Xochicalco y Tula
Publisher: Editoriale Jaca Book
237 pages with plates, maps, figures, illustrations, bibliography and index. Small folio (12" x 9 1/4") issued in black cloth with white lettering to spine. Forward by Eduardo Matos Moctezuma. First edition.
Xochicalco was founded in about 650 AD by the Olmeca-Xicallanca, which are a Mayan group of traders from Campeche, at a site that gave them an excellent position along several of the major Mesoamerican trade routes. The city-state had a population of 10,000 to 15,000 people, many of whom were engaged in craft production and long-distance trade. It was an important fortressed commercial and religious center following the decline of the great Meso-American city states. The poor farming conditions in the area show that it was likely built for defense purposes and trading. The ruins were first described by explorer Antonio Alzate in 1777. Alexander von Humboldt published illustrations and a description of Xochicalco in 1810. Emperor Maximilian of Mexico visited the ruins. The Temple of the Feathered Serpent was restored by Mexican archaeologist Leopoldo Batres in 1910. Major archaeological excavations and further restorations were done in a project from the 1940s through the 1960s by Eduardo Noguera and César Saenz. Jaime Litvak King also worked at the site. In 1976 archaeologist Kenneth Hirth of Pennsylvania State University began a multi-season fieldwork project in which he mapped the entire site and conducted excavations of houses and obsidian workshops. In 1988 a large-scale program of excavation of monumental architecture was initiated by Norberto González Crespo and Silvia Garza of the INAH. A new museum was built to house the spectacular finds of this project. At some point around AD 900 the city of Xochicalco was burned and destroyed. Many of the excavated houses and temples have layers of burning and destruction that cover the deposits from the main Epiclassic occupation. Underneath destruction layers, numerous objects were left in place in the houses, indicating that the site was destroyed and abandoned quickly. A small remnant population lived on, however, on the lower slopes of the hill. Later, around 1200, the site was recolonized by the Nahuatl-speaking Tlahuica peoples, ancestors to the Nahuatl-speaking populations of the modern state of Morelos. Of special interest are sculptured reliefs on the sides of some buildings. The Temple of the Feathered Serpent has fine stylized depictions of that deity in a style which includes apparent influences of Teotihuacan and Maya art. The high taluds of the pyramid bear relief carvings that depict towns that paid tribute to Xochicalco as well as several seated figures that look Mayan. It has been speculated that Xochicalco may have had a community of artists from other parts of Mesoamerica.Other monuments at the site include several other step-pyramid temples, palaces, three ballcourts, sweat-baths, an unusual row of circular altars, and a cave with steps carved down into it. The site also has some free-standing sculptured stelae; others were removed from their original location and are now on display in the INAH museum in Mexico City and at the site museum.
A very good to fine copy in like jacket.
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