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Teotihuacán

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Author Topic: Teotihuacán  (Read 283 times)
Michelle Sandberg
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« on: August 17, 2007, 01:20:55 pm »

Zenith

The city reached its zenith between 150 and 450, when it was the center of a powerful culture whose influence extended through much of the Mesoamerican region. At its height the city covered over 30 km² (over 11½ square miles), and probably housed a population of over 150,000 people, possibly as many as 250,000. Various districts in the city housed people from across the Teotihuacano region of influence that spread south as far as Guatemala. Notably absent from the city are fortifications and military structures.

The nature of political and cultural interactions between Teotihuacán and the centers of the Maya region (as well as elsewhere in Mesoamerica) has been a long-standing and significant area for debate in Mesoamerican scholarship. It is clearly established that substantial exchange and interaction occurred over the centuries from the Terminal Preclassic to the Mid Classic period, and that "Teotihuacan-inspired ideologies" and motifs persisted at Maya centers into the Late Classic long after Teotihuacan itself had declined. However, there are several schools of thought contending the extent and degree of Teotihuacano influence, which range from a direct and even militaristic dominance, to one where the adoption of 'foreign' traits was part of a selective, conscious and bi-directional cultural diffusion.

Architectural styles prominent at Teotihuacan are also found widely dispersed at a number of distant Mesoamerican sites, which some researchers have interpreted as evidence for Teotihuacan's far-reaching interactions and political or militaristic dominance. A style that has been particularly associated with Teotihuacan is known as talud-tablero, in which an inwards-sloping external side of a structure (talud) is surmounted by a rectangular panel (tablero). Variants of the generic style are found in a number of Maya region sites, including Tikal, Kaminaljuyu, Copan, Becan, and Oxkintok, and particularly in the Petén Basin and the central Guatemalan highlands. However, it has been established that the talud-tablero style pre-dates its earliest appearance at Teotihuacan in the Early Classic period, and instead seems to have first originated in the Tlaxcala-Puebla region during the Preclassic Analyses have also been able to trace the development into local variants of the talud-tablero style at sites such as Tikal, where its use precedes the 5th-century appearance of iconographic motifs shared with Teotihuacan. Thus it appears that the talud-tablero style disseminated through Mesoamerica generally from the end of the Preclassic and not specifically or only via Teotihuacano influence. It is unclear how or from where the style spread into the Maya region.
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