The origins and development of the cartographic tradition in the central Mexican highlands
Contributions in New World archaeology
More than four decades ago H.B. Nicholson compared the so-called Palace Stone from Xochicalco to a page in a Mesoamerican codex. Showing numerous calendrical dates and toponymic signs connected by a path marked by footprints the monument readily recalls the cartographic tradition that is well-known for the central Mexican highlands at the time of the Spanish conquest. In this paper we explore the Epiclassic evidence of this tradition, discussing not only central features of the Palace Stone,
... also additional monuments from Xochicalco and sites in the vicinity, such as the recently discovered Tetlama stela, that belong to the same genre. Thus, we provide a preliminary analysis of the formal features and contents of these fascinating monuments that record an important narrative history and founding myth of Xochicalco and some of its satellite communities. Furthermore, we shall also introduce evidence that suggests that the conventions of this tradition can ultimately be traced back to Teotihuacan in the Early Classic.