This book offers a valuable collection of short chapters that originated as papers in a 2015 conference panel honoring Frances Berdan. A widely acknowledged expert on Aztec material economy, Berdan, along with Patricia Anawalt, edited the significant four-volume work on the Codex Mendoza (ca. 1541–42). That work is a fundamental source on the imperial economy, due to its detailed registers of tribute items extracted from conquered provinces and delivered to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, and its presence is felt throughout the book.

Its ten main essays are grouped in three sections: “The Economy and Commerce,” “The Economics of Ritual and Social Objects,” and “Economy at the Aztec Periphery.” In her chapter in the first section, Deborah L. Nichols offers a clear-eyed survey of recent work on markets, most of it archaeological, to fill in what the Codex Mendoza fails to tell...

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