Cerro Portezuolo

State Formation and Hinterlands in the Prehispanic Basin of Mexico
Faculty Scholarship
Friday, February 1, 2013
Department of Anthropology, Dartmouth College

Ancient Mesoamerica 24:47-71

Author(s): Deborah Nichols, Hector Neff, and George Cowgill 

George Brainerd directed excavations at Cerro Portezuelo in the mid-1950s to understand the Classic to Postclassic transition and the questions he asked are still salient. We have undertaken a reanalysis of the artifacts, survey, and excavation data from Brainerd's project to better understand the nature of relations between the Early Classic period city of Teotihuacan, its immediate hinterlands, and the change from the Teotihuacan state system to Postclassic period city-state organization. Because of Cerro Portezuelo's long occupation that began in the Late/Terminal Formative period and continued beyond the Spanish Conquest, it is a strategic site to investigate the dynamics of state formation and episodes of centralization and fragmentation over this long span. Here we review the history of research concerning Cerro Portezuelo, discuss the current research project reported in the articles that comprise this Special Section, and highlight some of the major findings.

Rockefeller Center Faculty Grant Proposal: "Early Ceramic Obsidian Production and Exchange in the Basin of Mexico"