Textiles in Mesoamerica
Because textiles are rare among the artifacts of cultures known to us only archaeologically, any analysis of them, or of the technology of their production, must be pieced together from indirect sources. In Mesoamerica, while archeological finds attest to the existence of various textile technologies at specific dates, much of our understanding of the subject comes from ancient Maya, Mixtec, and Aztec books, stone sculpture, painted pottery, murals, clay figurines, European documents from the time of the Conquest, and modern textile traditions.
Though the physical environment of Mesoamerica generally precludes the survival of perishable artifacts, textiles have none the less survived from certain areas. The majority, mostly small fragments, have been found in dry caves in the arid regions of Mexico. In the humid southern lowlands very little has survived, some 2,500 carbonized fragments dredged from protecting mud at the bottom of the Sacred Well at Chichen Itza are the most important...
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