Architectural Variation in the Tres Zapotes Region


A combined program of aerial LiDAR mapping and pedestrian survey is documenting significant intra-regional variation in pre-Hispanic architectural plans in the Eastern Lower Papaloapan Basin of southern Veracruz, Mexico, reflecting the interplay of ecological adaptation, political integration, factionalism, and extra-regional influences. Consistent association of domestic mounds with small bajos in low-lying areas suggests intentional (as opposed to accretional) mounding and landscape modification to exploit aquatic resources. Preliminary assessments of temporal affiliation for civic-ceremonial complexes support a diachronic model in which Late Formative political affiliation expressed architecturally in the Tres Zapotes Plaza Group layout was succeeded by a proliferation of distinctive Protoclassic and Classic layouts, including Central Veracruz-inspired Standard Plans and Monumental Platforms, in the context of a fragmented political landscape. The Postclassic, in turn, witnessed the appearance of novel formal arrangements concentrated along a major east-west transportation route.

Cite this Record

Architectural Variation in the Tres Zapotes Region. Christopher Pool, Michael Loughlin, Manuel Melgarejo Pérez, Gabriela Montero Mejía, Kyle Mullen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403643)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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