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A Mesoamerican Urban Road Network: An Analysis of Pedestrian Pathways of Angamuco, Michoacán
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-23, 15:36 authored by Rodrigo Solinis-Casparius
This article examines the urban layout and development of the ancient city of Angamuco (AD 250-1530) - a populated urban center located within the core area of the Purépecha Empire in Michoacán, Mexico - through the lens of its complex road network. Image and network analysis of lidar datasets revealed more than 3,000 roads distributed throughout the site, identified the main patterns of road arrangement, and documented variable accessibility within the city. After presenting a summary of these results, I propose that road networks are fundamental components of urban centers that can help reveal social configurations, local interactions, and models of governance. The study of the road network at the site of Angamuco suggests that this city developed organically without the strong influence of political hierarchy a few centuries prior to the formation of the Purépecha Empire. Angamuco inhabitants organized and negotiated space and settlement within their immediate community and had access to virtually all areas of the city.
CitationSolinis-Casparius, R. (2022). A Mesoamerican Urban Road Network: An Analysis of Pedestrian Pathways of Angamuco, Michoacán. Latin American Antiquity, 33(3), 464-484. https://doi.org/10.1017/laq.2021.101
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)