Tajin's power structure revealed: Hypotheses indicate that the city was not governed by a single person

25/04/2021

New hypotheses about the final stage and the form of government of the civilization of Tajin, which indicate that the mandate of this ancient city was not exclusive to a single person but of several individuals. According to the studies carried out in this archaeological zone of Veracruz, Tajin experienced in its last phase intense transformations in its form of government and ideology that were reflected in its architecture and iconography.

Around 800-850 A.D., this ancient Mesoamerican city experienced a profound change in its government with the rise of a new lineage group linked to the figure of Trece Conejo, a dignitary referred to in the carved pilasters of the Edificio de las Columnas. However, in the reliefs of these pillars are represented personages that boast this same calendrical name; they are in the western (800-850 A.D.) and eastern (900-950 A.D.) porticoes.

With this evidence, knowing that there is more than a century between both sculptural groups, it is not possible to suppose that they are the same ruler. In any case, they seem to be different characters referring to the same lineage group and not different figurations of a specific individual. The mention of other characters on the pilasters of the Building of the Columns, such as Lords Five Deer and Eight Movement, does not allude to a shared government in Tajin, but to a scheme of delegation of power in terms of administrative functions.

In reliefs of the Building of the Columns, there is an allusion to a scheme of delegation of power. 

Given the changes that Tajin underwent around 800 A.D., it is necessary to revise the chronologies for the final stage of this civilization, which so far has been proposed for the Epiclassic period, from 900 to 1100 of our era. Around 800 A.D. Tajin lived one of its last moments of cultural flourishing, architecturally represented by the complex of the Building of the Columns. Between 1100 and 1200 A.D., the constructive reforms were less and less, perhaps provided with a much cruder technique in what makes the stone masonry, but not for that reason they stopped imprinting their particular seal.

This final stage of Tajin, specifically between 800 and 900 A.D., was also marked by the observation of the stars, an activity reserved for the elite and that even led to the calendrical counting of the appearances of Venus as the morning star.

By Mexicanist