WIT Press


Monumental Earthen Architecture In The Humid Tropics Of Mexico: Archaeological Evidence Of A Millenary Tradition

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/STR130381

Volume

131

Pages

12

Page Range

457 - 468

Published

2013

Size

960 kb

Author(s)

A. Daneels, L. Guerrero & G. Liberotti

Abstract

Archaeological research since 2004 in the humid tropical coastal lowlands along the Gulf of Mexico has revealed that earth was successfully used as building material for monumental architecture in an extremely adverse environment of heavy summer rainfalls and winter hurricanes. At the site of La Joya, one of the many earthen sites of Central and Southern Veracruz, pyramids, palaces, and ball courts of a size equalling or surpassing contemporaneous stone constructions, were erected and modified during the first millennium AD. For the first time in Mexican research, the combined efforts of archaeologists, architects, restorers, chemists, geologists, and biologists permit understanding the techniques that made these constructions possible in the tropical environment. Our paper focuses on a new reconstruction of the building sequence of the East Palace Annex at La Joya, to emphasize the quality of the architecture and the importance of this underrated heritage. We address aspects of construction technique and architectural layout, pointing out the original strategies developed by the ancient builders Keywords: earth construction, pre-Columbian architecture, archaeological excavations, 3D reconstruction, preservation, physical and chemical analysis, humid tropical environment, building techniques.

Keywords

Keywords: earth construction, pre-Columbian architecture, archaeological excavations, 3D reconstruction, preservation, physical and chemical analysis, humid tropical environment, building techniques.