Sanders, William T.. The basin of Mexico: ecological processes in the evolution of a civilization

Table of Contents

Publication Information

1 Introduction

2 The Strategy And Tactics Of Fieldwork

History Of The Basin Of Mexico Survey Project

General Research Strategy

Excavation Strategy

Survey Strategy

Survey Tactics

Adjunct Strategies

Related Projects

3 The Settlement Pattern Maps

Reconstruction Of Prehistoric Populations

The Loma Torremote Test Case

Settlement Typology

Limitations Of The Surveys

Incomplete Survey Coverage

Contemporaneity Of Surface Occupations

The Cuicuilco Problem

Preparation Of The Base Map


4 The Natural Environment Of The Basin Of Mexico

5 Settlement History Of The Basin Of Mexico


Early Horizon (1500–1150 B.c.)

First Intermediate: Phase One (1150–650 B.c.)

First Intermediate: Phase Two (650–300 B.c.)

First Intermediate: Phase Three (300–100 B.c.)

Summary And Conclusions

The Tezoyuca Problem

First Intermediate: Phase Four (100 B.c.-a.d. 100)

First Intermediate: Phase Five (a.d. 100–300)

Middle Horizon (a.d. 300–750)

Second Intermediate: Phase One (a.d. 750–950)

Second Intermediate: Phase Two (a.d. 950–1150)

Second Intermediate: Phase Three (a.d. 1150–1350)

Late Horizon (a.d. 1350–1519)


6 Demographic History Of The Basin Of Mexico

General Patterns

The Southern Basin

Chalco-xochimilco Regions

Tacuba Region

The Ixtapalpa Region

The Southern Region—summary

The Texcoco Region

The Teotihuacan-temascalapa Regions

The Tenayuca-cuautitlan Region

The Zumpango—pachuca Regions


7 Resource Exploitation


Tools And Techniques

Contemporary Terracing

Prehispanic Terracing

Irrigation: General

Contemporary Floodwater Irrigation In The Teotihuacan Valley

Permanent Irrigation In The Teotihuacan Valley Today

Prehispanic Irrigation

Drainage Agriculture

Animal Domestication, Hunting, And Gathering

Animal Resources

Gathered Resources

Miscellaneous Resources

8 The Village And Institutional Evolution In The Basin Of Mexico

Socioeconomic Typology

Archaeology And Socioeconomic Reconstruction

Loma Torremote: A First Intermediate Phase Two Village

Natural Setting

The Archaeological Remains

Social Structure

Rank Differences

The Social System

Economic Structure

Craft Specialization

Religious Organization


Comparisons With Other First Intermediate Sites

Basin-wide Implications Of The Loma Torremote Excavation

Maquixco Bajo: A Middle Horizon Village


Economic Structure

Craft Specialization And Trade


Village And City

Comparison With Other Middle Horizon Villages

Basin-wide Implications Of The Maquixco Excavations

The Tribal And The Peasant Village: A Comparison

9 Theoretical Implications Of The Basin Of Mexico Survey

Population Pressure And Sociopolitical Evolution In The Basin Of Mexico

Carrying Capacity

Population Pressure And Agricultural Intensification

Agricultural Intensification And Sociopolitical Evolution

Hydraulic Agriculture And Sociopolitical Evolution In The Basin Of Mexico

Hydraulic Agriculture And State Formation In The Basin Of Mexico

Feedback Mechanisms And Processes

Spatial Analysis And Cultural Evolution In The Basin Of Mexico

Environmental Change And Cultural Evolution In The Basin Of Mexico

10 The Basin Of Mexico And Future Research

Key Problems For Future Research

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The basin of Mexico: ecological processes in the evolution of a civilization

Published By: Original publisher New York: Academic Press. 1979. xiv, 561 p. ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication William T. Sanders, Jeffrey R. Parsons, and Robert S. Santley

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2010. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Highland Mesoamerican Late Preclassic (NY42)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Theoretical orientation in research and its results (121); Historical reconstruction (174); Archaeological survey methods (129); Chronologies and culture sequences (911); Diet (262); Tillage (241); Land use (311); Tests and schedules administered in the field (125); Ceramic technology (323); Typologies and classifications (914);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This monograph represents the results of field research conducted over a period of 15 years (1960-1975), in the Basin of Mexico. Although Sanders covers a wide range of archaeological periods from the Early Horizon to the Late Horizon (ca. 1500 BC to 1519 AD), the major focus of this document is on the period from 600 BC to 300 AD which he refers to in the text as the First Intermediate division, phases two to five. This study is divided into five major parts. Chapters 1-3 essentially deal with the methodology of the Basin of Mexico Survey Project. Chapters 4-7 are primarily data chapters, with a focus on geography, settlements, demography, and resource utilization, with a minimum of interpretation. Chapter 8 reconstructs the history of socioeconomic systems based on a combination of the data from survey and excavation. Chapter 9 discusses the implications of the Survey Project in terms of broad theoretical concepts in anthropology. Chapter 10 is mostly a plea for future research to expand the considerable data base produced by the Survey. A series of appendices conclude the work containing topics of a more specialized nature (pp. xiii-xiv).

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 1

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. ny42-001

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Essay

Language: Language that the document is written in English

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 533-549) and index

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1960-1975

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Archaeologist-4, 5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. John Beierle; 2008

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 2600-1700 BP (600 BC-AD 300)

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Basin of Mexico

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Indians of Mexico--Mexico--Mexico, Valley of--Antiquities/Land settlement patterns, Prehistoric--Mexico--Mexico, Valley of/Human ecology--Mexico--Mexico, Valley of/Mexico, Valley of (Mexico)--Antiquities/ Mexico--Antiquities


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