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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Vestiges of upland fields in Central Veracruz : a new perspective on its Precolumbian human ecology Sluyter, Andrew 1990

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VESTIGES OF UPLAND FIELDS IN CENTRAL VERACRUZ: A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON ITS PRECOLUMBIAN HUMAN ECOLOGY By ANDREW SLUYTER B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1987 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA J u l y 1990 (c) 1 9 9 0 , by Andrew S l u y t e r A l l Rights Reserved In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying- or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. (Signature) Andrew S l u y t e r Department of Geography  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date 26 J u l y 1990 DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT T y p i c a l l y , Mesoamericanists do not c r e d i t t h at p a r t of Veracruz State bounded by the S i e r r a de Chiconquiaco, the C o t a x t l a R i v e r , and the lower slopes of the escarpment of the S i e r r a Madre O r i e n t a l with having played a key r o l e i n Precolumbian s o c i a l h i s t o r y . The r e g i o n ' s sub-humid c l i m a t e and savanna v e g e t a t i o n would seem to have preclu d e d i n t e n s i v e a g r i c u l t u r e and dense p o p u l a t i o n . However, evidence of i n t e n s i v e maize c u l t i v a t i o n there by the Late P r e c l a s s i c i s now apparent i n some 2 ,200 ha of wetlands. More c e n t r a l to t h i s t h e s i s , evidence of i n t e n s i v e a g r i c u l t u r e throughout some 1,000 km2 of g e n t l y s l o p i n g piedmont west of the wetlands i s a l s o apparent. There, deeply i n c i s e d streams separate upland a r e a s . On the i n t e r f l u v i a l s u r f a c e s , l i n e a r c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of stones c l o s e l y f o l l o w s l o p e contours and form contiguous networks of upland f i e l d s over hundreds of h e c t a r e s . Analogues and the e c o l o g i c a l c o n t e x t suggests a water and s o i l management technology. D i r e c t evidence f o r c u l t i v a r s and a chronology i s s t i l l l a c k i n g , but e t h n o h i s t o r i c a l data and p l a n t ecology suggest c o t t o n , maize, agave, and a Precolumbian o r i g i n . Furthermore, a r c h a e o l o g i c a l and i c o n o g r a p h i c data suggest a r e l a t i o n s h i p between these lowlands and the emergence of the h i g h l a n d c e n t r e of Teotihuacan, Mesoamerica's f i r s t m e t r o p o l i s . To e l a b o r a t e t h i s h y p o t h e t i c a l c o n n e c t i o n , f u r t h e r work i s necessary on the nature and t i m i n g of human e c o l o g i c a l change i n both C e n t r a l Veracruz and the V a l l e y of Mexico. i i i CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i CONTENTS i i i FIGURES i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i i INTRODUCTION 1 FIELD EVIDENCE 13 The Wetland F i e l d s 13 The Upland F i e l d s 16 Morphology 20 Analogues 37 P o s s i b l e F u n c t i o n s 48 P o s s i b l e C u l t i v a r s 56 E t h n o h i s t o r i c a l Evidence f o r a Chronology 63 D i r e c t E v i d e n c e f o r a Chronology and C u l t i v a r s 68 ETHNOHISTORICAL EVIDENCE 73 CENTRAL VERACRUZ AND THE GENESIS OF MESOAMERICAN URBAN SOCIETY AT TEOTIHUACAN 86 The P r i s t i n e Mesoaraerican S t a t e 86 T e o t i h u a c a n And Lowland C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z 89 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS 115 ENDNOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY 21 125 i v FIGURES F i g u r e 1: C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z 2 F i g u r e 2: Mesoamerican c h r o n o l o g y 3 F i g u r e 3: C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z : p r e c i p i t a t i o n d i s t r i b u t i o n and c l i m o g r a p h f o r Rinconada 5 F i g u r e 4: C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z : s o i l s 9 F i g u r e 5: C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z : geology 10 F i g u r e 6: o b l i q u e a i r photographs o f C e n t r a l Ver vacruzan w e t l a n d f i e l d complexes 14 F i g u r e 7: C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z : l o c a t e d u p l a n d and w e t l a n d f i e l d complexes 15 F i g u r e 8: o b l i q u e a i r photographs o f C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z a n u p l a n d f i e l d complexes 17 F i g u r e 9: upland and w e t l a n d f i e l d s near La G l o r i a 21 F i g u r e 10: western upland f i e l d s near La G l o r i a 22 F i g u r e 11: upland f i e l d s near Tamarindo 23 F i g u r e 12: western u p l a n d f i e l d s near Tamarindo 24 F i g u r e 13: t o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r photograph showing up l a n d f i e l d s a t La G l o r i a - 1 25 F i g u r e 14: t o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r photograph showing upland f i e l d s at La G l o r i a - 2 26 F i g u r e 15: t o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r photograph showing up l a n d f i e l d s a t Tamarindo-1 27 F i g u r e 16: t o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r photograph showing up l a n d f i e l d s a t Rinconada-1 28 F i g u r e 17: t o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r photograph showing up l a n d f i e l d s a t Rinconada-2 29 F i g u r e 18 : topographic o v e r l a y of a v e r t i c a l a i r photograph showing upland f i e l d s at Rinconada - 3 30 F i g u r e 19: o b l i q u e a i r photograph of upland f i e l d s at Rinconada - 1 31 F i g u r e 20: i n t e r v a l p r o f i l e s from La G l o r i a upland f i e l d s 34 F i g u r e 21: i n t e r v a l p r o f i l e s from Tamarindo upland f i e l d s 35 F i g u r e 2 2 : i n t e r v a l p r o f i l e s from Rinconada upland f i e l d s 36 F i g u r e 23s g e n e r a l i z e d schematic of a m e t e p a n t l i f i e l d system 39 F i g u r e 2 4 : m e t e p a n t l i bordo near Queretaro 42 F i g u r e 2 5 : t e r r a p l e n o s near Taxco, Guerrero 44 F i g u r e 2 6 : Codex Mendoza: t r i b u t e l i s t f o r Quauhtochco 74 F i g u r e 27: Codex Mendoza: t r i b u t e l i s t f o r Cuetlaxtan 75 F i g u r e 2 8 : graph of C e n t r a l Veracruzan wetland f i e l d o r i e n t a t i o n s 91 F i g u r e 29: the o r i e n t a t i o n of Teotihuacan's major avenue 92 F i g u r e 3 0 : C e n t r a l Veracruz: dated a r c h a e o l o g i c a l s i t e s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t r a i t s 95 F i g u r e 31: r e c o n s t r u c t i o n drawing of Itzam Cab Ain from the top of A l t a r T at Copan 98 F i g u r e 32 : c r o c o d i l e back showing epidermal s h i e l d s 99 F i g u r e 3 3 : C e n t r a l Veracruzan c r o c o d i l e palma 101 F i g u r e 34 : T l a l o c and C i p a c t l i as d e p i c t e d i n the Codex Borgia 103 F i g u r e 3 5 : a s e c t i o n of the water l i l y mural i n the Temple of A g r i c u l t u r e , Teotihuacan 104 F i g u r e 36 : a T l a l o c f i g u r e from the Sowing P r i e s t s Room, Teotihuacan 105 F i g u r e 3 7 : the Water Talud of the T l a l o c a n P a t i o , Teotihuaca'n F i g u r e 38 : the Medicine Talud of the T l a l o c a n P a t i o , Teotihuacan F i g u r e 39 : d i v i n e c u l t i v a t i o n of maize f i e l d s with a coa as d e p i c t e d i n the Codex Borgia F i g u r e 40: the lakes of the Basin of Mexico d u r i n g the wet season, P o s t c l a s s i c p e r i o d v i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS "No man [ s i c ] i s an i s l a n d , e n t i r e of i t s e l f . " — J o h n Donne C l e a r l y , I d i d not complete t h i s t h e s i s i n a vacuum, and t h e r e f o r e I take p l e a s u r e i n acknowledging the c o n t r i b u t i o n s of o t h e r s . My p a r e n t s , Nick and L e n i , and my b r o t h e r s , Nick and Matthew, have supported my academic a s p i r a t i o n s s i n c e t h e i r tenuous beginning. Dr. A l f Siemens provided the i n i t i a l and c o n t i n u i n g s t i m u l a t i o n f o r my r e s e a r c h i n the Veracruzan lowlands. Beyond the debt I owe him which i s a l r e a d y so obvious i n the r e f e r e n c e s , h i s i n t i m a t e knowledge of the r e g i o n , i n t e l l e c t u a l e c l e c t i c i s m , and j o i e de v i v r e have been a fount of i n s p i r a t i o n . I am a l s o g r a t e f U l to my other committee members, Drs. Cole H a r r i s and Derek Gregory, p a r t i c u l a r l y the former f o r h i s i n s i g h t f u l comments as second r e a d e r . Tarah Wilson's help with ground survey d u r i n g June 1989 was i n v a l u a b l e , and I l o v i n g l y a p p r e c i a t e her continued encouragement and support even while b u s i l y engaged i n her own academic endeavours. Dr. P h i l Wagner, Ian Joyce, and B r i a n Debou proved s t i m u l a t i n g and p l e a s a n t companions d u r i n g an overland odyssey from Vancouver to Veracruz i n May 1 9 8 9 . . Their f r i e n d s h i p and involvement i n the i n i t i a l stage of the f i e l d work ensured a p r o p i t i o u s beginning. The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia provided f i n a n c i a l support through a U n i v e r s i t y Graduate F e l l o w s h i p , and the Department of Geography supplemented t h i s award with a Teaching A s s i s t a n t s h i p . Others, too many to n a m e — i n c l u d i n g f a c u l t y , s t a f f , f e l l o w students, and Mexicans--played l e s s e r r o l e s but a l s o have my thanks. 1 INTRODUCTION T y p i c a l l y , Mesoamericanists do not c r e d i t t h at p a r t of Veracruz State bounded by the S i e r r a de Chiconquiaco, the C o t a x t l a R i v e r , and the lower slopes of the escarpment of the S i e r r a Madre O r i e n t a l with having played a key r o l e i n Precolumbian s o c i a l h i s t o r y ( f i g u r e 1). In sharp c o n t r a s t , neighbouring regions do appear to have s t i m u l a t e d the dramatic change from e g a l i t a r i a n r u r a l s o c i e t y to h i e r a r c h i c a l urban s o c i e t y d u r i n g the P r e c l a s s i c and E a r l y C l a s s i c p e r i o d s ( f i g u r e 2). From 1200 to 100 BC the p r o t o t y p i c a l Olmec occupied San Lorenzo and s e v e r a l other monumental centres j u s t to the south. From AD 1 to 800 the f i r s t m e t r o p o l i s , Teotihuacan, emerged and c o l l a p s e d i n the c e n t r a l highlands only 200 km to the west, i t s b u i l d e r s i n f l u e n c i n g s o c i e t i e s throughout Mesoamerica. P a r t i a l l y contemporaneously, E l T a j i n f l o u r i s h e d from AD 600 to 1200 j u s t north of the S i e r r a de Chiconquiaco. And two c e n t u r i e s l a t e r the Aztecs b u i l t T e n o c h t i t l a n i n the V a l l e y of Mexico, expanding t h e i r t r i b u t e domain to encompass most of northern Mesoamerica by 1521. Yet i n C e n t r a l Veracruz the only l a r g e Precolumbian s i t e appears to have been Zempoala, the former Totonac c a p i t a l . And i t , moreover, dates from no e a r l i e r than AD 1200. Not only t h i s apparent l a c k of e a r l y monumental c e n t r e s , but a p r i o r i conceptions of environments that 2 F i g u r e 1 . T h e d a s h e d l i n e d e l i m i t s C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z . 3 TIME 1,600 1,200 800 400 AD BC 40O 800 1,200 1, 600 2,000 2,40O PERIOD POST-CLASSIC CLASSIC PRE-CLASSIC ARCHAIC CLIMATE PLUVIAL DRY PLUVIAL DRY HYPSI-THERMAL MESOAMERICAN MONUMENTAL CENTRES ZEMPOALA TENOCHTITLAN EL TAJIN CLASSIC MAYA j TEOTIHUACAN CENTRAL VERACRUZAN RIDGED-FIELDS ( E l Yagua-1) TRES ZAPOTES LA VENTA SAN LORENZO EMERGENCE OF SEDENTARY AGRICULTURAL VILLAGES CERAMIC POTTERY APPEARS F i g u r e 2 . M e s o a m e r i c a n c h r o n o l o g y ( a f t e r C o e 1 9 6 2 , f i g . 2 ; D a v i e s 1 9 8 2 , 12 ; S i e m e n s e t a l . 1 9 8 8 , t a b l e 1) . c o u l d have s u s t a i n e d dense p o p u l a t i o n have l o n g d i s c o u r a g e d a comprehensive r e s e a r c h e f f o r t i n C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z . S e v e r a l i n f l u e n t i a l M e s o a m e r i c a n i s t s c o n s i d e r t h e c l i m a t e , v e g e t a t i o n , s o i l s , and h y d r o l o g y t o have been e f f e c t i v e b a r r i e r s t o any dense p o p u l a t i o n b e f o r e t h e Totonacs c o n s t r u c t e d an i r r i g a t i o n system a t Zempoala (Sanders 1953 , 41-2; Palerm 1955, 33; Palerm and Wolf 1957, 15-16; Wolf 1959, 13 ; Sanders 1971, 552-54; Palerm and Wolf 1972, 72-73). Most of the area i s t r u e savannah, the most d i f f i c u l t v e g e t a t i o n f o r the p r i m i t i v e farmer t o cope w i t h , and a l s o t h e r a i n s i n g e n e r a l a r e undependable. I t seems d o u b t f u l i f he ever r e a l l y s u c c e s s f u l l y coped w i t h h i s environment. The o n l y i n c e n t i v e f o r heavy s e t t l e m e n t , would be on the b a s i s o f i r r i g a t i o n a g r i c u l t u r e , a n d . . . i n a s m a l l s e c t i o n o f t h i s area [, a t Zempoala d u r i n g the M i d d l e P o s t c l a s s i c , ] t h i s i n c e n t i v e was p r e s e n t e d (Sanders 1953, 67). C e r t a i n l y , C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z ' s c l i m a t e i s sub-humid, making r a i n f e d a g r i c u l t u r e p r o b l e m a t i c ( G a r c i a 1970, f i g s . 10 and 15). The t e m p e r a t u r e of t h e s e t r o p i c a l l o w l a n d s i s h i g h throughout the y e a r , but p r e c i p i t a t i o n i s s e a s o n a l l y low ( f i g u r e 3 ) . Each summer as the t h e r m a l equator swings n o r t h , the t r a d e winds and the i n t e r t r o p i c a l convergence zone cause the a d v e c t i o n and c o n v e c t i o n o f humid a i r , b r i n g i n g abundant r a i n t o the l o w l a n d s and the h i g h e r , more temperate s l o p e s t o the west. Each w i n t e r , however, the t h e r m a l equator swings s o u t h , and the dominant s u b t r o p i c a l h i g h promotes s u b s i d e n c e and d r y i n g . The windward s l o p e s of the escarpment c o n t i n u e t o r e c e i v e p r e c i p i t a t i o n , 6 o r o g r a p h i c a l l y as the humid t r a d e winds blow i n from- t h e C a r i b b e a n , f r o n t a l l y as c y c l o n e s p e r i o d i c a l l y sweep i n from th e n o r t h . Meanwhile, the l o w l a n d s r e c e i v e l i t t l e o r o g r a p h i c p r e c i p i t a t i o n and parch i n the r a i n shadow of t h e S i e r r a de C h i c o n q u i a c o , the n o r t e s a d i a b a t i c l y d r y i n g and warming as they descend the leeward s l o p e s o f t h i s range ( V i v 6 E s c o t o 1964, 192-93; G a r c i a 1970, 6-7). T h i s sub-humid c l i m a t e c o n t r a s t s d r a m a t i c a l l y w i t h t h a t of the E l T a j i n and Olmec r e g i o n s t o t h e n o r t h and s o u t h . Based on mean annual p r e c i p i t a t i o n and p o t e n t i a l e v a p o t r a n s p i r a t i o n , C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z has an annual water d e f i c i t o f 715 mm, E l T a j i n a s u r p l u s o f 50 mm, and the Olmec r e g i o n a s u r p l u s o f 772 mm ( T h o r n t h w a i t e 1964: d a t a from Soledad de Doblado, P a p a n t l a , and San Andres T u x t l a ) . T h i s c o n t r a s t d e f i n e s l o w l a n d C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z as a sub-humid e n c l a v e a l o n g an o t h e r w i s e humid c o a s t , a l t h o u g h the t r a n s i t i o n s are not as sharp as f i g u r e 1 i n d i c a t e s (Sanders 1953, 28-29). To the s o u t h , the c o u n t r y between the C o t a x t l a and Blanco r i v e r s i s t r a n s i s t i o n a l . To t h e west and n o r t h , the l o w l a n d t i e r r a c a l i e n t e g r a d a t e s i n t o t i e r r a templada around 800 m. P o l l e n c o r e s from the V a l l e y o f Mexico i n d i c a t e p o s s i b l e c l i m a t e change s i n c e t h e P l e i s t o c e n e g l a c i a t i o n . A l t h o u g h from another c o n t e x t and no s u b s t i t u t e f o r a l o c a l p a l e o c l i m a t i c s t u d y , they do suggest a g e n e r a l p a t t e r n o f Mesoamerican c l i m a t i c f l u c t u a t i o n : w e t t e r , c o o l e r , p l u v i a l p e r i o d s d u r i n g t h e P r e c l a s s i c , P o s t c l a s s i c , and 7 P o s t c o l u m b i a n p e r i o d s , w i t h d r y e r , warmer, t h e r m a l p e r i o d s d u r i n g the A r c h a i c and C l a s s i c ( f i g u r e 2) (Coe 1962, 25-7). C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z , t h e n , might have been h o t t e r and d r y e r d u r i n g t h e f i r s t m i l l e n n i u m AD than a t p r e s e n t , i m p l y i n g an even l e s s c o n g e n i a l environment f o r a g r i c u l t u r e . T h i s sub-humid c l i m a t e r e s u l t s i n a n a t u r a l v e g e t a t i o n o f savanna i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h s t a n d s o f d e c i d u o u s t r o p i c a l t r e e s (G6mez-Pompa 1973, 77-85 and 121-26; Rzedowski 1978, 190 and 201). And, as Sanders s u g g e s t s , P r e c o l u m b i a n f a r m e r s w i t h s t o n e and wood t o o l s might have had d i f f i c u l t y c l e a r i n g and t i l l i n g l a n d under such c o n d i t i o n s , a l t h o u g h d a t a from the Peten suggest j u s t the o p p o s i t e ( C o w g i l l and H u t c h i n s o n 1963, 276-77). D u r i n g the wet season t h i s v e g e t a t i o n i s l u s h and g r e e n . But as the l o n g d r y season deepens, the g r a s s y e l l o w s ; the t h i c k e t s o f shrubs and s t a n d s o f low t r e e s l o s e t h e i r l e a v e s ; and t h e s p o r a d i c c a c t i t a k e on a new s i g n i f i c a n c e , p r o v i d i n g t h e l i t t l e green i n an o t h e r w i s e drab l a n d s c a p e . Only the depths of the major r i v e r g o r g e s , f a r below the s u r f a c e o f t h e g e n t l y s l o p i n g piedmont p l a i n , and the w e t l a n d s among the c o a s t a l h i l l s r e t a i n enough m o i s t u r e t o s u p p o r t l u s h v e g e t a t i o n a l l w i n t e r . Modern a g r i c u l t u r e i s r a p i d l y a l t e r i n g t h i s l a n d s c a p e as s u b s i s t e n c e c u l t i v a t i o n o f maize (Zea mays) r e t r e a t s b e f o r e papaya ( C a r i c a papaya) and mango ( M a n g i f e r a , i n d i a ) p l a n t a t i o n s and b e f o r e i n c r e a s i n g l y u b i q u i t o u s f i e l d s o f sugar cane (Saccharum o f f i c i a n a r u m ) . Such modern c r o p p i n g i n d i c a t e s the b a s i c f e r t i l i t y o f 8 the c a l c a r e o u s rendzinas which predominate around Rinconada and the black v e r t i s o l s — l o c a l l y known as praderas, or meadow s o i l s - - w h i c h predominate more g e n e r a l l y ( f i g u r e 4 ) . However, the v e r t i s o l s are c l a y e y , s t i f f , and massive when wet—making t i l l a g e with hand t o o l s d i f f i c u l t ( S t r a h l e r and S t r a h l e r 1987, 3 9 9 ) . In a d d i t i o n , the conglomerates u n d e r l y i n g much of t h i s area r e s u l t i n stoney s o i l s — a g a i n , making manual t i l l a g e d i f f i c u l t ( f i g u r e 5 ) . Sander's low o p i n i o n of the Precolumbian p r o d u c t i v e p o t e n t i a l of the s o i l s over much of t h i s area, t h e r e f o r e , c e r t a i n l y seems reasonable (Sanders 1953, 3 6 ) . Moreover, much of t h i s modern a g r i c u l t u r e i s dependent on c o s t l y i r r i g a t i o n p r o j e c t s . G e n e r a l l y the t o r r e n t i a l streams which r i s e i n the S i e r r a to the west are deeply i n c i s e d i n t o the piedmont p l a i n which g e n t l y slopes down from the f o o t h i l l s to the c o a s t . The narrow f l o o d p l a i n s , d i f f i c u l t of access and small i n area, cannot support much a g r i c u l t u r e . And without pumps or l a r g e dams the deeply i n c i s e d streams cannot supply i r r i g a t i o n a g r i c u l t u r e on the exte n s i v e i n t e r f l u v i a l uplands. Yet near Zempoala an arm of the Rio Actopan i s u n t y p i c a l i n t h i s r e g a r d . The Rio Agostadero i s a small but p e r e n n i a l stream and w e l l s u i t e d f o r s u p p l y i n g an i r r i g a t i o n system which uses only small d i v e r s i o n dams and canals (Sanders 1953 , 3 7 ) . Given t h i s a_ p r i o r i conception of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between people and land i n C e n t r a l Veracruz, a Precolumbian p o p u l a t i o n employing i n t e n s i v e a g r i c u l t u r e could only have o c c u r r e d a t Zempoala. Only t h e r e , i n a l i m i t e d a r e a , c o u l d a d e n s e l y s e t t l e d and s o c i a l l y s t r a t i f i e d s o c i e t y based on s u r p l u s p r o d u c t i o n emerge. The remainder o f t h e r e g i o n would have had a low p o p u l a t i o n d e n s i t y based on e x t e n s i v e swidden a g r i c u l t u r e t h r o u g h o u t the g a l l e r y f o r e s t s o f t h e l i m i t e d a l l u v i a l p l a i n s a l o n g the major p e r e n n i a l streams (Sanders 1953, 51-3; Palerm and Wolf 1957, 15; Sanders 1971, 552-54). Farming f o r one a n n u a l c r o p , [and] t h e r e s t r i c t e d s i z e of the [ r i v e r i n e ] g a l l e r y f o r e s t and i t s l o n g i t u d i n a l form o f growth d i d not f a v o r h i g h p o p u l a t i o n d e n s i t i e s or l a r g e p o p u l a t i o n c e n t e r s [ i n C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z ] , The g r a s s l a n d s which surrounded t h e s e f o r e s t s and c o u l d not be used a g r i c u l t u r a l l y tended t o i s o l a t e them. P o l i t i c a l u n i t s were fragmented; t h e i r axes were always formed by the r i v e r s . . . . Lands [ w i t h s m a l l e r permanent streams a t Zempoala] came i n t o use l a t e r when a p p l i c a t i o n o f s m a l l - s c a l e i r r i g a t i o n , a l l o w e d . . . u r b a n c e n t e r s l i k e t h o s e o f the H i g h l a n d s . . . . No case o f autochthonous s e l f - g e n e r a t e d p o l i t i c a l development i s known, however; a l l seem t o be secondary f o r m a t i o n s w i t h c e n t e r s o f o r i g i n s i n t h e H i g h l a n d s ( P a l e r m and Wolf 1957, 15-16). In t h i s v i e w , the p e r i p h e r a l r o l e o f t h e s e l o w l a n d s i n P r e c o l u m b i a n s o c i a l h i s t o r y seems c e r t a i n . A r e g i o n c o n s t r a i n e d by low a g r i c u l t u r a l p o t e n t i a l c o u l d n e i t h e r have s u p p o r t e d a dense p o p u l a t i o n nor produced an a g r i c u l t u r a l s u r p l u s . And, t h e r e f o r e , u n l i k e t h e V a l l e y o f Mexico, such a r e g i o n was u n l i k e l y t o have s t i m u l a t e d s o c i a l change i n o t h e r p a r t s o f Mesoamerica (Sanders 1953, 7 4 - 8 ) . However, a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f d a t a from r e c e n t f i e l d w o r k 1 2 i n C e n t r a l Veracruz prompts a r e e v a l u a t i o n of the r o l e of t h i s r e g i o n i n Mesoamerican s o c i a l h i s t o r y . V e s t i g e s of wetland and, more c e n t r a l to t h i s t h e s i s , upland f i e l d s suggest that Precolumbian farmers d i d cope with t h e i r seemingly uncongenial environment and that i n t e n s i v e a g r i c u l t u r e was widespread. Furthermore, a r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of data from e t h n o h i s t o r i c a l and a r c h a e o l o g i c a l sources suggests that Precolumbian C e n t r a l Veracruz was densely s e t t l e d and that d u r i n g the Late P r e c l a s s i c i t s i n h a b i t a n t s might have played a r o l e i n the dramatic t r a n s i t i o n to h i e r a r c h i c a l urban s o c i e t y at Teotihuacan. 