Spatial Roles in Cacaxtla: A Delineation from the Study of Its Architecture

Author(s): Genevieve Lucet

Year: 2017


The archaeological site of Cacaxtla, in the central highlands of Mexico, had its heyday during the Mesoamerican Epiclassic period. Its architectural characteristics define it as a place for residential and government activities, in contrast with the neighboring hill Xochitecatl, where constructions typify ritual purposes. Excavations were not accompanied by scientific studies of materials for the understanding of functions of rooms, porches, and courtyards that make up the site. Therefore, it is necessary to resort to other sources of information derived from the analysis of structural, spatial, and formal features of these buildings in order to obtain hypotheses about their spatial roles. The observable diversification of built spaces corresponds to different design solutions applied in order to meet different needs. By defining and describing these features, we will distinguish some aspects of these needs and try to derive possible spatial roles. To perform this analysis, we will review the spatial composition of the site, the formal characteristics of rooms and courtyards, connections, and visual communication between the constructions and with the environment, the different formal solutions of the facades, the presence of hearths and altars and, of course, the spectacular murals as essential elements of meaningful characterization of the architecture.

Cite this Record

Spatial Roles in Cacaxtla: A Delineation from the Study of Its Architecture. Genevieve Lucet. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429086)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 12127