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The Ethnohistory and Archaeology of Cuauhquechollan, Valley of Atlixco, Mexico

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Article of journalMysyk, Avis; Morales Cano, Lucero. (Cape Breton University, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Canadá; Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Puebla, México). The Ethnohistory and Archaeology of Cuauhquechollan, Valley of Atlixco, MexicoAncient Mesoamerica, 2015 vol. 26 no. 2 p. 329-345. Keywords:
Anthropology, Ethnology | Archaeology
Pre-hispanic period


Despite the commercial, economic, and military importance of the Valley of Atlixco to the history of Mesoamerica, it has not received as much attention from ethnohistorians and archaeologists as it warrants. This paper illustrates that importance by attempting to correlate different types of evidence from the sites of Atlixco and Cuauhquechollan. Atlixco—the settlement referred to in the ethnohistoric sources as Cuauhquechollan—was occupied continuously from the Early Preclassic period to the middle of the Late Postclassic period (a.d. 1443), when it was relocated 20 km to the southwest (present-day Huaquechula). The new settlement retained the name, Cuauhquechollan, while Atlixco became referred to as Huehuecuauhquechollan (Old Cuauhquechollan). The evidence consists of a variety of ethnohistoric sources, the archaeological record (settlement patterns and ceramic materials), and the iconography of Late Postclassic sculptures and carvings located in and around Huaquechula, and in the immediate vicinity of the Valley of Atlixco. In spite of the limitations of the different types of evidence, the findings suggest that there are sufficient points of overlap to allow for a better understanding of the importance of the Valley of Atlixco and to provide the impetus for further research.

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