Archaeology in the Plaza: Public Display of the Past in Banamichi, Sonora

Author(s): Elizabeth Eklund

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Just off the main highway, the Ruta del Río Sonora, in Banámichi, Mexico, is the Plaza de la Piedra Histórica (Plaza of the Historic Rock). Raised upon the shoulders of Ópata / Teguïma inspired stone figures is a petroglyph originally found in the floodplain below. The imagery on the rock was interpreted by archaeologist William Doolittle in 1984 as "the first map," which he argued depicted the pre-Hispanic canal systems and fields in the floodplain below. The statue is a monument to the heritage of the area, a silent testament of the past clearly visible in the present. The purpose of this project is not to question whether Doolittle was correct in his interpretation of the petroglyph, but rather to look at the links and memory carried in the land and its canals to present day water users. Ethnohistoric reports attest to the agricultural productivity of the river valley. This project draws from published archaeological reports and theory to look at the intersection of public displays and narratives about cultural heritage and the living practices contemporary irrigators. The research provides insights into concepts of "tradition" and the role material manifestations of past cultures play in social memory.

Cite this Record

Archaeology in the Plaza: Public Display of the Past in Banamichi, Sonora. Elizabeth Eklund. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450128)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -109.094; min lat: 22.553 ; max long: -96.57; max lat: 26.785 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24998