13 FIELD EVIDENCE The Wetland F i e l d s A e r i a l photographic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , ground survey, and ex c a v a t i o n have r e v e a l e d some 2 ,200 ha of f i e l d complexes s c a t t e r e d throughout the wetlands among the c o a s t a l h i l l s of C e n t r a l Veracruz ( f i g u r e s 6 and 7) (Siemens 1980, 1983a , 1983b, 1983c , and 1985 ; Siemens et a l . 1 9 8 8 ) . Siemens has thoroughly d i s c u s s e d the morphology and f u n c t i o n of t h i s Precolumbian a g r i c u l t u r a l technology. But b r i e f l y , farmers formed the f i e l d s by c hanneling the shallow wetland margins and heaping the s p o i l i n t o p l a n t i n g p latforms toward the deeper c e n t r e s . As the water l e v e l f e l l d u r i n g the dry season, the channels aided drainage and allowed e a r l i e r p l a n t i n g , f i r s t on the margins, then toward the c e n t r e s . As the dry season progressed, farmers impounded water w i t h i n the channels to r e t a i n moisture w i t h i n the ro o t zone. Annual f l o o d i n g and chinampa-like mucking of pl a t f o r m s with channel dredgings and hydrophytes preserved f e r t i l i t y (Robertson 1983 , 1 3 3 - 3 6 ) . In a d d i t i o n , wetland f i s h , waterfowl, and f r u i t s probably supplemented the d i e t a r y s t a p l e s . Whatever the d i f f i c u l t i e s of i n v e s t i g a t i n g p a l e o i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n , the wetland f i e l d s c e r t a i n l y appear to be more i n t e n s i v e than the swidden c u l t i v a t i o n Sanders, Palerm, and Wolf proposed f o r much of t h i s region. 1 More d i f f i c u l t than i n t e r p r e t i n g the morphology and 1 k F i g u r e 6. C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z a n w e t l a n d f i e l d s . T o p : d a r k g r e e n h y d r o p h y t i c v e g e t a t i o n h a s o c c u p i e d t h e f o r m e r c h a n n e l s , o u t l i n i n g t h e f o r m e r p l a n t i n g p l a t f o r m s . B o t t o m : w a t e r s t i l l r e m a i n s i n some c h a n n e l s a t t h e e n d o f t h e d r y s e a s o n . (May 1 9 8 9 .) F i g u r e 1. C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z : w e t l a n d a n d u p l a n d f i e l d c o m p l e x e s l o c a t e d SLUYTER w i t h v e r t i c a l a n d / o r o b l i q u e a e r i a l p h o t o g r a p h y . No i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e a r e a c o v e r e d by f i e l d s u r f a c e s i s i n t e n d e d ( a f t e r S i e m e n s 1 9 8 0 , f i g . 1 ; S i e m e n s , N a v a r r e t e , a n d S l u y t e r 1 9 8 9 , f i g . 7 ) . 1 6 f u n c t i o n o f the v e s t i g i a l w e t l a n d f i e l d s , however, i s d a t i n g them and d e t e r m i n i n g the c u l t i v a r s i n v o l v e d . N o n e t h e l e s s , e x c a v a t i o n s i n the V e r a c r u z a n w e t l a n d s have y i e l d e d maize p h y t o l i t h s and p o l l e n . A s s o c i a t e d c e r a m i c s i n d i c a t e c u l t i v a t i o n d u r i n g the L a t e P r e c l a s s i c and E a r l y C l a s s i c (Siemens et a l . 1988, 107 and t a b l e 1 ) . A l t h o u g h based on a l i m i t e d sample and a ceramic sequence w i t h o u t adequate a b s o l u t e d a t i n g , t h i s t i m i n g i s n o t a b l e . I t c o i n c i d e s w i t h the f i r s t few c e n t u r i e s of T e o t i h u a c a n ' s emergence and e x p a n s i o n . And, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , the V e r a c r u z a n w e t l a n d a g r i c u l t u r e might a l s o have a n t i c i p a t e d t h a t h i g h l a n d c e n t r e ' s emergence by s e v e r a l c e n t u r i e s . The Upland F i e l d s A e r i a l p h o t o g r a p h i c i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and ground s u r v e y have a l s o r e v e a l e d f i e l d complexes s c a t t e r e d throughout some 1,000 km 2 o f uplands west of the w e t l a n d s ( f i g u r e s 7 and 8) (Siemens 1985, 143; Siemens, N a v a r r e t e , and S l u y t e r 1989; S l u y t e r 1990). From the a i r , t h e s e u p l a n d f i e l d s appear as l i g h t l i n e s a g a i n s t the dark s o i l of newly ploughed l a n d on g e n t l e s l o p e s ( f i g u r e 8 ) . The l i n e s v a r y from 3-5 m i n w i d t h and g e n e r a l l y form r e c t i l i n e a r networks w i t h 5-25 m i n t e r v a l s . These upland f i e l d s a l s o suggest i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n and a c o n s i d e r a b l e i n v e s t m e n t o f l a b o u r i n a i d o f i n c r e a s e d p r o d u c t i v i t y . C o n s i d e r i n g t h e i r p o s s i b l e a r e a l e x t e n t , t h e s e u p l a n d f i e l d s might prove t o have been a c e n t r a l component i n the P r e c o l u m b i a n a g r i c u l t u r a l 17 F i g u r e 8. C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z a n u p l a n d f i e l d s . T o p : n e w l y p l o u g h e d f i e l d s n o r t h o f T a m a r i n d o . B o t t o m : a n e w l y p l o u g h e d f i e l d a m i d i r r i g a t e d s u g a r c a n e f i e l d s s o u t h w e s t o f La G l o r i a . (May 1 9 8 9 - ) 18 economy. Of course, i n h y p o t h e s i z i n g any such a g r i c u l t u r a l i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n , the same c a u t i o n s apply to these uplands as to the wetlands. 1 Approached on the ground the l i n e s e x h i b i t no a p p r e c i a b l e r e l i e f , being comprised of a s u r f a c e s c a t t e r of stones s m a l l e r than 20 cm i n diameter. Only i n one observed i n s t a n c e , at the Gasoducto s i t e near Tamarindo, are l a r g e r stones i n v o l v e d , g i v i n g the l i n e a r f e a t u r e a s l i g h t r e l i e f and making i t d i s c e r n a b l e at ground l e v e l . There, excavation r e v e a l e d 30 cm long limestone s l a b s s e t u p r i g h t i n the s u r f a c e , o r i e n t e d normal to s l o p e d i r e c t i o n , and supported by sma l l e r stones placed downslope (Siemens, Navarrete, and S l u y t e r 1 9 8 9 , f i g u r e 1 0 ) . However, d e s p i t e ground surveys of c l e a r e d f i e l d s and adjacent areas around Rinconada, Tamarindo, and La G l o r i a , no other such s l a b - t y p e f e a t u r e s are yet apparent. Farmers are a c t i v e l y c l e a r i n g stones l a r g e r than 20 cm from the l e v e l f i e l d s to f a c i l i t a t e t r a c t o r ploughing. Steeper areas b o r d e r i n g ploughed f i e l d s , such as at A on f i g u r e 9 , are not me c h a n i c a l l y c u l t i v a t e d but are s u b j e c t to s l a s h and burn f o r maize and rough p a s t u r e . C a t t l e , f i r e , and t o r r e n t i a l summer r a i n s a l l c o n t r i b u t e to severe e r o s i o n and the o b l i t e r a t i o n of any Precolumbian v e s t i g e s . Except f o r the thus f a r unique Gasoducto s i t e , then, the l i n e a l v a r i a t i o n s i n the d e n s i t y of f i e l d stone d i s t r i b u t i o n are l a r g e l y i m p e r c e p t i b l e at ground l e v e l . F urther c o m p l i c a t i n g study of the upland f i e l d s , the 19 stone p a t t e r n i n g - only becomes v i s i b l e a f t e r farmers have c l e a r e d and ploughed. The p a t t e r n s soon disappear as crop growth obscures the ground. The dominant modern crops are i n t r o d u c e d sugar cane and mango with some maize, none of which t y p i c a l l y show he i g h t or c o l o u r d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n due to a r c h a e o l o g i c a l f e a t u r e s ( R i l e y 1 9 8 7 , 2 7 9 ) . The upland p a t t e r n , t h e r e f o r e , only b r i e f l y r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n fragments which r e g u l a r l y s h i f t l o c a t i o n as farmers f a l l o w o l d f i e l d s and c l e a r new ones. This ephemeral c h a r a c t e r i s t i c h i n d e r s an a p p r e c i a t i o n of the morphology and a r e a l extent of i n d i v i d u a l complexes. Despite these d i f f i c u l t i e s , an assesment of the morphology and environmental r e l a t i o n s h i p s of the upland f i e l d s i s c e n t r a l to any understanding of t h e i r genesis and f u n c t i o n . T h e r e f o r e , mapping i n d i v i d u a l complexes i s a necessary sequel to mapping the r e g i o n a l d i s t r i b u t i o n . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of commercial 1 : 8 , 0 0 0 v e r t i c a l a i r photographs from J u l y 1973 r e v e a l e d upland f i e l d complexes c o v e r i n g tens of h e c t a r e s near the v i l l a g e s of Tamarindo and La G l o r i a . The extent and a c c e s s i b i l i t y of these f i e l d s suggested t h e i r s u i t a b i l i t y f o r mapping. A l s o , the La G l o r i a f i e l d s border a complex of wetland f i e l d s , s u g g e s t i n g contemporaneity and an e c o l o g i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . An a e r i a l r econnaissance f l i g h t i n May 1989 confirmed e x t e n s i v e upland f i e l d s i n these areas and y i e l d e d l o w - l e v e l o b l i q u e a i r photographs. These i n combination with ground surveys i n June 1989 and May 1 9 9 0 , the 1 : 8 , 0 0 0 20 v e r t i c a l a i r photographs, and 1:5,000 topographic maps allowed mapping of these complexes ( f i g u r e s 9—12). 2 In a d d i t i o n , the f i e l d complexes apparent on the a v a i l a b l e 1:8,000 v e r t i c a l photographs allowed topographic o v e r l a y s of p a t t e r n i n g at La G l o r i a 1-2, Tamarindo 1 , and Rinconada 1-3 ( f i g u r e s 13-18: see f i g u r e 7 f o r l o c a t i o n s ) . Morphology These p l a n i m e t r i c views r e v e a l some s a l i e n t morphological t r a i t s . Most o b v i o u s l y , the l i n e a r c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of stones c o n s i s t e n t l y f o l l o w slope contour, suggesting t e r r a c i n g . This c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i s c l e a r e s t at La G l o r i a , p a r t i c u l a r l y at A and B i n f i g u r e 10 (enlarged i n f i g u r e s 13 and 14). There, sharp changes i n l i n e d i r e c t i o n r e f l e c t e q u a l l y sharp changes i n slope d i r e c t i o n . Just as c l e a r l y , the c u r v i l i n e a r p a t t e r n i n g near the c e n t r e of Rinconada-1 remains normal to s l o p e d i r e c t i o n around the upper drainage basin of a small ephemeral stream ( f i g u r e 16). F i g u r e 19 i s an o b l i q u e view of t h i s same area from the northwest and shows the p a t t e r n more c l e a r l y . At Rinconada-2 an i n t e r f l u v i a l upland slopes g e n t l y east-west; i t s s u r f a c e i s patterned with north-south t r e n d i n g l i n e s ( f i g u r e 17). Near the top of the upland's escarpments, steeper slopes f a l l o f f north and south toward the La Antigua and Santa M a r i a R i v e r s ; t h e r e , l i n e s t r e n d i n g east-west dominate. The p a t t e r n i s more complex at Rinconada-3, but e q u a l l y as c o n s i s t e n t ( f i g u r e 18). The F i g u r e 1 1 . U p l a n d f i e l d s n e a r T a m a r i n d o ( b a s e m a p s : SRH 1 9 7 3 , s h e e t s 4 2 , 4 3 , k9, a n d 5 0 ) . 2k 25 gu r e T o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r p h o t o g r a p h s h o w i n g u p l a n d f i e l d s a t La G l o r i a - 1 ( p h o t o : S RH 1 9 7 3 , F 2 3 - 1 5 ; map: S RH 1 9 7 3 , s h e e t 2 3 ) . 26 T o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r p h o t o g r a p h s h o w i n g u p l a n d f i e l d s a t La G l o r i a - 2 ( p h o t o : SRH 1 9 7 3 , F 2 3 - 1 5 ; map: SRH 1 9 7 3 , s h e e t 23). 2 7 g u r e 1 5 - l o p o g r a p m c o v e r l a y o r a v e r t i c a l a i r p h o t o g r a p h s h o w i n g u p l a n d f i e l d s a t T a m a r i n d o - 1 ( p h o t o : SRH 1 9 7 3 , F 1 ^ - 2 9 ; map: SRH 1 9 7 3 , s h e e t k3) . 28 F i g u r e 1 6 . T o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r p h o t o g r a p h s h o w i n g u p l a n d f i e l d s a t R i n c o n a d a - 1 ( p h o t o : SRH 1 9 7 3 , F 7 - 2 0 ; map: SRH 1 9 7 3 , s h e e t 4 1 ) . 2 9 RINCON A D A -2 F i g u r e ]J. T o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r p h o t o g r a p h s h o w i n g u p l a n d f i e l d s a t R i n c o n a d a - 2 ( p h o t o : SRH 1 9 7 3 , F 8 - 2 5 ; map: SRH 19 7 3 , s h e e t 5 6 ) . 30 i g u r e 18. T o p o g r a p h i c o v e r l a y o f a v e r t i c a l a i r p h o t o g r a p h s h o w i n g u p l a n d f i e l d s a t R i n c o n a d a - 3 ( p h o t o : SRH 1973, F 7 - 2 4 ; map: SRH 1973, sheet34). 3 1 F i g u r e 1 9 . O b l i q u e a i r p h o t o g r a p h o f u p l a n d f i e l d s a t R i n c o n a d a - 1 ( p h o t o by A.H. S i e m e n s , A u g u s t 1 9 8 0 ) . 32 l i n e s trend east-west, normal to the north-facing slope; then they turn and follow the east-facing slope in the upper-right quadrant. At Tamarindo, again, this same ch a r a c t e r i s t i c i s apparent at A (figures 12 and 15); the stone l i n e s consistently follow slope contours. This contouring, however, i s not always precise. In some places, as in C at La Gl o r i a , the majority of l i n e s trend p a r a l l e l to slope d i r e c t i o n (figure 10). But such cases are few. In other places, such as B at Tamarindo, the alignment i s consistently diagonal to slope d i r e c t i o n (figure 12). Perhaps, the one metre contour i n t e r v a l reveals detailed changes in slope which were neither apparent nor c r i t i c a l to Precolumbian farmers. Simple surveying techniques on shallow slopes cannot delineate precise contours. And the technology involved might not have required the exact contouring apparent in Asian and Andean stone-faced i r r i g a t i o n terraces. Moreover, other orie n t a t i o n a l motivations might have dominated. At La Gloria a consistent orientation of 13-15 degrees azimuth i s apparent (figure 9). At Tamarindo an orientation of 349-351 degrees i s equally consistent (figure 11). In both cases the alignments follow gross slope d i r e c t i o n . Perhaps Precolumbian farmers ignored micro slope variations in order to conform to some macro organizational scheme, conceptually similar to the North American township and range survey. Interestingly, 15 degrees azimuth i s a dominant orientation among Classic and 33 Postclassic Mesoamerican monumental centres (Aveni 1980, Appendix A). And 348-353 degrees azimuth i s the ch a r a c t e r i s t i c orientation of the Preclassic Olmec centres (Carlson 1975, 753). Typ i c a l l y , terracing would also display a correlation between slope angle and l i n e i n t e r v a l , steeper slopes requiring narrower f i e l d surfaces (Donkin 1979, 32; Wilken 1987, 115). However, p r o f i l e s of upland f i e l d s do not reveal such a relationship between i n t e r v a l and slope (figures 20-22). The distance between the centre-lines of line a r stone concentrations ranges from 5-25 m on slopes of 0.75-4.0 degrees in a seemingly random fashion. Perhaps the slope range i s too narrow or the sample too small to reveal a consistent c o r r e l a t i o n . More l i k e l y , other factors confound the issue. A particular farmer working with a par t i c u l a r stone concentration while considering pa r t i c u l a r edaphic conditions would create a pa r t i c u l a r l i n e i n t e r v a l , perhaps less t i e d to slope angle than i n i t i a l l y seems l i k e l y . Moreover, as apparent in figures 13 and 14, the stone l i n e s on the steeper slopes are the most deteriorated; therefore, their i n t e r v a l might appear greater than i t o r i g i n a l l y was because only some of the li n e s remain v i s i b l e . Because of the ephemeral and deteriorated condition of these features, f i e l d length i s also d i f f i c u l t to gauge. S t i l l , f i e l d s appear as short as 15 m in places, such as Tamarindo-1 (figure 15). But they are much longer at La 34 LA GLORIA 2.5* ASJ Figure 20. In t e r v a l p r o f i l e s from La G l o r i a upland f i e l d s . 35 TAMARINDO m nrrr^ AS F i g u r e 2 1 . I n t e r v a l p r o f i l e s f r o m T a m a r i n d o u p l a n d f i e l d s . 36 RINCONADA : &£J F i g u r e 22. I n t e r v a l p r o f i l e s f r o m R i n c o n a d a u p l a n d f i e l d s . 