Reconstructing human interaction systems has been a major objective of archaeological research, but we have typically examined the topic in a conceptually limited manner. Most studies have—intentionally or unintentionally—focused on how trade, communication, conquest, and migration foster cultural similarities over long distances. It has largely been a positivistic endeavor that exclusively features groups linked through a single network but glosses over how alternative networks intersect with the former through common nodes. Models of long-distance interaction have largely ignored variation in how external influences are negotiated across space within the receiving region. We adapt Arjun Appadurai’s concept of disjuncture to conceptualize how human groups negotiate cultural messages transmitted through multiscalar interaction networks. Disjuncture fundamentally refers to the decoupling of different facets of culture, economy, and politics where human interactions follow variable trajectories through space. The variability with which human groups reconcile foreign cultural information within local social networks leads to cultural diversity across space in the receiving region. We use the concept to detail the variability with which Teotihuacan symbols, ideology, and economic influences were adopted across the Tuxtlas region of southern Veracruz, Mexico.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (BCS-0712056, BCS-8520615), the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies (07049), and the University of Kentucky. The Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia granted permission to conduct the research.
Stoner, Wesley D. and Pool, Christopher A., "The Archaeology of Disjuncture: Classic Period Disruption and Cultural Divergence in the Tuxtla Mountains of Mexico" (2015). Anthropology Faculty Publications. 10.
Figure 1: Map of Mesoamerica showing a sample of sites with known connections to Teotihuacan and other sites mentioned in the text.
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Figure 2: A, Sample of Teotihuacan-style artifacts recovered from Matacapan. B, Teotihuacan-style warrior statue from Matacapan donated to the Museo Regional de San Andrés Tuxtla. The design on the shield is of the Teotihuacan net-jaguar.
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Figure 3: Settlement patterns in the study area for the Middle Formative (MF; top), Late Formative (LF; middle), and Protoclassic (bottom).
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Figure 4: Settlement patterns in the study area for the Early Classic (EC; top), Middle Classic (MC; middle), and Late Classic (LC; bottom).
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Figure 5: Top left, line drawings of Cipactli Cult ceramics identified during the Tepango Valley Archaeological Survey (TVAS). Top right, photographs of Cipactli Cult ceramics identified during the TVAS. Bottom left, detail on the cipactli image carved onto the Los Cerros stela (redrawn after Sanchez 1999, figs. 1, 2). Bottom right, two complete cipactli images incised through a white slip on ritual bowls found at Totocapan (redrawn after Valenzuela 1945b:82,86).
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Figure 6: Top, distribution of ceramics and obsidian within the Tepango Valley Archaeological Survey that indicate interaction with Matacapan. Symbols for Matacapan (M) and Teotihuacan (T) style artifacts indicate individual finds. Green obsidian is graded by percentage of all obsidian found at a site (or subdivisions within sites, as with Tilzapote), but only assemblages with more than 10 pieces are depicted. Matacapan coarse orange jars are displayed as a percentages of all Middle Classic diagnostic ceramics. Values were interpolated using a Gaussian krigging function with a neighborhood of 3,000 m.
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Figure 7: Example of formal architectural complexes found in the Cotaxtla and western Papaloapan Basins (top; redrawn after Daneels 2008, fig. 3), the lower Coatzacoalcos Basins and the southern Tuxtlas foothills (middle; redrawn after Urcid and Killion 2008, fig. 19), and Tres Zapotes (mound group 2; bottom; redrawn after Pool 2008, fig. 3).
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Figure 8: Formal architectural complexes identified at Tilzapote, Cruz de Vidaña, Totocapan, and Matacapan.
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Figure 9: Distribution of the CO1A paste recipe expressed as a percentage of the entire neutron activation analysis sample for each site. Chloropleth zones are interpolated from the site sampled using a spline function. This paste recipe was produced at the Compoapan production facilty at Matacapan using clays available only in the Catemaco Valley. It is likely that almost all the coarse orange of this paste recipe found in the Tepango Valley was exchanged from Matacapan.
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Table A1: Brief descriptions of ceramic types mentioned in the text
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