Rituals and Power at Teotihuacan

Thursday 8th and Friday 9th October 2009

Over the course of the first few centuries A.D., Teotihuacan became one of the greatest powers ever known in the Mesoamerican world. Extending its influence over distant regions, it has long been accepted that this city, whose scale and rigorous planning remain unequaled, was organized as a state. However, despite a century of research, specialists remain divided over the nature and organization of power, and propose a wide range of hypotheses (theocracy, monarchy, tetrarchy, corporate rule, etc.). The present colloquium is not intended to resolve this problem; rather it seeks to clarify aspects of power through its expression in ritual practices, of which numerous indications are preserved within the ancient city. These expressions are detected through urbanism, architecture, ceremonial deposits as well as in iconography. A number of these rituals appear to be closely tied to the power whose nature continues to escape archaeologists. The goal of this meeting is to present approaches and new data concerning the articulation between these two domains of society, emphasizing in particular the ideological, social, and political implications of the ceremonial practices.

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Claude Lévi-Strauss Theatre

October 8th from 10:00 am to 5:00pm
October 9th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm