From teotihuacan to tenochtitlan. Two trajectories of social change

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I review quantitative data for several major social and economic changes in central Mexico from the Classic Period through the Late Postclassic Period. Two kinds of trajectories through time can be identified. First, population and urbanization exhibited U-shaped curves of change: High values for Teotihuacan in the Classic, then lower values during the Epiclassic and Early Postclassic periods, followed by high values again in the Late Postclassic (Aztec) Period. On the other hand, economic measures (trade and commercialization) increased over this interval, while measures of well-being or standard of living declined. This is a preliminary study that points to the importance of quantitative archaeological data for research on the changes that took place in ancient Mesoamerica.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-254
Number of pages16
JournalRevista Espanola de Antropologia Americana
StatePublished - 2017


  • Ancient states
  • Inequality
  • Mexicas
  • Teotihuacan
  • Tula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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