37 G l o r i a , where series of l i n e s run normal to slope for 500 m without perpendicular l i n e s interrupting (figure 10). In addition, because of their ephemeral nature, determining the areal extent of f i e l d complexes as a whole is equally problematic. The fragments of complexes which are apparent approximately range from 3 ha to 50 ha, for the nearly contiguous western La Gloria f i e l d s . Yet the consistent orientation of the fragments v i s i b l e at La Gloria and Tamarindo suggests unity. Quite l i k e l y , other upland f i e l d s underlie the intervening spaces now covered in crops and savanna, forming a contiguous, oriented whole. Only continued a e r i a l survey over a number of consecutive years can confirm or deny this hypothesis. If correct, however, the entire La Gloria complex would cover at least 150 ha and the Tamarindo complex at least 300 ha. Associated with the li n e a r stone concentrations are c i r c u l a r ones. They are p a r t i c u l a r l y evident at La Gloria-1, La Gloria-2, and Rinconada-3, where they range from 5-10 m in diameter (figures 13 , 14, and 18). Regularities in the density and spacing of these stone c i r c l e s are not apparent. A much larger feature, on the order of 100 m in diameter, occurs at Tamarindo-1 in the upper-left quadrant (figure 15). Analogues The morphology of the v e s t i g i a l upland f i e l d s suggests some analogues. Each human ecological context i s unique, 38 and, by d e f i n i t i o n , analogues cannot provide exact models for genesis and function. But analogues can provide hypotheses for testing. Accordingly, then, the upland f i e l d s ' c h a r a c t e r i s t i c contouring suggests several s l o p i n g - f i e l d terracing technologies which in turn suggest possible functions. The metepantli, or bancal, of the Mexican Central Highlands provides the most propinquitous, thoroughly studied analogue. The metepantli i s a s l o p i n g - f i e l d terrace which controls s o i l erosion and runoff on shallow slopes. It c e r t a i n l y dates from AD 500-600 and quite possibly from as early as the Preclassic. Farmers s t i l l frequently employ metepantli on slopes throughout the Mesa Central (West 1968, 365-66; Sanders, Parsons, and Santley 1979, 251; Denevan 1980, 626; Patrick 1985, 544-45). Although isolated metepantli occur, more often f l i g h t s of them cover entire h i l l s i d e s , shallow channels d i s t r i b u t i n g runoff to each f i e l d (figure 2 3 ) (West 1968, 367; Charlton 1970, 280-81). Near Apan, Hidalgo, f i e l d s vary in length from 15-150 m, and they vary in width from 12 - 3 0 m on slopes of 3-6 degrees to less than 3 m on slopes of 15 degrees (West 1968, 367). Near San Antonio Acuamanala, Tlaxcala, metepantli generally only occur on slopes of less than 5 degrees (Patrick 1985, 539). But these figures vary depending on l o c a l c u l t u r a l , edaphic, and climatic conditions (Wilken 1987, 109). Wilken describes modern metepantli construction in F i g u r e 2 3 - A g e n e r a 1 i z e d f i e l d s y s t e m . s c h e m a t i c o f a m e t e p a n ko Tlaxcala (1987, 106-7). Using shovels and picks, farmers excavate a ditch, or zanja, 0.8 m wide by 0.6 m deep along a contour l i n e . Using the excavated material, they then build a 1 m thick by 0.4 m high bank, known as a bordo or melga, d i r e c t l y upslope of the di t c h . Last, they plant young maguey (Agave cantala) at 3 m interv a l s along the bank to act as a l i v i n g terrace wall. Usually the bordo incorporates any available stones and continues upslope along the ends of the f i e l d to enclose i t (Sanders, Parsons, and Santley 1979, 245). As figure 23 also i l l u s t r a t e s , the wider metepantli sometimes have internal bordos-zanjas to further control erosion. As colluvium accumulates, the farmer builds the bank higher, but f i e l d s never achieve an e n t i r e l y horizontal planting surface (West 1968, 367; Charlton 1970, 281; Wilken 1987, 105-6). Because beans (Phaseolus spp.) and barley (Hordeum  vulgare) require less s o i l depth and moisture than maize, farmers can s t r a t e g i c a l l y vary their crops within and between f i e l d s (Charlton 1970, 287-91). In new f i e l d s with l i t t l e s o i l accumulation, maize occupies the lowest, deepest part of the f i e l d and barley or beans the upper part. As s o i l depth increases, the entire f i e l d may exclusively support maize. And as newer metepantli located further upslope capture the bulk of the runoff and colluvium, the lowest f i e l d s w i l l again come to support only barley and beans (Charlton 1970, 281; Sanders, Parsons, and Santley 1979, 248). Eventually, decreasing 41 s o i l f e r t i l i t y and water a v a i l a b i l i t y f o r c e a f i e l d ' s abandonment: the magueys r e a c h t h e end o f t h e i r t e n year l i f e c y c l e ; breaches i n the banks develop i n t o m i n i a t u r e b a r r a n c a s ; the s o i l p r o g r e s s i v e l y erodes away; and o n l y " t r a c e s o f the o r i g i n a l t e r r a c e can be d e t e c t e d i n t h e . . . t e p e t a t e s u r f a c e , " a l a y e r o f compacted v o l c a n i c ash u n d e r l y i n g the s o i l i n t h e V a l l e y o f Mexico ( S a n d e r s , P a r s o n s , and S a n t l e y 1979, 247-49). In time f a r m e r s might r e c l a i m t h e s e denuded areas by b r e a k i n g up the t e p e t a t e and f o r m i n g new m e t e p a n t l i ( C h a r l t o n 1970, 279). In a d d i t i o n t o augmenting s o i l depth i n the main f i e l d f o r g r a i n s and beans, the m e t e p a n t l i ' s bank p r o v i d e s a m i c r o e n v i r o n m e n t f o r x e r o p h y t i c c u l t i v a r s (West 1968, 367). They are both a c r o p and a l i v i n g t e r r a c e w a l l . Maguey grows w e l l i n the d r a i n e d bordo s o i l and p r o v i d e s f i b e r , t h a t c h , f u e l , f o o d , m e d i c i n e , and the fermented d r i n k , pulque ( P a t r i c k 1985, 542-43). Other bordo c u l t i v a r s i n c l u d e mesquite ( P r o s o p i s spp.) and f r u i t t r e e s such as t e j o c o t e ( C r a t a e g u s mexicana) and c a p u l i n (Prunus c a p u l i ) ( W i l k e n 1987, 105). The p a r a l l e l s between th e m e t e p a n t l i and t h e u p l a n d f i e l d v e s t i g e s a r e s t r i k i n g . F i e l d w i d t h s , l e n g t h s , and s l o p e s are s i m i l a r . As w e l l , c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t s and t h e sub-humid c l i m a t e s a r e s i m i l a r , a l t h o u g h the C e n t r a l Mexican h i g h l a n d s are temperate r a t h e r than hot (SPP 1983). S u g g e s t i v e l y , f i g u r e 24 shows a newly c o n s t r u c t e d m e t e p a n t l i on a 3 degree s l o p e near Q u e r e t a r o . The f a r m e r s F i g u r e 2k. A m e t e p a n t1 i b o r d o n e a r Q u e r e t a r o . N o t e t h e f i e l d s t o n e s i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e e a r t h b a n k . T h e f i e l d s l o p e s down f r o m r i g h t t o l e f t . (May 19 8 9 - ) 43 have incorporated many of the f i e l d stones into the bordo. If eventually abandoned, the magueys w i l l reach the end of their l i f e cycle. Breaches w i l l develop in the bank. The bordo's s o i l w i l l progressively erode away, and only a line a r concentration of stones w i l l remain. Eventually, subsequent ploughing could attenuate the stone s t r i p into a pattern similar to the Veracruzan vestiges. Another context suggests a second but l i t t l e unstudied analogue (Siemens-Sluyter pers. comm. 7/89). Near Taxco, Guerrero, a series of embankments occupy a 0.07 ha f i e l d (figure 25). A farmer has cleared f i e l d stones ranging from 4-12 cm in diameter into banks nominally 1 m wide and 0.3 m high, l o c a l l y known as p r e t i l e s (Siemens-Sluyter pers. comm. 6/90) or terraplenos. The 40 m long slope averages 6 degrees with an irreg u l a r i n t e r v a l between banks of 6-12 m. They range up to 16 m long and curve s l i g h t l y upslope at midfield, apparently to direc t runoff toward the f i e l d ' s sides and ameliorate the erosional effects of sheet flow. Reconnaissance so far has been confined to f i e l d s along roads and to casual i n q u i r i e s , but i t indicates that these features might only occur in this one small f i e l d . Therefore, unlike the metepantli, which has a long history and wide d i s t r i b u t i o n , the terrapleno has limited u t i l i t y as an analogue. Nonetheless, the s i m i l a r i t y to the upland f i e l d vestiges suggests the terraplenos' s i g n i f i c a n c e . The upland f i e l d s might never have been more F i g u r e 25. T e r r a p l e n o s n e a r T a x c o , G u e r r e r o . (May 1990.) -t-4^ substantial than this Guerrero analogue, subsequent ploughing and erosion attenuating the embankments of stones into 3-5 m wide concentrations with no r e l i e f . Like Central Veracruz, t h i s area also has a hot, sub-humid climate (SPP 1983). And l i k e the Central Mexican metepantli, maize appears to be the p r i n c i p a l crop. However, unlike the mainly earth metepantli bordos, the completely stone terrapleno embankments do not support xerophytic crops. Although thus far a unique case, the upright slabs at Gasoducto do suggest the r e l i c stone-slab terraces in the Rio Bee area as yet a t h i r d analogue (Turner 1983a , 77-84). These Maya terrace walls consist of cut limestone slabs set upright into the slope. The lack of well-preserved instances prevents precise measurement, but the slabs seem to be approximately 60 cm long (Turner 1983a , figure 2 0 ) . The width of the sloping f i e l d s on 4 degree slopes, comparable to the Veracruzan slopes, averages 42 m (Turner 1983a , 87). Thus the walls are approximately twice as high and the f i e l d s twice as wide in the Rio Bee area as compared to the Gasoducto case. Interestingly, although no comparable feature i s yet evident in Central Veracruz, the slab-type Rio Bee walls are associated with more common broadbase walls (Turner 1983a , figure 1 7 ) . These features consist of 30 by 15 by 10 cm, rough limestone blocks dr y - l a i d in courses to form walls 0 .8-1.4 m high and 0 . 3 m thick. Immediately upslope of and below these walls i s a he rubble f i l l of 10 cm stones. Turner has hypothesized that the Maya used these terraces to grow maize, beans, and squash (Cucurbita spp.) during the Cl a s s i c , the terraces ameliorating s o i l erosion (Turner 1983a, 97 and 111-112). A fourth suggestive analogue based on morphological s i m i l a r i t i e s is the "waffle garden," or huerta con bordes, of the American Southwest (Denevan 1980, 6 3 3 ; Fish and Fish 1984, 151). They consist of stone alignments running both p a r a l l e l and perpendicular to slope d i r e c t i o n , forming grids with individual squares on the order of 2.5 m. At Beaver Creek, waffle gardens contiguously cover 8.5 ha of gently sloping land (Fish and Fish 1984, 148-156 and figures 3-4). Farmers formed the l i n e s from f i e l d stones cleared from the planting surfaces. Fish and Fish hypothesize that the "waffles" functioned as baffles to trap water and s i l t , increasing i n f i l t r a t i o n , deepening s o i l s , and replenishing nutrients. As compartments s i l t e d i n , the farmers b u i l t new borders on top of the old ones. In the Ojo Caliente, New Mexico area, waffle garden quadrangles range from 1 m by 0.25 m to 3 m by 3 m square (Buge 1984, 29-32). Less commonly, 30 m square f i e l d s occur, usually i s o l a t e d , occasionally in contiguous groups, always on slopes of less than 3 degrees. The farmers located their f i e l d s in the path of runoff, d i s t r i b u t i n g the water via small, stone-bordered channels. These features are not a close analogue. They are located in a semi-arid rather than a sub-humid area, with 47 average annual p r e c i p i t a t i o n below 400 mm. And, also, generally the distances between lin e a r stone concentrations in the waffle gardens are smaller than in the upland f i e l d s . Nonetheless, unlike the f i r s t three analogues, the waffle gardens, l i k e the upland f i e l d s , apparently had l i t t l e r e l i e f . Therefore, these features do i l l u s t r a t e the p o s s i b l i t i t i e s for water and s o i l management on shallow slopes using nothing more than extremely low stone alignments. The dryland farmers of the American Southwest were able to sustain crops using this technology under quite uncongenial climatic conditions. More distant contexts provide less s t r i k i n g analogues. Nonetheless, they do offer insights into construction techniques and demonstrate that nonindustrial farmers can and do construct s l o p i n g - f i e l d terraces which subs t a n t i a l l y increase y i e l d s . In the West African savanna, development agencies are encouraging farmers to build rough low stone banks along slope contours, sometimes stretching for kilometers (Schutt 1988). Farmers do the work by hand and use a simple water l e v e l to locate contours. The household which farms a pa r t i c u l a r f i e l d constructs and maintains the walls in the course of regular farm work (Burnham 1980, 160). Benefits have manifested themselves in y i e l d increases of 50-100% over one year (Barrow 1988, 115; Schutt 1988). In the Andes, farmers dig ditches along contour l i n e s , p i l i n g the s o i l in a low bank above the ditch (Pajares and Vonk 1986). The banks, s t a b i l i z e d with grass or economic plants and faced with any available f i e l d stones, trap colluvium. Farmers use only handtools and simple plumb bob lev e l s to construct their terrazas de  formacion lenta. Possible Functions The morphological s i m i l a r i t i e s between the analogues and the upland f i e l d s suggest a s l o p i n g - f i e l d terracing technique, a way to manage s o i l and water on gentle slopes. 3 However, given that the conglomerate substratum in the upland f i e l d area results in p a r t i c u l a r l y stoney s o i l s , the linear concentrations of stones might also represent an even more fundamental practice. They might be the r e s u l t of stone clearance, one of the most onerous of the many tasks facing farmers. They must dig up heavy, awkward stones, transport them ho r i z o n t a l l y , and place them where they w i l l do the least harm and the most good. Even in well-cleared f i e l d s , new stones continually crop up due to t i l l a g e , making clearance a remorseless undertaking (Szabo 1980, 4-5; Fowler 1981, 18). The dumping place might be a steep, stoney slope with l i t t l e a g r i c u l t u r a l potential bordering the f i e l d (Fowler 1983, 131-44). Or i f no such wasteland exists nearby, the farmer might choose to place the stones either in li n e a r s t r i p s , in mounds, or in both (Szabo 1980, 10-11; Fowler 1981, 18). Over a given area, the spacing and d i s t r i b u t i o n of h3 t h e s e mounds and l i n e s r e f l e c t s the s i z e and w e i ght of the s t o n e s as w e l l as the t e c h n o l o g i c a l and c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t (Fowler 1983, 148). The ongoing n a t u r e of f i e l d c l e a r a n c e , the l o g i s t i c s o f t r a n s p o r t i n g heavy s t o n e s and the low energy a v a i l a b i l i t y i n p r e i n d u s t r i a l a g r i c u l t u r e a l l i n d i c a t e a l i n e and mound d i s t r i b u t i o n t h a t s h o u l d be q u i t e dense and u b i q u i t o u s i n a n c i e n t f i e l d s . C e r t a i n l y , t h e r e l i c t p a t t e r n s o f a n c i e n t B r i t i s h f i e l d s r e f l e c t t h i s e x p e c t a t i o n (Fowler 1983, 126-48 and p l a t e s I l i a , I l l b , and V ) . In the V e r a c r u z a n c a s e , the 5-25 m s p a c i n g o f the l i n e s a t l e a s t p a r t i a l l y r e f l e c t s the l o g i s t i c s o f t r a n s p o r t i n g 20 cm s t o n e s t o e i t h e r s i d e o f a f i e l d . D e s p i t e t h e hard work i n v o l v e d i n c l e a r a n c e , t h e b e n e f i t s . o f s t o n e l e s s f i e l d s v i s a_ v i s stoney f i e l d s are e q u i v o c a l . On the one hand, the main p o i n t o f c l e a r a n c e i s t o f a c i l i t a t e t i l l a g e . Working t h e s o i l w i t h t o o l s removes s u r f a c e v e g e t a t i o n and weeds which compete w i t h c r o p s f o r i n p u t s , t u r n s over and breaks up the s o i l t o r e l e a s e n u t r i e n t s , and a e r a t e s the s o i l t o improve r o o t development, d r a i n a g e , and i n f i l t r a t i o n . Stones make t i l l a g e more d i f f i c u l t by d e f l e c t i n g and b r e a k i n g t o o l s (Szabo 1980, 8 ) . As w e l l , and perhaps as i m p o r t a n t l y , s t o n e s compete w i t h c r o p s f o r f i e l d space. Too many st o n e s l i m i t both t h e minimum h o r i z o n t a l s p a c i n g o f p l a n t s and t h e i r underground development. Even among the e a r l i e s t a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s equipped o n l y w i t h d i b b l e s t i c k s and f i r e , w i t h no hoes t o break on s t o n e s , a c e r t a i n maximum 50 threshold of stoniness must have existed beyond which c u l t i v a t i o n would have been uneconomical. On the other hand, a certain degree of stoniness can be b e n e f i c i a l to c u l t i v a t i o n . A layer of small stones can act as a mulch which decouples the soil-atmosphere interface, reducing moisture and heat losses from the s o i l (Wilken 1972, 555-56). Because the i n t e r s t i c e s between stones are larger than those between s o i l p a r t i c l e s , too large for surface tension to span, the mulch prevents c a p i l l a r y action from r a i s i n g s o i l moisture to the surface where i t would evaporate. At the same time, the higher r a t i o of volume to surface area of stone over s o i l p a r t i c l e s moderates temperature flu c t u a t i o n s . A stone mulch can also increase i n f i l t r a t i o n during p r e c i p i t a t i o n , r e s u l t i n g in higher moisture and nutrient le v e l s (Szabo 1980, 6; Buge 1984, 30-31). The stones absorb the rain's energy, decreasing s o i l compaction and surface sealing, allowing i n f i l t r a t i o n rather than runoff and erosion (Epstein, Grant, and Struchtemeyer 1966, 640). In addition, plants can exploit water pockets trapped below buried stones when the general s o i l moisture l e v e l has reached the w i l t i n g point (Evenari, Shanan, and Tadmor 1971, 260-61). Other considerations are that as stones weather, they slowly release nutrients into the s o i l (Szabo 1980, 7). And surface stones protect loose s o i l from c o l l u v i a l and aeolian erosion. Ultimately then, the cost-benefit equation of stone 51 clearance i s complex. Even the d e f i n i t i o n of the size and density of rock fragments which constitute a stoney s o i l i s equivocal ( N i k i f o r o f f 1948). The desirable degree of stone clearance depends on c u l t u r a l , technological, and environmental parameters. However, in many contexts the evidence argues for removal of the "large" stones and retention of the "small" stones. Moreover, the benefits of stone clearance occur as much in the dumps as in the f i e l d s . Stones have an i n t r i n s i c value as building material, and lin e a r or nucleated concentrations can serve other purposes besides dumps. Either feature can shelter plants from wind, p a r t i c u l a r l y important for cereals which are susceptible to lodging (Wilken 1972, 557). In B r i t a i n , a common use of f i e l d stones was to construct walls which enclosed and defined property, controlled the movement of animals, and prevented neighbours' intrusions (Fowler 1981, 28; Fowler 1983, 145). Most strongly, however, the morphology of the Veracruzan features and the analogues suggest a s l o p i n g - f i e l d terracing technology with p a r a l l e l f l i g h t s of low stone walls or banks ascending h i l l s i d e s . Based on t r i p s through the Central Veracruzan savanna country, a ninteenth century writer describes an i n t r i g u i n g landscape and confirms the p o s s i b i l i t y of such a function. This region has a peculiar charm for men of an enquiring turn. Traces of extinct tribes are here met with, of a dense a g r i c u l t u r a l 52 population, who had been extirpated before the Spaniards invaded the country. When the t a l l grass i s burnt down, we can see that the whole country was formed into terraces with the assistance of masonry; everywhere provision had been made against the ravages of the t r o p i c a l rains; they were carried out on every slope, descending even to the steepest spots, where they are often only a few feet in width. In the f l a t valleys are countless remains of dams and reservoirs, mostly of large stones and clay, many of s o l i d masonry, naturally a l l rent by the floods at the lowest part, and f i l l e d with earth. On the dry f l a t ridges the remains of large c i t i e s are found, forming for miles regular roads. The stone foundations of the houses may be recognized covered with heaps of rubbish and stones, large squares with symmetrically arranged stat e l y e d i f i c e s , the p r i n c i p l e front adorned with temple pyramids, from 40 to 50 feet high; there are also traces of plaster and mortar, and of pavements. There where the union of two ravines with perpendicular rocky walls (and there are many such points) forms a projection protected on three sides, are castles of s o l i d masonry, with ramparts and battlements; in the court-yards are extensive remains of palaces, temples and graves. A l l i s now concealed by trees or t a l l grass; for many miles scarcely a hut i s b u i l t , where formerly every foot of land was as d i l i g e n t l y cultivated as the banks of the Nile or the Euphrates in Solomon's time. We know not whether a plague or hunger, or warlike t r i b e s from the North, or some great convulsion of nature destroyed the numerous population, indeed we have not the s l i g h t e s t clue which would enable us to decide to what people these r e l i c s of great i n d u s t r i a l a c t i v i t y belong (Sartorius 1961 [1858], 10). This passage suggests that the upland f i e l d s might have been walls of the Rio Bee broadbase type. However, Sartorius did dream of establishing an a g r i c u l t u r a l colony, and he might have exaggerated the r e l i c s of ancient productivity to encourage German immigration (see also Sartorius 1869). Yet the v e s t i g i a l upland f i e l d s do attest his careful observation. 