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Mapping ancient chinampa landscapes in the Basin of Mexico: a remote sensing and GIS approach

Authors
Journal
Journal of Archaeological Science
0305-4403
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
39
Issue
7
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2012.03.001
Keywords
  • Chinampas
  • Remote Sensing
  • Satellite Imagery
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Agriculture
  • Basin Of Mexico
  • Xaltocan
Disciplines
  • Earth Science
  • Geography

Abstract

Abstract This paper uses remote sensing data to document a raised field, chinampa system adjacent to the Postclassic kingdom of Xaltocan in the northern Basin of Mexico. Various forms of landscape information; historic records and maps as well as remote sensing; are considered to understand the chinampa system. The remote sensing data examined include 1950s aerial photographs, Landsat 7 data, and Quickbird VHR, multi-spectral imagery. This article evaluates the utility of each of these forms of data to identify buried chinampa features and integrates them in a GIS to produce a map of Xaltocan's chinampa landscape. Canals of various sizes and hydrological positions comprised the chinampas and integrated the system together. Occupying at least 1500–2000 ha, Xaltocan's chinampa system represents the largest pre-Aztec, chinampa system in the Basin of Mexico.

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