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Instituto de Investigaciones Antropoloógicas (IIA), Auditorio Jaime Litvak King. 17.00 hours.


IIA-UNAM. México

Linda R Manzanilla en el IIA edited

Dr. Linda Rosa Manzanilla is a Mexican archaeologist, senior researcher at the Institute of Anthropological Research at UNAM.

She is currently a professor in the Postgraduate Program in Anthropology at UNAM and the Undergraduate Program in Anthropology at UNAM. She has been a Tinker Visiting Professor at Stanford University, California, and has taught over forty different courses and seminars at various institutions including UNAM, ENAH, Colegio de Mexico, Autonomous University of Yucatán, International University of Andalucia and the Graduate Program in Anthropology at the University of Costa Rica.

She has authored and/or edited 32 books, 220 articles, and chapters on topics related to the emergence and transformations of early urban societies in Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Andean region, and has devoted several decades of research to Teotihuacan as an exceptional city in Mesoamerica. This research aims to address life in early archaic cities and states, particularly those that have not left us texts to understand their functioning.

She holds an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of San Cristóbal de Huamanga (Ayacucho, Peru), and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Academy of Scientific Research Award, INAH's Alfonso Caso Award for the best research in archaeology, and the Presidential Award of the American Archaeological Society.

She is also a member of the editorial board of several scientific journals.

More information about Dr. Manzanilla's academic career can be found at:


Cultural diversity in the pre-Hispanic past.

The challenge of living in the first multiethnic city of central Mexico: Teotihuacan

Linda Rosa Manzanilla Naim



Mesoamerica is a particular region among those that witnessed the emergence of the archaic state and pristine cities. It is exceptional because its territory was inhabited by multiple diverse ethnic-linguistic groups, whose contacts and interactions created a common tradition. Other regions of the ancient world have ethno-linguistic patches, but not a plethora of diverse groups.

It is in this context that the first great city of central Mexico arose: Teotihuacan, a gigantic orthogonal urban settlement of 20 km2, in whose outer ring lay the "ethnic neighborhoods" of Veracruzans (the "Barrio de los Comerciantes"), Oaxacans (the "Barrio Oaxaqueño") and a small enclave of Michoacans. However, in the inner ring lay some 22 barrios, several of which appear to be multi-ethnic. They are the most dynamic social units of Teotihuacan society. These multi-ethnic neighborhoods have a coordination center administered by the middle elite, and are semi-autonomous: they had a periodic market (tianguis) in an open sector annexed to the neighborhood center, in order to exchange by barter the crafts that were produced in the city for food and raw materials obtained by the producers; but they also organized caravans along corridors of allied sites to get raw materials and foreign goods, as well as to enthuse foreign labor to work as craftsmen attached and dependent of a particular neighborhood.

Teotihuacan neighborhoods were semi-autonomous and competed with each other; their intermediate elites were enriched by the goods brought by the caravan system. And this behavior was contrary to the austerity of the ruling elite of a corporate society. Both forms of organization created a tension in the Teotihuacan system, a tension that finally originated the revolt of the barrios against the ruling elite, causing the great fire of all the buildings of the Calzada de los Muertos in 570 A.D., that is, the destruction of the ruling elite's scenarios.






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