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Lords of Lambityeco

Political Evolution in the Valley of Oaxaca during the Xoo Phase

By Michael Lind and Javier Urcid

Publication Year: 2010

"The story presented by the authors and the artifact collection remains a rich and by no means exhuasted mine of information. . .The Lords of Lambityeco succeeds in conveying the richness and complexity of the Mesoamerican archaeological record and the possibilities for interpretations at a level of detail most educated laypersons would not think possible."—Stephen A. Kowalewski, Colonial Latin American Historical Review The Valley of Oaxaca was unified under the rule of Monte Albán until its collapse around AD 800. Using findings from John Paddock's long-term excavations at Lambityeco from 1961 to 1976, Michael Lind and Javier Urcid examine the political and social organization of the ancient community during the Xoo Phase (Late Classic period). Focusing on change within this single archaeological period rather than between time periods, The Lords of Lambityeco traces the changing political relationships between Lambityeco and Monte Albán that led to the fall of the Zapotec state. Using detailed analysis of elite and common houses, tombs, and associated artifacts, the authors demonstrate increased political control by Monte Albán over Lambityeco prior to the abandonment of both settlements. Lambityeco is the most thoroughly researched Classic period site in the valley after Monte Albán, but only a small number of summary articles have been published about this important locale. This, in combination with Lambityeco's status as a secondary center - one that allows for greater understanding of core and periphery dynamics in the Monte Albán state - makes The Lords of Lambityeco a welcome and significant contribution to the literature on ancient Mesoamerica.

Published by: University Press of Colorado

Series: Mesoamerican Worlds Series


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pp. i-ii

Title Page

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pp. iii-iii


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pp. iv-vi


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pp. vii-viii


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pp. ix-xiv


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pp. xv-xvi

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pp. xvii-xxi

The site of Lambityeco in the Tlacolula arm of the Valley of Oaxaca is well-known to archaeologists and tourists alike for its impressive high-status residences as well as its altar complex with plaster friezes depicting several generations of ruling couples whose remains were discovered interred in a family mausoleum below the altar. Lambityeco was the focus of archaeological excavations and surface survey directed by John Paddock ...

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pp. xxiii-xxv

Without Dr. John Paddock to whose memory this book is dedicated, the excavations at Lambityeco and this book never would have happened. In the summer of 1961, Paddock together with Dr. Charles Wicke initiated excavations in Mound 195 at Lambityeco as directors of an archaeological field school project for Mexico City College, later to become the ...

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pp. 1-14

This study is about cultural change, specifically political evolution in the Valley of Oaxaca during the Xoo phase (ca. 650–850 CE). It also encompasses economic change insofar as it relates to political evolution. The data for this study come from the archaeological site of Lambityeco, a secondary center during the seventh to ninth centuries CE, when Monte Albán ...

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pp. 15-48

The valley of Oaxaca, located in the southern highlands of Mexico, was the heartland of ancient Zapotec civilization. Outside the valley proper, Zapotec civilization extended into the mountainous Sierra Juárez to the northeast, along the Tehuantepec River drainage to the Pacific Coast of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the southeast, and through the Miahuatlán...

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pp. 49-82

Lambityeco's economic role as an important Xoo phase district center in the Tlacolula arm of the Valley of Oaxaca may best be understood by first assessing its ecological setting. The lands surrounding Lambityeco are, for the most part, poor for agriculture, especially when considered in conjunction with the exceedingly low ...

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pp. 83-108

Blanton's (1978) intensive survey of Monte Alban revealed patterns in the distribution of Xoo phase mounds that suggested that the ancient urban center may have been organized into fifteen barrios, each with its own local marketplace, temple, and civic center. Determining whether smaller ...

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pp. 109-140

The objectives of the Lambityeco excavations combined a problem orientation with salvage work and a commitment to public awareness. The problem orientation concerned the chronological position of the ruins that John Paddock had determined from surface remains to be Monte Albán ...

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pp. 141-170

Structure 195-3 was the final building constructed on Mound 195 Sub and the structure most completely explored in excavations. It covered an area of about 434 m 2 and represents a complete renovation of Structure 195-4. With the exception of the main west entry, which could not be ...

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pp. 171-232

In the preceding two chapters, we discussed the stratigraphic position of Tomb 6 and its relation to Structures 195-5, 195-4, and 195-3. To briefly summarize, Tomb 6 was built initially as a single-chambered tomb in association with Structure 195-5 (see Figs. 5.9 and 5.10). The main chamber ...

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pp. 233-264

In the process of excavating trenches across the north platform of System 195 to locate its northern limits, the remnants of two houses of commoners were found—the House of Tomb 3 and the House of Tomb 4 (Fig. 8.1). Apart from sections of their patios and the tombs associated with them, nothing remained...

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pp. 265-318

Structures 195-2 and 195-1 were the final residences built atop Mound 195. Structure 195-2 was the first to be erected and it served as a temporary residence pending completion of Structure 195-1, which was the final residence. The sequence of events leading up to the building of Structure 195-2 ...

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pp. 317-344

The sequence of elite structures in Mound 195 and a comparison of their remains with the ethnohistoric model of Zapotec political organization at the time of the Conquest provide insights into the nature and evolution of the political system at Lambityeco. A sequential integration approach to ...

appendix 1

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pp. 345-364

appendix 2

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pp. 365-378

appendix 3

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pp. 379-380


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pp. 381-400


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pp. 401-412

E-ISBN-13: 9781607320425
E-ISBN-10: 1607320428
Print-ISBN-13: 9780870819513
Print-ISBN-10: 0870819518

Page Count: 448
Illustrations: 163 illustrations
Publication Year: 2010

Series Title: Mesoamerican Worlds Series
Series Editor Byline: Davíd Carrasco, Harvard University, and Eduardo Matos Moctezuma, El Colegio Nacional, Mexico, Series General Editors See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 593297009
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Lords of Lambityeco

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Oaxaca Valley (Mexico) -- Antiquities.
  • Social archaeology -- Mexico -- Oaxaca Valley.
  • Lambityeco Site (Mexico).
  • Zapotec Indians -- Antiquities.
  • Zapotec Indians -- Politics and government.
  • Excavations (Archaeology) -- Mexico -- Lambityeco Site.
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