chapter  Chapter Thirty-Six
23 Pages

Interactions between Ancient Teotihuacan and the Maya world

WithSaburo Sugiyama, Nawa Sugiyama

This chapter provides a perspective of Early Classic Teotihuacan-Maya interactions as interpreted from data within Teotihuacan’s city center. We address the following points: 1) The Teotihuacan state built a metropolitan cityscape around the 3rd century CE that effectively materialized a pan-Mesoamerican worldview at an unprecedented scale; 2) New excavation data suggest contacts with Maya groups originated during the midst of this monumental construction program. Several Maya and other foreign groups likely participated in this ambitious project, whether by supplying esoteric knowledge, as victims for mass-sacrifice rituals, or possibly even as guests in accession ceremonies; 3) The “Entrada” event on CE 378 seems to indicate a point of renewed contact between the Teotihuacan state and specific groups from the Petén possibly consequent to a dramatic restructuring of regional socio-political dynamics. We propose that it corresponds to a significant restructuring of the Teotihuacan polity, in which the ruling hierarchy took on a notably militaristic character motivated by expansionist designs.