore plain 1. contrasts with alluvial plain in Oaxaca c. increasingly saline to the south 4. chinampas a. small, consolidated agricultural plots b. created by dredging shallow lake near shoreline C HRONOLOGY Early Horizon (1400-900 BC ) 1. earliest well-defined ceramic assemblages in the valley a. Olmec motifs imply participation in interaction sphere 2. only 19 sites known: centralization or hierarchy unclear a. Tlatilco may have been most important: now under cement factory b. impressive array of grave goods 1
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Zacatenco Phase (900-600 BC ) 1. marked by cessation of use of Olmec style pottery 2. 75 known sites a. total population: 20,000 for valley b. some sites up to 50 ha 1. i.e., at least 2,000 people c. southern part of valley still favored 3. no evidence found for public architecture a. so hard to argue for central places Ticoman Phase (600-150 BC ) 1. continued population growth a. up to 154 sites b. 90,000 people in valley 2. settlement hierarchy now clearly developing a. esp. in south b. settlements with monumental architecture 1. several with mounds up to 5m high c. but complexity not yet comparable to that of contemporaneous Oaxaca 1. i.e., nothing comparable to Monte Albán I 2. largest sites comparable to second-tier Oaxaca sites Patlachique Phase (150 BC - AD 1) 1. emergence of 2 major centers a. Teotihuacan: NE part of valley b. Cuicuilco: SW part 1. about 400 ha 2. about 20,000 people 3. several large platforms a. largest: 20m high, 80m in diameter 2. Teotihuacan a. before 200 BC : relatively unimportant b. lots of areas suitable for irrigation agriculture c. obsidian available nearby 2
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d. stands on natural trade route 3. two other clusters of sites in valley a. in far SE corner b. around Texcoco c. may imply 4 centers of power 1. separated by lightly populated zones 2. perhaps buffers Tzacualli Phase ( AD 1-100) 1. Cuicuilco buried under lava flow 2. emergence of Teotihuacan as sole power in valley: by 100 AD a. sudden population growth 1. probably taking advantage of Cuicuilco's misfortunes b. population of about 80,000 1. spread over 20 sq km 2. perhaps 80% of Basin population 3. approaching population maximum: 125,000-200,000 a. reached in Classic Period c. virtual depopulation of the growing city's hinterland 1. forced or voluntary? 3. city laid out in quadrants: cruciform plan
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Mesoamerica_Lec4_VMex_2007 - RISE OF CIVILIZATION April 10,...

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