chapter  3
17 Pages

Reconstructing daily life

The residents of Capilco and Cuexcomate managed to survive and even prosper in the marginal environment of the Buenavista hills. The terraces are the prominent landscape markers that show how they persevered, but it is the artifacts that furnish the details. Tools for spinning cotton thread, for example, signal prosperity because cotton cloth was a form of currency in the Aztec economy. The beans of the cacao or chocolate plant served as small change in Aztec markets, but large purchases were made with standard lengths of cotton cloth. People also paid their taxes with cloth money. The people of Capilco and Cuexcomate were literally manufacturing money in their homes, but this was not a crime as it would be today.