4046 - The higher you go, the lower they get: reflections on the inverse relationship between site size and altitude in Central and Southern Veracruz Classic Period settlement pattern.

As systematic surveys are increasing in Central and Southern Veracruz, a pattern is emerging that associates the largest architecture with the lowlands, while piedmont and valley centers are significantly smaller in mound height and volume. This downscaling does not seem to correlate with a decrease in the complexity and political weight of the entities, contrary to the expectations of the quantitative approach tying size to importance. Using Classic Period cases from several areas, I will first propose evidence for the approximate range of site size decrease at all levels of center hierarchy, and then evaluate factors of soil quality and vegetation in combination with topography and landscape to offer tentative explanations for this pattern, while taking into account the political requirements of small-scale but wealthy state-level societies, major producers and exporters of commercial crops like cacao and cotton.

Palabras claves: settlement pattern, precolumbian, architecture, Gulf coast

Autores: DANEELS, Annick J. E. (Instituto de Investigaciones Antropológicas UNAM, Mexico / Mexiko)


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