Urban Infrastructure and Resiliency in Precolonial Mesoamerica
In the US and around the world, debate rages about what constitutes infrastructure and how much to invest in its construction and maintenance. What lessons can we glean from a deep historical approach on studying cities in the ancient world? In this talk I combine recent investigations at the pre-Aztec capital of Teotihuacan, Mexico—the largest city in the Americas of its day—with a comparative perspective to contextualize variability in urban organization, Indigenous social institutions, and the role of infrastructure in the resilience of cities in precolonial Mesoamerica. I argue that, although these premodern, non-Western cities were different in significant ways from our own, they provide meaningful points of comparison for considering the broad contours of how infrastructure at level of urban epicenters, neighborhoods, and households contributes to the variability in social relations, size, and longevity of cities we observe in the archaeological record.
For more info and to register: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwsdequqzkoGtzqgi53DqaZSKPcGRqn4U2-
David M. Carballo Professor of Anthropology, Archaeology, and Latin American Studies at Boston UniversityDavid M. CarballoProfessor of Anthropology, Archaeology, and Latin American Studies at Boston University