Foreigners at Teotihuacan: Tracing Multiethnicity Through the Rise and Fall of the City.
Morris, Rebecca M.
- Located in the Basin of Mexico, Teotihuacan was an ancient metropolis of magnificent scale, at its height during the Mesoamerican Classic. The city emerged and grew to a size of nearly 200,000 people at an extraordinary rate. First established around 100 BCE, the city expanded rapidly and flourished for centuries. Yet, around 550 CE the city’s monuments were destroyed and by the 8th century CE, ... read moreits collapse was complete and much of its population disappeared. The arrival of immigrants to Teotihuacan spurred the city's growth and shaped the ideological program of the state and the socioeconomic organization of society. The volcanic eruptions of Popocatépetl and Xitle initiated the earliest mass movements of refugees. At the arrival of these foreigners, monumental construction along the Avenue of the Dead began. Following the erection of these monumental structures, building at the city reflects a shift of attention from the public to the domestic spheres with the construction of the apartment compounds designed to house this huge population. A key feature of the apartment compound structure is the role of crafting, so these foreign compounds and their economic activities are examined in order to show the rise of merchants and an intermediary class. This new merchant class and the increasing economic disparity in the city is ultimately a factor in the instability of the state and society. In response to an effort by the state to reassert its power, the population revolted, resulting in the burning and vandalism of the elite center of the site and marking the beginning of Teotihuacan's collapse. This project uses the most recent ecological dating, and DNA and isotopic studies to reconstruct an approximate timeline of the arrival of foreigners and the construction activities at Teotihuacan to demonstrate the profound impact foreigners had on the development of Teotihuacan’s ideology, architecture, economy, and society.read less