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Technologies of urbanism in Mesoamerica: the pre-Columbian bridges of Cotzumalhuapa, Guatemala

  • Oswaldo Chinchilla Mazariegos (a1)
Abstract

Despite the high degree of technological sophistication visible in other aspects of urban engineering, the archaeology of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica has revealed curiously few examples of bridges or formal, permanent water-crossing structures. The ancient city of Cotzumalhuapa, where at least five such structures have been identified, is a notable exception. The author reviews the archaeological and historical evidence for these bridges, and reflects upon the diversity of engineering technologies that they reveal. Although it remains unclear why bridges are absent at many other contemporaneous sites, these examples offer a fascinating glimpse into the urban planning of structured mobility in Mesoamerica.

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
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