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William T. Sanders and L.J. Gorenflo

Publication: Archaeological Settlement Pattern Data from the Cuautitlan, Temascalapa, and Teotihuacan Regions, Mexico
With a contribution by Ian G. Robertson
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Cover of Publication: Archaeological Settlement Pattern Data from the Cuautitlan, Temascalapa, and Teotihuacan Regions, Mexico. Click to enlarge.

Research Year:  2007
Culture:  Teotihuacán
Chronology:  Early - Late Classic
Location:  Mexico
Site:  Teotihuacán, Temascalapa, Cuautitlan

Table of Contents

List of Tables
List of Figures
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Settlement and Environmental Data, Cuautitlan Region
Chapter 3: Settlement and Environmental Data, Temascalapa Region
Chapter 4: Settlement and Environmental Data, Teotihuacan Region
Appendix A: Other Occupations, Teotihuacan Region
Appendix B: Prehispanic Settlement at Teotihuacan (by Ian G. Robertson)
Compact Disk of Settlement Pattern Data for the Cuautitlan, Temascalapa, and Teotihuacan Regions


This volume contains descriptive tabulations of prehispanic settlement data from the Cuautitlan, Temascalapa, Teotihuacan survey regions in the Basin of Mexico. All of these data were collected during archaeological surveys inthe early and mid-1960s (Teotihuacan : 1960-1966) and mid-1970s (Cuautitlan region, 1974; Temascalapa region, 1974 and 1975), directed by William Sanders. The volume is entirely descriptive, intended to facilitate the analysis of archaeological settlement patters in the three survey regions, perhaps in conjunction with information published elsewhere on prehispanic settlement in other portions of the Basin of Mexico (Parsons et al. 1983).

The decision to publish this report grew in part from requests over the years for unpublished data on prehispanic settlement patterns in the Basin of Mexico, and in part from the desire to provide a companion volume to the tabular report published for the remaining five survey regions in the Basin (Parsons et al. 1983). Experience has shown the value of having detailed data available for more technical analyses of settlement patterns (e.g., Bell et al. 1988; Gorenflo and Gale 1986,1990; Gorenflo 1996,2006; Parsons and Gorenflo 2007; see also Alden 1979; Brumfiel 1976; Dewar 1991; Kintigh 1994; Earle 1976; Steponaitis 1981), as well as the difficulty in compiling necessary information for such inquiries even when the field notes themselves are available. Moreover, the widely-held view of the Basin of Mexico as a single region makes a compelling argument for providing all data from the entire area in a similar format; the table designs used in this volume are virtually identical to those developed for the other five survey areas. Nevertheless, although thorough in their coverage, the site descriptions in this report remain abbreviated summaries of settlement characteristics-those traits amenable to tabular presentation-and do not completely replace the more detailed site descriptions found in monographs describing settlement patterns in each of the three regions (Charlton 1987; Evans et al. 2000; Gorenflo and Sanders 2008; Kolb and Sanders 1996; Marino 1987; Sanders and Gorenflo 2007; Sanders et al. 1975). Information on architectural features, material culture, and additional environmental details appear in those other publications, supplementing the data found below.

To accompany the tabular summaries of sites, for each period of occupation we have included detailed regional settlement maps for all three survey regions examined. The maps, which depict both site area and settlement type for each period of occupation, provide graphic depictions of settlement patterns as well as a means of orienting one's geographic focus when examining characteristics for a particular site or group of sites. Geographic information system (GIS) files have been constructed for settlement data from the entire Basin and contain information on prehispanic occupations as well as other information, including a variety of environmental data, historic settlement pattern data from different periods, and land use patterns.

As with the other survey regions in the Basin of Mexico, prehispanic settlement remains in the three areas covered by this volume experienced differential amounts of disturbance from post-Conquest land use and other activities. Consistent with the previously published tabular volume, we excluded from this report Late Aztec sites known exclusively from ethnohistoric sources. Among the sites excluded are Ecatepec and Tultitlan, both late Aztec provincial centers in the Cuautitlan region obscured by modern settlement and not surveyed; and a number of sites in the Teotihuacan region identified in ethnohistoric sources, most of which coincided with modern settlement (see Evans et al. 2000: Map 9). The tendency for modem occupation to disturb prehispanic settlement in the southern part of the Cuautitlan region eventually led to the definition of a boundary separating the area where reliable archaeological surface remains persisted at the time of survey (the Cuautitlan region) and the area where heavy modern disturbance precluded reliable survey (the Tenaynca region, along the southern and southwestem slopes of the Guadalupe Range). Because evidence from the latter region relies heavily on ethnohistoric sources and previous archaeological research, survey data from the Tenayuca region are not comparable to those from the remainder of the Basin and will appear in a separate publication.

Certain data in this volume differ from those presented in earlier publications. Some of the discrepancies represent differences with settlement maps published in Sanders et al. (1979; see also Sanders 1981), reflecting the results of examining data on each site in greater detail, which occasionally led to the modification of previous evaluations (most often site classification). Descriptions of a few Late Aztec sites in the Temascalapa region differ slightly from those published a few years ago (Gorenflo and Sanders 2000), the changes mainly involving environmental zone (which now uses a more accurate approach based on geographic information system data). Other disagreements occur between the data published on occupations in the Teotihuacan region (Charlton 1987; Evans et al. 2000; Kolb and Sanders 1996; Marino 1987; Sanders et al. 1975) and the tabular summaries presented below. Although the tabular summaries of Teotihuacan region data in this volume rely heavily on descriptions contained in the above references (all of them volumes of the Teotihuacan Valley Project Final Report), they use a slightly different characterization of the natural environment consistent with Sanders et al. 1979 (Map 1) and employ more accurate topographic maps than were available during the original data collection and compilation to determine characteristics such as elevation. Moreover, when possible certain relevant site characteristics not previously presented for Teotihuacan region are included in the tables below-such as site population estimates for Formative and Toltec occupations; in some cases, these additional characteristics led to changes in other traits (such as site type) to remain consistent with the data reporting standards used in other parts of the Basin. In general, discrepancies between this volume and previous publications are minimal, with the information presented here based on the best, most recent evaluations of the archaeological data collected. We discuss the nature of disagreements between the tabular summaries and prior presentations of data from the Teotihuacan region in greater detail below.

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FAMSI generously provided funds to cover the costs of publishing this volume.

Publication available from the Department of University Publications, The Pennsylvania State University © 2007
Department of Anthropology
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802
ISBN 1-881968-11-1

Submitted 05/01/2008 by:

The Pennsylvania State University

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