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They have many upper and lower rooms and cool gardens, with many trees and sweet-smelhng flowers; hkewise there are pools of fresh water, very well made and with steps leading down to the bottom. There is a very large kitchen garden next to his house and overlooking it a gallery with very beautiful corridors and rooms, and, in the garden a large reservoir of fresh water, well built with fine stonework, around which runs a well- tiled pavement so wide that four people can walk there abreast. It is four hundred paces square, which is sixteen hundred paces around the edge.

Beyond the pave- ment, toward the wall of the garden, there is a latticework of canes, behind which are all manner of shrubs and scented herbs. Within the pool there are many fish and birds. And then when we entered the city of Iztapalapa, the appearance of the palaces in which they lodged us! How spacious and well built they were, of beautiful stone work and cedar wood, and the wood of other sweet scented trees, with great rooms and courts, wonderful to behold, covered with awnings of cotton cloth.

When we had looked well at all of this, we went to the orchard and garden, which was such a wonderful thing to see and walk in, that I was never tired of looking at the diversity of the trees, and noting the scent which each one had, and the paths full of roses and flowers, and the many fruit trees and native roses, and the pond of fresh water.

There was another thing to observe, that great canoes were able to pass into the garden from the lake through an opening that had been made so that there was no need for their occupants to land. And all was cemented and very splendid with many kinds of stone [monuments] with pictures on them, which gave much to think about. Then the birds of many kinds and breeds which came into the pond. I say again that I stood looking at it and thought that never in the world would there be discovered other lands such as these.

Quality of finishing was high, and at least some of the pools were apparently finished masonry de cal y canto; Torquemada []: They must have been well-sealed because they contained freshwater in an area adjacent to the sahne lake. Diaz 38 Susan Toby Evans Fig. From Relation de Iztapalapa Diaz del Castillo [s]: Sixteenth-century depictions of a tecpan-pala. An archaeological survey of Ixtapalapa found the Aztec period remains of the town to underlie modern occupation Blanton The evocatively named Conjunto Palacio area identified in a survey of Aztec period chinampas is so called after a nearby street of the same name Avila Lopez Tenochtitlan s sister city until , Tlatelolco became its least important barrio after Tenochca ruler Axayacatl took advantage of Tlatelolcan royal marital discord and other circumstances to take over the city and its lucrative long-distance trade monopoly Evans a: The temple and palace were ruined in the process.

From Codice del tecpan []. It seems to have been rebuilt by the time of the Spanish Conquest, when Cuauhtemoc was military governor of Tlatelolco before his succession to the Tenochtitlan throne and when he lived in this location Flores Marini Although the tecpans of the Colonial period are beyond the scope of this essay, it is important to note that Tlatelolco s tecpan was rebuilt on the same location Fig.

Of the Pre-Columbian tecpan, only its location remains. In the Valley of Morelos, just south of the Basin of Mexico, Yautepec was a city-state capital ruled by a tlatoani at the time of European contact. Excavation in the southwest corner has yielded rooms that are decidedly small and utilitarian Fig.

In this early stage of research, generalizing about their layout of rooms is not possible, but the only known courtyard is both small and isolated. Over time, this side was opened to plaza activity, a point worth noting because it indicates flexibility in layout and orientation of various components of the civic-ceremonial center. In the course of the excavations, seventeen burials were uncovered, mostly in flexed posture in simple graves i.

Edificio construido en el mismo sitio en que se hallo la casa real de los senores de Tlatelolco. El nuevo edificio se termino en y se destino a una escuela de artes y oficios para ninos pobres, en especial de raza indigena y de la parciahdad de Tlatelolco, en cuya plaza se halla, mirando al Poniente. Redrawn from Hortensia de Vega Nova Note limits of excavation broken lines and mound contours wavy lines. Note wall bases solid and bro- ken lines , platform walls black- ened rules with vertical lines , and stone pavement crosshatching.

Redrawn from Michael E. Two seem to have been sacrificial victims, both adult women, one decapitated and the other dismembered Vega Nova It was the practice in Aztec times for a deceased lord to be accompanied into the afterhfe by attendants, including women Pomar []: Village Tecpans Surveys of the nearly continuous Aztec farming villages over the terraced piedmont of the Central Highlands have revealed that some villages had modest monumental archi- tecture, which may have served as local foci for the tribute payments and dispute arbitration of several adjacent villages.

That centralized government would ramify down to the village level during the Late Postclassic is understandable, given the high density of population and the propensity of polygynous nobles to have more offspring than could be supported in the city-state capitals. It would make perfect sense to establish local tecpans, staffed by members of cadet branches of city-state dynasties Evans , b: Cuexcomate, Valley of Morelos. The complex is ca. The tecpan grew over time, beginning with two separate houses, which were then leveled and a small platform built over their remains Smith This was later covered by a more extensive platform with six separate houses.

The final extension of the platform created more space for the construction of larger buildings. The more dispersed building style — the casas approach to covering the range of necessary functions — is particularly characteristic 42 Fig. The tecpan faces the downslope vista of the site, opening onto a plaza, across which is a pyramid. Cihuatecpan, Teotihuacan Valley, Basin of Mexico. The only complete physical remains in the Basin of Mexico of a building conforming to the Aztec tecpan plan were found at the village site, Cihuatecpan Evans and Abrams Yet it was three times larger than the biggest of the other two 19 The name of the site means woman-lord-place.

