March 17, 2015

The End of Teotihuacan

Linda Manzanilla, who has been one of the principle archaeologists at Teotihuacan for decades, has been studying the Teotihuacan neighborhood of Teopancazco. She studied excavated individuals for measurements of activity markers, nutritional patterns and status, isotopes, and ancient DNA. Groups with different backgrounds settled on the margins of the city.  Elites in the city core controlled the trade in pigments, cosmetics, slate, greenstone, travertine, and foreign pottery, and acquired workers foreign cultures to perform specialized tasks. Tensions between the leaders of Teotihuacan and the competitive intermediate elites grew. These tensions resulted in revolt and the destruction of Teotihuacan in 550 CE. No foreign invasion traces have been found at the site at this time. The state may have tried to intervene to quell the tensions leading to the final revolt, the burning of the city, and the shattering of elite residences. The society was too fractured and complex to survive these tensions.
The report is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Popular Archaeology has the report here;
http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/spring-2015/article/ancients-set-stage-for-collapse-of-teotihuacan

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