Mixtec Landscape Perception and Archaeological Settlement Patterns


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Ancient Mesoamerica

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We argue that a regional analysis which combines ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and archaeological Information can both discover and employ indigenous cultural ideals in a study of changing settlement Systems. Use of archaeological survey of the valleys of Tilantongo and Jaltepec in conjunction with the historical documentation in the Mixtec codices has allowed us to identify several ways in which ideals of landscape perception were encoded in the codices. This, in turn, allows an enhanced political and social discussion of both the changing patterns of settlement observed archaeologically and the purpose and meaning of the codices. We suggest that the codices, as a form of historical mapping, were produced to recount the common history of several closely interacting elite domains, the Postclassic Mixtec kingdoms of the southern Nochixtlan Valley and their neighbors.

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Book Chapter

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