Architectural Discourse and Sociocultural Structure at Los Guachimontones, Jalisco

Author(s): Kimberly Sumano; Joshua Englehardt

Year: 2016


The site of Los Guachimontones, in central Jalisco state, Mexico, has long been the subject of intensive archaeological research, beginning in the 1970s with Weigand’s investigations of the site’s unique circular architectonic configurations. Nonetheless, a detailed understanding of intra–site architectonic variability eludes adequate explanation and obscures our comprehension of the internal sociopolitical dynamics of the site. To address these lacunae, this paper compares two distinct areas of the site—Loma Alta and the nuclear core—that are thought to have been socially differentiated habitational and ceremonial zones, based on variability in the spatial organization of their respective architectural complexes. Departing from a dual–processual framework, the authors analyze differences in the spatial syntax, formal characteristics, and distribution of architectural groups in these zones. Synchronic and diachronic variability in these aspects may indicate distinct functions of discrete areas within the site, and demonstrate how the socio–structural organization of the groups that occupied Los Guachimontones was negotiated, reflected, and reified in the architectural configurations of the built environment. This analysis thus contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the sociocultural dynamics of a site recognized as key to understanding the development of social complexity in western Mesoamerica.

Cite this Record

Architectural Discourse and Sociocultural Structure at Los Guachimontones, Jalisco. Kimberly Sumano, Joshua Englehardt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403734)

Spatial Coverage

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