In This Chapter

Bookmark and Share


As you learned in this chapter, archaeologists use a variety of methods to survey, map and excavate sites of interest. One important example given is that of the central Mexican site of Teotihuacan.

At its height, Teotihuacan was then the largest city in the entire world. Its true expanse is still not known, but mapping and excavation have revealed much about the central city's plan and orientation. Today the city's remains are a tourist attraction and an important symbol of Mexican identity. 

In 2004, Mexico's National Institute for Archaeology and History approved a plan to construct a Wal-Mart store within one kilometer of Teotihuacan's core monumental site. It was argued the store would be an important source of employment for the local community, and that the construction posed no threat to the ruins. However, this decision was met with protests by some archaeologists, who were concerned the ancient city may have stretched as far as the proposed building location. Many Mexicans were also concerned that the construction would tarnish the heritage site.

Read the following news articles and visit Arizona State University's Teotihuacan website at the links below. Use the information you find and what you have learned in Chapter 3 to answer the following questions.


What are the risks involved in choosing to build within one kilometer of a site such as Teotihuacan?


What methods might archaeologists use to determine the geographic extent and nature of an archaeological site? Which of these methods would have worked best at Teotihuacan in advance of the Wal-Mart development? 


During the construction of the store's parking lot a Teotihuacan-style altar was uncovered. What might this discovery indicate?


Do you think the Mexican government made the right decision in allowing the store's construction?

Submit to Gradebook:

First Name:
Last Name:
Your Email Address:
Your Professor's Email Address: