Agrarian Potential, Population, and the Tarascan State

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Science  11 Jul 1980:
Vol. 209, Issue 4453, pp. 274-277
DOI: 10.1126/science.209.4453.274


Estimates based on potential maize crops and maize consumption patterns of the 15th-century Mesoamerican protohistoric Tarascan population living within its geopolitical core (Lake Páttzcuaro Basin) indicate that this population had not maintained itself through agricultural- and lacustrine-carrying capacity alone. It was through having to obtain basic resources such as maize from outside the basin that the Tarascans developed mechanisms that formed the particular character of their state.