January 27, 2015

The Complex Rise and Fall of the Mesoamerican Metropolis of Cantona

Archaeologists researching at the Mesoamerican city of Cantona, occupied from 600 BCE to 1050 CE, was a large obsidian exporter. The population was at 90,000 at 700 CE. But between 900 CE-1050 CE, it was abandoned. The population expanded during a wet period from 600 BCE-50 CE, and continued to expand during a drier period from 50 CE-1150 CE. And it expanded further duting the most arid period, 500 CE-1150 CE. The expansion of the population was probably due to immigration from Teotihuacanos fleeing a collapsing Teotihuacan, the decline of Cholula and the eruption of Popocatepetl. The Cantona populace built more and more defensive works in its last 150 years, pointing to increasing turmoil. So the history of that great metropolis is a complex one involving both weather factors and social factors.
The research is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  
Popular Archaeology has the report here with soke good photos of Cantona.

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