In tracing the etymology of the word tecpan and its associated forms, I encountered cihuatecpan as a town name, most notably as a barrio of Tenochtidan. Hence this term can be interpreted in various ways: A recent spate of ethnohistoric documents dealing with rulership has provided clear instances of women ruling as tlatoque see Cuauhtidan, p. Thus the community name Cihuatecpan could have been derived from a local incident of female rulership. Aztec farmhouses commonly featured an entry courtyard flanked by residential and work rooms, and this pattern is to some degree the seminal version of the Aztec palace.

Structure 6 had a more formal pattern. The entry courtyard was disproportionately large, 8. The dais room opposite the entryway was reached by a staircase from the courtyard. Along the back wall of the dais room, an embedded pavement of adobe bricks extended from either side of a centrally placed tlequil- style, cut-stone hearth. Other rooms around the central courtyard include raised platforms that may have served to accommo- date special guests at meetings and feasts or to store goods for tribute. Quarters for palace workers may have been separate from the palace — the shabbiest house we excavated was next to the palace, and it may have housed the tecpan pouhque palace people.

In the back of Structure 6 were two service yards with circular stone wall bases, possibly temascales sweatbaths , judging from their shape, location, and associated artifacts, which consisted of fragments of figurines, mostly of Xochiquetzal, the goddess of healthy fertility and textile arts, reflecting two of the main concerns of Aztec women. Structure 6 s construction history was estabhshed from features of wall bonding and abutting, room levels, and ceramic typology and hydration dates from sherds and obsidian blades from floor contexts and room fill Evans and Freter The construction chro- nology Fig.

The result- ing building Fig. Mansions and Pleasure Palaces The administrative tecpan announced the Aztec political process through its layout, whereas Aztec mansions and pleasure palaces, while also elite residences, expressed political organization in indirect ways. They are worth summarizing for what they reveal about the use of wealth gained from political position.

These lords resided there much of the time because Moteuczom, great lord that he was, took delight in holding court. InTenochtitlan there would have been dozens of these houses; the Spaniards wrote about laying siege to several neighborhoods of fine houses, especially those along canals. Most notable was Cuauhtemoc s house, inherited from Ahuizotl Alvarez y Gasca InTlatelolco there were also noble houses: Axayacatl had a palace built there after conquering the city in , and wealthy merchants maintained large residences, although these homes may have had modest exteriors; chroniclers report that merchants were careful to conceal the extent of their wealth so as not to inspire jealousy among the nobles.

Outside Tenochtitlan-Tlatelolco, there would have been mansions in other capitals, especially Texcoco and the twelve pochteca merchant headquarters towns. No recognizable archaeological evidence of such residences remains, but they are known from descriptions of feasts and other functions that took place within them and also from citations of the architectural features that could only be used with the permission of the ruler: This incident shows how palaces functioned as status sym- bols — win a great victory, get a great palace — and also how individual innovations of de- sign in architecture and landscaping were closely noted and became fashionable.

No one is to put peaked or flat or round additions upon his house. This privilege has been granted by the gods only to the great. Descriptions of this incident emphasize the severe justice kings had to de- ploy, even unto their own law-breaking offspring, but the subtext provides information as to who deserved a palace. Alva Ixdilxochitl —77 [—40] describes how the son, Iztacquauhtzin, came to be executed. Aztec nobles developed many properties for their recreational and contempla- tive potential, and they built pleasure palace residences at such sites, as well as creating gardens within their tecpan palaces.

Gardens were treasured by nobles, who embowered the many courtyards of their palaces with trees, vines, and flowering plants. The right to culti- vate certain plants was covered by sumptuary laws, and for a noble family to lose the privilege of developing impressive gardens was somewhat hke banishment from paradise. Such matters call forth unanswered — probably unanswerable — questions of the floral gra- dations of noble privilege: In the Basin of Mexico, there were perhaps several dozen permanent pleasure palaces and a handful of ephemeral palaces.

The development of pleasure parks in the fifteenth century by the related dynasties of Tenochtitlan and Texcoco became a fascinating contest of ehte-status rivalry Evans I should note that spiritual and ritual functions were ever-present at these pleasure palaces, which were often located at or near existing shrines, especially hot springs and mountaintops with commanding views.

It was a wonder to see, and to take care of it there were many gardeners. Everything was made in masonry and well cemented, baths and walks and closets, and apartments like summer houses where they danced and sang The Spaniards describe comfortable quarters being made up for them quickly, using bales of straw or thatch.

This must have been similar to the quarters constructed for kings when they traveled, for example, on the yearly pilgrimage of the lords to the shrine atop Mt. Palace as Power, Palace as Offering, Palace as Art Having reviewed the main types of Aztec palaces and some notable examples, we can ask what do Aztec palaces signify in broader cultural terms. When we consider the Mesoamerican sequence of cultural development, the final century was unsurpassed in terms of the territory made to serve as a catchment zone for a few related royal families. The Aztecs managed to control far more land and collect much more wealth than any competing polity or predecessor.

Many complex societies have administrative palaces, but far fewer also have horticultural gardens and imperial retreats carved into cliffs. The range of variation in palace types and sizes, the sumptuary laws — these are all indications that concentration of wealth is extreme and that high value was placed on expressions of wealth that stressed social position and taste. It is fortunate that so much is known about Aztec palaces. Spanish soldiers and clerics stayed in them for months before hostilities broke out, fortified themselves within the palaces during the conflict, and as soon as the Conquest was over staked claims to palatial property.

Spaniards admired and later imitated palace settings and layouts, re- sponding to two major aspects of the Aztec palace: Early on, the Spaniards recognized the Aztec palace form as crucial to shaping Aztec attitudes because of the role of the courtyard. In this strongly hierarchical social structure, ideas and policies affecting multitudes were first argued before a group of powerful ehtes, in the courtyards of the palaces. There he gained such respect for the court- yard as element of rhetorical process that he had the influential schools for elite Aztec youth built in that form.

