Chapter

The Late Classic Interregnum

Ross Hassig

in War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1992 | ISBN: 9780520077348
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912281 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520077348.003.0007
The Late Classic Interregnum

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Following Teotihuacan's decline, various Maya cities reasserted themselves, albeit in smaller political groupings, and continued a more limited exchange. Warfare increased with the disintegration of the Maya lowlands into independent city-states and relatively small polities. Most Late Classic Maya settlements did not have fortifications, which suggest that cities were rarely attacked. Late Classic Maya civilization collapsed during the mid eighth to early tenth centuries ad, especially in the southern lowlands, which is partly due to the result of economic difficulties. El Tajín had close trade connections with central Mexico that continued to flourish after the demise of Teotihuacan. The political instability that fostered the rise of hilltop fortified sites, such as Cacaxtla and Xochicalco, waned in the tenth century. As the Mexican city-states reasserted their dominance and conventional armies grew large enough to both secure trade routes and threaten raider sites, fortified trade centers withered and their occupants withdrew.

Keywords: Teotihuacan; Maya lowlands; warfare; fortifications; El Tajín; Cacaxtla; Xochicalco

Chapter.  6123 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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