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Aztec Feasts Rituals and Markets

Political Uses of Ceramic Vessels in a Commercial Economy

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Abstract

Some of the most vivid written accounts of Aztec society describe exclusive gatherings where the emperor hosted other kings and nobles in elaborate ceremonies consisting of sumptuous meals, theatrical rituals, formal speeches, and luxury gift-giving. These and other feasting events were important parts of Aztec political process. As in nearly all ancient complex societies, Aztec political feasts involved the use of a variety of distinctive ceramic serving vessels, allowing archaeologists to document aspects of ancient feasting. But unlike some of the societies described in this volume, neither the production nor the distribution of these feasting vessels appear to have been under the control of the state or the elite. Nearly all Aztec ceramic wares were manufactured by independent producers, and they were exchanged as commercial commodities in the marketplace.

Keywords

  • Mexico City
  • Ceramic Vessel
  • Drinking Vessel
  • Ritual Object
  • Domestic Deposit

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Smith, M.E., Wharton, J.B., Olson, J.M. (2003). Aztec Feasts Rituals and Markets. In: Bray, T.L. (eds) The Archaeology and Politics of Food and Feasting in Early States and Empires. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_9

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