Advocating the use of native customs as a context for conver- sion, Fray de Gante saw how the tecpan courtyard served as an arena for discourse, par- ticularly for the sermons that Aztec elders regularly preached to those assembled. Services were held for Spaniards in the enclosed church, and for natives in the open-air chapel McAndrew The position of the dais room, the tradi- tional seat of power, was spatially held by the enclosed church, where Spaniards attended services. In terms of preaching to the natives, the dais function was assumed by the preach- ing stations, the pulpits at the corners of the open courtyard.

This was a spatial expression of the assumption of the power of the Aztec lords by the Spaniards, and priests in particular, with regard to direct contact with the people. The Aztec aristocracy was as a whole sector of society demoted to a position inferior to that of Spaniards Gibson This Spanish colonial appropriation of the functional dichotomy of Aztec palace form, with dais and courtyard representing ruler and ruled, is enormously revealing about Aztec palaces and the close relation they have demonstrated between architectural forms, func- tions, and societal and political meanings.

In contrast to Spanish ehte houses, and the con- ventions of Iberian noble architecture, the Aztec administrative-residential palace represented its distinctive societal meaning, its courtyard and dais room shaping social and civic identity and linking the lords and their people. Acknowledgments The research into Aztec palaces from which this essay was derived was initiated with excavations at Cihuatecpan, near Otumba, Edo.

This volume, and the conference before it, would not have been possible without Joanne Pillsbury: It has been a privilege working with her, and I appreciate her comments on my ideas about Aztec palaces, as well as those by David Webster, William Sanders, Patricia Sarro, and other reviewers of this manuscript.

Alva Ixtlilxochitl, Fernando de Ally of Cortes. With a foreword by D. Texas Western Press, El Paso. Serie de Historiadores y [—40] Cronistas de Indias 4. Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, Mexico, D. Annals of Cuauhtitlan History and Mythology of the Aztecs. Annals of Cuauhtitlan and Legend of the Suns. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. Kraus Reprint, New York. Obras de Robert H.

Occasional Papers in Anthropology 6. Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Boban, Eugene Documents pour servir a Vhistoire du Mexique. Catalogue raisonne de la collection de M. Beitrdge zur Allgemeinen und Vergleichenden Archdologie Band 5: Cabrera Castro, Ruben, G.

Ignacio Rodriguez, and G. With an introduction and notes by Carlos Eduardo Castaneda. University of Texas Press, Austin. In Trabajos arqueologicos en el centro de la [] ciudad de Mexico: Nichols Diachronic Studies of City-States: Permutations on a Theme. Central Mexico from b. In The Archaeology of City-States: Nichols and Thomas H. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. Fondo de Cultural [ca.


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Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress Latin American Center Publications. University of California, Los Angeles. Berdan and Patricia Rieff Anawalt, eds. University of California Press, Berkeley. Codice del tecpan de Santiago Tlatelolco Investigaciones historicas, bk. Instituto de Investigaciones Historicas. Political Inferences from Teotihuacan Architecture. Civilization in the Ancient Americas: Essays in Honor of Gordon R. Annual Review of Anthropology Farrar, Strauss, and Cudahy, New York. Diccionario Porrua Diccionario Porrua de historia, biografla, y geograjta de Mexico, 4th ed.

Editorial Porrua, Mexico, D. Fernando Horcasitas and Doris [—79] Heyden, eds. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. With an [] introduction by Doris Heyden. Latin American Antiquity The Village of Cihuatecpan. In Households and Communities: W Archer, and R. Form and Function of the Tecpan. In Land and Politics in the Valley of Mexico: University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque. Public, Private, and Profane. Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics In Studies in Culture Contact: Conspicuous Consumption and Elite Status Rivalry.

Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes Men, Women, and Children of the Palace. In Maya Royal Courts: Takeshi Inomata and Stephen Houston, eds. Antecedents of the Aztec Tecpan. In Ancient American Elite Residences. Jessica Christie and Patricia Joan Sarro, eds. University of Texas Press, Austin in press. Methods and Results of the Field Season. In Excavations at Cihuatecpan: Publications in Anthropology Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 1: Anales del Instituto de Investigations Esteticas Journal de la Societe des Americanistes Galindo y Villa, Jesus Epigrafia mexicana: Anales del Museo National de Mexico 4: Rescate de una historia.

Municipio de Chimalhuacan, Toluca, Edo. Comparative Studies in Society and History 2: Stanford University Press, Stanford, Calif. Gillmor, Frances Estructuras en la zona de Texcoco durante el reino de Nezahualcoyotl segun las fuentes historicas. Revista Mexicana de Estudios Antropoldgicos 14 1: Guadalupe Victoria, Jose Noticias sobre la antigua plaza y el mercado del volador de la Ciudad de Mexico. Anales del Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas Heyden, Doris Glossary.

With an introduction by Doris Heyden. Estudios de Cultural Nahuatl Lienzo de Tlaxcala Lienzo de Tlaxcala. Puhlicado por Alfredo Chavero. Limon Boyce, Morrison Tenayuca: Primer sede de los chichimecas en la Cuenca de Mexico. Lockhart, James The Nahuas after the Conquest. Arqueologia Mexicana 9 El Proyecto Xalla Tezontle, Boletln del Centro de Estudios Teotihuacanos 5: Mapa de Mfixico Mapa de Mexico Tenochtitlan y sus contornos hacia Miguel Leon-Portilla and [ca. Celanese Mexicana, Mexico, D. Artes de Mexico Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.

