Settlement Patterns and Urbanization in the Yautepec Valley of Central Mexico

Michael E. Smith, Timothy S. Hare, Lisa Montiel, Anne Sherfield, Angela Huster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We carried out a full-coverage survey of the Yautepec Valley in the 1990s to reconstruct demography and settlements and their changes through time. We investigated the extent to which well-documented developments in the adjacent Basin of Mexico were paralleled in Yautepec, as well as the impact of regional empires and economies on local society. Our analyses focused on Teotihuacan relations in the Classic period and relations with the Aztec empire and the Mesoamerican world system in the Middle and Late Postclassic periods. In addition to locating, mapping, and describing sites and taking grab-bag artifact collections, we also made a series of systematic intensive surface collections (5 × 5 m) and test excavations at samples of Classic and Postclassic sites. In this paper, we describe the survey and changing settlement patterns in the Yautepec Valley. We also present several analyses of changing patterns of urbanization through the Prehispanic era. We conclude with a synthesis of changing social and cultural dynamics in this region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)378-416
Number of pages39
JournalOpen Archaeology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • Yautepec
  • empires
  • settlement pattern
  • survey
  • urbanization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Conservation
  • Archaeology
  • Education


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