The archaeology of disjuncture: Classic period disruption and cultural divergence in the Tuxtla Mountains of Mexico

Wesley D. Stoner, Christopher A. Pool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Reconstructing human interaction systems has been a major objective of archaeological research, but we have typically examined the topic in a conceptually limited manner. Most studies have—intentionally or unintentionally—focused on how trade, communication, conquest, and migration foster cultural similarities over long distances. It has largely been a positivistic endeavor that exclusively features groups linked through a single network but glosses over how alternative networks intersect with the former through common nodes. Models of long-distance interaction have largely ignored variation in how external influences are negotiated across space within the receiving region. We adapt Arjun Appadurai’s concept of disjuncture to conceptualize how human groups negotiate cultural messages transmitted through multiscalar interaction networks. Disjuncture fundamentally refers to the decoupling of different facets of culture, economy, and politics where human interactions follow variable trajectories through space. The variability with which human groups reconcile foreign cultural information within local social networks leads to cultural diversity across space in the receiving region. We use the concept to detail the variability with which Teotihuacan symbols, ideology, and economic influences were adopted across the Tuxtlas region of southern Veracruz, Mexico.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-420
Number of pages36
JournalCurrent Anthropology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 27 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology


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