53 In a d d i t i o n , Hugo F i n c k , a contemporary o f S a r t o r i u s , somewhat c o r r o b o r a t e s h i s d e s c r i p t i o n . The whole c o u n t r y [ o f C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z ] i s i n t e r s e c t e d w i t h p a r a l l e l l i n e s of s t o n e s , which were i n t e n d e d , d u r i n g the heavy showers of the r a i n y s e a s o n , t o keep the e a r t h from washing away. The number of t h o s e l i n e s o f s t o n e s shows c l e a r l y t h a t even th e p o o r e s t l a n d , which i n our days nobody would c u l t i v a t e , was put under r e q u i s i t i o n . . . ( F i n c k 1870, 373). Given the morphology o f the u p l a n d f i e l d v e s t i g e s , F i n c k ' s " p a r a l l e l l i n e s of s t o n e s , " even more than S a r t o r i u s ' " t e r r a c e s . . . o f masonry," a r e i n t r i g u i n g and r e c a l l t h e G u e r r e r o t e r r a p l e n o s . F i n c k ' s d e s c r i p t i o n , however, i s too b r i e f t o p r o v i d e d e t a i l s of e i t h e r morphology or l o c a t i o n . C o n t o u r i n g s t o n e and e a r t h banks c o n t r o l s o i l d e p t h , water d i s t r i b u t i o n , and i n f i l t r a t i o n — w i t h a l l the b e n e f i c i a l c o r o l l a r i e s . The b a l a n c e between the f r i c t i o n a l and c o h e s i v e f o r c e s h o l d i n g s o i l on a h i l l s l o p e and the d e g r a d a t i o n a l f o r c e s o f e r o s i o n become unequal when a farmer c l e a r s the l a n d f o r a g r i c u l t u r e . G r a v i t y , t i l l a g e , and water work i n c o n j u n c t i o n t o l o o s e n and t r a n s p o r t s o i l downslope (Carson and K i r k b y 1972, 188). By o b s t r u c t i n g water f l o w , c o n t o u r i n g banks reduce i t s v e l o c i t y and a l l o w suspended s o i l t o d e p o s i t behind them, r e d u c i n g o v e r a l l h i l l s l o p e e r o s i o n and l o c a l l y deepening s o i l ( F o s t e r and H i g h f i l l 1983, 48-49). Thus w h i l e the o v e r a l l s l o p e o f the h i l l s i d e remains c o n s t a n t , t h e banks i n c r e a s e s l o p e w i t h i n t h e i r own s t r u c t u r e s and d e c r e a s e the s l o p e o f t h e i r a s s o c i a t e d f i e l d s . As water v e l o c i t i e s slow f u r t h e r w i t h 5k c o n t i n u e d d e p o s i t i o n and reduced s l o p e , e r o s i o n . i s f u r t h e r c o n t r o l l e d ( F o s t e r and H i g h f i l l 1 9 8 3 , 3 3 6 ) . However, c o m p l e t e l y h a l t i n g e r o s i o n i s n e i t h e r p o s s i b l e nor b e n e f i c i a l . Turner notes t h a t w h i l e c o n t o u r i n g w a l l s p r e v e n t th e downslope c o l l u v i a l l o s s o f s o i l s and n u t r i e n t s such as phosphorus, w a l l s a l s o l i m i t the f i e l d s u p p l y area t o t h e i n t e r - w a l l d i s t a n c e (1983a, 66 and 9 3 ) . In f a c t , W r i g h t argues t h a t due t o r a p i d " w e a t h e r i n g " ( e l u v i a t i o n ? ) o f t r o p i c a l s o i l s , w i t h o u t manuring and f e r t i l i z a t i o n , e r o s i o n i s n e c e s s a r y t o renew s o i l n u t r i e n t s and m a i n t a i n f e r t i l i t y (1962, 98) . Moreover, n e i t h e r the r e n d z i n a s nor the v e r t i s o l s which dominate the upland f i e l d a r ea a r e o v e r l y s u s c e p t i b l e t o e r o s i o n . Given the s h a l l o w s l o p e s and r e l a t i v e l y s t a b l e s o i l s i n v o l v e d , t h e n , t e r r a c i n g t o p r e v e n t e r o s i o n i s not the most c o n v i n c i n g m o t i v e f o r t h e u p l a n d f i e l d s . However, accumulated s o i l behind c o n t o u r i n g w a l l s or banks not o n l y p r o v i d e s a deeper m a t r i x f o r r o o t development but s t o r e s m o i s t u r e which a l l o w s p l a n t growth i n t o t h e d r y season (Bunyard 1980, 3 1 2 ) . V e r t i s o l s , i n p a r t i c u l a r , can r e t a i n l a r g e amounts of water because of t h e i r h i g h m o n t m o r i l l o n i t e c l a y c o n t e n t ; a l t h o u g h much of t h i s m o i s t u r e i s h e l d so t i g h t l y t h a t p l a n t s cannot u t i l i z e i t ( S t r a h l e r and S t r a h l e r 1987, 399). Moreover, reduced s l o p e s and c o n t o u r i n g banks slow sheet wash and r i l l s s u f f i c i e n t l y t o i n c r e a s e i n f i l t r a t i o n , r e d u c i n g water l o s t t o r u n o f f . In a d d i t i o n t o p r o v i d i n g f o r p h o t o s y n t h e t i c 55 needs, water also replenishes nutrients such as nitrogen (Wilken 1987, 69). In summary, s l o p i n g - f i e l d terracing displays some general morphological and functional s i m i l a r i t i e s among d i f f e r i n g c u l t u r a l and environmental contexts, although d e t a i l s vary. Hand c u l t i v a t i o n does not demand l e v e l f i e l d s for ease of t i l l a g e . Generally, only i r r i g a t i o n requires l e v e l terraces and the r e s u l t i n g necessary investment in high walls. The bunded Asian r i c e paddy and the stone faced Andean terrace are examples (Wernstad and Spencer 1967, 83; Bray 1984, 106-10; Mejia Zamalloa 1987, 7). As evident at La G l o r i a , the Veracruzan upland f i e l d s are too high above adjacent perennial streams for i r r i g a t i o n without pumps or large dams (figure 9)« But Precolumbian farmers, recognizing the d e s i r a b i l i t y of stone clearance, deeper s o i l s , and increased water i n f i l t r a t i o n and storage, seem to have constructed contouring banks or low walls of earth and f i e l d stones. Today, the vestiges of those s l o p i n g - f i e l d terraces are evident as li n e a r concentrations of stones. The associated stone c i r c l e s might also represent stone clearance, but more l i k e l y they are v e s t i g i a l house foundations. Their 5-10 m diameter i s t y p i c a l of the size of Precolumbian houses from other regions (Flannery 1976; Blanton, Kowalewski, Feinman, and Appel 1981, 192). And stone foundations are also present in other areas of Mesoamerica (Flannery 1976, 21 and 23). However, their 56 round rather than rectangular plan might s i g n i f y structures for storage rather than dwelling. The much larger feature near Tamarindo might be the remnant of a fortress or walled settlement. Today, and probably in Precolumbian times, this strategic s i t e overlooks one of the major transportation corridors between the Gulf Coast and the Central Highlands (figures 11 and 15). Possible Cultivars Plant ecology, Aztec trib u t e l i s t s , and other ethnohistorical materials indicate that maize, cotton (Gossypium spp.), cacao (Theobroma cacao), and agave (Agave spp.) are a l l possible c u l t i v a r s for Central Veracruz. Maize was already the Mesoamerican staple by the Preclassic, and agave might have been an important resource even e a r l i e r (Coe 1962, 45-49). However, since maize and agave both grow well in the highlands, they were not desirable as tribute to the peoples of the Valley of Mexico, and therefore are not apparent in the Aztec t r i b u t e l i s t s . Except in a case of extreme need, such as famine, only luxury products warranted long-distance transport in Mesoamerica (Drennan 1984, 106-7). But the trib u t e l i s t s do indicate that these lowlands were a source of cotton, an important f i b e r crop by the Preclassic, and cacao, the beans of which were a medium of exchange and yielded a fermented beverage (Barlow 1949, 1-7, 89-92, and map i n s e r t ) . Moreover, in 1571, Arias Hernandez noted that the 57 Totonac of Zempoala not only cultivated "arboles de  algod6n" and wove cotton t e x t i l e s but made ropes out of "maguei [ s i c ] " (1947 [1571], 200; regarding Totonac "tree-cotton," also see Sahagun 1961 [ca. 1578], Book 10, 75). However, s i s a l (A. sisalana) and henequen (A. f ourcroydes) are the two agave species more usually associated with cordage manufacture. Maguey yiel d s f i n e r and suppler but weaker f i b e r s (Purseglove 1972, 10-15). Because the agave species a l l appear quite similar Hernandez might have confused them. The Texcocan Mexican  Picture-Chronicle of Cempoallan also hints at an association between Zempoala and agave c u l t i v a t i o n (1890 [1530]). Modern maize v a r i e t i e s grow under widely varying conditions. Generally, however, maize does not produce well in humid areas or when subjected to f r o s t . In the tropics i t requires 600-900 mm of p r e c i p i t a t i o n during i t s 90-200 day growing season (Purseglove 1972, 300-44). Even considering the wilder maize v a r i e t i e s involved, the f r o s t - f r e e and well-watered conditions of the Veracruzan wetland f i e l d s would have produced an annual tonamil crop and, perhaps, an additional temporal crop during the summer along the drier wetland margins. In the upland f i e l d s , assuming approximately 800 mm of p r e c i p i t a t i o n during the 135 days from mid May to late September as an indicat i o n of water a v a i l a b i l i t y , one temporal crop per year would have been possible (figure 3). 58 But, unlike the wetland f i e l d s where mucking would have maintained f e r t i l i t y , the upland f i e l d s must have required regular fallowing. Farmers, then, would not have contemporaneously cultivated a l l of the hypothesized 300 ha of f i e l d s at Tamarindo. Moreover, the canicula, an annual drought t y p i c a l l y one to two weeks long, occurs in August; lack of cloud cover results in a higher mean temperature and evapotranspiration rate, further reducing available moisture (Garcia 1970, 17). S i g n i f i c a n t l y , the canicula coincides with the c r i t i c a l period of maize's maximum growth which immediately follows tasseling (Melgarejo 1980, 22). Without adequate moisture the male inflorescence dies before the female inflorescence becomes receptive. A successful maize crop in the upland f i e l d s , therefore, would have depended on s u f f i c i e n t s o i l moisture storage to weather the annual canicula. The hypothesized increases in s o i l depth, i n f i l t r a t i o n , and water storage in the upland f i e l d s might have been able to meet this demand. The close juxtaposition of wetland and upland f i e l d s at La Gloria and a modern a g r i c u l t u r a l practice suggest another strategy Precolumbian farmers might have employed in concert with s o i l and water management (figure 9). Some modern farmers in Central Veracruz who c u l t i v a t e the margins of the wetland near La Gloria use starter-beds, l o c a l l y known as planteles, to germinate the seeds of their tonamil crops (Siemens 1990a, 240). S i m i l a r l y , 59 Precolumbian farmers could have planted maize in high-density wetland starter-beds near the end of the dry season, u t i l i z i n g what water remained in the canals for scoop i r r i g a t i o n . With the f i r s t r ain in mid-May, the farmers would have transplanted the seedlings to the upland f i e l d s at much lower d e n s i t i e s . Such a strategy would have advanced the crop's growth cycle far enough that the canicula would have occurred after p o l l i n a t i o n . Such a strategy only seems possible, however, where upland f i e l d s d i r e c t l y border on wetland f i e l d s . Perhaps most importantly, the wetland f i e l d s were a regional means of reducing the r i s k inherent in the upland cropping. While the average annual p r e c i p i t a t i o n for much of the area is 1,000 mm, a drought year would have caused famine i f upland f i e l d s were the only means of production. Even with increased s o i l depth, i n f i l t r a t i o n , and water storage, a year in which less than 600 mm of rain f e l l would have meant a near t o t a l f a i l u r e of the upland maize crop. Records kept over the l a s t 40 years indicate such dry years can be very dry indeed, only 286 mm of p r e c i p i t a t i o n at Rinconada in 1945 for example (Sanders 1953, 41; Garcia 1970, Appendix I ) . The wetland f i e l d s might have ensured at least some regional maize supply, even during the d r i e s t years. That cotton i s represented in Maya Precolumbian wetland agriculture indicates that the Veracruzan wetland f i e l d s might also have supported intensive cotton 60 c u l t i v a t i o n (Wiseman 1983 , 1 1 0 - 1 7 ; Pohl and Miksicek 1985 , 1 6 ) . C e r t a i n l y , although l i n t c o t t o n d e r i v e s from a x e r o p h y t i c ancestor and r e q u i r e s high i n s o l a t i o n and f r o s t - f r e e c o n d i t i o n s , i t a l s o t h r i v e s i n mesophytic and i r r i g a t e d contexts (Purseglove 1968 , 3 3 3 - 6 4 ) . Y e a r l y p r e c i p i t a t i o n requirements f o r r a i n - f e d annuals range from 1 , 0 0 0 - 1 , 5 0 0 mm (Purseglove 1968 , 348 ; Berger 1969, 29; Munro 1987, 7 4 ) . However, any Precolumbian c o t t o n would have been a p e r e n n i a l r a t h e r than the now almost u n i v e r s a l annual favoured to reduce pest c a r r y - o v e r (Hearn and Constable 1984, 4 9 6 ; Munro 1987, 3 1 6 ) . Such p e r e n n i a l v a r i e t i e s probably r e q u i r e d even l e s s p r e c i p i t a t i o n than modern annuals. Moreover, c o t t o n favours a unimodal p r e c i p i t a t i o n regime because the growth and b o l l s w e l l i n g p e r i o d s r e q u i r e adequate moisture, while b o l l r i p e n i n g and l i n t h a r v e s t i n g r e q u i r e dry weather to minimize b o l l shedding and l i n t s p o i l a g e (Purseglove 1968 , 348 ; Berger 1969, 3 8 ) . These requirements accord w e l l with the upland f i e l d moisture regime: the b o l l s could develop d u r i n g the wet summer, then r i p e n and y i e l d t h e i r l i n t d u r i n g the dry w i n t e r . In a d d i t i o n , c o t t o n grows w e l l i n rendzinas and v e r t i s o l s , the dominant s o i l types i n the upland f i e l d area (Purseglove 1968 , 348 ; Berger 1969, 3 0 ) . In Texas, i n f a c t , the c o l l o q u i a l "black c o t t o n s o i l " r e f e r s to v e r t i s o l s ( S t r a h l e r and S t r a h l e r 1987, 3 9 8 ) . One impediment to c o t t o n p r o d u c t i o n would have been the nortes which s p o r a d i c a l l y blow from October to March. 61 Strong winds can blow l i n t away and reduce yields (Berger 1969, 30). Nonetheless, c o l o n i a l cotton production further south along the Gulf Coast near Cosamaloapan and Tuxtla also r e l i e d on the dry winter months for harvesting. Perhaps the practice of breaking the tops of the stems down to produce a ground creeping shrub ameliorated wind damage (Sartorius 1961 [1858], 174-75). Cacao i s a t r o p i c a l forest tree-crop which cannot withstand f r o s t , large annual or diurnal temperature ranges, nor an extended dry season. To y i e l d well, cacao requires 1,250-2,500 mm of p r e c i p i t a t i o n well-distributed throughout the year and moist but non-saturated s o i l s (Purseglove 1968, 575 -91 ) . Good cacao yields from the Veracruzan wetland f i e l d s , then, might have been possible, but only given careful s o i l management and water control during the wet season to prevent waterlogging. Despite excavation, however, no d i r e c t evidence for wetland cacao c u l t i v a t i o n yet exists from the Maya region (Turner and Harrison 1983 , 257-58; Turner and Miksicek 1984, 1 8 9 - 9 0 ) . The upland f i e l d s c e r t a i n l y could not have supported cacao because of i t s high moisture requirements. Perhaps cacao plantations were r e s t r i c t e d to the limited a l l u v i a l p lains, as Muhs, Kautz, and MacKinnon suggest for a s i t e in Belize ( 1 9 8 5 , 124). Although l i t t l e evident in Central Veracruz today, xerophytic agave thrives in arid to sub-humid environments (Purseglove 1972 , 7 - 2 9 ) . The Maya cultivated henequen in 62 Yucatan on shallow calcareous gravels with an approximate annual p r e c i p i t a t i o n of 760 mm. And although maguey can tolerate up to 2,500 mm of p r e c i p i t a t i o n annually, these succulents w i l l not withstand saturated s o i l conditions. Therefore, the wetland f i e l d s would not have been a suitable environment for agave, but the upland f i e l d s could have supported maguey, s i s a l , or henequen. The better drained embankments or stone alignments would have been the best niches, again r e c a l l i n g the metepantli f i e l d systems of the Central Highlands. Based on plant ecology and some suggestive ethnohistorical sources, therefore, the most l i k e l y c u l t i v a r s for the upland f i e l d s would have been maize, cotton, and agave. Past practice among the Teenek of Northern Veracruz and other a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s included intercropping and rotating cotton with maize to improve yields (Sartorius 1961 [1858], 175; Alcorn 1984, 390). A similar practice might have obtained in the upland f i e l d s . In the f i e l d s proper, famers might have intercropped maize and cotton. Farmers would have harvested the maize at the beginning of the dry season, thus exposing the cotton to additional sun for b o l l ripening. The perennial shrub would have protected the s o i l from erosion. Along the bordos, farmers might have taken advantage of the better drainage and grown agave. Sartorius, in fa c t , notes that "bromelias and agaves sta r t up from heaps of stones" throughout the savanna country (my emphasis) (1961 [1858], 63 9 ) . The agave would have a c t e d as a l i v i n g t e r r a c e w a l l , s l o w i n g and d i r e c t i n g r u n o f f and r e t a r d i n g c o l l u v i a t i o n . Rows of agave would a l s o have a c t e d as wind b r e a k s , p r o v i d i n g some p r o t e c t i o n a g a i n s t maize l o d g i n g and c o t t o n l i n t l o s s . E t h n o h i s t o r i c a l Evidence f o r a Chronology The e t h n o h i s t o r i c a l d ata not o n l y suggest some p o s s i b l e c u l t i v a r s f o r the u p l a n d f i e l d s but suggest a P r e c o l u m b i a n o r i g i n . A f t e r 1519, European d i s e a s e s such as s m a l l p o x , y e l l o w f e v e r , and m a l a r i a q u i c k l y d e v a s t a t e d i n d i g e n o u s p o p u l a t i o n s everywhere i n Mesoamerica, but p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the l o w l a n d s ( K e l l y and Palerm 1952, 9; Cook and Borah 1960, 1-4; Borah and Cook 1963, 89; Denevan 1976, 4-7). V e r a c r u z , the p r i n c i p a l p o r t o f New S p a i n , o n l y became crowded when the annual t r e a s u r e f l e e t a r r i v e d . The remainder o f the y e a r , merchants and o f f i c i a l s r e t r e a t e d to more temperate c l i m a t e s i n J a l a p a and Mexico C i t y ( A r r e o l a 1982). The l o w l a n d s i n l a n d from the p o r t were a l s o almost c o m p l e t e l y d e p o p u l a t e d , c e r t a i n l y up u n t i l t h e l a t e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y . And by then S a r t o r i u s and F i n c k had a l r e a d y noted the v e s t i g i a l u pland f i e l d s . The e t h n o h i s t o r i c a l m a t e r i a l s are f r a g m e n t a r y f o r C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z but do i n d i c a t e t h a t d e p o p u l a t i o n and a g r a r i a n abandonment were e x t r e m e l y r a p i d a f t e r European c o n t a c t . In 1528, C o r t e s c l a i m e d two i n g e n i o s a t Rinconada, i n d i c a t i n g t h e p r o s p e c t of sugar c u l t i v a t i o n 64 t h e r e and an i n d i g e n o u s l a b o u r f o r c e ( C o r t e s 1963, 396 and 490). But by. 1567, an E n g l i s h merchant d e s c r i b e d the C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z a n l o w l a n d s as p e s t i f e r o u s and u n c u l t i v a t e d , r e l i e f coming o n l y w i t h a l t i t u d e . [From La A n t i g u a V e r a c u z ] t h i s hote or s i c k e c o u n t r e y c o n t i n u e t h f i v e and f o r t y m i l e s toward the c i t y o f Mexico; and t h e f i v e and f o r t y m i l e s b e i n g p a s s e d , then t h e r e i s a temperate c o u n t r e y , and f u l l of t i l l a g e (my emphasis) (Henry Hawks i n H a k l u y t 1926 [ 1 5 8 9 ] , 280). U n l i k e C o r t e s ' l a n d s i n Morelos and Oaxaca, a p p a r e n t l y , the h o l d i n g s a t Rinconada never p r o s p e r e d . In c o n f i r m a t i o n , A r i a s Hernandez r e p o r t e d i n 1571 t h a t t h e r e i s no o t h e r p r o f i t nor work i n the c i t y and l a n d [ o f La A n t i g u a V e r a c r u z ] but b u y i n g and s e l l i n g , and thus the negroes' s e r v i c e s a re a l l i n c a r t a g e . . . and l i v e s t o c k . . . [and] t h e r e i s no work i n the c o u n t r y s i d e , o n l y c a r p e n t e r s g e t t i n g wood (1947 [ 1 5 7 1 ] , 192-93). The f i r s t d e t a i l e d account i s from 1580. A l v a r o P a t i n o de A v i l a noted t h a t because of the l a c k o f I n d i a n l a b o u r e r s the l a n d remained l a r g e l y u n c u l t i v a t e d under the S p a n i a r d s , except f o r some v e g e t a b l e gardens i n and i m m e d i a t e l y around the p o r t . • I n s t e a d , v a s t l i v e s t o c k herds p r o v i d e d h i d e s and meat f o r t h e f l e e t s t h a t anchored a t V e r a c r u z . And, c o n s e q u e n t l y , the p o r t ' s i n h a b i t a n t s i m p o r t e d the b u l k o f t h e i r p r o v i s i o n s from the h i g h l a n d s ( M i l l a r e s and Mantecon 1955; Pasquel 1958, 178-208). The c u l t i v a t e d t r e e s of t h i s l a n d , l i k e t he banana and a r b o l e s de c a l o r , a re few i n t h i s d i s t r i c t even though the l a n d i s v e r y s u i t a b l e 65 f o r them. T h i s i s due t o the l a c k o f I n d i a n s , t h a t as mentioned above, have been l o s t ( P a t i H o 1580, 1 0 v - 1 1 r ) . A l t h o u g h i n t h i s c i t y ' s d i s t r i c t t h e r e a r e many r i c h and e x c e l l e n t l a n d s i n which come t o g e t h e r a l l t h o s e t h i n g s r e q u i r e d f o r f e r t i l i t y and the sowing of wheat and growing of v i n e s , as y e t t h i s has not been done because t h e people o f t h i s c i t y ar e o c c u p i e d w i t h o t h e r s p e c u l a t i o n s and do not c a r e f o r c u l t i v a t i o n . They must a l s o f e a r t h a t the goodness o f t h e e a r t h h o l d s f a l s e promise and w i l l not ensure p r o s p e r i t y and ease because o f the d i v e r s i t y of the seasons ( P a t i n o 1580, 11 v - 1 2 r ) . In the t e r r i t o r y o f t h i s c i t y , o f a l l t h e g r a i n s and seeds o f the e a r t h a re ga t h e r e d o n l y beans, a l t h o u g h few, and maize, which i s the main bread and sustenance of the n a t i v e s and of the negro s l a v e s o f t h i s l a n d , moreover b e i n g t h e f o d d e r of the h o r s e s and mules and o t h e r b e a s t s o f burden, of which t h e r e a r e many i n t h i s d i s t r i c t . A l t h o u g h , because the l a n d s sown i n maize a r e r e s t r i c t e d t o m a r g i n a l a r e a s , the crop i s l i t t l e compared t o what one would gather i f one wanted to sow i t f o r p r o f i t , f o r the l a n d i s so e x t r e m e l y accommodating t o i t t h a t o r d i n a r i l y more than one hundred fanegas f o r eve r y one sown are h a r v e s t e d , and t h a t i s the l e a s t , and a t times they a re wont t o r a i s e one hundred and f i f t y fanegas f o r each one sown ( P a t i n o 1580, 11v). R i v e r s , born i n the snowy mountains [104 km] westward, water a l l t h e f l a t l a n d between the s a i d mountains and the s e a . . . . Along t h e i r v e r y f e r t i l e banks a r e f i e l d s and v e r y b e a u t i f u l p a s t u r e s and savannas i n which o r d i n a r i l y a r e herded an i n f i n i t e number of s m a l l and l a r g e l i v e s t o c k . . . . Thus i t i s t h a t . . . i n l i t t l e more than [29 km] a l l around a re o r d i n a r i l y herded more than one hundred and f i f t y thousand head o f l a r g e l i v e s t o c k , between the cows and the mares, not i n c l u d i n g the innumerable s m a l l l i v e s t o c k t h a t descend each year from T a s c a l a [ T l a x c a l a ] , C h o l u l a , and o t h e r a r e a s t o w i n t e r i n t h i s d i s t r i c t . . . . [ T h e r e f o r e , t h i s ] c i t y has meat of i t s own i n g r e a t abundance...