The Mexican Countryside, Past and Present


With the support of the Tinker Field Research Grant, I traveled to Mexico to initiate an academic exchange with Dr. Patricia Fournier (Esquela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia) in Mexico, D.F., and to conduct preliminary archaeological investigations at the ejido of San Ildefonso Tultepec located in southwestern Queretaro. In Mexico, D.F. Dr. Fournier and I collaborated on a geostatistical analysis of settlement patterns from the Tula region of ancient Mesoamerica. We synthesized full-coverage archaeological surveys with ecological data to conduct a landform classification analysis of settlement systems in relation to the region’s local landscape ecology. In San Ildefonso Tultepec, I conducted preliminary excavations of a standing structure dating to the ejido’s founding in 1937. I recovered soil samples and shipped them to the Archaeological Research Facility at UC-Berkeley where they are currently undergoing botanical and geochemical analysis. . Furthermore, I continued conducting audio-recorded interviews with locals to contextualize the information from archaeological methods. This trip helped me understand how Mexico’s rural areas enfold into each other and during this process, the rurality of Mexico takes on new meanings. The work performed this summer will be written up for publication in the journals of Ancient Mesoamerica, The Oral History Review, and the Journal of Material Culture. Additionally, work performed this summer will serve a the basis for my doctoral dissertation proposal and grant funding applications.  

Mario Castillo
Publication date: 
August 27, 2016
Publication type: 
Student Research