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Modern activities follow the contours of ancient Teotihuacan

Rider and satellite image of Teotihuacan’s Pyramid of the Sun. The left half of the image is the satellite part, and the right side is the rider part showing archaeological features such as buried walls.Credit: Nawa Sugiama

LIDAR mapping studies using state-of-the-art aerial surveying techniques are a way for the ancients of Teotihuacan to move amazing amounts of soil and bedrock for construction and continue to influence the contours of modern activity in this region of Mexico. It shows that the landscape has been reformed. The work is published in an open access journal. PLOS One..


Teotihuacan engineers also rerouted the two rivers to match astronomically important points, identifying hundreds of previously unknown architectural features and destroying them by mining and urbanization since the 1960s. It also shows how to record more than 200 archaeological features.

“We haven’t lived in the past, but we live with a legacy of past actions. In a monumental city like Theotiwakan, the results of those actions are still fresh in the landscape,” said a professor of anthropology. The lead author, Nawa Sugiyama, said at the University of California, Riverside.

About 25 miles northeast of modern Mexico City, Teotihuacan was the largest city in the Americas and one of the largest cities in the ancient world. It has existed since about 100 BCE-550 CE (about 1,000-2,000 years ago) and covered 8 square miles. At its height, it consisted of numerous pyramids, plazas, and well-designed residential and commercial districts with a population of about 100,000. Today, some of the pyramids and other structures are visible above the ground, but most of the city’s ruins are buried under modern fields, buildings and other areas of activity.

To map the underground part of Teotihuacan, co-author of Saburo Sugiyama and Saburo Sugiyama of Arizona State University. Tanya Catignani of George Mason University; Adrian SZ Chase of Claremont University. Juan C from the University of Houston. Fernandez-Diaz used lidar, a mapping technique that measures the time it takes for light from a laser to bounce off an object. Archaeologists often use lidar to discover buried areas covered with jungles and fields, but archaeological sites rarely deploy the technology beneath urban areas.

“Lidar is often perceived as an innovative tool for discovering hidden ancient features. Clear sightHowever, the lidar map turned out to be very messy and difficult to interpret. Many of the features we identified were modern with ancient roots. But then I realized that there was a much more interesting story behind this trend. ”

The scale of Teotihuacan’s construction suggested a major change in the ancient landscape, so Sugiyama’s group said it would help riders unravel the relationship between Teotihuacan’s layout and the modern activities that cover it. I thought. Researchers confirmed the results of the LIDAR survey by comparing the survey on foot with previous mapping work.

They found that Teotihuacan builders flatten the ground to bedrock and, in some cases, quarry the bedrock itself for construction and filling. In just one part of the city, called the Column Complex Square, the author calculated that approximately 372,056 square meters of artificial ground had accumulated during the approximately 300-year construction process quarried elsewhere in the Teotihuacan Valley. In three of the major pyramid complexes, the author estimates that 2,423,411 square meters of rock, soil, and sun-dried bricks were used.

This major reconstruction of the landscape influences the placement of modern construction and activities. The authors found that 65% of urban areas contained property or modern features that astronomically intersect within 3 degrees of 15 degrees north to east. This is the same as Teotihuacan. The bedrock fence was built along an area that was found to be difficult to cultivate in modern times, with ancient walls underground by riders and excavations.

Teotihuacan engineers have also changed the routes of the Rio San Juan and San Lorenzo rivers across the city. Rio San Juan travels 3 km in the direction of Teotihuacan and crosses the city centre. The San Lorenzo River, on the other hand, has a very clear direction, 4.9 km south of astronomical 8 degrees. Previous studies have interpreted them as major canals that are symbolically and chronologically important.

LIDAR maps also show that other sections of the canal and river (many of which are still actively used today) have changed at various points along the course, often in line with Teotihuacan’s direction. .. A total of 16.9 km of hydrological system, visible in modern terrain, originates from the early classic Teotihuacan landscape.

On the lidar map, the group identified 298 previously unrecorded features and 5,795 man-made terraces. However, more than 200 known features that have been destroyed by mining since 2015 have also been identified.

“You can’t fight modern urbanization. LIDAR maps provide snapshots of these ancient features that are being obsolete at amazing speeds that are otherwise often overlooked. This is ours. It’s one of many ways to preserve the heritage landscape, “says Nawa Sugiyama.

The authors are planning their use LIDAR Use maps to create a three-dimensional geospatial database that can visualize stratification and surface data, natural and man-made features, and document the true extent of humans as long-term terrain agents in the Teotiwakan Valley. To

The treatise “Human as a Terrain Agent: Past, Present, and Future Rider Detection in the Teotihuacan Valley, Mexico” PLOS ONE..


Mexico: Builder robbing the suburbs of Teotihuacan Ruins


For more information:
Nawa Sugiyama et al, Human as a Terrain Agent: Past, Present and Future Rider Detection in the Teotihuacan Valley, Mexico, PLOS ONE (2021). DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0257550

Quote: Modern activities are from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-modern-contours-ancient-teotihuacan.html on September 20, 2021. Ancient Teotihuacan (September 20, 2021) Follow the contours of.

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Modern activities follow the contours of ancient Teotihuacan

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