STREETS and OPEN SPACES: COMPARING MOBILITY and URBAN FORM at ANGAMUCO and CHUNCHUCMIL, MEXICO

Scott R. Hutson, Rodrigo Solinis-Casparius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Angamuco and Chunchucmil are two of the few Mesoamerican cities with relatively complete street maps. These maps provide a rare opportunity to study how the bulk of the population moved through cities, how people worked together to organize a network of paths and open spaces, what kind of interactions these features afforded, and how they contributed to the formation of social identities. Having found that space syntax methods confirmed intuitive understandings without generating new findings, we apply a segment (paths) and node (intersections) analysis to both sites. With these analyses we recorded and characterized segment variables such as width, length, form, and curvature, and node variables such as size, form, and number of linked segments. Many of the nodes at both sites are open spaces, allowing us to register details about the configuration of shared public spaces that are less formal than monumental plazas. The analyses revealed neighborhood differentiation, local-level coordination of labor, and intentional efforts to create markets or spaces of assembly that may have complemented collective governance proposed for both sites. While Angamuco and Chunchucmil differ in terms of the general pattern of their pedestrian networks, they share similarities in terms of density of paths and types of intersections.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAncient Mesoamerica
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Fieldwork at Angamuco and Chunchucmil was permitted by the Consejo de Arqueología, INAH Mexico and the Yucatan and Michoacan Centros-INAH, whom we thank for their support. Major funding for research at Chunchucmil came from the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society, in the form of grants awarded to Bruce Dahlin and Traci Ardren. Aline Magnoni co-directed the mapping operations at Chunchucmil. Funding for Angamuco and the road-mapping project came principally from the National Science Foundation. We also thank Christopher Fisher and the LORE-LPB project, who initiated research at this site. Many thanks to José Luis Urrutia Jácome, Kyle Urquhart, Kate Boston, Andee Dow, and Kiyo Gutiérrez for their generous and dedicated fieldwork, mapping streets at Angamuco. We thank numerous scholars and volunteers, especially the people from the villages of Chunchucmil, Kochol, and Santo Domingo in Yucatan, who made this work possible, as well as the Community of Fontezuelas, Michoacan, for their collaboration and permission to work on their ejido land.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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