Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
The 1994-1998 Proyecto Acatzingo-Tepeaca settlement survey in Puebla, Mexico, identified many cave sites utilized from the Formative through the Postclassic Periods and into the present. Three cave clusters, especially, found between Tepeaca and Acatzingo, each served as a Chicomoztoc complex for nearby communities and functioned, at least in part, to legitimate statements of community identity, land ownership and political rule. The most important Chicomoztoc cluster is situated directly in the Barranca del Aguila; The material remains from this cluster indicate it served as a focus for rituals during the Formative and Classic periods. In this paper, I reconstruct the Late Formative cosmovision and ritual in the barranca drawing on several categories of material cultural evidence including: the natural geology, topography and hydrology; the ceramic remains; the shaping of artificial caves and stairs; as well as, the symbolism of iconographic depictions on carved stone. A further source of data is the architectural remains of a three-mounded platform in the barranca and the Late Formative pyramidal site of Xochiltenango, located on a terrace formed by the first irrigation canal carrying waters from the Barranca de Aguila. Taken together, the above information provides the material cultural foundation to reconstruct the ancient cosmovision and distinct levels of ritual activities linked with this Chicomoztoc complex.