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Aztec City-State Capitals (Ancient Cities of the New World) Paperback – June 8, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0813032450 ISBN-10: 0813032458 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Ancient Cities of the New World
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (June 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813032458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813032450
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,302,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Brings together scattered data not easily available elsewhere on the Aztec city-states apart from Tenochtitlan. Smith presents a convincing argument that these capitals are cities with significant political and ideological urban functions." - Edward B. Sisson, University of Mississippi"

Book Description

"Brings together scattered data not easily available elsewhere on the Aztec city-states apart from Tenochtitlan. Smith presents a convincing argument that these capitals are cities with significant political and ideological urban functions."--Edward B. Sisson, University of Mississippi
The Aztecs ruled much of Mexico from the thirteenth century until the Spanish conquest in 1521. Outside of the imperial capital of Tenochtitlan, various urban centers ruled the numerous city-states that covered the central Mexican landscape.
Aztec City-State Capitals is the first work to focus attention outside Tenochtitlan, revealing these dozens of smaller cities to have been the central hubs of political, economic, and religious life, integral to the grand infrastructure of the Aztec empire.
Focusing on building styles, urban townscapes, layouts, and designs, Michael Smith combines two archaeological approaches: monumental (excavations of pyramids, palaces, and public buildings) and social (excavations of houses, workshops, and fields). As a result, he is able to integrate the urban-built environment and the lives of the Aztec peoples as reconstructed from excavations.
Smith demonstrates the ways in which these city-state capitals were different from Tenochtitlan and convincingly argues that urban design is the direct result of decisions made by political leaders to legitimize their own power and political roles in the states of the Aztec empire.

More About the Author

Michael E. Smith is an archaeologist who has directed fieldwork projects at numerous Aztec sites in central Mexico, pioneering the excavation of houses and the study of daily life. He has published six books and numerous scholarly articles on the Aztecs; the papers are posted on his website. In addition to the study of the domestic realm, Smith's research in Mexico has also focused on Aztec cities and urbanism, imperialism, and economics. He also carries out inter-disciplinary and comparative research on cities and urban life, from deep history to the present. He is Professor of Anthropology at Arizona State University. Visit his website at http://www.public.asu.edu/~mesmith9/.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy I Aksamit on March 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Scholarly but engaging book. I became interested in Aztec sites when I stumbled upon the stunning excavated site of Teotenango outside of Toluca. Michal Smith was on the excavation team and my only disappointment was that there was not more information on Teotenango. An interesting museum is at the base of Teotenago and is a must after you've hiked the site. I was in the area after having visited Malinalco and the beautiful Aztec ceremonial center and musem there. With these 2 examples I became interested in visiting other sites near Mexico City and this book furnishes a wealth of ideas. If you like to visit sites that few tourists have ever heard of this is the book to have.
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