Mesoamerica's Classic Heritage

From Teotihuacan to the Aztecs

edited by Davíd Carrasco, Lindsay Jones, and Scott Sessions

Paperback Price $37.95

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Mesoamerican Worlds Series

"This volume is the most important treatment of the subject to date. . . . Born of a combination of advances in epigraphy, improved archaeological techniques, and detailed iconographic analyses—all on display here—this Mesoamerican 'new history' is the single most important intellectual event in the field in recent times."
Hispanic American Historical Review

"The high powered roster of archaeologists and cultural historians contributing . . . goes most of the way, at last, to showing how and why the mythic Toltecs must be distinguished from the later historic Toltecs who created but one version of Mesoamerica's key civic idiom. . . . [A] great mark of Anglo-Latin cooperation."

"An important volume of lasting value."


For more than a millennium the great Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan (c. 150-750 C.E.) has been imagined and reimagined by a host of subsequent cultures, including our own. Mesoamerica's Classic Heritage engages the subject of the unity and diversity of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica by focusing on the classic heritage of this ancient city. This new volume is the product of several years of research by members of Princeton University's Moses Mesoamerican Archive and Research Project and Mexico's Proyecto Teotihuacá­n. Offering a variety of disciplinary perspectives—including the history of religions, anthropology, archaeology, and art history—and a wealth of new data, Mesoamerica's Classic Heritage examines Teotihuacan's rippling influence across Mesoamerican time and space, including important patterns of continuity and change, and its relationships, both historical and symbolic, with Tenochtitlan, Cholula, and various Maya communities.

The contributors to Mesoamerica's Classic Heritage offer a wide range of individual interpretations, but they agree that Teotihuacan, more than any other pre-Hispanic center, was a paradigmatic source that formed the art and architecture, cosmology and ritual life, and conceptions of urbanism and political authority for significant parts of the Mesoamerican world. This great city achieved the prestige of being the site of the creation of the cosmos and of effective social and political space in Mesoamerica through its capacity to symbolize, perform, and export its imperial authority. These essays reveal the different ways in which Teotihuacan's classic heritage both fed and fed on the dynamic interactivity of the entire area. Whether or not a paradigm shift in Mesoamerican studies is taking place, certainly a new contextual understanding of Teotihuacan and the diversities and unities of Mesoamerica is emerging in these pages.

Contributors: Philip P. Arnold, Anthony F. Aveni, Elizabeth H. Boone, Johanna Broda, Davíd Carrasco, Rubén Cabrera Castro, Barbara W. Fash, William L. Fash, Doris Heyden, Lindsay Jones, Alfred López Austin, Leonardo López Luján, Linda Manzanilla, Geoffrey G. McCafferty, Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, Hector Neff, H.B. Nicholson, Scott Sessions, David Stuart, Saburo Sugiyama, Karl Taube


Davíd Carrasco is director of the Moses Mesoamerican Archive, professor of history of religions at Harvard University, editor of UPC's Mesoamerican Worlds series and editor-in-chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. His works include Mesoamerica's Classic Heritage, Moctezuma's Mexico, Waiting for the Dawn, Aztec Ceremonial Landscapes, Quetzalcoatl and the Irony of Empire (UPC), and City of Sacrifice: The Aztec Empire and the Role of Violence in Civilization (Beacon).

Lindsay Jones was a professor in the Department of Comparative Studies and a former director of the Center for the Study of Religion at The Ohio State University.

Scott Sessions is a research associate and visiting lecturer at Amherst College.

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  • Paperback Price: $37.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0-87081-637-6
  • Publication Year: 2002
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Davíd Carrasco, Lindsay Jones, and Scott Sessions
  • ECommerce Code: 978-0-87081-637-6
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