Tula and the Toltecs

Dan M. Healan and Robert H. Cobean

in The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780195390933
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Tula and the Toltecs

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  • Historical Archaeology



Tula, Hidalgo, was one of several sites that rose to prominence during the Epiclassic period after the demise of Teotihuacan, and during the Early Postclassic period it was probably the largest and most influential center in central Mexico. For over a century various scholars have argued that Tula was the legendary Tollan (“place of reeds”), which, according to Aztec and other indigenous sources, was the capital of the Toltec civilization that dominated central Mexico prior to the arrival of the Aztecs. For this reason the site, its inhabitants, and its material culture are often referred to as Toltec, although there is evidence that “Tollan” and “Toltec” are pan-Mesoamerican concepts whose origins may go back at least as far as Teotihuacan, if not earlier. This article discusses the early history of Tula, Tula Grande and the Tollan Phase City, and Tula during the Aztec Period.

Keywords: Mesoamerica; Epiclassic period; Tollan; Aztecs; Toltec civilization; Tula Grande

Article.  4496 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology by Region ; Historical Archaeology

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