(a kind of press release)
With National Science Foundation support, Dr. Michael E. Smith and an international team of colleagues will conduct a series of technical analyses of archaeological artifacts and deposits excavated at the Aztec site of Calixtlahuaca. NSF-supported excavations uncovered a series of houses and terraces that present a unique opportunity to answer important questions about ancient urban centers. Like the shantytown areas that surround many Latin American cities today, the residential zones at Calixtlahuaca extended up steep slopes, with houses built on stone terraces. Yet the residents of this Aztec city were not poor rural immigrants; instead, their houses and artifacts reveal that they forged a prosperous way of life. Many families engaged in the production of textiles, stone tools and other craft items, and most houses contained ceramic vessels, stone tools, and bronze jewelry imported from distant zones. How did a hilltop city in a provincial area achieve such a high and sustainable standard of living for its residents? The analyses will help answer this question.
The NSF funds will be used for three major types of study. First, the excavated artifacts need to be counted, classified, and described. Professionals and students from the
When the analyses are completed, Dr. Smith will compare the results to his former excavations in Morelos, another region of central
Numerous graduate and undergraduate students—
Stay tuned for more information.................................