Soil, landsurfaces and settlements under lava: the case of Cuicuilco, Mexico


First societies based on agriculture settled Mexico Basin around 3000 years ago (from BC 1500 to AD 100), during Formative period, according to Mesoamerican chronology. Cuicuilco is one and probably the first of these Formative sites in Mexico Basin and is located in the southern part of Mexico City, in an area covered by lava flows from the Xitle volcano, named as El Pedregal. The age of the eruption has been established around 1,670+/- 35 years B.P. It is considered that Cuicuilco was probably abandoned as a direct consequence of this eruption. We have started a survey looking for the sites where the paleosurface, inhabited by Cuicuilcs, is still preserved. This landsurface has been found in several places, just below a thin dark grey ash and the thick Xitle lava flow. The buried paleosol has abundant artifacts. We study this paleosol in order to reconstruct the environmental conditions in the area during the settlement, as well as the impact of human activities to the area. The paleosol has a very hard and dark organic horizon and does not rest directly under the lava. However the lava has caused an extraordinary effect of compaction that it is necessary to discriminate

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Soil, landsurfaces and settlements under lava: the case of Cuicuilco, Mexico. Georgina Ibarra, Felipe Ramírez, Elizabeth Solleiro, Sergey Sedov. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396067)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;