The Archaeological Study of Empires and Imperialism in Pre-Hispanic

  title={The Archaeological Study of Empires and Imperialism in Pre-Hispanic},
  author={Michael E. Smith and Lisa M. Montiel},
The hegemonic-type empires of ancient Mesoamerica are difficult to study archaeologically because they left fewer material traces than more territorially organized empires such as the Inka or Roman cases. We present a material culture model for the identification of such empires using archaeological data. The model, based upon Michael Doyle’s analytical approach to imperialism, is developed from historical and archaeological research on ancient empires from the Old World and South America… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Archaeological Manifestations of Empire: Assyria's Imprint on Southeastern Anatolia
  • B. Parker
  • History, Sociology
    American Journal of Archaeology
  • 2003
One of the most enduring problems for the study of ancient empires is the fact that material correlates indicative of imperial integration are often difficult to define in the archaeological record.
8 Geographies of Power: Territoriality and Empire during the Mesopotamian Iron Age
This chapter synthesizes archaeological, textual, and ethnohistorical data from or pertaining to the Mesopotamian Iron Age to reconceptualize the nature of the territoriality of the Neo-Assyrian
Architecture, Local Elites, and Imperial Entanglements: The Wari Empire and the Cotahuasi Valley of Peru
Abstract One of the enduring problems in the archaeology of ancient states and empires is the recognition of different forms of regional consolidation in the archaeological record. Among the clearer
Archaeologies of empire and environment
What If the Aztec Empire Never Existed? The Prerequisites of Empire and the Politics of Plausible Alternative Histories
ABSTRACT  This article studies archaeological and local versions of the past at Xaltocan, Mexico. At Xaltocan, the past provides a vehicle for statements of ethnic, national, and community identity.
7 Settlement, Territory, and the Political Landscape of Late Bronze Age Polities in the Northern Levant
By bringing together analysis of cuneiform texts and archaeological settlement data, I offer new perspectives on the spatial and territorial dimensions of polities in the northern Levant during the
Examining the Archaeology of 'Antik'-quity: The Eastern Caucasus Beyond Rome and Parthia
A new political power, Caucasian Albania, grew in the eastern Caucasus between the collapse of the Achaemenid Empire and the consolidation of the Sasanian Empire (ca. 300 BCE – 300 CE). During this
Landscape and Settlement in the Neo-Assyrian Empire
Archaeological surveys and satellite images are used to provide insights into the structure and scale of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. When this empire attained its peak during the eighth and seventh
New World States and Empires: Politics, Religion, and Urbanism
The past decade has seen a veritable explosion in archaeological research on complex societies in Latin America. In 1993, Smith published an overview of research to that date; this article is one of


Archaeology and the Aztec empire
Abstract This article provides two explanations for the relative lack of archaeological evidence for the existence of the Aztec empire. First, the nature of Aztec imperial strategies and organization
Inka settlement planning
prehistory and noted many of the problems that still confront us (Shimada 1990). I would like to extend his comments by focusing on the state of research on Inca culture, using two recent books as
Long-Distance Trade under the Aztec Empire: The Archaeological Evidence
Abstract This article presents archaeological data on Late Postclassic long-distance trade in central and northern Mesoamerica. Aztec trade goods from the Basin of Mexico (ceramics and obsidian) are
The Isthmus and the Valley of Oaxaca: Questions about Zapotec Imperialism in Formative Period Mesoamerica
  • R. Zeitlin
  • Political Science
    American Antiquity
  • 1990
Recent archaeological and epigraphic research suggests the existence of what could be Mesoamerica's first conquest state, centered at Monte Albán, the major Late Formative period Zapotec site in the
Mesoamerican architecture as a cultural symbol
In this collection, scholars provide interpretations and syntheses of many of the most significant Mesoamerican architectural traditions from the Preclassic to the Postclassic periods. The essays
Rethinking World-Systems: Diasporas, Colonies, and Interaction in Uruk Mesopotamia
The use of world-systems theory to explain the spread of social complexity has become accepted practice by both historians and archaeologists. Gil Stein now offers the first rigorous test of world
Mesoamerican Writing Systems : Propaganda, Myth, And History In Four Ancient Civilizations
This is an anthropological study of the role of hieroglyphic writing in the pre-hispanic Aztec, Mixtec, Zapotec, and Maya states. First, Joyce Marcus compares the four systems with regard to eight
Quetzalcoatl and the Irony of Empire: Myths and Prophecies in the Aztec Tradition
David Carrasco draws from the perspectives of the history of religions, anthropology, and urban ecology to explore the nature of the complex symbolic form of Quetzalcoatl in the organization,
Huitzilopochtli's Conquest: Aztec Ideology in the Archaeological Record
  • E. Brumfiel
  • Sociology
    Cambridge Archaeological Journal
  • 1998
This article was presented as the third David Clarke Memorial Lecture at Peterhouse College, Cambridge University, 1997. It examines the role of religious ideology in the Aztec state. Ideology is
zA long-running debate in archaeology is the analytical priority given to local vs. interregional-scale factors in the origins of complex societies. These alternate approaches have often pitted