Let the earth forever remain! Landscape legacies and the materiality of history in the northern Basin of Mexico

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Abstract

This article examines the landscape as an enduring protagonist in the northern Basin of Mexico over the past 1,000 years in communities north of Mexico City. Viewing materiality as the mutual constitution between social and physical worlds, I discuss the production and inheritance of landscape legacies. The manner in which legacies are inherited is tied to changing political, economic, and social conditions. This project integrates multiple sources of information (archaeological, ethnographic, historical, and ecological) to understand transforming connections between people and the landscape in this region, from the ancient state of Xaltocan to the Aztec and Spanish empires, continuing into the struggle for a modern nation. It reveals relationships that are apparent only via a perspective in dialogue with the landscape's materiality over time. In so doing, this article asserts archaeologists' unique contribution to the study of not only long-term change but also historical processes inherited by and relevant to the contemporary world.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)939-961
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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