In Urbanization at Teotihuacan, Mexico, vol. Morales Schechinger, Carlos Propiedad urbana mexica y la estructura de Tenochtitlan. Cuadernos de Arquitectura Mesoamerica Morelos Garcia, Noel Proceso de production de espacios y estructuras en Teotihuacan. Frances Borgia Steck, ed. Noguera, Eduardo Arqueologia de la region Tetzcocana. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Eng. Segunda serie, geografia y estadistica: Relaciones geograficas de la [] diocesis de Mexico, Editorial Cosmos, Mexico, D.

Cuadernos de Arquitectura Mesoamerica 4: Relaci6n de Iztapalapa In Relaciones geograficas del siglo xvi: Edicion de [] Rene Acuna 7. Homenaje a Justino Fernandez. Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas, Mexico, D. Historia de ana institution. Book 11 of the Florentine Codex. Rulership and Palaces at Teotihuacan. The Cultural Ecology of a Civilization. Academic Press, New York. El Proyecto Morelos Postclasico. Cuadernos de Arquitectura Mesoamericana Mogens Herman Hansen, ed. Journal of Field Archaeology Urban Survey in Central Mexico. Patricia de Fuentes, ed.

Universidad Autonoma de Mexico, [] Mexico, D. Umberger, Emily a Appendix 3: Material Remains in the Central Provinces. Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D. Remarks presented at a conference entitled Ancient American Palaces: Report on the Excavation at Chiconautla. Sanders Excavations at Chiconauda. The Aztec Period Occupation of the Valley, pt. Sanders and Susan Toby Evans, eds.

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Occasional Papers in Anthropology Anales de Antropologla Villalobos Perez, Alejandro Consideraciones sobre un piano reconstructive del recinto sagrado de Mexico- Tenochtitlan. Sociedad Mexicana de Antropologia, Mexico, D. With an introduction by Benjamin Keen, trans. Nelson Arizona State University his essay is an examination of social practices and processes associated with elite residential architecture in West Mexico.

High-status buildings in this part of Mesoamerica are interesting for different reasons than those in more urbanized regions. The West Mexican examples expose important principles about the spread of sociopolitical complexity and the incorporation of multiple traditions into a civihzation. At the same time, they reveal differences in elite power strategies in core versus marginal areas and within West Mexico itself. Tracing the threads of practices associated with elite resi- dences allows us to understand how the fabric of social power was constructed in West Mexico and elsewhere. Some observable regularities include the following: Before delineating these issues and discussing the architectural patterning, I define terms such as palace and West Mexico and also mention some theoretical points of departure.

The discussion moves rather widely in time Table 1 and space Fig. Palaces The definition of palaces is inextricably linked with the nature of political power, which is variably constituted according to local traditions, so that palaces and other elite- related architecture must be understood in local terms. For purposes of this essay , palaces are the residences of the principal power holders in stratified pohties. The occupants are not merely of high status, but are first-order nobility; the existence of palaces is part of what distinguishes the residents materially from mere members of a privileged class.

Pohtical power in societies that use palaces seems to be closely linked with economic power, so that 60 Ben A. Palaces are durable state- ments of social and economic order and about the place of particular occupants in that order. Pohtical actors may appropriate reli- gious symbohsm and attach it to personal residences as a strategy in the construction of social power. Looking for palaces inWest Mexico, or anywhere else, one is immediately faced with a question: Two different approaches are used here.

First, ethnographic descriptions of rulership and, to some extent, elite architecture provide one point of departure. Second, the general principles discussed above suggest some characteristics of palaces. Thus, palaces may exhibit or embody symbohsm that is ethnographically associated with rulership. In addi- tion, they should be noticeably different in size, centrality, construction materials, and inter- nal organization from other local residences; palaces are not just large, formal versions of ordinary residences.

West Mexico West Mexico is a huge region, encompassing up to half of Mesoamerica, depending 61 Elite Residences in West Mexico on how the two are defined. Some archaeologists do not consider West Mexico to be part of Mesoamerica; others suggest that it becomes incorporated only in the Postclassic period i. While this debate is largely definitional, embedded in it are important signals about the emergence of palaces and other ehte residences. For example, there is the sensible argument that Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica was a multiethnic civilization that affected, and was affected by, a multiplicity of traditions Braniff ; Meighan ; Pollard ; Schondube B.

This argument implies a need for sensitivity to variation in the grammar and syntax of architecture. At the same time, statements by Schondube B. The scale and elaboration of architecture in West Mexico does not generally match that of other Mesoamerican regions. Archaeologists lack accepted nomenclature to describe the different regions that make up West Mexico; for convenience, I distinguish core versus frontier West Mexico and some- times coastal versus interior West Mexico.

The location of the West Mexican core or cores varies through time. By core, I mean an area of heightened development, high-population density, and sociopolitical complexity. In the Late Formative, there is a core related to shaft tomb developments in Nayarit, Jahsco, and Cohma.


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In the Early Classic, there is a core of circular patio-banquette complexes of Jahsco, Zacatecas, and Michoacan. The Late Classic i. In the Postclassic, there is the well-known Tarascan core and, in addition, another core associated with the Aztatlan horizon on the coast. The distinction between coastal and interior West Mexico, fairly obvious as to location, is a natural one marked by the Sierra Madre Occidental.

