Antecedents of the Aztec Palace: Palaces and political power in classic and postclassic mexico

Susan Toby Evans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

8 Scopus citations


From Classic-period Teotihuacan to Tenochtitlán in A.D. 1521, the cities of the Basin of Mexico and adjacent Tula region centered on civic and ceremonial architecture, the focus of secular and spiritual power (Figure 10.1). Archaeologically, the architectural obtrusiveness of the temple-pyramid ensured its greater survivability after the demise or transformation of the city. In contrast, the palace, generally a one-story building on a relatively low platform, was less likely to leave a recognizable form beyond that of a large, low mound with artifacts pertaining to domestic functions and possibly of more luxurious forms than those of the average house mound. However, excavations at such structures clarify their size, and the number and layout of their rooms, and such features can help us establish a diagnostic architectural signature for the ruler's official residence and administration building. This chapter uses the Aztec palace, a clear example of the congruence of form and function, to hypothesize about how Teotihuacan's and Tula's palaces looked and operated-and, by extension, how these states were administered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPalaces and Power in the Americas
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Peru to the Northwest Coast
PublisherUniversity of Texas Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9780292709843
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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