Pre-Hispanic Interregional Interaction in Southern Mexico

The Valley of Oaxaca and the Ejutla Valley
  • Gary M. Feinman
  • Linda M. Nicholas
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)


Ethnohistoric accounts document Late Postclassic interrelationships between the Pacific coast and highland valleys of Oaxaca. These highland—lowland interactions, which involved both trade and warfare, apparently were mediated by the inhabitants of the southernmost extensions of the Central Valleys of Oaxaca (see Figure 1), most notably the pre-Hispanic residents of the Miahuatlán Valley (Ball and Brockington 1978; Paso y Troncoso 1905). Although a peripheral part of the Central Oaxaca Valleys, Miahuatlán was in a strategic position for pre-Hispanic travel (Brockington 1973) and served as a port of trade by the Late Postclassic period (Ball and Brockington 1978). Cotton was a principal element in the highland—lowland network, traded largely from such coastal areas as Tututepec and Tehuantepec to highland towns where the cotton was made into finished textiles (Ball and Brockington 1978). The town of Miahuatlán may have supplied the Valley of Oaxaca with lowland products and goods through Cuilapan, a close trading partner (Ball and Brockington 1978). The exchange of people also is mentioned, both in colonial documents that describe Miahuatlán as a pre-Hispanic slave market (Paso y Troncoso 1905), and in records of royal marriages (Caso 1949).


Settlement Pattern Central Valley Projectile Point Spindle Whorl Obsidian Source 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary M. Feinman
    • 1
  • Linda M. Nicholas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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