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Aztec Archaeology and Ethnohistory


Part of Cambridge World Archaeology

  • Date Published: June 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521707565

£ 27.99

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About the Authors
  • This book provides an up-to-date synthesis of Aztec culture, applying interdisciplinary approaches (archaeology, ethnohistory and ethnography) to reconstructing the complex and enigmatic civilization. Frances F. Berdan offers a balanced assessment of complementary and sometimes contradictory sources in unravelling the ancient way of life. The book provides a cohesive view of the Aztecs and their empire, emphasizing the diversity and complexity of social, economic, political and religious roles played by the many kinds of people we call 'Aztecs'. Concluding with three integrative case studies, the book examines the stresses, dynamics and anchors of Aztec culture and society.

    • An introductory chapter places sources and methods in perspective
    • Applies interdisciplinary approaches from archaeology, ethnohistory and ethnography
    • Augmented with specific cases and extended examples, as well as a useful bibliography
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Anthropologist Frances Berdan draws on her decades of ethnohistoric research that she combines with the latest findings from archaeology to offer a new authoritative account of the Aztecs and how the Mexica came to dominate the largest pre-Hispanic empire in Mesoamerica.' Deborah L. Nichols, Dartmouth College

    'In this book Frances Berdan, for years a leading light of Aztec studies, has given us a wonderfully accessible, clearly written book that places her vast knowledge of Aztec society, culture, and technology on full display. It will be treasured for many years as an up-to-date and authoritative source on one of the most influential and best-studied pre-Hispanic societies.' Richard Blanton, Purdue University

    'This is an outstanding volume that is a major contribution to not only Aztec research but also to Mesoamerican studies as a whole. Written by a preeminent Aztec specialist, it is remarkable for both its breadth and depth of research; it covers virtually all aspects of Aztec society and culture in great and lucid detail. Aside from perhaps the great Florentine Codex compiled in the sixteenth century, I can think of no other work that so thoroughly discusses Aztec civilization.' Karl Taube, University of California, Riverside

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521707565
    • length: 364 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 177 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.76kg
    • contains: 60 b/w illus. 15 maps 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Setting the Stage:
    1. Discovering, uncovering, and interpreting the Aztec world
    2. The Aztecs as Mesoamericans
    Part II. Aztec Society and Culture:
    3. Living on the land
    4. Craft specialization, commerce, and trade
    5. City-states and imperial rule
    6. Living as an Aztec: social status and daily life
    7. Religion, science, and the arts
    8. The Aztec world: an integrated view.

  • Author

    Frances F. Berdan, California State University, San Bernardino
    Frances F. Berdan is Professor Emerita of the Department of Anthropology of California State University, San Bernardino. She won the Outstanding Professor Award for the California State University system in 1982–83. She is author or editor of twelve books, including The Aztecs of Central Mexico (2nd edition, 2005), The Codex Mendoza (co-authored, 1992), Aztec Imperial Strategies (co-authored, 1996) and The Postclassic Mesoamerican World (co-edited, 2003). Her articles have been published in Scientific American, American Antiquity, Latin American Antiquity, Ancient Mesoamerica, and Arqueología Mexicana.

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