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War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica$
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Ross Hassig

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780520077348

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520077348.001.0001

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The Late Classic Interregnum

The Late Classic Interregnum

(p.94) Chapter 7 The Late Classic Interregnum
War and Society in Ancient Mesoamerica

Ross Hassig

University of California Press

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

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