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Everyday Life in the Aztec World


  • Date Published: December 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521736220

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About the Authors
  • In Everyday Life in the Aztec World, Frances Berdan and Michael E. Smith offer a view into the lives of real people, doing very human things, in the unique cultural world of Aztec central Mexico. The first section focuses on people from an array of social classes - the emperor, a priest, a feather worker, a merchant, a farmer, and a slave - who interacted in the economic, social and religious realms of the Aztec world. In the second section, the authors examine four important life events where the lives of these and others intersected: the birth and naming of a child, market day, a day at court, and a battle. Through the microscopic views of individual types of lives, and interweaving of those lives into the broader Aztec world, Berdan and Smith recreate everyday life in the final years of the Aztec Empire.

    • Offers Insight into 'real life' activities, behavior, beliefs, and decisions
    • Examines a wide range of people's lives by spending whole chapters on specific categories of people
    • Uses vignettes based on sound scholarly understandings of Aztec culture
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'A vast amount of sociocultural information is cleverly interwoven in this carefully crafted narrative …' C. C. Kolb, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521736220
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 85 b/w illus. 4 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Lives:
    1. The Emperor
    2. The priest
    3. The featherworker
    4. The merchant
    5. The farmer
    6. The slave
    Part II. Intersecting Lives:
    7. A child is born
    8. Marketday in Tlatelolco
    9. Judgement day
    10. A battle far afield

  • Authors

    Frances F. Berdan, California State University, San Bernardino
    Frances Berdan is Professor Emerita of Anthropology at California State University, San Bernardino.  She is the author or co-author of fourteen books on aspects of Aztec culture, most recently Aztec Archaeology and Ethnohistory (Cambridge, 2014). Her 4-volume co-authored The Codex Mendoza (1992) won the James R. Wiseman Book Award from the Archaeological Institute of America in 1992.

    Michael E. Smith, Arizona State University
    Michael E. Smith is Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. Director of the ASU Teotihuacan Research Laboratory, he is the author of twelve books, including At Home with the Aztecs: An Archaeologist Uncovers Their Daily Life (2016), which won the Best Popular Book award from the Society of American Archaeology in 2017.

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