Dating a piece of paper
But it is not known who did the work, or how the labor was divided.
As a tribute item, amate was assigned to the royal sector because it was not considered to be a commodity.
In the second phase, the paper used by the royal authorities and priests for sacred and political purposes was a way to empower and frequently register all the other sumptuary exclusive things.
Foreign academics began studying this ritual use of amate in the mid-20th century, and the Otomi people of the area began producing the paper commercially.
Otomi craftspeople began selling it in cities such as Mexico City, where the paper was revived by Nahua painters in Guerrero to create "new" indigenous craft, which was then promoted by the Mexican government.
) is a type of bark paper that has been manufactured in Mexico since the precontact times. Amate paper was extensively produced and used for both communication, records, and ritual during the Triple Alliance; however, after the Spanish conquest, its production was mostly banned and replaced by European paper.
Amate paper production never completely died, nor did the rituals associated with it.
These beaters are still used by Otomi artisans, and almost all are volcanic, with an additional groove added on the side to help hold the stone.
According to some early Spanish accounts, the bark was left overnight in water to soak, after which the finer inner fibers were separated from coarser outer fibers and pounded into flat sheets.
It remained strongest in the rugged, remote mountainous areas of northern Puebla and northern Veracruz states.
Spiritual leaders in the small village of San Pablito, Puebla were described as producing paper with "magical" properties.
This paper was related to power and religion, the way through which the Aztecs imposed and justified their dominance in Mesoamerica.