Formal Open Space at Teotihuacan

Author(s): Alexandra Norwood

Year: 2017


The lack of large plazas at Teotihuacan has led archaeologists to claim that Teotihuacan was a city with very little public open space. There are, however, many smaller assembly areas distributed around the city. The Teotihuacan Mapping Project identified a large number of "plazas" in the city but the criteria were subjective and the data were never analyzed. I have filtered these data by applying a more formal definition of plaza than the initial field criteria used by the Mapping Project. After evaluating the public open spaces identified in Teotihuacan, I compare the level of spatial access to plazas for neighborhoods throughout the city. I also analyze the level of access residents had to markets and temples. Finally, I compare the amount of open space and number of plazas at Teotihuacan to other Mesoamerican cities to see where Teotihuacan fits in the spectrum of open space abundance and distribution in Mesoamerica. These results provide quantitative data on formal open space in Teotihuacan for the first time and will enable a broader integration of open space into examinations of both daily and ritual life in Teotihuacan.

Cite this Record

Formal Open Space at Teotihuacan. Alexandra Norwood. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429604)

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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): 15177