Also of interest are the more restricted local cultural traditions defined by archaeologists. Contrasts in Colonial Period Rulership and Associated Architecture One key to deciphering elite architecture is to understand variations in rulership recorded by the Spanish colonists. The temptation to make facile projections onto the more remote past must be avoided, but one can legitimately derive propositions about differences in styles of rulership and the associated architecture and then see whether they seem appli- cable in Pre-Hispanic contexts.

It is useful to array the ethnographic examples on a scale of complexity while remaining sensitive to the pitfalls of reductionism. Complexity refers here to the spatial extent of a polity and its degree of hierarchy or to the extent to which social power is concentrated in the hands of a few individuals Nelson Among sedentary peoples whom the Spaniards mention, the Tarascans and the Huichol represent the extremes of hierarchy and scale, whereas certain peoples on the west coast represent intermediate formations.

The Tarascans were the only state-level society in contact-period West Mexico. Their capital, Tzintzuntzan, is recorded in the Relacion de Michoacan and has been partially exca- vated Cabrera Castro ;Rubin de la Borbolla The palace was faced with a colonnade and situated in a prominent position overlooking Lake Patzcuaro. A force of some three thou- 1 The Epiclassic, a contested concept, seems useful in this region because much of the development of ceremonial centers appears to coincide roughly with the period between the fall of Teotihuacan and the rise of Tula.

The royal family may have had exclusive rights to the means of production in several sectors of the economy Pollard The royal family controlled the allocation of tribute absolutely. Despite having these characteristics of sociopolitical complexity and individualizing practices of rulership, the population in the Tarascan core was distributed in a number of centers around the lake, forming a moderately dispersed settlement pattern.

The Huichol, as ethnographically known, exemplify less hierarchical principles of leadership. They regarded themselves as egalitarian Grimes and Hinton , avoiding individual aggrandizement and reaching decisions by negotiation and consensus. Tribute, material or otherwise, was paid to no local political center. Early documents also mention that the heads of main villages would convene to decide important issues e. The Huichol were politically integrated by the cargo system as well as a round of maize-oriented ritual, which regularly brought together representatives of resi- dential groups Fikes n.

Although the cargo system may have been in part a response to colonial demands for articulation with national powers Chance and decisions about land tenure and other resources may have been concentrated in certain lineages — as among the Pueblo of the American Southwest Brandt — it must also have been an expres- sion of indigenous principles, as Gibson argues for other colonial forms of political organization in New Spain.

The contrasts in concentration and individuation of power with those of the Tarascan polity are significant. He notes that the political leaders of the Huichol and some of their neighbors were described by the Spaniards as cacique and tlatoani, and suggests that the ancient system of authority is overlain by layers of more recent, nationally oriented, political organization and is now nearly unobservable. Unfortunately, the subsurface archaeology of the Huichol in the early Colonial period is unattested, making it difficult to assess the architectural signa- ture of the postulated regional hierarchy.

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Modern Huichol patterns of architecture and settlement pattern are fascinating ex- pressions of the current political system, in which hierarchy seems to be deliberately ob- scured. Their ceremonial centers, which also serve as commercial and political nodes, are removed both vertically and horizontally from the rest of the settlement pattern; they are located on mountain ridges while the majority of the population lives in the more agricul- turally viable canyons Grimes and Hinton Consistent with the Huichol world view, these locations emphasize the sacred nature of politics and position the living leaders to consult with ancestral spirits, who are thought to be the true governors of all matters Lumholtz ; Negrin I have learned through my visits to one center, San Andres Coahmiata, that many families maintain houses there, even though they do not live in the village for most of the year.

The houses are for use during ceremonial times, when the village suddenly becomes densely populated with celebrants. Nelson Huichol architecture includes no individual structures that resemble palaces; indeed, there is little obvious differentiation among dwellings, although this is a subject that merits more investigation.

Most houses are of relatively humble construction; strong architectural statements would not be expected in a context where equality is emphasized, and political offices are periodically rotated among different holders. Very likely, the statement as to who holds power is made by the act of having a house in the ceremonial center or not, even though families reportedly have complete autonomy in choosing where to build. The Huichol pattern provides a basehne for the subtlest expression of elitism in West Mexican architecture.

The towns encountered along the west coast by early explorers such as Nuho Beltran de Guzman and Francisco de Ibarra represent intermediate examples of scale and hierarchy. Not described in great detail, the towns were much larger than those of the sierra, yet the setdement pattern was also dispersed. Towns consisted of loosely clustered adobe structures, which were strung along major rivers and built on mounds to avoid flood damage.

Mound height and area may have been indicators of social power. One particularly strong architec- turally related political statement was recorded by Ibarra in the town of Cumupa, located in a canyon somewhat inland of the coastal plain, probably in present-day northern Sinaloa. There residents hung bones of slain enemies on the outsides of dwellings Hammond and Rey Such a symbohc statement would logically be associated with centers of power and ehtism of the sort established through achievements in warfare.

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As shown be- low — in the subsection on the Malpaso-Chalchihuites, the Altos of Jahsco, and the Bajio de Guanajuato — such symbohsm seems to have been quite relevant in Pre-Hispanic times. The above ethnographic cases suggest a number of principles, in addition to the widely recognized cross-cultural ones, that might have structured the architectural expres- sions of power in ancient West Mexico. First, all of the ethnographic examples, even the Tarascan, exhibit some degree of dispersion at the intracommunity scale.

The importance of this observation is that, in a West Mexican context, physical dispersion of a community does not rule out the concentration of pohtical power or the use of palatial architecture. In this sense, West Mexican seats of power appear to have departed significantly from those of Central Mexico or the Maya area; it is conceivable that such divergence was deeply rooted in time. Rather than using such differences to exclude the region from Mesoamerica, we might think of the differences among the regions as alternative means of expressing domi- nance relationships.

