Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Circles of glass and grain: Economic differences between core and semi-peripheral zones, a study of public center lithics from the Tequila Valleys of West Mexico
by Wagner, John P., M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 2015, 296; 1588218
Abstract (Summary)

The dynamics of expanding polities and relationships between cultural core groups, peripheral populations and sites in semi-peripheral areas between the two groups are important topics in studies of complex societies. One area where these distinctions are clearly identified within the settlement pattern formed by the relationship between the cultural and the natural landscape is the Tequila Valleys of Western Mexico. The Teuchitlán culture of the Late Formative and Early Classic periods formed distinctive settlements around the edges of the valleys, which were also marginally bound to most complex social developments within the cultural core region near the center of the valleys. Semi-peripheral sites between cultural traditions are of particular interest as focal points for economic, political, and social relationships. This thesis focuses on two sites which occupied very different environments, namely Llano Grande and Las Navajas. I ask whether these sites show different degrees of emphasis on two basic economic strategies in ways which capitalized on the advantages of each site's respective environment. Specifically, did Llano Grande's relative physical isolation from the cultural core area, more distant location and differences in available resources reflect a greater reliance on trade via exported obsidian? Alternatively, did Navajas' closer relation to the core allow a continuance of the core's degree of emphasis on the staple-oriented economy, with less emphasis on obsidian production and trade than Llano Grande? This thesis draws upon the work of Earle (1991) to structure the analysis, particularly his contrast between wealth and staple finance. Past research is reviewed to develop expectations for each model, which are tested using the analysis of obsidian debitage and products within the ritual centers of each site.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Beekman, Christopher S.
Commitee: Riel-Salvatore, Julien, Stone, Tammy
School: University of Colorado at Denver
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: MAI 54/04M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Archaeology, Latin American history, Economic theory, Social structure
Keywords: Lithics, Mexico, Paleoecology, Political economy, Teuchitlan, World systems
Publication Number: 1588218
ISBN: 9781321732313
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