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Cultures at the Crossroads: Art, Religion, and Interregional Interaction in Central Mexico, AD 600-900


Several competing centers emerged in Central Mexico around AD 600, including Cacaxtla, Xochicalco, and Teotenango. Monumental artwork at these sites appears to proclaim affiliation with distant regions of Mesoamerica, including the Gulf Coast, Oaxaca, and the Maya Lowlands. During the relatively brief florescence of these cities, they combined imagery and religious symbolism in novel ways that set the stage for patterns of interaction and modes of visual representation of later epochs. However, neither the nature nor the extent of interaction between these polities and other regions has been thoroughly investigated. This study examines traits in the art, iconography, religious symbolism, and ritual practices shared between Cacaxtla, Xochicalco, and Teotenango and other sites and regions with the aim of clarifying how and why these polities actively expressed multi-ethnic, or perhaps supra-ethnic identities, and it explores the complexity, nature, and extent of interregional interaction in Late Classic Mesoamerica.

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