[and] s u p p l i e s i t s e l f w i t h bread from Los Angeles [ P u e b l a ] and the v a l l e y s o f A t r i s c o [ A t l i x c o , P u e b l a ] and San P a b l o , f e r t i l e and abundant p l a c e s . [The] many c a r t s and mule t r a i n s t h a t come here t o l o a d goods and d i s p a t c h e s from the f l e e t a r e o b l i g e d 66 to bring provisions to the c i t y , in order to come loaded, leaving the said provisions to take out cargo. And by this means this c i t y i s always well supplied with flour and maize, as i f i t had i t in abundance from i t s own harvest (Patino 1580, 4v-5v). A 1609 account by Fray Alonso de l a Mota y Escobar confirms the continuation of herding and the lack of agriculture in the region during the early c o l o n i a l period. He noted a dozen estancias on a journey through the coastal lowlands and that only eight married Totonac men remained l i v i n g in Zempoala (Mota y Escobar 1987 [1609], 56). His description evokes an image of ecological destruction. [Zempoala's] lands have been converted to c a t t l e ranches..., though they are already devastated and ruined by the thorn woods and grasses which are due to the c a t t l e (1987 [1609], 56). As late as the nineteenth century the livestock economy s t i l l dominated this t h i n l y populated lowland region. In 1850, Zempoala had only two houses (Galindo y V i l l a 1912, CX). Tylor, on his descent from Jalapa to Veracruz, noted the sc a r c i t y of "any habitation but a few Indian cane-huts by the wayside" and the "tens of thousands" of c a t t l e roaming the savannas (1861, 323). Sartorius also noted the c a t t l e and the low population density. Moreover, he elaborates on the environment and the c a t t l e herding ecology involved. In general the savannahs are met with at the elevation of [250 m] to [ 3 0 0 m] above the sea, and extend as high as [800 m]. These d i s t r i c t s form almost invariably a sloping p l a i n , rent by 67 f e a r f u l chasms, stretching from east to west, where mountain-streams foam in their deep beds. The reader must not picture to himself f a i r lovely meadows, but rather dreary wilderness, overgrown with low thorny mimosas, frequently varied with larger groups of trees and small f o r e s t s . . . . In the summer months, from June to October, the t r o p i c a l rains c a l l forth a l i v e l y green, thousands of cows pasture in the r i c h juicy grass, and afford variety to the uniformity of the landscape. With the cessation of the rains, the p r a i r i e s fade, the s o i l dries up, the trees lose their f o l i a g e , the herds seek the forests and chasms, and in the cloudless skies, the sun scorches up the unsheltered plains. In this season the p r a i r i e s are often set on f i r e , partly to destroy the clouds of tormenting ti c k s and tarantulas, partly to c a l l forth a new crop from beneath the ashes.... Neither towns nor v i l l a g e s are found in these extensive d i s t r i c t s , but merely here and there the s o l i t a r y farms of the c a t t l e - p r o p r i e t o r s , or of the herdsmen (1961 [1858], 9-10). Despite the limited presence of c a t t l e herders throughout the co l o n i a l and early republican periods, these lowlands were a zone of t r a n s i t and remained sparsely populated and scarcely c u l t i v a t e d . Generally t r a v e l l e r s remarked at the t r o p i c a l luxuriance of the wetlands but did not linger long, r e j o i c i n g when they reached the oak and pine forests of the temperate slopes around Jalapa (Siemens 1990b). Only with the eradication of yellow fever and the amelioration of malaria early in the twentieth century did agriculture again become a s i g n i f i c a n t part of t h i s lowland landscape. P a r t i c u l a r l y after the 1910 revolution, agrarian s e t t l e r s from the highlands began to occupy the Central Veracruzan lowlands (Gonzales-Jacome n.d.). I n i t i a l l y , famers kept to the wetland margins and limited 68 a l l u v i a l p l a i n s. But l a t e r , with the advent of pump-fed i r r i g a t i o n , the i n t e r f l u v i a l uplands also came under c u l t i v a t i o n . However, the linear stone concentrations seem unconnected with the ruler-perfect f i e l d d i v i s i o n s of modern a g r i c u l t u r a l . In figures 8, top, 15, 17 and 18, modern roads cut across the lin e a r concentrations of stones. In figures 8, bottom, and 14, modern i r r i g a t i o n canals cut across the upland f i e l d pattern. Some alignment i s evident because both ancient and modern f i e l d s are oriented to slope d i r e c t i o n in order to control water flow. In any case, the countryside was already "intersected with p a r a l l e l l i n e s of stones" (Finck 1870, 373) and "formed into terraces with the assistance of masonry" (Sartorius 1961 [ 1858], 10) by the mid-nineteenth century. Even at that time their o r i g i n was uncertain. Furthermore, nothing in the ecology of c a t t l e herding suggests features of this kind, nor was the labour force necessary for such construction available during the co l o n i a l and early republican periods. Therefore, the upland f i e l d s are Precolumbian. Direct Evidence for a Chronology and Cultivars The ethnohistorical data c e r t a i n l y indicate that the upland f i e l d s have a Precolumbian o r i g i n . In addition, several 1 m high earth mounds occur near the La Gloria f i e l d s , suggesting a substantial Precolumbian presence 69 there ( f i g u r e 9 ) . However, whether the f i e l d s and mounds were contemporaneous i s a s u b j e c t f o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n . S i m i l a r l y , whether the f i e l d s are P o s t c l a s s i c , C l a s s i c , or P r e c l a s s i c remains an open q u e s t i o n . P r e l i m i n a r y excavations i n the upland f i e l d s s i m i l a r to those i n the wetlands have y i e l d e d n e i t h e r maize p o l l e n , maize p h y t o l i t h s , nor c u l t u r a l a r t i f a c t s . S o i l samples from two p r e l i m i n a r y upland s i t e s e x h i b i t only grass p h y t o l i t h s (Siemens, Navarrete, and S l u y t e r 1989 ; Piperno-Siemens, p e r s . comm. 2 5 / 9 / 1 9 8 9 ) . Grasses of the C h l o r i d o i d t r i b e h e a v i l y dominate, with F e s t u c o i d grasses a l s o present i n s i g n i f i c a n t amounts. The l a c k of P a n i c o i d grasses, which u s u a l l y dominate over C h l o r i d o i d i n undisturbed t r o p i c a l c o n t e x t s , i n d i c a t e s to Piperno t h a t these two p h y t o l i t h assemblages r e p r e s e n t Postcolumbian p a s t u r e s . She b e l i e v e s that c o l o n i a l and modern burning i n a i d o f pasture and the i n t r o d u c t i o n of non-native grasses might have obscured any p h y t o l i t h i c remains of Precolumbian land use. Other d i f f i c u l t i e s i n d a t i n g and i d e n t i f y i n g c u l t i v a r s i n the upland f i e l d s a l s o e x i s t . Ceramic and l i t h i c a r t i f a c t s which can date paleophytes through a s s o c i a t i o n are uncommon i n a g r i c u l t u r a l f i e l d s . Moreover, p r e s e r v a t i o n of both p h y t o l i t h s and p o l l e n s seems g e n e r a l l y to be poor i n t e r r a c e d s o i l s (Pohl and Miksicek 1985 , 1 1 ) . P o l l e n s , i n p a r t i c u l a r , w i l l not withstand the repeated wetting and d r y i n g of the upland s o i l s ( P e a r s a l l 1989, 70 253-54). Phytoliths, being non-organic, are often more durable than pollens, but the former are diagnostic of only some c u l t i v a r s . Maize forms diagnostic phytoliths, but cotton, maguey, s i s a l , and henequen do not (Piperno 1988, 45-7 and tables 2.1-2.4; Pearsall 1989, 340-41). In addition, even i f the upland f i e l d s were to y i e l d phytoliths and ceramics, the v e r t i s o l i c churning prevalent over much of the area would complicate dating. The stratigraphy would be disturbed, and associations between phytoliths and datable a r t i f a c t s would be insecure. However, the dire c t dating of phytoliths through thermoluminescence i s an emerging p o s s i b i l i t y (Piperno-Siemens, pers. comm. 25/9/1989). Presumably, relevant pollens might occur in the sediments of the wetland immediately downslope from the La Gloria complex, where the anaerobic environment would have promoted preservation (Pearsall 1988, 255-56). However, while wind and water could have carried anemophilous maize pollen into the wetlands, entomophilous cotton pollen and largely entomophilous agave pollen t y p i c a l l y deposit in  s i t u and indicate l o c a l c u l t i v a t i o n (Purseglove 1972, 20; Wiseman 1983, 107-8 and 114-17). Moreover, any connection between upland maize c u l t i v a t i o n and maize pollen from the La Gloria wetland f i e l d s would be tenuous because excavation has already confirmed in_ s i t u maize c u l t i v a t i o n in Veracruzan wetlands (Siemens et a l . 1988). Only datable paleophytes from the upland f i e l d s themselves can 71 u n e q u i v o c a l l y i n d i c a t e t h e i r Precolumbian c u l t i v a t i o n . Of course, wetland sediment cores w i l l s t i l l be immensely v a l u a b l e f o r a d i a c h r o n i c understanding of the p a l e o c l i m a t i c and environmental context and changes i n upland and wetland c u l t i v a t i o n (Butzer 1982, 171-90; O l d f i e l d , Worsley, and Baron 1985; Hughes 1985). Given the upland context and l i s t of probable c u l t i v a r s , success i n f u t u r e excavations demands c o n s i d e r a t i o n of b i o t i c , edaphic, and c u l t u r a l f a c t o r s . S e v e r a l p o i n t s are a l r e a d y c l e a r . F i r s t , maize's d i a g n o s t i c p h y t o l i t h s remain the best chance f o r r e c o v e r i n g i n s i t u evidence of a c u l t i v a r . Secondly, maize's h y p o t h e t i c a l d i s t r i b u t i o n w i t h i n the f i e l d s r a t h e r than along the l i n e a r stone c o n c e n t r a t i o n s suggests an emphasis f o r new excavations i n m i d f i e l d l o c a t i o n s . Nonetheless, c o l l u v i a t i o n might have concentrated p h y t o l i t h s along the hypothesized bordos; t h e r e f o r e , new excavations cannot t o t a l l y n e g l e c t those areas. T h i r d l y , the r e n d z i n a s o i l s which dominate the western, upland f i e l d area around Rinconada are the most promising f o r excavation because of the churning c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the v e r t i s o l s which dominate elsewhere ( f i g u r e 4). F o u r t h l y , the s l a b - t y p e Gasoducto f e a t u r e s , which are e a s i e r to l o c a t e at ground l e v e l than the l i n e a r c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of f i e l d stones, probably only occur west of Tamarindo. Only that part of the upland f i e l d area has limestone s l a b s , igneous f i e l d stones o c c u r r i n g elsewhere. And f i f t h l y , Postcolumbian 72 land use n e c e s s i t a t e s excavation i n areas of l e a s t d i s t u r b a n c e . Deep ploughing and stone c l e a r a n c e , i n p a r t i c u l a r , must have d i s t u r b e d Precolumbian remains. C a d a s t r a l maps, land tenure r e c o r d s , and ethnographic enquiry might i d e n t i f y the most promising areas. 73 ETHNOHISTORICAL EVIDENCE Recent f i e l d w o r k has prompted a r e e v a l u a t i o n of t h i s r e g i o n . V e s t i g e s of upland and wetland f i e l d s i n d i c a t e t h a t Precolumbian farmers d i d s u c c e s s f u l l y cope with t h e i r seemingly uncongenial environment and that i n t e n s i v e a g r i c u l t u r e was widespread. In h i n d s i g h t , e t h n o h i s t o r i c a l data a l s o c o nfirm such a view and r e q u i r e systematic r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Unquestionably, indigenous h i s t o r i o g r a p h y p o r t r a y s these lowlands as a g r i c u l t u r a l l y p r o d u c t i v e d u r i n g the Late P o s t c l a s s i c . Before d e s t r o y i n g the n a t i v e books, two of the e a r l y c o l o n i a l p r i e s t - e t h n o g r a p h e r s recorded accounts of a famine i n the V a l l e y of Mexico from 1454 to 1457 which f o r c e d the Aztecs to s e l l t h e i r c h i l d r e n to the Totonacs i n r e t u r n f o r maize (Duran 1867-80 [ c a . 1 5 8 0 ] , C a p i t u l o XXX; Torquemada 1975 [ 1 6 1 5 ] , L i b r o I I , C a p i t u l o XLVII). Within the next decade, the armies of Motecozuma I had subjugated Totonacapan and brought i t w i t h i n the Aztec t r i b u t e domain ( K e l l y and Palerm 1952, 2 2 ) . For the temperate V a l l e y of Mexico, these t r o p i c a l lowlands were an important source of c o t t o n , cacao, amber, rubber, and q u e t z a l plumage. In f i g u r e s 26 and 2 7 , two pages from the Codex Mendoza, an Aztec t r i b u t e l i s t , i l l u s t r a t e the produce of two c o a s t a l p r o v i n c e s . Quauhtochco s t r e t c h e d from the coast to the S i e r r a Madre O r i e n t a l , i t s northern boundary the S i e r r a de Chiconquiaco, Ik g u r e 2 6 . T h e C o d e x M e n d o z a : t r i b u t e l i s t f o r Q u a u h t o c h c o p r o v i n c e . F e a t h e r s i n d i c a t e 4 0 0 a n d f l a g s 2 0 . M a n t l e s a r e a t 8 , c a c a o a t 9 , a n d c o t t o n a t 1 0 - 1 3 . T h e S p a n i s h g l o s s e s a r e n o t r e p r o d u c e d ( K i n g s b o r o u g h 1831 , V o l . I , p l a t e 5 0 ) . 75 g u r e 2 7 . T h e C o d e x M e n d o z a : t r i b u t e 1 i s t f o r C u e t l a x t l a n p r o v i n c e . F e a t h e r s i n d i c a t e 4 0 0 a n d f l a g s 2 0 . M a n t l e s a r e a t 7 - 1 6 , c a c a o a t 2 2 , a n d v a r i o u s o t h e r i t e m s s u c h a s a m b e r a n d f e a t h e r s a t 1 7 - 2 1 a n d 2 3 - 2 6 . The S p a n i s h g l o s s e s a r e n o t r e p r o d u c e d . ( K i n g s b o r o u g h 1831 , V o l . I , p l a t e 5 1 ) . 76 i t s southern boundary extending southwestward from the mouth of the Rio La Antigua. The other province, Cuetlaxtlan, lay immediately to the south, i t s southern boundary just beyond the Cotaxtla River. Unfortunately, only some of the s p e c i f i c places the glyphs represent are i d e n t i f i a b l e , and these were probably a l l Aztec garrison towns in the western parts of the provinces, the two pr i n c i p a l ones being Quauhtochco [Huatusco] and Cuetlaxtlan [Cotaxtla] (Barlow 1949, 1-7, 89-92, and map i n s e r t ) . Knowing the area of cultivated land the tribu t e cotton and cacao represent would give some indication of the Late Postclassic population and i t s a g r i c u l t u r a l ecology. However, interpretation of the Codex Mendoza i s too uncertain for accurate calculations of tribu t e quantities. Also, the need for analogy to convert tri b u t e to area also introduces error. Yet a rough idea of the area in tribu t e crops i s possible and useful. Even the amounts and frequency of payment for each commodity are unclear. In the Codex Mendoza, flags s i g n i f y 20 and feathers 400. Therefore, the glyphs indicate 1,600 bales of cotton, 220 loads of cacao, and 3,760 loads of cotton mantles. However, although t r i b u t a r i e s paid cotton and cacao once yearly, they paid mantles twice yearly, yi e l d i n g a t o t a l of 7,520 loads of mantles annually (Kingsborough 1831-48, v o l . V: 120-21; Long 1942, 41-3; Barlow 1943, 152-55). A sixteenth century Spanish writer confirms these figures by glossing the glyphs, writing, for 77 example, "400 cargas de mantas" beside the feather-over-mantle glyphs. Since the Codex Mendoza i s an early c o l o n i a l copy or compilation of an Aztec tribute l i s t or set of l i s t s , i t s provenance indicates the probable veracity of i t s glyphs and glosses. Despite this l o g i c , however, Borah and Cook (1963, 41) argue for an interpretation which assumes the sixteenth century Spanish glosses are mistaken and count loads of mantles where single mantles are intended. However, Borah and Cook do not acknowledge that the Aztecs regularly counted certain commodities in l o t s , mantles always being in l o t s of 20 (Oroxco y Berra 1960, 450-51). Therefore, a mantle glyph surmounted by a feather s i g n i f i e d 400 loads of 20 mantles each, or 8,000 mantles. The scribe who added the glosses to the Codex Mendoza would have been atuned to this convention and simply glossed "400 cargas de mantas" for the elucidation of his Spanish masters, the 20 mantles per carga being standard and assumed. Nevertheless, Borah and Cook count 33,120 mantles of standard length (1963, 41 and table 1). These 33,120 mantles divided by 20 mantles per load equals 1,656 loads, only 22% of the 7,520 loads the glosses indicate. By ignoring the vigesimal base of Aztec mathematics, Borah and Cook might have made a seriously low estimate of Aztec t r i b u t e . 