Craft production in a central Mexican marketplace

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The marketplace was an important institution for household provisioning and elite resource conversion in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica. Despite their importance, marketplaces are difficult to identify because exchange relationships are generally invisible in the archaeological record. This study examines the evidence for marketplaces at the Epiclassic period site of Xochicalco, Morelos, Mexico. It explores the role of craft production in the marketplace as a possible indicator of market activity. Excavations in a suspected market area at Xochicalco uncovered evidence for the production of obsidian prismatic blades on the floor of a public plaza. The results of these explorations are discussed and it is concluded that craft production can be a useful indicator for market activity if production debitage is found in primary contexts in public plazas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalAncient Mesoamerica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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