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Walled complejos: an investigation of multi-room domestic structures at Angamuco, Michoacán, Mexico through LiDAR and GIS




Steele, Louise M., author
Fisher, Christopher T., advisor
Leisz, Stephen J., committee member
Bunn, David, committee member

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The archaeological site of Angamuco is an ancient Purépecha city in the Lake Pátzcuaro Basin in Michoacán, Mexico. Occupation of the city spans at least a millennium, with the height of occupation in the Middle Postclassic period (1000-1350CE). Angamuco has a densely-built landscape with architectural features covering the entirety of the 26 km2 archaeological site. This thesis seeks to investigate the presence and patterning of multi-roomed domestic complexes known as walled complejos. Through the use of LiDAR and geospatial analysis such as pseudo-Red Relief Image Map and hot spot analysis, this investigation was composed of three individual samples of architecture across the site which were compiled and analyzed as a composite dataset. This resulted in 73 unique walled complejos being identified across the urban settlement of Angamuco. These structures vary widely within the sample, in size, form, and location within the site. Walled complejos range in shape from circular to oblong and kidney shaped, and from 500m2 in area to 8000 m2. A comparison of multi-roomed domestic structures from Mesoamerica and the American Southwest are used to develop an interpretation on the walled complejos at Angamuco. The data suggest that these were domestic structures used across multiple social classes at Angamuco, supporting previous interpretations that walled complejos were homes for both the elite and non-elite. Furthermore, these results support the interpretation of Angamuco's multi-nucleated urban organization.


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Mesoamerican archaeology
spatial analysis


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