4 The terms fardos and cargas, bales and loads, are also somewhat equivocal but do generally indicate the absolute 78 quantity of each commodity. In New Spain the carga was both a measure of number and of weight which varied with commodity, region, and t e r r a i n . A carga equaled 20 cotton mantles or 24,000 cacao beans (Borah and Cook 1958, 10-12). It also designated the weight that cargadores carried on their backs for days over the rough co l o n i a l roads. It varied from 182 kg to 23 kg, the l a t t e r being the legal maximum porters carried after 1531 (Simpson 1940, 67-68; Carrera Stampa 1949, 11-16; Borah and Cook 1958, 10-11; Zavala 1984, 121-71). Despite l e g i s l a t i o n , however, the carga remained as high as 90 kg, but more t y p i c a l l y i t ranged, and s t i l l ranges, from 40-50 kg (Simpson 1940, 16n and 69; Roys 1943, 104; Diaz 1956 [1632], 6ln; Sartorius 1961 [1858],'80; West and Augelli 1966, 250; Hammond 1978, 23). Considering both that the early c o l o n i a l cargadores were previously Aztec porters and that many facets of the Precolumbian tribute economy became integrated into c o l o n i a l l i f e (Miranda 1952, 35-6), the Aztec tamemes l i k e l y carried similar weights, and a single load was probably the standard measure of trade and trib u t e represented in the Codex Mendoza. Therefore, assuming 40-50 kg per bale—which also accords well with the 100 lb paca, the standard c o l o n i a l measure for cotton (Carrera Stampa 1949, 16)—the unwoven cotton alone would have amounted to 64,000-80,000 kg annually. The woven cotton would have amounted to 300,800-376,000 kg . annually, assuming 20 mantles at 2-2.5 79 kg each made up a 40-50 kg carga. And the cacao would have amounted to 8,800-11,000 kg annually, assuming 24,000 beans at 1.7-2.1 g each made up a 40-50 kg carga ( c f . Purseglove 1968, 380: large beans weigh 1.82 g). The cultivated area this tribute represents i s also uncertain. Yields for cotton and cacao vary enormously with l o c a l environmental conditions and technological inputs. As modern farmers in Central Veracruz c u l t i v a t e neither crop commercially, analogues are tenuous. Regarding cotton, nearly a l l c u l t i v a t i o n today i s of annuals under highly mechanized, i r r i g a t e d production; those of Precolumbian America were perennials, and presumably less productive due to greater annual pest carry-over (Purseglove 1968, 344; Hearn and Constable 1984, 496). Modern rain-fed cotton annually produces 112-225 kg/ha of l i n t in India and A f r i c a , 472 kg/ha near Tampico, Mexico; and, under i r r i g a t i o n , yields increase to 2,700 kg/ha (Harness and Barber 1964; Purseglove 1968, 357; Berger 1969, 97). Yields in the early twentieth century, however, were generally lower: 100 kg/ha in India, 270 kg/ha in the United States of America, 550 kg/ha under i r r i g a t i o n in Egypt, and 300 kg/ha under i r r i g a t i o n in Peru (Purseglove 1968, 357; Munro 1987, 147). Using a probable y i e l d of 100-200 kg/ha, then, the trib u t e cotton would have required some 1,800-4,600 ha of non-irrigated land. Regarding cacao, surviving t r a d i t i o n a l c u l t i v a t i o n in Africa and Trinidad yields approximately 225 kg/ha of beans 80 (Purseglove 1968, 591). Therefore, the tri b u t e cacao would have required some 40-50 ha of cultivated land. The t o t a l land in tribute crops, therefore, would have been some 1 ,900-4,600 ha.5 The e a r l i e s t Spanish chroniclers somewhat confirm t h i s indigenous indication of Late Postclassic productivity, at least around Zempoala. Soon after the beginning of the year 1-reed, f i v e hundred Spaniards coasted northward from Yucatlan and landed at Tlayacac, now the port of Veracruz (Diaz 1956 and 1984 [1632]; Cortes 1962 and 1963 [1519]; Leon-Portilla 1962). The Spaniards arrived in A p r i l , at the height of the dry season, and did not leave u n t i l August, well into the rainy season. In July, Cortes described the land as "being of very beautiful plains and r i v e r banks,...as pleasant to look at as i t i s f r u i t f u l in the crops they sow here,...and good to graze a l l kinds of live s t o c k " (Cortes 1963 [1519], 22). Since no livestock other than Spanish horses could have been present at that time, Cortes was at least p a r t i a l l y i n f e r r i n g , and possibly exaggerating, the country's f e r t i l i t y to gain Charles V s support for his adventure. Bernal Diaz, a soldier with lesser ambitions, i s generally more r e l i a b l e and informative. Yet he lar g e l y confirms Cortes' description of prosperity, at least around Zempoala. As we entered among the houses [of Zempoala] we saw so great a town, and we had seen no larger, that we admired i t greatly. And i t was so luxuriant and l i k e a garden, and so populated with men and women, and the streets so f u l l with 81 those who had come to see us, that we thanked God for having discovered such a country...[,and] we named i t City of Abundance (Diaz 1984 [1632], 181). Half a century l a t e r , Alvaro Patino de Avila confirmed in more d e t a i l Central Veracruz's prosperity and dense population during the Late Postclassic. According to the oldest residents of this land, when the Spaniards came there were many places and large Indian populations within [25 km] a l l around this c i t y [of Veracruz La Antigua]. These have become much diminished, many becoming completely depopulated, leaving no trace except the memory of their name.... Cenpoala ,...a c i t y of twenty thousand vecinos, now barely has t h i r t y houses. And the town that we c a l l Rinconada, which the Indians c a l l Illapa [or Hizcalpan ]... , was a p r i n c i p a l place of more than ten thousand indios, and now i t has not f i f t y houses. And s i m i l a r l y . . . there are many other towns which now have but twelve or f i f t e e n houses: l i k e Xamloluco [?], less than [4 km] west; and Espiche [Plan de Espiche], [21 km] southeast; and Cotastla [Cotaxtla].... In this notable way the Indians of this d i s t r i c t have become bankrupt and scarce since the Spaniards mastered the land, and each day the towns continue to disappear...(Patino 1580 , 5v-6r). Arias Hernandez, corroborates this demographic collapse. His informants attributed 30,000 indios to Precolumbian Zempoala, declining to 20 by his day (Hernandez 1947 [1571], 193 and 201). If these authors are r e f e r r i n g to adult males only, as the terms indio and vecino suggest, a correction factor of 3 . 3 indicates a possible decline from 99-66,000 people to only 99-66 for Zempoala, and from 33,000 to only 165 for Rinconada (Kelly and Palerm 1952, table 14; Cook and Borah 1960, 38). 82 Taken together, then, these indigenous and Spanish accounts portray a densely populated, f e r t i l e region centred on Zempoala by the Late Postclassic. Besides the 1,900-4,600 ha in trib u t e crops, much additional land must have provided subsistence crops, notably maize, as well as cotton and cacao for trade and l o c a l consumption. But the sources are s i l e n t regarding the basis of a g r i c u l t u r a l production and the detailed nature of the settlement pattern during the Postclassic. They are completely absent for the Classic and Preclassic. However, the productivity to sustain a dense Postclassic population l i k e l y was not so l e l y based on a limited area under permanent i r r i g a t i o n at Zempoala--as Sanders, Palerm, and Wolf suggest. For the Postclassic Valley of Mexico, Sanders calculates that based on an 80% maize d i e t , average annual per capita consumption would have been 160 kg of maize (1976, 109). Therefore, a population of 66,000 at Zempoala, as Patino reports, would annually have consumed 10,560,000 kg of maize. Sanders also calculates that permanent i r r i g a t i o n on a l l u v i a l plains yields 1,400 kg/ha of maize (1976a, 108-9; Sanders, Parsons, and Santley 1979, 372-76 and table 9-1). Therefore, assuming two annual harvests and no need to fallow, and assuming that pest and bligh t losses in the lowlands would have equaled f r o s t , pest, and blight losses in the highlands, Zempoala's i r r i g a t e d lands must have amounted to some 3,800 ha. According to Hernandez, 83 however, Zempoala's population might have been as high as 99,000. Moreover, fallowing would have been necessary, and 160 kg of maize per annum (440 g per diem) seems p o s i t i v e l y miserly. In f a c t , i f i r r i g a t i o n was the basis of Zempoalan agriculture, as much as 5,000 ha might have been necessary for subsistence crops in addition to the at least 1,900 ha in t r i b u t e crops. Absolutely no evidence exists for such large areas under canal i r r i g a t i o n there or elsewhere in Central Veracruz. Paso y Troncoso did some i n i t i a l archaeological work at Zempoala in 1891 (Galindo y V i l l a 1912), and subsequently others have also worked there, but study and reconstrucion of the pyramids has taken p r i o r i t y over study of the a g r i c u l t u r a l i n f r a s t r u c t u r e . Certainly, modern i r r i g a t i o n works and sugar cane f i e l d s have obscured any remains of Precolumbian canals and make investigation d i f f i c u l t . But nonetheless, Garcia Pay6n determined that [Zempoala] had an elaborate canal i r r i g a t i o n system and extensive aqueducts, branching out through subterranean masonry passages and d i s t r i b u t i n g water for d a i l y use in the temple compound and p r i n c i p a l houses of the town.... [These] aqueducts emptied into house- or enclosure-cisterns and from them, through another passageway, to other c i s t e r n s , u n t i l they f i n a l l y discharged into an i r r i g a t i o n canal (1971, 537-38). In f a c t , given the small size of the desague del muro which Paso y Troncoso uncovered (Galindo y V i l l a 1912, plate 19), the system primarily may have supplied limited quantities of water for domestic use. D o o l i t t l e , in considering 84 Zempoala, concludes that " i t can be surmised that ancient i r r i g a t i o n canals, i f they existed, might not have been a l l that 'elaborate' and would have watered only a_ few  hectares" (my emphasis) (1990, 114). To date, then, the function, extent, and r e l a t i o n to agriculture of the hydraulic system at Zempoala s t i l l remains uncertain and in need of systematic inves t i g a t i o n . For that matter, the importance and prosperity of the s i t e near the north bank of the Rio Actopan could have had as much to do with f i s h as with s u i t a b i l i t y for permanent i r r i g a t i o n . Patino reports vast spawning runs on the Actopan and other nearby r i v e r s as well as a source of s a l t to preserve them (1580, 4v-5r, 9 r - 1 0 r , and 1 3 r - 1 3 v ) . The Totonac probably exploited such an obvious resource, and evidence of that a c t i v i t y might remain. Without a systematic and comprehensive research e f f o r t , however, such theories about f i s h and i r r i g a t i o n remain speculative. In any case, farmers during the Postclassic probably coped with the severe dry season by employing technologies other than canal i r r i g a t i o n . Upland and wetland f i e l d s might both have provided subsistence and other crops. Both have a wider potential d i s t r i b u t i o n than the hypothetical Zempoalan i r r i g a t i o n . Both, in f a c t , already have a wider apparent d i s t r i b u t i o n . The wetland f i e l d s c e r t a i n l y date from the Late Preclassic, much e a r l i e r than canal i r r i g a t i o n at Zempoala. The upland f i e l d s might well also date from the Prec l a s s i c . Unquestionably, then, the 85 assumption that dense Precolumbian population in Central Veracruz was limited to an area of permanent i r r i g a t i o n agriculture at Zempoala i s mistaken. Ultimately, the u t i l i t y of the ethnohistorical data regarding Precolumbian society in Central Veracruz i s l i m i t e d . The Spanish clergy destroyed most of the indigenous books. The surviving codices extend back only to 1200, and the bulk of them deal with the immediate precolonial period (Davies 182, 178). Cortes, Dfaz, and co l o n i a l o f f i c i a l s were more concerned with conquest and economic exploitation than with ethnography. And the sudden, v i r t u a l l y complete lowland depopulation during the f i r s t decades of the c o l o n i a l period caused a sharp cleavage in oral history. Any further understanding of Precolumbian society in Central Veracruz largely depends on continuing work in the f i e l d . 86 CENTRAL VERACRUZ AND THE GENESIS OF MESOAMERICAN URBAN SOCIETY AT TEOTIHUACAN Given the new evidence, from the f i e l d and the reconsideration of ethnohistorical data, a new conception of the relationship between people and land in Central Veracruz i s warranted. Low a g r i c u l t u r a l productivity did not constrain this region; i t supported a dense population which produced an a g r i c u l t u r a l surplus not e n t i r e l y based on the rather late development of an i r r i g a t i o n system at Zempoala. Conceiving of Central Veracruzan "autochthonous self-generated p o l i t i c a l development" (Palerm and Wolf 1957, 15-16) i s now possible, just as i t was for the Maya upon the demise of the swidden thesis. Moreover, such a region might even have stimulated s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l changes in other parts of Mesoamerica. A reconsideration of various data suggests that during the Late Preclassic, Central Veracruz's inhabitants might have played a role in the dramatic t r a n s i t i o n to h i e r a r c h i c a l urban society at Teotihuacan. The P r i s t i n e Mesoamerican State Teotihuacan was the f i r s t highly s t r a t i f i e d urban society in Mesoamerica, a so-called " p r i s t i n e state" (Fried 1967, 111; Harris 1977, 67-95). This monumental Classic centre in the Valley of Mexico dominated Mesoamerica for half a millennium, spreading i t s s o c i a l , a r t i s t i c , and re l i g i o u s influence as far as the Maya realm. A c i t y of 8 7 150,000-200,000 at i t s peak, i t covered 20 km centred on a pyramid as large as that of Cheops in Egypt. The reasons for Teotihuacan's emergence and sudden collapse remain enigmatic (Davies 1982, 63-113). Some Mesoamericanists use a m a t e r i a l i s t i c , e v o l u t i o n i s t i c , and f u n c t i o n a l i s t i c paradigm, "explaining" the genesis of Teotihuacan in terms of technological adaptation to environment driven by population pressure. Epitomizing this paradigm, Sanders and Price hypothesize that given the valley's semi-arid climate, a number of springs i n i t i a l l y determined Teotihuacan's location (1968, 145-50 and 175-87). Then, as i r r i g a t i o n technology developed and population increased, a managerial e l i t e emerged to regulate water d i s t r i b u t i o n and canal maintenance. The r e s u l t was Mesoamerica*s f i r s t urban, highly s t r a t i f i e d , "hydraulic" society and state. Its despotic r u l e r - p r i e s t s g l o r i f i e d themselves and maintained control through monumental architecture and ceremonies to worship f e r t i l i t y and water gods. This theory continues to find an audience (Sanders, Parsons, and Santley 1979, 359-403; Sanders and Santley 1983, 257-68). The hydraulic society thesis i s not only deterministic, i t argues a_ p r i o r i from a theory from another context (Wittfogel 1957). Unlike Mesopotamia and the Ganges Valley, however, no dir e c t evidence for large-scale, permanent i r r i g a t i o n exists at Teotihuacan (Turner 1983b, 18; Nichols 1988; D o o l i t t l e 1990, 48-52, 88 6 3 - 7 , and 1 4 3 - 5 4 ) . M i l l o n , t h e r e f o r e , proposes an. a l t e r n a t i v e hypothesis that r e s p e c t s the data and c o n s i d e r s that metaphysical f a c t o r s can be e q u a l l y as important as p h y s i c a l f a c t o r s ( 1 9 7 6 and 1 9 8 1 ) . D i r e c t l y beneath the centre of the major pyramid i s a n a t u r a l cave which c o n t a i n s pre-Teotihuacan ceramics and evidence of r i t u a l a c t i v i t y (Heyden 1975 and 1 9 8 1 ) . The s i t e , t h e r e f o r e , might have been a r e l i g i o u s mecca before the growth of the c i t y and c o n s t r u c t i o n of the pyramids. I t s s i t i n g , expansion, and subsequent i n f l u e n c e could have had an i d e o l o g i c a l r a t h e r than a m a t e r i a l b a s i s , the r e s u l t of human b e l i e f and agency r a t h e r than s t r u c t u r a l and environmental d e t e r m i n a t i o n . Such an approach admits h i s t o r i c a l process and human beings' a c t i v e s t r u c t u r a t i o n of s o c i e t y . And such an approach allows the p o s s i b i l i t y of an h i s t o r i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n which t a u t o l o g i c a l prime movers such as "p o p u l a t i o n p r e s s u r e " and " c u l t u r a l a d a p t a t i o n " never w i l l (Giddens 1 9 8 4 ; Hodder 1 9 8 6 ; Shanks and T i l l e y 1 9 8 7 ) . P o p u l a t i o n p r e s s u r e , f o r example, i s not an independent v a r i a b l e ; at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y , b i r t h r a t e s r e f l e c t c u l t u r a l a t t i t u d e s toward f a m i l y s i z e and a b o r t i o n . C u l t u r a l a t t i t u d e s are not an independent v a r i a b l e e i t h e r , but they do have an h i s t o r i c a l i n e r t i a . P o p u l a t i o n p ressure and c u l t u r a l a t t i t u d e s toward f a m i l y s i z e are r e c i p r o c a l l y r e l a t e d i n a h i s t o r i c a l p r o c e s s . T h e r e f o r e , an understanding of the metaphysical as w e l l as the p h y s i c a l 8 9 factors involved during the i n i t i a l s t i r r i n g s of a r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t society at Teotihuacan is central to interpreting the process of urbanization and so c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n . Teotihuacan And Lowland Central Veracruz Some iconographic, ceramic, and ethnohistorical data suggest a connection between the Preclassic people of the Central Veracruzan lowlands and the genesis of highland Teotihuacan. Lowland c u l t u r a l attitudes might have influenced the nature of the society that emerged at that highland metropolis. Thus f a r , the upland f i e l d s lack di r e c t evidence for a chronology, and whether they date from early enough to have supported people who played a part in Teotihuacan's genesis i s unknown. However, the results from wetland excavations indicate intensive maize c u l t i v a t i o n in Central Veracruz at the time of Teotihuacan's emergence (figure 2) (Siemens et al 1988). The excavation data are from only two si t e s and therefore are tentative. However, a i r photo interpretation corroborates this chronology and widens i t s scope to include the majority of the Veracruzan wetland f i e l d s . Moreover, these data suggest a close relationship between Central Veracruz and Teotihuacan. Individual, contiguous wetland f i e l d complexes exhibit a strong trend in their r e c t i l i n e a r orientations (Siemens 1983b). When graphed, a pronounced clustering i s evident around 15 degrees 28 90 minutes east of north, the same orientation as the avenue that forms Teotihuacan's major axis (figures 28 and 2 9 ) . Two broad explanations exist for Teotihuacan's orientation. One explanation emphasizes that a sighting along the main avenue points at the summit of Cerro Gordo, the area's major peak and the source of several streams (Winning 1 9 7 6 , 150). A c r o s s - s p i r a l petroglyph near the summit gives Cerro Gordo added significance and corroborates this topographical hypothesis (Aveni 1980, 226). The other explanation emphasizes that the avenue's orientation marked the horizon position of the Pleiades star group during i t s f i r s t annual predawn appearance on May 18, also the date of the f i r s t of the two annual solar zenithal passages at Teotihuacan•s l a t i t u d e (Aveni 1980, 225). This i s also Central Veracruz's l a t i t u d e , and in both areas this date marks the beginning of the summer rainy season, undoubtedly holding great s i g n i f i c a n c e . The topographical hypothesis, ti e d to Cerro Gordo, suggests that the o r i g i n of "Teotihuacan north" l i e s within the Teotihuacan Valley. The astronomical hypothesis allows that this Mesoamerican "sacred d i r e c t i o n " might have originated elsewhere, a l b e i t somewhere with a similar l a t i t u d e . Perhaps the two hypotheses compliment each other. Regardless, together with the data from the excavations, this concordant orientation begins to define an i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two areas. They shared a 91 F i g u r e 2 8 . G r a p h o f C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z a n w e t l a n d f i e l d o r i e n t a t i o n s ( r e p r o d u c e d by t h e p e r m i s s i o n o f t h e S o c i e t y f o r A m e r i c a n A r c h a e o l o g y f r o m S i e m e n s 1 9 8 3 b , f i g . 8 ) . 92 _ sLUVTER F i g u r e 2 9 - T h e o r i e n t a t i o n o f T e o t i h u a c a n 1 s m a j o r a v e n u e t o 15 d e g r e e s 2 8 m i n u t e s a z i m u t h ( a f t e r G a m i o 1 9 1 2 , V o l . 1 , p l a t e 1 2 ) . 93 time and a way of m a t e r i a l i z i n g time i n space which e n t a i l e d sacred c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , f o r s i m p l e r , more f u n c t i o n a l ways e x i s t of t r a c k i n g the s o l a r t r a n s i t . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , the La G l o r i a upland f i e l d system e x h i b i t s a s i m i l a r o r i e n t a t i o n ( f i g u r e 9 ) ; however, the other mapped i n s t a n c e s of upland p a t t e r n i n g do not. The o r g a n i z i n g impetus f o r the upland f i e l d s was topography, and i t could not accommodate c o s m o l o g i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s as e a s i l y as could a r c h i t e c t u r e and wetlands. The "Teotihuacan n o r t h " o r i e n t a t i o n became c l o s e l y m i r r o r e d i n many other C l a s s i c monumental s i t e s as the centre's i n f l u e n c e spread as f a r as the Maya realm (Aveni 1980, Appendix A). But the d i r e c t i o n of i n f l u e n c e v i s a_ v i s C e n t r a l Veracruz might be r e v e r s e d , at l e a s t i n i t i a l l y . According to Fray Juan de Torquemada, a s i x t e e n t h century c l e r i c with an e t h n o g r a p h i c a l bent, the Totonac claimed the honour of b u i l d i n g Teotihuacan. In 1600 he recorded a Totonac o r i g i n myth. Of the o r i g i n i s s a i d t h at they came out of the p l a c e c a l l e d Chicomoztoc or Seven Caves.... It i s s a i d t h at they l e f t t h a t p l a c e , l e a v i n g the Chichimecs i n t e r e d , and came to Mexico. A r r i v i n g at the p l a i n s by the l a k e they stopped at the spot where now stands Teotihuacan, and there they c l a i m to have b u i l t those Pyramids of the Sun and Moon that are of so great a h e i g h t . They stayed there a w h i l e , and a f t e r . . . t h e y went to Z a c a t l a n , and from there they went four leagues lower, among very rugged mountains. And there they f i r s t began to p r o l i f e r a t e , and they expanded throughout a l l t h a t mountainous region...and to 94 the p l a i n s o f Zempoala, p o p u l a t i n g a l l t h a t c o u n t r y w i t h many peopl e ( 1 9 7 5 [ 1 6 1 5 ] , L i b r o I I I , C a p i t u l o X V I I I ) . A l t h o u g h s u g g e s t i v e , t h i s o r a l h i s t o r y would have been 1600 y e a r s o l d by Torquemada's time and i s c e r t a i n l y much d i s t o r t e d i n i t s p a r t i c u l a r s . Yet t h e myth does r a i s e t h e p o s s i b i l i t y of C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z a n i n v o l v e m e n t i n T e o t i h u a c a n ' s f o u n d i n g . In c o r r o b o r a t i o n , p r o t o - T e o t i h u a c a n ceramic s t y l e s commonly occur i n V e r a c r u z a n P r e c l a s s i c s i t e s ( C o v a r r u b i a s 1 9 5 7 , 168; G a r c i a Payon 1 9 7 1 , 525-26). M e d e l l f n Z e n i l c i t e s examples from Remojadas: a r t i c u l a t e d f i g u r i n e s w i t h c o f f e e bean eyes, T e o t i h u a c a n o i d bowl p r o f i l e s , " n e g a t i v e " d e c o r a t i o n , and b a s a l f l a n g e s ( 1 9 5 3 , 104). As w e l l , sea s h e l l s and t h e i r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s are abundant at T e o t i h a u c a n ( K o l b 1 9 8 7 , 1 9 ) . Perhaps most d r a m a t i c a l l y , two t h i n b a s a l t d i s k s found i n t h a t p r i m o r d i a l cave beneath t h e Pyramid o f the Sun a t T e o t i h u a c a n d i s p l a y a " G u l f Coast s t y l i s t i c i n f l u e n c e " (Heyden 1 9 7 5 , 1 3 1 ) . The C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z a n a r c h a e o l o g i c a l sequence i s l a r g e l y based on r e l a t i v e s e r i a t i o n s o f s t y l i s t i c elements w i t h o u t adequate a b s o l u t e d a t i n g and i s "among the more i m p e r f e c t ones of Western Mesoamerica" ( T o l s t o y 1 9 7 8 , 2 6 9 ) . F i g u r e 30 shows dated s i t e s but not the more than one hundred o t h e r s which occur t h r o u g h o u t the area and, a p p a r e n t l y , remain unexcavated ( G a r c i a Payon 1 9 7 1 , 5 0 6 - 1 1 ; Coe 1 9 8 6 , 1 1 2 ) . Some of t h e s e s i t e s a re l a r g e e a r t h mounds a s s o c i a t e d w i t h upland and w e t l a n d f i e l d complexes. The ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES • PRECLASSIC O CLASSIC PRECLASSIC: -Proto-Teotihuacan Styl e s -Black and Incised Ceramics -Simple Figurines -Earth Mounds CLASSIC: -Teotihuacanoid Styles -Yugos, Palmas, and Hachas -Sonriente Figurines -Earth Mounds POSTCLASSIC: -To l t e c and Aztec Styles -Polychrome Ceramics -Stone Pyramids ISLA DE SACRIFICES A © REMOJADAS F i g u r e 30. C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z : d a t e d a r c h a e o l o g i c a l s i t e s a n d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t r a i t s ( s o u r c e s : G a r c f a P a y o n 1971; M e d e l l f n Z e n i l 1 9 53) -SlUYTER 96 only new insights a recent regional overview (Ochoa 1989) presents stem from Wilkerson's excavations and radiocarbon dates in the Tecolutla River basin, immediately north of Central Veracruz (Wilkerson 1989). Nonetheless, a sharp occupational discontinuity seems to exist between the Veracruzan Preclassic and Classic (Garcia Payon 1971, 526 - 3 0 ) . Diffusion of ceramic styles indicates migration to the Valley of Mexico and other regions beginning in the Middle Preclassic, before the emergence of Teotihuacan. Depopulation l e f t most s i t e s abandoned by the end of the Preclassic. During the Classic a repopulation occurred, bringing with i t Teotihuacanoid ceramic styles such as the diagnostic c y l i n d r i c a l tripod vase (Medellin Zenil 1953, 104). Other data which suggest a lowland involvement in the genesis of Teotihuacan come from the Maya. The importance of wetland agriculture in their society i s apparent from the prevalence of the water l i l y (Nymphaea spp.) motif and the associated worship of a crocodilian earth god (Wolf 1959, 78; Puleston 1977). Similar iconography evident from Central Veracruz and Teotihuacan might indicate a relationship between these regions and a d i f f u s i o n of wetland a g r i c u l t u r a l technology from lowland to highland. The water l i l y glyph, Imix, represents day-one of the twenty-day cycle in the Maya version of the pan-Mesoamerican calendar. However, in non-calendrical Maya writing, Imix often appears with Kan, the day-four 97 g l y p h which s i g n i f i e s maize. The r e s u l t i n g Kan-Imix compound s t a n d s f o r abundance and f e r t i l i t y (Thompson 1960, 72). Maya w r i t e r s o f t e n added c r o c o d i l i a n f e a t u r e s t o t h e c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d Imix g l y p h ; i n f a c t , the N o r t h e r n Mesoamerican day-one g l y p h i s a s t y l i z e d c r o c o d i l e ( C r o c o d y l u s spp.) (Thompson 1960, 70-3). A l t a r T a t Copan, a C l a s s i c Lowland Maya s i t e , i s the most n a t u r a l i s t i c i l l u s t r a t i o n o f t h i s a s s o c i a t i o n between c r o c o d i l e s , f e r t i l i t y , m aize, and water l i l i e s ( f i g u r e 3 1 ) ( P u l e s t o n 1977, 458-63). There t h e Maya a r t i s t s c a r v e d t h e image of the e a r t h god Itzam Cab A i n , t h e " w i z a r d - o f - w a t e r - e a r t h - c r o c o d i l e [ t h a t ] . . . w i l l g i v e b i r t h t o e n d u r i n g l i f e on e a r t h " (The Books of Chilam Balam 1948 [ c a . 1600], 146, quoted i n L e o n - P o r t i l l a 1988, 6 1 ) . The f i g u r e has water l i l i e s around i t s l e g s , maize l e a v e s s p r o u t i n g from i t s t e m p l e s , and f i s h f e e d i n g on the l i l i e s . In a d d i t i o n , the a r t i s t emphasized the r e g u l a r c o n f i g u r a t i o n of the c r o c o d i l e ' s e p i d e r m a l s h i e l d s ( f i g u r e 3 2 ) . T h i s m o t i f , t o g e t h e r w i t h the maize and t h e a q u a t i c symbolism o f c r o c o d i l e , f i s h , and water l i l y , a r e s u g g e s t i v e o f the r e c t i l i n e a r p a t t e r n i n g o f w e t l a n d a g r i c u l t u r e ( c f . f i g u r e s 6 and 3 2 ) ( P u l e s t o n 1977). Another Maya a r t i s t a l s o emphasized t h e e p i d e r m a l s h i e l d s o f a c r o c o d i l i a n f i g u r e , t h i s one i n t h e Dresden  Codex ( 1972 [ c a . -1200], p l a t e s 4-5). S e l e r m a i n t a i n s t h i s p a i n t i n g a l s o r e p r e s e n t s Itzam Cab A i n , but Thompson c a l l s i t the c e l e s t i a l form o f the c r o c o d i l i a n d e i t y ( S e l e r 98 F i g u r e 31. R e c o n s t r u c t i o n d r a w i n g o f t h e t o p o f A l t a r T a t C o p a n s h o w i n g I t z a m Cab A i n ( r e p r o d u c e d by t h e p e r m i s s i o n o f A c a d e m i c P r e s s , I n c . f r o m P u l e s t o n 1977, f i g . 4). 99 F i g u r e 32. A c r o c o d i l e b a c k s h o w i n g t h e p r o n o u n c e d e p i d e r m a l s h i e l d s ( r e p r o d u c e d by t h e p e r m i s s i o n o f A c a d e m i c P r e s s , I n c . f r o m P u l e s t o n 1977, f i g . 5 ) . 1 0 0 1960-61, vol.IV: 650; Thompson 1972, 37). Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , the Maya's multifaceted crocodilian earth-sky deity i s as ambiguous as some aspects of the Christian t r i n i t y (cf. Thompson 1970, 209-33: Leon-Portilla 1988, 56-90). Ultimately, l i k e so much in Mesoamerica, this aspect of Maya cosmology probably has Olmec antecedents (Joralemon 1976, 58-65; Stocker, Meltzoff, and Armsey 1980, 742). Central Veracruzan art displays similar motifs suggestive of a crocodilian e a r t h - f e r t i l i t y deity (Proskouriakoff 1971, 562). Yugos sometimes have "earth monsters" carved into them ( G a r c i a Payon 1971, 524-26). These highly s t y l i z e d figures are c l e a r l y r e p t i l i a n and mix crocodilian and frog (Rana spp.) features (Covarrubias 1957, 180; Parsons 1980, 172-73). One yugo i l l u s t r a t e s a r e p t i l i a n head with a human figure in i t s mouth, legs ending in human hands, and supplementary long-snouted heads on the yoke-ends (Parsons 1980, f i g . 268). A l l of these features prompt comparison with the Itzam Cab Ain figure at Copan (figure 3 1 ) . A stone palma from Texolo, a s i t e 45 km west of Rinconada, depicts a more n a t u r a l i s t i c crocodile (figure 33) (Fewkes 1907, 262). Although the crocodile's natural habitat i s the t r o p i c a l lowlands (Stuart 1964, 330), the highlands also had a crocodilian earth deity: C i p a c t l i floated in a great pond, his furrowed back forming the cultivated earth. The Codex Borgia depicts an earth -sky-water deity, probably 101 F i g u r e 3 3 - C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z a n c r o c o d i l e p a l m a . (May 1 9 8 9 . ) 1 0 2 T l a l o c , w e a r i n g a c r o c o d i l i a n headdress and w a t e r i n g maize growing from C i p a c t l i ' s back under a c l o u d y sky ( f i g u r e 34) ( S e l e r 1960-61, v o l . IV, 648; P u l e s t o n 1977). A l t h o u g h t h i s codex's provenance i s u n c e r t a i n , most s c h o l a r s agree on a M i x t e c a n o r i g i n i n Western Oaxaca or Southern P u e b l a . The Tehuacan V a l l e y , i n t e r m e d i a t e i n e l e v a t i o n and d i s t a n c e between V e r a c r u z and T e o t i h u a c a n , i s a s t r o n g p o s s i b i l i t y (Chadwick and MacNeish 1967, 114-26; S i s s o n 1983, 655). But a c o a s t a l , C e n t r a l V e r a c r u z a n provenance remains another p o s s i b i l i t y , and g i v e n the c u r r e n t t h e s i s an i n t e r e s t i n g one ( G l a s s 1975, 65). U n f o r t u n a t e l y , a l t h o u g h B e r n a l D i a z noted t h a t " t h e r e were many books made o f t h e i r paper" i n the Totonac towns, not one has p o s i t i v e l y s u r v i v e d the i n q u i s i t o r i a l S p a n i s h c l e r g y (1956 [ 1 6 3 2 ] , 7 2 ) . S i g n i f i c a n t l y , some murals at T e o t i h u a c a n d i s p l a y a s i m i l a r i c o n o g r a p h y . In the "Temple of A g r i c u l t u r e " water l i l i e s emerge from s c a l l o p e d l i n e s r e p r e s e n t i n g water ( f i g u r e 35) (Gamio 1912, p l a t e 27; P a s z t o r y 1976, 1 3 D » In the "Sowing P r i e s t s Room" a t the T e p a n t i t l a complex, a f i g u r e s i m i l a r t o t h e Codex B o r g i a T l a l o c a l s o waters the e a r t h and wears a c r o c o d i l i a n headdress ( f i g u r e 3 6). And i n f i g u r e s 37 and 38, the lower h a l v e s o f two T l a l o c a n P a t i o murals a t the T e p a n t i t l a complex d e p i c t a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y ( P a s z t o r y 1976, 78, 141, and 183-86; Siemens 1983b, 9 7 ) . The a l t e r n a t i n g b l u e and green s t r i p e s o f the bottom b o r d e r s are s u g g e s t i v e of a p l a n view o f the 1 0 3 F i g u r e 3 ^ . T l a l o c a n d C i p a c t l i a s d e p i c t e d i n t h e C o d e x B o r g i a ( K i n g s b o r o u g h 1 8 3 1 , V o l . I l l , p l a t e 1 2 ) . Figure 35- A s e c t i o n of the water l i l y mural in the Temple of A g r i c u l t u r e , Teotihuacan. (May 1 989.) --t-105 F i g u r e 36 . R e c o n s t r u c t i o n d r a w i n g o f a T l a l o c f i g u r e f r o m t h e S o w i n g P r i e s t s Room, T e o t i h u a c i n ( r e p r o d u c e d by t h e p e r m i s s i o n o f D u m b a r t o n O a k s f r o m M i l l e r 1973, f i g . 183 ) . F i g u r e 37. R e c o n s t r u c t i o n d r a w i n g o f t h e W a t e r T a l u d o f t h e T l a l o c a n P a t i o , T e o t i h u a c a n . M a i z e i s a t A, c o t t o n a t B, c a c a o a t C, a n d C i p a c t l i ^ a t D ( r e p r o d u c e d by t h e p e r m i s s i o n o f G a r l a n d P u b . , I n c . f r o m ON P a s z t o r y 1 976 , f i g . 36) . F i g u r e 38. R e c o n s t r u c t i o n d r a w i n g o f t h e M e d i c i n e T a l u d o f t h e T l a l o c a n P a t i o , T e o t i h u a c a n ( r e p r o d u c e d by t h e p e r m i s s i o n o f G a r l a n d P u b . , I n c . f r o m P a s z t o r y 1 9 7 6 , f i g . 4 2 ) . 1 0 8 channels and planting platforms of the Veracruzan wetland f i e l d s or the similar Valley of Mexico chinampas, the r e c t i l i n e a r designs consistently oriented . along two perpendicular axes. The Codex Borgia contains a similar motif, maize growing from what appear to be alternating s t r i p s of land and water or furrowed, i r r i g a t e d f i e l d s (figure 39). At Teotihuacan, the undulating r e c t i l i n e a r design above the bottom border might well represent an oblique view of wetland f i e l d s or a stream. Maize at A, cotton at B, and cacao at C grow from the f i e l d s ; the l a s t two are lowland crops (figure 37) (Lozoya 1983, 170 and f i g . 1). And at D, C i p a c t l i the "earth monster" f l o a t s in a pond surrounded by f i s h and water l i l i e s , although Pasztory believes the l a t t e r figure "resembles a frog" more than a crocodile (1976, 141). The Valley of Mexico also contains wetland a g r i c u l t u r a l features which might suggest the regular configuration of the crocodile's epidermal shields. Forty-five kilometers south of Teotihuacan l i e s the major chinampa area of the Valley of Mexico (figure 40). The chinampas are rectangular f i e l d s b u i l t up out of earth and vegetative matter in the wetlands ringing the former freshwater Lakes Chalco and Xochimilco. Farmers achieve a highly intensive and productive h o r t i c u l t u r e through continuous subsurface i r r i g a t i o n , mucking, and nursery germination. Now larg e l y abandoned to a sprawling Mexico City, these "super wetland f i e l d s " separated by canals 1 1 0 \Gulf of Mexico .TEOTIHUACAN F i g u r e kO. T h e l a k e s o f t h e B a s i n o f M e x i c o d u r i n g t h e w e t s e a s o n , P o s t c l a s s i c p e r i o d ( a f t e r Coe 1 9 6 4 , 9 1 ) • 111 formed a Venice-like landscape when the system reached i t s greatest extent under the Aztecs (Coe 1964; Armillas 1971; Palerm 1973). Despite this l a t e florescence, however, l i k e the Veracruzan raised f i e l d s and Teotihuacan's main axis, the r e c t i l i n e a r chinampa grid i s also consistently oriented between 15 and 17 degrees azimuth (Coe 1964, 96); although in a l a t t e r study Armillas claims a mean deviation of 22 degrees azimuth (1971, note 20). Since the Aztec c a p i t a l of Tenochtitlan does not display this over-riding orientation, the chinampa's genesis seems linked to Teotihuacan. In f a c t , ceramics from the chinampas indicate that their origins are at least as early as Teotihuacan's (Coe 1964, 96; Parsons, Parsons, Popper, and Taft 1985, 59). Investigations at Tlaltenco, a settlement s i t e near Xochimilco, demonstrate women and men were farming and l i v i n g in these wetlands as early as the l a s t several centuries BC (Armillas 1971, 658). More recent work suggests limited occupancy in the area during the Preclassic and Cla s s i c , then a steady expansion.during the Postclassic. However, unstable s o i l s and high water tables often prevented excavation down to a c u l t u r a l l y s t e r i l e stratum, leaving the question of e a r l i e s t occupancy and cu l t i v a t i o n unresolved (Parsons, Parsons, Popper, and Taft 1985, 59; also see Tolstoy, Fish, Boksenbaum, Vaughn, and Smith 1977, 93; Turner 1983b, table 1). Other r e l i c t chinampa areas, although less extensive 1 1 2 and preserved than those at Xochimilco-Chalco, exist closer to Teotihuacan. The former saline Lakes Texcoco, Zumpango, and Xaltocan a l l supported chinampa agriculture where freshwater springs and streams s u f f i c i e n t l y reduced s a l i n i t y (Alvarado Tezozomoc 1949 [1609] 37-8; Gibson 1964, 268 and 3 2 0 ; Palerm 1973, 173-83; Sanders, Parsons, and Santley 1979, 280-81). Associations with dated settlements indicate that much of this northern chinampa development might be Postclassic, and that around Tenochtitlan c e r t a i n l y i s (Sanders 1981, 184-86). However, dire c t dating of one possible chinampa-habitational s i t e on the former eastern shore of Lake Texcoco near Chimalhuacan has yielded an abundance of early Teotihuacan ceramics (Noguera 1943; Ap.enes 1943). In addition, the small area of former wetland around the springs on the western edge of Teotihuacan's ruins also contains some one hundred hectares of "chinampa" c u l t i v a t i o n , perhaps dating from as early as 500 BC (Charlton 1970, 271; Millon 1973, 47 and f i g . 44b; Sanders 1976a, 1 1 9 ; also see Gamio 1912, Tomo I I : 112 and lamina 3 2 a ) . Although the long, narrow f i e l d s separated by channels lined with ahuejote trees (Salix bonplandiana) are c e r t a i n l y reminiscent of the Xochimilco chinampas, the former are, presently at l e a s t , much smaller in scale. Nonetheless, Millon believes that the "potential of labor-intensive chinampa c u l t i v a t i o n may have been f i r s t exploited in the small chinampa area of Teotihuacan" (1976, 1 1 3 244). The 15 degree azimuth orientation of some of the Teotihuacan "chinampas" c e r t a i n l y supports this contention. Sanders, Parsons, and Santley go so far as to conjecture that small proto-chinampa s i t e s might have occurred at numerous places around the lakeshore and springs as early as 1500 BC (1979, 281). However,, since no dir e c t evidence from excavations i s as yet forthcoming, such speculation remains unsupported. In summary, while iconographic interpretation i s always tentative, the pattern of motifs from carvings, codices, and murals suggests that Mesoamerican wetland f i e l d technology originated in lowland wetlands occupied by crocodiles and water l i l i e s . This association stimulated b e l i e f s in a crocodilian earth deity, those "beliefs...[being] modeled on features of the natural environment as interpreted through the s p e c i f i c s o c i a l structure and value systems of the people concerned" (Stocker, Meltzoff, and Armsey 1980, 742). Diffusing from the t r o p i c a l lowlands into analogous highland la c u s t r i n e environments, this technology retained i t s crocodilian associations and attained a high degree of sophistication in the chinampas of the Valley of Mexico. The Totonac o r i g i n myth, f i e l d and a r c h i t e c t u r a l orientations, and patterns of ceramic d i f f u s i o n a l l support the iconographic data. Moreover, these data imply more than technological d i f f u s i o n ; apparently lowland ideology p a r t i a l l y shaped 114 highland society. Perception, b e l i e f , technology, and environment r e c i p r o c a l l y informed each other in a process of human ecological structuration. In a Mesoamerican archaeology dominated by the m a t e r i a l i s t - f u n c t i o n a l i s t paradigm, the importance of human b e l i e f s as active rather than epiphenomenal s o c i a l elements requires constant emphasis (Coe 1981). Precolumbian women and men invented Central Veracruz and Teotihuacan in r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t ways than the subsequent conquistadors, Mexicans, and archaeologists. And the invention of the meaning of a place by the people that l i v e there i s as s i g n i f i c a n t as any of that location's "objective" aspects. As Carl Sauer noted, " i t i s clear that the habitat i s revalued or reinterpreted with every change in habit" (1963 [1941], 359). Teotihuacan's precisely orientated gr i d , i t s monumental scale, and the primordial cave beneath the Sun pyramid a l l suggest that the c i t y ' s location and foundation had as much to do, i f not more, with ideology as with ecology (cf. Sanders and Price 1968; Sanders, Parsons, and Santley 1979; Sanders 1981: Heyden 1975; Millon 1976; Millon 1981; Coe 1981). Moreover, the motifs of some Teotihuacan murals indicate that the highland ideology might well have had i t s origins in the lowlands. 