New Perspectives on Migration into the Tlajinga District of Teotihuacan: A Dual-Isotope Approach

Gina M. Buckley, Rebecca Storey, Fred J. Longstaffe, David M. Carballo, Kenneth G. Hirth, Virginie Renson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The city of Teotihuacan (AD 1-550) was a major multiethnic urban center that attracted migrants from as far away as west Mexico and the Maya region. Past research in the Tlajinga district at Teotihuacan using oxygen isotopes from human remains estimated that nearly 30% of the population of Tlajinga 33, a single apartment compound, were migrants. This study takes a dual-isotope approach (87Sr/86Sr and δ18Op) to reevaluate the proportion of in-migration at Tlajinga and includes data from two additional apartment compounds, Tlajinga 17 and 18 (n = 23). New results indicate that migrants comprised ~45% of the Tlajinga population. Previously acquired radiocarbon dates combined with mortuary and isotope data suggest that immigration to Tlajinga was highest during the first centuries of compound occupation. Nevertheless, migration was a continual process throughout its history. Additionally, a new finding suggests that residents of Tlajinga 33 ingested foods with higher 87Sr/86Sr ratios than did those of Tlajinga 17 and 18. We hypothesize that the incorporation of imported lime for the nixtamalization process skewed the 87Sr/86Sr ratios of human remains, a potentially important finding for future studies at Teotihuacan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)536-556
Number of pages21
JournalLatin American Antiquity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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