In other words, West Mexican palaces do not necessarily have to be part of urban settlements. Was such the case for ancient West Mexico? Second, there is a strong correspondence in the Tarascan-Huichol contrast between the degree of social hierarchy and the configuration of central-place architecture. Both examples have dispersed settlement patterns, yet only one is overtly hierarchical; that hier- archy is clearly stated in the architecture of the central place by way of monumental scale, cosdy materials, internal functional differentiation, and religious associations that one might 65 Elite Residences in West Mexico predict on a cross-cultural basis, manifested in uniquely Tarascan style.

Are such distinctive, elaborate buildings found in West Mexico in Pre-Hispanic times? Third, the Tarascan and Huichol examples indicate some of the ways in which West Mexican groups used the landscape to affirm social power. Pohtical centers in both societ- ies are located in elevated, sacred places.

Huichol pohtical leaders move cyclically about the landscape, not only performing rituals in the ceremonial centers, but also visiting the dis- persed hamlets that make up the great bulk of the settlement pattern. The periodic gather- ing of the population at ceremonial centers is another form of landscape use that involves affirmation of the pohtical order. It is not clear that the west coast groups used these strat- egies to mark their political arrangements. Are there relationships between landscape use and the pohtical order in ancient West Mexican societies?

Finally, there is a hint of a pattern that seems more strongly expressed in the archaeo- logical record, discussed below, of an association between places of pohtical power and the display of human remains. The example in which the bones of enemies were suspended from the walls of residences, while not specifically linked to palaces or other ehte buildings, seems germane to some of the archaeological data from the Classic period. Palaces for the Dead? The most distinctive and elaborate structures of the West Mexican Formative are not above-ground monuments, but shaft tombs Fig.

The earhest shaft tombs at El Openo date to ca. Ohveros and de Los Rios Paredes , but they are far more fre- quent ca. Most of the literature on shaft tombs is, of necessity, oriented to the art objects that have been tragically torn from their contexts by looters Furst ; Meighan and Nicholson ; relatively little is known of the arrangements of objects within the tombs but see Ohveros []; Ramos de La Vega and Lopez Mestas Camberos [].

Archaeologists have entered a number of looted tombs and described their mor- phology Long and Taylor The functions of shaft tombs are less obvious than might be thought; it is not imme- diately clear whether they were built to honor high-status individuals or were crypts, which many families might have. Most of the recorded tombs are not monumental in the sense of requiring the efforts of large numbers of builders, yet they obviously signaled special regard for selected individuals. Scholars have observed that many of the tombs were reopened and entered repeatedly over time; earher-interred remains were often moved aside to accom- modate later interments.

These actions are inferred not only from detailed accounts of looters who have been interviewed but, in a few cases, from direct observations of bone distribution by archaeologists Cabrero G. The placement of successive generations of people in the tombs seems inconsistent with ven- eration of a particular individual, and seems more appropriate if it is ancestry in general that is being venerated.

Nelson Corona Nunez Illustration 0 1 5 m b Y J ean Baker - It is the quahties of the offerings included in shaft tombs, as much as the grave morphology, that makes it possible to think of shaft tombs as elite structures. An impressive range of shell, greenstone, obsidian, large numbers of elaborate ceramic vessels, and other precious objects are included in the more abundant offerings. Most notable are the famous shaft tomb figurines.

Recently, some archaeologists and art historians have advanced the argument that shaft tombs constitute the earhest evidence of sociopolitical complexity in West Mexico Weigand If shaft tombs were a kind of palatial structure, or part of a palatial complex, they should be infrequent within settlements, associated with the more elaborate and costly above-ground structures, and located centrally within settlements or with respect to a group of settlements. They might also be placed in elevated locations such as hilltops. El Openo, the earliest shaft tomb site, is an isolated cemetery in a moderately high spot; no associated village or other residential architecture has been found Noguera ; Oliveros 4.

The Middle Formative example mentioned by Phil Weigand One of the few cases of shaft tombs for which we have an associated site map, however, is Huitzilapa, where a large and richly appointed shaft tomb was found beneath one of the minor patio-banquette com- plexes Ramos de La Vega and Lopez Mestas Camberos Testing of the other complexes at the site did not reveal additional shaft tomb entrances. Shaft tombs are also found at El Pinon in association with unremarkable architecture Cabrero G. Shaft tombs have been found on the peripheries of some sites, such as ElTeul Andrew Darhng, personal communication, June Thus it is not possible to conclude that shaft tombs were consistently associated with economically powerful families or sacred places.

Is the placement of the tombs below ground part of a strategy of masking power relations? Does it suggest a tradition of leadership that dehberately disassociates political and economic power McIntosh ? The contrast with what is occurring during the Late Preclassic in the Maya region is striking. There, the social and political distinctions are memorialized in flamboyant, costly, above-ground mor- tuary structures.

Teuchitlan The Teuchitlan tradition is one of the most important cores of West Mexican politi- cal development. Spanning the Late Formative through Middle Classic periods i. Teuchitlan follows upon and incorporates the shaft tomb tradition, such that, as mentioned above, shaft tombs are found beneath some Teuchitlan patio banquette complexes. Indeed, it may be said that the Teuchitlan tradition adds residential architecture to the shaft tomb tradition.

