Mapping ancient chinampa landscapes in the Basin of Mexico: A remote sensing and GIS approach

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45 Scopus citations


This paper uses remote sensing data to document a raised field, chinampa system adjacent to the Postclassic kingdom of Xaltocan in the northern Basin of Mexico. Various forms of landscape information; historic records and maps as well as remote sensing; are considered to understand the chinampa system. The remote sensing data examined include 1950s aerial photographs, Landsat 7 data, and Quickbird VHR, multi-spectral imagery. This article evaluates the utility of each of these forms of data to identify buried chinampa features and integrates them in a GIS to produce a map of Xaltocan's chinampa landscape. Canals of various sizes and hydrological positions comprised the chinampas and integrated the system together. Occupying at least 1500-2000 ha, Xaltocan's chinampa system represents the largest pre-Aztec, chinampa system in the Basin of Mexico.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2541-2551
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Agriculture
  • Basin of Mexico
  • Chinampas
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Remote sensing
  • Satellite imagery
  • Xaltocan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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