115 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS F i e l d and e t h n o h i s t o r i c a l data r e v e a l that the upland f i e l d s are v e s t i g e s of Precolumbian i n t e n s i v e a g r i c u l t u r e , although t h e i r p r e c i s e chronology remains u n c l e a r . The upland f i e l d s have a wide d i s t r i b u t i o n throughout the C e n t r a l Veracruzan lowlands. The l i n e a r c o n c e n t r a t i o n s of stones c l o s e l y f o l l o w s lope contours, forming contiguous networks; some might w e l l cover hundreds of h e c t a r e s . The con t o u r i n g nature and s e v e r a l analogues suggest a s l o p i n g - f i e l d t e r r a c e technology. The C e n t r a l Mexican m e t e p a n t l i , i n p a r t i c u l a r , and the environmental context suggest a technique to deepen s o i l and i n c r e a s e water i n f i l t r a t i o n and s t o r a g e . S a r t o r i u s ' and F i n c k ' s n i n e t e e n t h century o b s e r v a t i o n s of the the f e a t u r e s c o r r o b o r a t e t h i s h y p o t h e s i s . Moreover, those accounts, together with the r a p i d and near t o t a l Postcolumbian depopulation of the lowlands and the delay i n subsequent settlement t i l l the twen t i e t h century, suggest that the upland f i e l d s are Precolumbian. E t h n o h i s t o r i c a l data and p l a n t ecology i n d i c a t e t hat the crops might w e l l have been maize, c o t t o n , and agave. C e n t r a l Veracruzan farmers were a l s o growing maize i n wetland f i e l d s d u r i n g the Late P r e c l a s s i c and E a r l y C l a s s i c . These f e a t u r e s have a much narrower d i s t r i b u t i o n than the upland f i e l d s , being l i m i t e d to s e a s o n a l l y inundated l a n d s . 116 Such evidence of widespread i n t e n s i v e a g r i c u l t u r e f o r c e s a r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the r e g i o n ' s Precolumbian a g r i c u l t u r a l p o t e n t i a l and r o l e i n Mesoamerican s o c i a l h i s t o r y . E t h n o h i s t o r i c a l data a l s o suggest that the r e g i o n was a g r i c u l t u r a l l y p r o d u c t i v e and densely populated, at l e a s t by the Late P o s t c l a s s i c . Canal i r r i g a t i o n could only have formed a part of the p r o d u c t i o n system. Other types of i n t e n s i v e a g r i c u l t u r e must have been more widespread and, p o s s i b l y , e a r l i e r than the canal i r r i g a t i o n at Zempoala. Furthermore, the data suggest a l i n k between these lowlands and the emergence of Teotihuacan. The Totonac o r i g i n myth, the d i f f u s i o n of ceramic s t y l e s , the s i m i l a r landscape o r i e n t a t i o n s , and the c r o c o d i l i a n - w e t l a n d iconography a l l suggest a lowland i n f l u e n c e i n Teotihuacan's g e n e s i s . P o s s i b l y such an i n f l u e n c e was r e l a t e d to the d i f f u s i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l technology from the Gulf lowlands to the C e n t r a l Highlands. This r e l a t i o n s h i p remains h y p o t h e t i c a l , but i t urges a comprehensive i n v e s t i g a t i o n of C e n t r a l Veracruz. The t i m i n g of i t s s u b s i s t e n c e , s e t t l e m e n t , and s o c i a l changes i s of more than r e g i o n a l i n t e r e s t . Such r e s e a r c h w i l l f u r t h e r understanding of Mesoamerica's wider s o c i a l h i s t o r y and inform more general theory on the emergence of urban s o c i e t i e s . Above a l l , however, the i n t e n t i o n i s not to encourage t h e o r i e s of u n i d i r e c t i o n a l d i f f u s i o n or to f u r t h e r entrench the highland-versus-lowland debate over the " o r i g i n s of 1 1 7 Mesoamer i c a n c i v i l i z a t i o n " (West 1 -965 ; T o l s t o y and Paradis 1 9 7 0 ; H a r r i s 1 9 7 7 , 8 3 - 9 5 ) . A s e l e c t few " s u i t a b l e environments" d i d not determine the nature of Mesoamerican s o c i e t y . Rather the i n t e n t i o n i s to view s o c i a l process h i s t o r i c a l l y and as a d i a l e c t i c among people from throughout Mesoamerica. I n c r e a s i n g l y the data demonstrate s t r o n g i n t e r c o n n e c t i o n s between a l l r e g i o n s of Mesoamerica. T l a x c a l a , f o r example, a l s o seems to be i m p l i c a t e d i n the emergence of Teotihuacan ( G a r c i a Cook 1 9 8 1 , 261-62). And the p r o p i n q u i t y of the C e n t r a l Veracruz and Olmec r e g i o n s , as w e l l as the i n s t a n c e of f i e l d o r i e n t a t i o n to "Olmec no r t h " at Tamarindo - 1, suggests t h a t f u r t h e r study might c a s t new l i g h t on the debate over the Olmec r o l e i n C e n t r a l Mexico ( c f . Coe 1 9 6 5 , 1 2 2 - 2 3 : Grennes-Rayitz and Coleman 1 9 7 6 ) . T y p i c a l l y , such i n t e g r a t i o n of data from other r e g i o n s and d i s c i p l i n e s has been l a c k i n g among the area and s u b d i s c i p l i n a r y s p e c i a l i s t s who dominate Mesoamerican s c h o l a r s h i p ( M i l l e r 1 9 8 3 , 3 ) . The h y p o t h e t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between C e n t r a l Veracruz and Teotihuacan remains tenuous without f i r m dates f o r changes i n the nature of s u b s i s t e n c e and settlement i n both r e g i o n s . T h e r e f o r e , the immediate emphasis should be on the c o l l e c t i o n of new data p e r t a i n i n g to the upland f i e l d s , wetland a g r i c u l t u r e , canal i r r i g a t i o n , f l o o d p l a i n a g r i c u l t u r e , paleoenvironment, and settlement p a t t e r n and p o p u l a t i o n . Yet data cannot speak f o r themselves; hypotheses unavoidably d i r e c t every i n q u i r y . Most 1 18 i m p o r t a n t l y , t h e r e f o r e , hypotheses must engage i n a d i a l e c t i c with the data, remaining open and s e l f - c r i t i c a l . The wide d i s t r i b u t i o n of the upland f i e l d s i m p l i e s t h e i r importance i n the Precolumbian p r o d u c t i o n system and prompts f u r t h e r study. A p r i o r i t y should be to l o c a t e l e s s - d i s t u r b e d v e s t i g e s . They would enable a more thorough morphological and f u n c t i o n a l a n a l y s i s . Further study of the Guerrero t e r r a p l e n o s would a l s o be u s e f u l i n t h i s endevour. Systematic i n q u i r y of that analogue would y i e l d data on f u n c t i o n , labour i n p u t , and y i e l d . L e s s - d i s t u r b e d v e s t i g e s might a l s o enable recovery of paleophytes, ceramics, and l i t h i c s f o r i n d i c a t i o n s of c u l t i v a r s and chronology. At a s m a l l e r s c a l e , continued a e r i a l photographic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and reconnaissance would e l a b o r a t e the r e g i o n a l d i s t r i b u t i o n of upland f i e l d s . The wetland f i e l d s a l s o r e q u i r e f u r t h e r work. T h e i r a r e a l extent, d i s t r i b u t i o n , morphology, and f u n c t i o n are al r e a d y q u i t e c l e a r . Further e x c a v a t i o n s , however, are e s s e n t i a l i n order to e l a b o r a t e the chronology a l r e a d y apparent at E l Yagual. The i s s u e of canal i r r i g a t i o n i n C e n t r a l Veracruz, remains as unresolved as i t i s prominent. The Totonac at Zempoala no doubt d i d p r a c t i c e some i r r i g a t i o n . Systematic study of the s i t e ' s hydrology, topography, and the h y d r a u l i c system's remains should c l a r i f y how much land was under i r r i g a t i o n . Quite l i k e l y , f l o o d p l a i n a g r i c u l t u r e was an e a r l y and 119 continuing strategy. The vestiges of cross-channel dams and terraces that Sartorius noted (1961 [ 1858], 10) might well remain in the depths of the barrancas. But such features are not yet apparent, although Wilkerson does report that "terraces may [?] also exist along the now barren canyon of the Antigua River upstream of Ocolapan [ s i c ] [Oceloapan?] not far from Rinconada" (1983, 81). Continued ai r and ground . reconnaissance guided by cartographic interpretation of hydrology and topography should locate any remains. At a minimum, an estimate of the t o t a l c u l t i v a b l e flood plain area would inform questions of carrying capacity and population d i s t r i b u t i o n . The sequence of Quaternary environmental change in Central Veracruz i s unclear. Palynological and sedimentological analysis of cores from lakes would reveal the nature and timing of changes in climate, vegetation, and land use. Laguna Mandinga and Laguna Catarina are possible s i t e s for such a study. The Precolumbian settlement patterns also remain unclear. Necessarily, Garcia Payon's synthesis in the Handbook of Middle American Indians i s quite general (1971). His map shows some one hundred archaeological s i t e s in Central Veracruz, but the scale i s small and the locations imprecise (1971, f i g . 2). Moreover, he does not make chronological d i s t i n c t i o n s between s i t e s . Yet he does indicate the a v a i l a b i l i t y of data. This material requires cartographic synthesis at a large scale for several 1 20 p e r i o d s , as i s now a v a i l a b l e f o r the Basin of Mexico and the V a l l e y of Oaxaca (Sanders, Parsons, and Sant l e y 1979; Blanton, Kowalewski, Feinman, and Appel 1981 ) . Data on the upland f i e l d s , wetland a g r i c u l t u r e , canal i r r i g a t i o n , f l o o d p l a i n a g r i c u l t u r e , paleoenvironment, and settlement p a t t e r n and p o p u l a t i o n can a l l inform an understanding of C e n t r a l Veracruz's dynamic human ecology. Basic questions r e v o l v e around the changing s p a t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between settlement p a t t e r n and the v a r i o u s a g r i c u l t u r a l s t r a t e g i e s . The immediate goal i s the r e g i o n a l s y n t h e s i s of d i v e r s e data, but not without a s e n s i t i v i t y to p o s s i b l e i n t e r - r e g i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . U l t i m a t e l y , such a study w i l l have more than r e g i o n a l i n t e r e s t , as the p o s s i b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p with Teotihuacan i l l u s t r a t e s . 1 2 1 ENDNOTES 1.) While a g r i c u l t u r a l i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n i s m u l t i f a c t o r i a l , i t generally indicates an increase in food production per unit area per unit time (Turner and DoolittTe 1 978; Farrington 1985; Turner and Denevan 1985). However, these terms are neither conceptually nor operationally unproblematic, and several complications arise when theorizing p a l e o i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n . Because the output of food production leaves few d i r e c t remains, a surrogate measure i s necessary. Usually, the only assessable one i s the v e s t i g i a l production in f r a s t r u c t u r e , a measure of inputs such as labour, technology, and energy. Input, however, can only be a surrogate for output through ethnographically known analogues, with a l l the attendant problems of cross-contextual comparison. Moreover, such features as r e l i c i r r i g a t i o n canals which might seem to be i n d i c a t i v e of an attempt to i n t e n s i f y production, perhaps due to increasing population, might actually represent an attempt to reduce the r i s k of occasional crop f a i l u r e in areas susceptible to periodic drought (Nichols 1987). Alt e r n a t i v e l y , such features might represent an attempt to produce non-staple crops, such as cacao, in areas not suited to such production without i n f r a s t r u c t u r a l investments (Turner 1985, 202). The production in f r a s t r u c t u r e , then, i s d i f f i c u l t to generalize from because d i f f e r i n g ecological and c u l t u r a l contexts modulate the outputs of similar inputs. Si m i l a r l y area i s problematic because the relevant area often fluctuates during i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n . For example, a new technology might permit c u l t i v a t i o n of previously barren land surrounding an oasis containing a small settlement and i t s f i e l d s . This case represents i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n by expansion of area through technological innovation. The settlement's annual y i e l d per hectare of oasis lands does not increase, but the t o t a l annual y i e l d of the settlement's land base does increase. In addition, a wider range of crops might become available throughout the year because of the u t i l i z a t i o n of complimentary environments—wetland and terra firma, for example (Siemens 1990a). Time i s also problematic when addressing r e l i c f i e l d s . Even though contiguous, f i e l d s might not a l l be contemporaneous. Moreover, climatic fluctuations affect the number of annual harvests and the number of years between fallows. And the f i e l d use might have been intermittent with sporadic but cumulative i n f r a s t r u c t u r a l improvements, either i n i t i a l l y or chronically ( D o o l i t t l e 1988). Wet years and dry years, fl u c t u a t i n g t r i b u t e demands, or immigration and emigration can a l l influence 122 a g r i c u l t u r a l i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n and d i s i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n . Deducing a dense p o p u l a t i o n engaged i n sedentary c u l t i v a t i o n on the b a s i s of f i x e d f i e l d boundaries i s unwarranted without an i n d i c a t i o n of use frequency and contemporaneity. S i m i l a r l y , given the p o s s i b i l i t y of incremental improvement, reasoning from an e l a b o r a t e a g r i c u l t u r a l i n f r a s t r u c t u r e to continuous, i n t e n s i v e p r o d u c t i o n i s f a l l a c i o u s — u n l e s s the p a r t i c u l a r technology and context suggest a system which could o n l y have f u n c t i o n e d as a whole. Despite these conceptual and o p e r a t i o n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , i n c o n s i d e r i n g the d i a l e c t i c between a g r i c u l t u r a l i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n and s o c i a l change the c r i t i c a l c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n i s of an i n c r e a s i n g a v a i l a b i l i t y of food w i t h i n the area a c c e s s i b l e to a p o t e n t i a l urban n u c l e a t i o n . The, Veracruzan wetland f i e l d s at l e a s t p o t e n t i a l l y r e p r e s e n t such an i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n over, but not o f , the p r e v i o u s l y p o s t u l a t e d swidden c u l t i v a t i o n . Farmers could a n n u a l l y grow more food w i t h i n easy access of a nucleated p o p u l a t i o n c e n t r e through the e l a b o r a t i o n of a new technology and an investment of la b o u r . However, as c l e a r from even a b r i e f c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the conceptual and o p e r a t i o n a l d f f i c u l t i e s of " i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n , " a p r e c i s e and d e t a i l e d understanding of the wetland f i e l d chronology and frequency of use i s c r u c i a l before forming d e f i n i t e c o n c l u s i o n s about the amount of a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n i n v o l v e d and i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e i n human e c o l o g i c a l p r o c e s s e s . More excavations are necessary. 2 . ) Since the f e a t u r e s e x h i b i t no a p p r e c i a b l e r e l i e f and are i n d i s c e r n i b l e at ground l e v e l , mapping from a e r i a l imagery was e s s e n t i a l . U n t i l the advent of a c c e s s i b l e and s o p h i s t i c a t e d computer r e c t i f i c a t i o n , a t t a i n i n g a c c u r a t e p l a n i m e t r i c maps from o b l i q u e a e r i a l photographs w i l l always be p r o b l e m a t i c . C u r r e n t l y , s e v e r a l approaches are a v a i l a b l e : draughting techniques, such as the polygonal network, paper s t r i p , and p l a t e p a r a l l e l methods; o p t i c a l t echniques; and simple computer based techniques which do not c o r r e c t f o r topographic v a r i a t i o n (Palmer 1 9 7 7 ; S c o l l a r 1 9 7 8 ; Dickinson 1 9 7 9 ; Burnside et a l . 1 9 8 3 ; R i l e y 1 9 8 7 , 6 8 - 7 3 ) . Since even simple computer hardware and software were u n a v a i l a b l e d u r i n g the data a n a l y s i s , and to save time while m a i n t a i n i n g accuracy, the o p t i c a l method proved most e x p e d i t i o u s . This technique c o n s i s t s of c o n s t r u c t i n g a t r a n s p a r e n t o v e r l a y of the modern f i e l d boundaries and r e l i c ground p a t t e r n i n g from the o b l i q u e photograph. A f t e r t h i s separate i n t e r p r e t i v e stage, a Caesar-Saltzman v e r t i c a l p r o j e c t o r r e c t i f i e s the d i s t o r t e d p a t t e r n by p r o j e c t i n g i t onto a t i l t i n g t a b l e , r e a c h i e v i n g the t r u e t r a p e z o i d a l ground shape represented as r e c t a n g u l a r on the photograph. A p l a n i m e t r i c diagram of modern f i e l d boundaries obtained 1 2 3 from ground survey and attached to the t i l t i n g table serves as ground control. To avoid unintentional bias, no topographic l i n e s are indicated on this control map. T i l t i s adjusted u n t i l the projected boundaries match the planimetric boundaries, at which point the angle of t i l t i s correct and a l l l i n e s are r e c t i f i e d . The l i n e s are sketched i n , and the scale of the r e s u l t i n g diagram i s adjusted before transferring i t to a topographic base map. The assumption behind this method i s the same as behind the draughting and simple computer methods: the area in question need not necessarily be horizontal, but i t must be plane. Changes in slope angle cause non-linear scale changes which d i s t o r t features. Therefore, in areas of complex r e l i e f , r e c t i f i c a t i o n i s limited to small areas of constant slope which subsequently can be joined to form a mosaic. This practice introduces error as scales are adjusted and features are matched. Other d i s t o r t i o n s occur due to the optics involved at several stages. Moreover, i f the angle of d i s t o r t i o n i s very large the depth of f i e l d of the Saltzman becomes a l i m i t a t i o n , even though the lens stops down to f64. To achieve adequate focus for the area under consideration at large angles, scale must be reduced, again leading to error when scale i s again increased to match the map base. The accuracy of this method i s not, therefore, as good as sophisticated computer methods which compensate for complex topography. However, the comparable results obtained with the maps produced from r e c t i f i e d obliques and the topographic overlays of commercially obtained v e r t i c a l imagery i l l u s t r a t e s the basic soundness of the technique. And given the available resources, the choice was between o p t i c a l r e c t i f i c a t i o n or no mapping at a l l . 3 . ) The Central Veracruzan upland f i e l d s c l e a r l y suggest anthropogenesis. However, in the Maya region, the p o s s i b i l i t y of natural ground patterning being mistaken for wetland f i e l d s has resulted in a heated debate (Turner and Harrison 1 9 7 9 ; Sanders 1 9 7 9 ) . Therefore, a consideration of possible natural ground patterning processes seems prudent. The poorly understood terracets which form on slopes in grasslands are linear and normal to slope but rarely more than 0 . 5 m wide (Carson and Kirkby 1 9 7 2 , 1 7 3 ) . Stone polygons and stripes might cause similar patterning but are confined to p e r i g l a c i a l environments (Price 1 9 8 1 , 184-87) -In mid and t r o p i c a l l a t i t u d e s , buried lenses or horizons of stones sometimes become exposed in p r o f i l e at road cuts and are known as "stone l i n e s " (Ruhe 1 9 5 9 ; Butzer 1 9 7 1 , 2 0 3 ) . They vary widely in thickness, however, and would not appear as serried ranks of p a r a l l e l l i n e s on shallow slopes. The area's v e r t i s o l s with their high component of 1 2 4 m o n t m o r i l l o n i t e c l a y are s u b j e c t to expansion when wet and to shrinkage and c r a c k i n g when dry. The r e s u l t i n g s o i l churning can form the patterned ground known as g i l g a e which has been so c e n t r a l to the c o n t r o v e r s y over the Maya wetland f i e l d s . However, r e g a r d i n g the Veracruzan upland f i e l d s , the involvement of stones, the s c a l e of the p a t t e r n i n g , and the slopes preclude g i l g a e as a ca n d i d a t e . In summary, no n a t u r a l ground p a t t e r n i n g process c l o s e l y shares the upland f i e l d morphology. Stone s t r i p e s have some morphological s i m i l a r i t y but only occur i n p e r i g l a c i a l environments. 4.) This c o n t r o v e r s y remains un r e s o l v e d , some authors counting each glyph as a s i n g l e mantle, others as a lo a d of 20 ( c f . Berdan 1987, 240; Drennan 1984, note 1). More g e n e r a l l y , Sanders (1976b, 112-14) makes a t e l l i n g c r i t i q u e of the methodology Borah and Cook u t i l i z e i n t h e i r attempt to d e r i v e p o p u l a t i o n f i g u r e s from t r i b u t e l i s t s . 5.) Borah and Cook's f i g u r e , 1,656 loads of mantles, would y i e l d some 66,000-83,000 kg of woven c o t t o n . 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