Sustainable Urbanism in the Mixteca Alta: Was There Ever Such a Thing?

Author(s): Veronica Perez Rodriguez

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Advancing Public Perceptions of Sustainability through Archaeology" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Researchers that study pre-Hispanic urbanism in the Mixteca Alta often remark that the region today is eroded and sparsely populated. Places that in the past supported urban populations in the tens of thousands today seem to struggle to sustain a few hundred. Some have called this the Mixtec paradox. Research on the early city of Cerro Jazmín has reconstructed the settlement’s history of occupation (300 BC-AD 300), depopulation (AD 300-1300), and later reoccupation (AD 1300-1500). A geomorphic survey of the area surrounding Cerro Jazmín identified a well-developed soil horizon dating to AD 1100 and we initially thought that it was the result of successful land management from the city’s Classic and Early Postclassic-period population (AD 300-1100). Recent excavations have revealed that the population of Cerro Jazmín decreased after AD 300 and it remained that way until AD 1300, thus suggesting that the soil horizon was perhaps the result of the area’s depopulation. Was Cerro Jazmín ever a sustainable settlement? As we work to identify successful, ancient land use practices that might provide current Mixtec communities with ideas on how their lands can again sustain thousands, we use a localized approach to make our research relevant.

Cite this Record

Sustainable Urbanism in the Mixteca Alta: Was There Ever Such a Thing?. Veronica Perez Rodriguez. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450649)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -98.679; min lat: 15.496 ; max long: -94.724; max lat: 18.271 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23007