The strengthening of such cities was based on the control of such foreign products, thus, allowing an economic wealth to take place, which, in turn, had a repercussion on the growth of the whole economic system. Probably, in the search for social stability and the likeliness of obtaining resources required for survival, in this period there occurred a demographic redistribution, as wellas a subsequent migration of groups coming from the northern border of Middle America. So, great civilizations flourished and summarized different cultural traditions, such as Xochicalco, Cacaxtla, Xochitécatl, Teotenango, the volcanoes’ culture and Cholula, among others. They emerged as independent communities, and some of them survived not only the Mexican migration, but also the arrival of theSpaniards. This period has been called Epiclassic and dates from 650 AC to 850 AC..
Attracted by mines and limestone exploitation, the Teotihuacans settled in Tula, region that they left when the city began to collapse. However, a new cultural civilization appeared in that region summarizing characteristically Teotihuacan’s’ traits and traditions from El Bajío and northern Mexico.
The city ofTula, over the course of around 400 years, underwent several changes and transformations that turned a small settlement into a complex city; thus, consolidating a powerful State which controlled Mexico’s central region. This period is known as Early Postclassical and dates from 850 to 1250 AC.
Near Chingú, main Teotihuacán center of the region, the city of Tula was founded. It covered an area of16 km2 and had a population of around 18 to 55 thousand inhabitants. It achieved to control a tribute system similar to that of Teotihuacán. Toltecs, inhabitants of the city, obtained economic benefits due to the military power they exerted against other civilizations.
In Tula, there were extensive agricultural fields featuring complex irrigation systems. Also, villagers exchanged several productswith distant regions, such as Jalisco, Michoacán, Hidalgo, Veracruz, Pacific Coast, and regions from the border with Guatemala. Some of those products were obsidian, cotton, shells, and feathers, among others.
Toltec monumental architecture contributed with new elements, such as ample flat roofs supported by pilasters and columns. In addition, villagers constructed the Tzompantli, a wall used toexhibit the sacrificed persons heads, and introduced the use of round platforms dedicated to Quetzalcóatl in the representation of Ehécatl, god of wind.
The existence of a relation between Tula and the Mayan area is evident by the fact that the elements similar to the ones of Toltec cities are considered to belong to the late architectonic style of Chichén Itzá, Yucatán.
The destruction of Tulaand the fact that many buildings were destroyed by fire around 1200 AC as a consequence of internal conflicts marked the end of Early Postclassic.
The most ancient historic references to Tula belong to the most glorious period of such civilization, and were conveyed by Toltec successors and, subsequently, compiled by 17th century chroniclers.
In Tula, here have been found evidences of potteryknown as Plumbate, one of the few Precolumbian type of pottery that was fired at high temperatures, and that was not crafted in such region. Plumbate was crafted in Soconusco and in areas adjacent to Guatemala; it was exported to other Middle America regions.
The so-called atlantes are characteristic figures of Toltec sculpture that featured different sizes. The largest ones, such as the oneslocated in the Temple of Quetzalcóatl in Tula, supported the roof of the Temple on their heads.
Toltec clay figures always represented gods. They were flat and, generally, they were made in molds, which allowed a great-scale production and a more accessible market for most part of the population. They were hand-painted in several colors and decorated not only with god representations, but also with...
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