Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Dr. Laura Finsten


Various hypotheses concerning macroregional spheres of interaction affecting La Quemada's place in Mesoamerican history are evaluated. Pottery and human bone from the 1987-89 La Quemada project are analysed for information on intersocietal interaction. The hypothesis that La Quemada was involved in turquoise trade with the American Southwest (Chaco Canyon) in the Early Postclassic is also examined. The results of these analyses indicate that La Quemada had limited contacts outside its neighbouring valleys. None ofthe materials necessarily represent trade and there is no suggestion that a formally organised system existed. Attempts to find archaeological evidence for the ethnohistorical myths that relate the migration of Nahua speakers northward and the return ofthe Tolteca-Chichimeca to Tula fail to consider the difficulties with associating material remains with ethnic identity. It is not yet possible to explain how La Quemada was integrated into regional and macroregional scales of interaction.