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Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology

Indiana Jones: Myth, Reality and 21st Century Archaeology

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March 20th 2013:Who Were the Aztec: Bridging the Gap between Myth and Reality

In a world of sensationalist headlines the Aztec would appear to be the ultimate players. But what do we really know and how do we reconcile contradictory trends and traditions? The archaeological record has provided compelling evidence for human sacrifice and brutal warfare in the interests of conquest and expansion. By the same token, magnificent city-states with pyramids, monumental architecture, and complex trading networks bespeak infrastructures that may be the precursors of contemporary administrative structures. But despite their unchallenged dominance in the region, they fell under th

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Featured Guest

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Michael E. Smith

Michael E. Smith is Professor of Anthropology at Arizona State University. He is an archaeologist who has directed fieldwork projects at numerous Aztec sites in central Mexico, pioneering the excavation of houses and the study of daily life. He has published six books and numerous scholarly articles on the Aztecs; his books include Aztec City-State Capitals (2008), and the population textbook, The Aztecs (3rd edition, 2012). In addition to the study of the domestic realm, Smith’s research in Mexico has focused on Aztec cities and urbanism, imperialism, and economics. He also carries out interdisciplinary and comparative research on cities and urban life, from deep history to the present.
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