Summary and Info
The authors of this volume investigate the meaning of Ancient Mesoamerican space, specifically, how the elements of urban landscape were related to each other, and to other fundamental aspects of Ancient Mesoamericans. Essays in this volume highlight the importance of performance, poetics, and politics in the construction of meaningful space and its deployment in performance. In Landscape and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica, Rex Koontz, Kathryn Reese-Taylor, and Annabeth Headrick investigate the meaning of Ancient Mesoamerica through analyses of the built environment, performance, and cultural poetics. They explore what Ancient Mesoamerican urban space meant to its inhabitants, and how this meaning was created and disseminated. From the early cities in the second millennium BC to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan on the eve of the Spanish conquest, Ancient Mesoamericans created landscapes full of meaning and power in the center of their urban spaces. The sixteenth century description of Tenochtitlan by Bernal Diaz del Castillo and the archaeological remnants of Teotihuacan attest to the power and centrality of these urban configurations in Ancient Mesoamerican history. In Landscape and Power in Ancient Mesoamerica, Rex Koontz, Kathryn Reese-Taylor, and Annabeth Headrick explore the cultural logic that structured and generated these centers. Through case studies of specific urban spaces and their meanings, the authors examine the general principles by which the Ancient Mesoamericans created meaningful urban space. In a profoundly interdisciplinary exchange involving both archaeologists and art historians, this volume connects the symbolism of those landscapes, the performances that activated this symbolism, and the cultural poetics of these ensembles.