Apartment Compounds, Households, And Population In The Ancient City Of Teotihuacan, Mexico

Michael Smith, Abhishek Chatterjee, Angela C. Huster, Sierra Stewart, Marion Forest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present three new analyses of existing data from past fieldwork at Teotihuacan. First, we confirm and refine the wealth-based housing typology of Millon's Teotihuacan Mapping Project (TMP). Second, we analyze the spatial configurations of excavated compounds, using network methods to identify the size and layout of individual dwellings within walled compounds. Third, we use those results to generate the first population estimate for the city based on measurements from the TMP map. We extrapolate the average sizes of dwellings from excavated compounds to the entire sample of mapped residences as depicted on the TMP map of the city. We generate a range of population estimates, of which we suggest that 100,000 persons is the most reasonable estimate for the Xolalpan-Metepec population of Teotihuacan. These analyses show that legacy data from fieldwork long past can be used to answer research questions that are relevant and important today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAncient Mesoamerica
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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