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Rethinking the Aztec Economy
Edited by Deborah L. Nichols; Frances F. Berdan; Michael E. Smith
352 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / 2017
Cloth (978-0-8165-3551-4) [s]
  - Amerind Studies in Anthropology

Related Interest
  - Archaeology
  - Anthropology

With its rich archaeological and historical record, the Aztec empire provides an intriguing opportunity to understand the dynamics and structure of early states and empires. Rethinking the Aztec
A superb new contribution to the literature on premodern goods and economies, and Aztec society in particular.

—David Carballo, author of Urbanization and Religion in Ancient Central Mexico

An essential contribution to Mesoamerican studies, and a statement of progress toward understanding premodern economy and society generally.

—Stephen Kowalewski, co-author of Origins of the Ñuu: Archaeology in the Mixteca Alta, Mexico

brings together leading scholars from multiple disciplines to thoroughly synthesize and examine the nature of goods and their movements across rural and urban landscapes in Mesoamerica. In so doing, they provide a new way of understanding society and economy in the Aztec empire.

The volume is divided into three parts. Part 1 synthesizes our current understanding of the Aztec economy and singles out the topics of urbanism and provincial merchant activity for more detailed analysis. Part 2 brings new data and a new conceptual approach that applies insights from behavioral economics, to Nahua and Aztec rituals and social objects. Contributors also discuss how high-value luxury goods, such as feather art, provide insights about both economic and sacred concepts of value in Aztec society. Part 3 re-examines the economy at the Aztec periphery. The volume concludes with a synthesis on the scale, integration, and nature of change in the Aztec imperial economy.

Rethinking the Aztec Economy illustrates how superficially different kinds of social contexts were in fact integrated into a single society through the processes of a single economy. Using the world of goods as a crucial entry point, this volume advances scholarly understanding of life in the Aztec world.


Frances F. Berdan
Laura Filloy Nadal
Janine Gasco
Kenneth G. Hirth
Colin Hirth
Sarah Imfeld
Deborah L. Nichols
María Olvido Moreno Guzmán
Alan R. Sandstrom
Pamela Effrein Sandstrom
Michael E. Smith
Barbara Stark
Emily Umberger

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