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Phil Weigand , emphasizes the engineering sophistication and scale of Teuchidan architecture; he also argues that the setdement system contains four or five tiers ranging from the largest, most complex sites to the smallest. Michael Ohnersorgen and MarkVarien write that the settle- ment system consists of fewer discrete levels than does Weigand, but their analysis suggests enough settlement complexity to support a prediction of sociopolitical hierarchy conceiv- ably involving palatial architecture.

Christopher Beekman b analyzes the strategic attributes of the settlement pattern and concludes that the Teuchitlan core was surrounded by a ring of defensive sites of a sort expected in association with a unitary, defensive state. Such organization might also indicate a strongly defined ehte class. It is not necessary to review the overall morphology of the patio-banquette complexes because Weigand has recently presented a detailed discussion of their distinctive forms, which are based upon a circular geometry Fig.

The issue here is whether Teuchitlan sites have palaces, a question that may be premature, since the first monumental Teuchitlan patio-banquette complexes are only now being excavated. Existing data, which are admira- 68 Ben A. Illustration by Jean Baker. On the basis of what has been published to date, I must conclude that even the largest Teuchitlan sites lack palaces. If the largest and most central structures were palatial in the sense used here, then there should be morphological differentiation among buildings; in- stead, the most central examples of circular architecture seem to be just larger and finer versions of the same kinds of structures occupied by ordinary residents.

The larger circles tend to have more structures placed on the banquettes, fulfilling a logical possibility that is afforded by the greater amounts of available space, but no differentiation is apparent among the rooms. These structures could legitimately be called protopalatial. The repetition of like elements in the apparently contemporaneous circular complexes is suggestive of equality on some social or political dimensions and is reminiscent of the cellular or altepetl model of organization described by James Lockhart Although he labels it a palace, this structure does not seem to meet the criteria of centrality and elaborateness; perhaps it is part of a later occupation.

Excavation data may eventually clarify its chronological position, function, and the status of its occupants. The designers of the Guachimonton complex seem to have used the theme of asso- ciating ceremonial centers with high places; it is probably not accidental that the 69 Elite Residences in West Mexico Guachimonton group rings a volcano.

Also, the architects clearly manipulated the attributes of size, centrality, and construction materials to make some structures more important than others. One could argue that the circular geometry precluded the construction of palaces as we conceive them — that is, large, complicated, self-contained, multiroom structures — and that the architects instead played on other attributes to accomphsh their purposes.

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If so, excavation should eventually reveal further ornamentation or aspects of differentiation. The circular Teuchitlan complexes were replaced ca. He hkens it to a palace depicted in the Mapa Quinatzin, an interpretation that seems consistent with the surface morphology, but unfortunately, no excavations have been conducted at this site, and the rest of the surface has not been mapped. The contrast is mainly one of rectangularity, as opposed to circularity, in the layout of the patio complexes; otherwise, the principles of arrangement and aggrandizement are quite similar. Colonnaded halls, causeways, and red- on-buff and black incised-engraved wares are other common traits of this tradition.

The timing is primarily from to , apparendy beginning later than the Teuchitlan tradi- tion, overlapping and lasting beyond it. The core of this tradition, which might be called the Bajio complex, appears to be in the Bajio region Beekman a; Braniff ; Cardenas Garcia ; Castaneda, Flores, and Crespo ;Crespo ; Jimenez Betts ;Sanchez Correa and Marmolejo Morales ; Trombold ; Weigand , but the examples there, such as La Gloria and San Bartolo Aguacaliente, are not extensively excavated; more details are available for the sites in Zacatecas.

Repetitive elements, small sunken patios Fig. Lesser sites, also consisting of rectangular patio-banquette complexes but of humbler construc- tion, are scattered around the centers in rough clusters or aggregates. Roads interconnect settlements as well as reaching uninhabited high spots, which may be defensive lookouts or sacred places. Internal causeways connect the major components of La Quemada and also serve to mark its various entrances. The large centers, and particularly their monumental cores, are constructed of masonry, whereas lesser sites and peripheral parts of the large sites are dominated by adobe.

The large, stone-masonry colonnaded hall at La Quemada would appear to be a palace candidate Fig. In addition to being constructed of masonry rather than adobe, it sits adjacent to an oversized patio or plaza. Yet there does not appear to be a complex of 0 50 m Fig. Photo by Steve Northup. Unquestionably, a grammar of power was played out in these structures, yet they do not differ from the less grandiose and more peripheral patio complexes in ways that would be expected of palaces. Also, a number of other terraces at La Quemada have large struc- tures on one side of their patios; those away from the core of the site are smaller and built of adobe.

Some lesser examples have associated complexes of rooms located behind or around the large structure. Such an arrangement is found at Los Pilarillos, a site located 3. The large-hall pattern is again replicated in adobe, as it is at terrace 18 of La Quemada. Terrace 18 also contains a small-scale, repeatedly plastered rephca of the sites main ball court, curiously placed in the terrace s main patio. La Quemada lacks obvious evidence of economic specialization or long-distance exchange; offerings are rare, and the material assemblage is impoverished in comparison with many Mesoamerican polities, even in the north.

Skeletal material has been recovered from virtually every area excavated in the site, almost all disarticulated, and much of it modified in distinctive patterns. Both the Hall of Columns and the large room on terrace 18 contained such deposits. In the case of the Hall of Columns, a large number of individuals, possibly hundreds, were apparently heaped on the floor or buried immediately beneath it; there is no pub- lished record of the stratigraphic position.

In the large room on terrace 18, the bones of as many as fourteen individuals, definitely unburied, were found in positions consistent with their bodies having been suspended from rafters. A prehminary analysis suggests at least two fundamental processing patterns with variants; we Nelson et al. Biological anthro- pologist Debra Martin is currently working on a number of analyses to characterize the mortuary programs more thoroughly.

