At Home with the Aztecs: An Archaeologist Uncovers Their Daily Life

At Home with the Aztecs: An Archaeologist Uncovers Their Daily Life

By: Michael Smith (author)Paperback

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At Home with the Aztecs provides a fresh view of Aztec society, focusing on households and communities instead of kings, pyramids, and human sacrifice. This new approach offers an opportunity to humanize the Aztecs, moving past the popular stereotype of sacrificial maniacs to demonstrate that these were successful and prosperous communities. Michael Smith also engagingly describes the scientific, logistic and personal dimensions of archaeological fieldwork, drawing on decades of excavating experience and considering how his research was affected by his interaction with contemporary Mexican communities. Through first-hand accounts of the ways archaeologists interpret sites and artifacts, the book illuminates how the archaeological process can provide information about ancient families. Facilitating a richer understanding of the Aztec world, Smith's research also redefines success, prosperity and resilience in ancient societies, making this book suitable not only for those interested in the Aztecs but in the examination of complex societies in general.

About Author

Michael E. Smith is one of the leading international authorities on the Aztecs, with extensive experience excavating at Aztec sites. He is currently a Professor of Archaeology in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University.


Chapter 1. Rusty Nails, Stone Walls and a Drum The Aztecs: Bloodthirsty Savages or Just Regular Folks? Who Were the Aztecs, Anyway? Aztec Families and Households Aztec Communities My Journey to Aztec Households and Communities Chapter 2. The Discovery of Aztec Peasants The Invisible Aztec Peasant Background to the Fieldwork Getting into the Field Digging Houses at Capilco More Houses at Cuexcomate "Any Idiot Knows These Walls were Foundations for Adobe Bricks!" The Village of Tetlama Where are all the Bodies? Celebrating the End of the World Farming the Hillsides The Rainy Season Begins and the Excavation Ends Chapter 3. Reconstructing Daily Life Our Lab in the Emperor Maximilian's Stable Hand-Made Tortillas The Artifacts of Daily Life Access to Markets The Hidden Realm of Domestic Ritual Rich and Poor Changes in Rural Society Chapter 4. A High Quality of Life Wealthy Households Household Choice and the Diversity of Goods External Social Networks Aztec Summer Camp The Mexica Imperial Protection Racket The One Percent and the Ninety-Nine Percent Successful Rural Households Chapter 5. Excavations in an Urban Community Urban Survey: Knocking on Doors and Being Chased by Dogs The Site is Invaded by a Squatters Settlement We Excavate Anyway An Elite Residence Burial of the Dead Irrigation and Urban Agriculture Excavation in the Churchyard Chapter 6. Urban Life Daily Life Our Laboratory in Yautepec Flutes, Whistles, and Rattles Obsidian Workshops Scientific Studies of Trade Life in the Big City Cortes and the Spanish Conquest Chapter 7. Resilient Communities What is a Community? The Calpolli: Key to Community Success Responsive Local Government: The City-State Chapter 8. Lessons From the Dirt A New View of Aztec Society Why were these Households and Communities Successful? Sustainable Smallholder Agriculture A New Archaeology of Households and Communities The Aztecs and the Urban Revolution Lessons for Communities Today

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781138100749
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 158
  • ID: 9781138100749
  • weight: 272
  • ISBN10: 1138100749

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