Book About the Aztec Economy
Economies and Polities in
the Aztec Realm, edited by Mary G. Hodge and Michael E. Smith.
Institute for Mesoamerican Studies, Albany (1994), ISBN: 0942041151. Distributed
by the University of Texas Press, Austin, TX. ($32.00)
NOTE: This book is listed as out
of print by the University of Texas Press. Copies can be purchased, however,
from the: Institute
for Mesoamerican Studies.
"The seventeen papers in this collection deal with various aspects of the
relationship between economics and the political units which constituted
the Aztec state and its main competitor, the Tarascan empire. Until recently
Aztec studies were dominated by a narrow preoccupation with the Aztec capital
Tenochtitlan coupled with neglect of other cities and the rural countryside.
Fortunately a few archaeologists and ethnohistorians, including the contributors
to this volume, insisted on expanding the geographical and conceptual parameters
of Aztec studies. They also began to employ recent innovative approaches
in archaeology, locational geography, economics, political theory, and history
in their quest to understand what really happened in central Mexico during
the Postclassic period. The result has been some very exciting new perspectives
on this fascinating topic." (from a review by Dr. Richard A. Diehl, University
The chapters in this book present new data and new approaches that contrast
with the standard view of the Aztec economy as portrayed in the works of
Sahagún, Durán, Zorita, and the other Spanish chroniclers.
One of the key findings of the book is the existence of a diversity of local
economic and political conditions throughout the area we call the Aztec realm.
Local and regional economies flourished beneath the veneer of an empire that
was previously thought to be more monolithic and centralized than the new
These small clay figurines, used in domestic rituals, were
produced at craft workshops in the Aztec city of Otumba. (drawing by Cynthia
Otis Charlton; from "Plebians and Patricians: Contrasting Patterns of Production
and Distribution in the Aztec Figurine and Lapidary Industries," by Cynthia
Otis Charlton, chapter 8 of Economies and Polities in the Aztec Realm.
About the Editors:
The late Dr. Mary G. Hodge was Associate Professor of
Anthropology at the University of Houston, Clear Lake. One of the leading
authorities on Aztec archaeology and ethnohistory, Dr. Hodge made important
contributions to the study of Aztec city-states, the Aztec empire, and systems
of ceramic exchange in the Valley of Mexico. Her other books include Aztec
City-States (Universityof Michigan, Museum of Anthropology, Memoirs,
no. 18, 1984), and Aztec Imperial Strategies (Dumbarton Oaks, 1996;
co-authored by F. Berdan, R. Blanton, E. Boone, M. Hodge, M. Smith, and E,
Umberger). Dr. Michael E. Smith is Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona STate University: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, follow the links provided below.
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