How Monumental Architecture Directs Movement: Defensive and Hydrological Features at Muralla de León
Author(s): Justin Bracken
This is an abstract from the "Manifesting Movement Materially: Broadening the Mesoamerican View" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Tracking patterns of everyday movement by individuals within a local population offers deep insight into the spatialized social structure of the group, providing information such as who interacts with whom, which areas are public and which are private, and the tightness or openness of different social circles. Like most human activity, though, movement is ephemeral, leaving only indirect traces of its existence. While archaeologists cannot hope to reconstruct daily movement within societies from the distant past on a granular, individual level, increasingly robust approaches are being developed to assess the bigger picture. Everyday paths of travel are strongly influenced by the natural and human-altered local terrain, which imposes barriers and conduits to movement in ways both physical and conceptual. The work presented here begins by addressing the physical impact of constructed monumental features upon such paths. An encircling rampart wall and associated hydrological features at the site of Muralla de León are the focus of the study, which uses Least Cost Path and other GIS analyses to understand their tangible alteration of potential movement. This first analysis is then measured against parallel conceptual interpretations of the space.
Cite this Record
How Monumental Architecture Directs Movement: Defensive and Hydrological Features at Muralla de León. Justin Bracken. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451789)
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min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25379