Adapting and Improvising: Materiality and the Politicization of Historic Structures

Author(s): Kasey Diserens Morgan

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Documenting the Built Environment (General Sessions)" , at the 2021 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

This paper explores how tactics of improvisation and adaptation of colonial era structures to meet modern needs have changed over time in the historic town of Tihosuco, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Until 2019, when Tihosuco was declared national patrimony due to its role in the Caste War of Yucatan (1847-1901), much of the responsibility for upkeep and maintenance fell to the owners of the structures. Now, restoration work on a few select buildings has been undertaken by government and tourism officials in the region, often without much input from owners. These efforts have resulted in the covering of the patina of time, and obscuring the layered histories that are visible in the material of the buildings themselves. These interventions have also changed the relationship between the buildings and the community, creating streetscapes of sanitized facades, with little tangible benefit to those who live behind them.

Cite this Record

Adapting and Improvising: Materiality and the Politicization of Historic Structures. Kasey Diserens Morgan. 2021 ( tDAR id: 459331)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Geographic Keywords

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology