Department of Anthropology

Archaeological Project finds Aztec houses and colonial burials under the church of Xaltocan, Mexico

Tue, July 11, 2017
Archaeological Project finds Aztec houses and colonial burials under the church of Xaltocan, Mexico

Associate Professor Enrique Rodríguez-Alegría's research project has been featured on Mexican news site La Crónica de Hoy.

The project is co-directed by Rodríguez-Alegría and Kristin De Lucia (Colgate University), and it is the second season of excavation. This year the project focuses on an Aztec and colonial house and on a pre-Aztec house found in the atrium of the church of Xaltocan, a small town in Central Mexico. A main contribution of the project is to demonstrate that the colonial church was not built on top of indigenous monumental architecture. Examples from Mexico City and Cholula, among others, show that the Spanish in the sixteenth century sometimes built their churches on top of indigenous architecture, often in an attempt to appropriate indigenous religious spaces. This project shows a different pattern in which colonizers built a Catholic Church on top of the ruins of pre-Aztec houses rather than on top of temples. The project is also an opportunity to study burial practices since the colonial period, and to study the daily life of commoners before the Spanish conquest and during the early colonial period. 

The full article is in Spanish, and can be found here: http://www.cronica.com.mx/notas/2017/1032678.html

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