At the time of this writing, it is beheved that La Quemada is a ceremonial place partially dedicated to the preservation of human remains, both of esteemed ancestors and defeated enemies. A stronger case can be made for the existence of a palace at Alta Vista, which also has a Hall of Columns. As at La Quemada, thousands of disarticulated human bones are found, both in temples and outdoors. Yet the architecture of AltaVista is significantly more sophis- ticated, both in its intricacy and its synthesis of varied elements.

The features adjacent to the hall include a pyramid and a maze of rooms known as the observatory Aveni, Hartung, and Kelley ; Kelley The excavators have long maintained that Alta Vista bears a direct relationship to Teotihuacan; Charles Kelley personal communication, February 1 points to several specific features revealed, in recent excavations, that are reminiscent of the 2 Traces of a small number of rooms are visible on what is today the front walkway of the structure; these rooms appear to have been added as an afterthought, possibly as part of a late occupation of the site.

One must agree that Alta Vista is unlike any other north- ern frontier center. Several aspects of the Alta Vista economy are consistent with the accumulation of economic, as well as political, power in the ceremonial center. Weigand describes the site as a link in a turquoise trade network linking several mineral sources in the American Southwest with numerous Mesoamerican cities; debitage as well as finished products of turquoise are found at Alta Vista.

The famous Chalchihuites mines Schiavitti , n. Alta Vista may be the one place on the northern frontier where the ehte began to harness various bases of power — economic speciahzation, exchange, astronomical pre- dictions, ancestor veneration, and warfare — to create the kind of setting in which palatial architecture was appropriate. West Coast This survey would be incomplete without mention of the Aztatlan tradition of the west coast, ca. The architectural patterns of Aztatlan ceremonial centers are distinct from those of the highland lakes or interior margins of the sierra.

The architects placed hnear earthen mounds around plaza areas. Many of the sites, such as Culiacan Kelly and Guasave Ekholm , have low, amor- phous mounds, but those of Amapa Meighan are large and distinct. Mound sizes vary within the center, suggesting status variation.

Little direct evidence is available regard- ing the structures that topped these mounds, owing to soil characteristics and modern cultivation practices. An extraordinary clay model of a building found in the Amapa excavations Meighan Clement Meighan refers to the image Fig. Festooned with heavy columns, a steeply pitched roof, and a finely crafted staircase, the building has the aesthetic qualities associated with special structures.

However, the Liberals needed money to pay the army bureaucracy and the national debt. Pressed for funds, public officials allowed these lands to go to those who could pay for them immediately, mostly rich speculators and foreigners. The land reform did not create a large yeoman class but instead allowed secular individuals to monopolize the large former Church estates and to gain control of Indian communal lands, also abolished by the reform laws and the Constitution of The same financial exigencies which forced the government to curtail its ambitious land reform program caused it in to declare a two-year suspension of the external debt.

This gave England, France, and Spain the excuse to intervene in Mexico. The English and Spanish soon withdrew, but the French emperor, Louis Napoleon, attempted to establish a client Mexican empire under the Austrian archduke Maximilian. The years to determined the future of Mexico and the Liberal reforms.

He retreated north with his cabinet and a small bodyguard in his famous black coach. The imperialists controlled the cities, but the countryside remained in a state of insurrection. Faced with mounting costs in men and money and the rise of Prussia, the French withdrew from Mexico. In the empire collapsed. The government began to build railroads and schools; the military budget was cut; and the Church was stripped of its large landholdings.

Most important, Mexico had its first effective government, based upon the Constitution of , which guaranteed free speech, free press, right of assembly, and the abolishment of special legal privileges. He obviously sincerely believed that he alone could govern Mexico, but many now saw him as a dictator. Furthermore, he had failed to abolish internal tariffs or to curb large secular landholdings.

On July 18, , the President died at his desk. Describes the life of the Mexican president who instituted many social reforms and led his country in a war of independence. For full fifty years of this Nineteenth Century the name of Mexico was almost synonymous with disorder and disgrace. The home of sordid and never-ending revolutions, the prey of the most despicable adventurers, the cockpit of transatlantic swashbucklers, the country attained, even among other Spanish American Republics, a pre-eminence of national abasement.

Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book. About the Publisher Forgotten Books is a publisher of historical writings, such as: Forgotten Books' Classic Reprint Series utilizes the latest technology to regenerate facsimiles of historically important writings. Careful attention has been made to accurately preserve the original format of each page whilst digitally enhancing the aged text. Read books online for free at www. His parents, poor peasants, died when he was 3 years old. In he graduated from the Seminary of Santa Cruz.

The curriculum proved the perfect stimulus for the rebellious and ambitious former seminarian. By Mexico seemed on the verge of total collapse. He reorganized the state national guard, and when he left office a respectable surplus remained in the state treasury. His state government became renowned throughout Mexico for its honesty, public spirit, and constructiveness.

The period of his leadership is known in Mexican history as La Reforma del Norte The Reform of the North , and constituted a liberal political and social revolution with major institutional consequences. He fought for and established a liberal constitution and stubbornly saved the country from foreign domination, although he did little to help the rural proletariat. He curtailed the power of the Catholic Church, confiscating Church land.

He showed his liberalism by resigning the judgeship because of unwillingness to prosecute those who refused to pay clerical tithes, but the state government soon reinstated him. Quotes from others about the person. In , when he was in his late 30s, Benito married Margarita Maza, the daughter of his sister's patron. The family was of European origin and part of Oaxaca's respectable society.