The Cerro Jazmín Archaeological Project: Investigating prehispanic urbanism and its environmental impact in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, Mexico

Verónica Pérez Rodríguez, Kirk C. Anderson, Margaret K. Neff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


We present the results of the Cerro Jazmín Archaeological Project, a mapping and intensive survey project of a hilltop urban center in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, Mexico. Our archaeological and geomorphological investigations reveal a long history of intermittent occupation with the time of maximum occupation, the Early Postclassic, corresponding with soil formation and landscape stability. Our population estimates are compared with agricultural production projections to assess the city's capability to feed its population and we argue that it functioned as an agricultural center. In a broader discussion of landscape and urbanism, Cerro Jazmín's managed labor was needed to build, manage, and maintain its terrace systems. Our findings show that large urban populations do not necessarily cause environmental degradation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-99
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Field Archaeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2011



  • Agriculture
  • Environmental degradation
  • Landscape
  • Mesoamerica
  • Terraces
  • Urbanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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