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Open Journal of Archaeometry 2014; volume 2:5304

Sustainable heritage in Mexico: Varela and Dore, 2009). In 2007, the municipal
authorities of Jiutepec and Cuernavaca Correspondence: Sandra L. Lpez Varela,
archaeological solutions for approached the Geographical Information Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico,
infrastructure planning and Systems Laboratory at the University of Facultad de Filosofa y Letras, Ciudad
Universitaria, 04510 Mexico City, Mexico.
building Morelos and to help them find ways of integrat-
Tel. +55.5616.0047 - Fax: +55.5616.0047.
ing sustainable development with heritage
Sandra L. Lpez Varela protection in their land-use plans. The innova-
tive request and inexperience of environmen- Key words: heritage, GIS modeling, land-use
Department of Anthropology, University tal planners in considering heritage manage- plans, future cities, Mexico.
of Morelos, Cuernavaca, Mexico ment processes in policy-making and institu-
tional planning activities required a collabora- Acknowledgements: I am indebted to Statistical
tive effort with Statistical Research Inc. (SRI), Research Inc. and Dr. Valentino Sorani for devel-
oping a suitable model to protect the heritage of
a cultural resources firm, having the experi-
Abstract ence to conduct fast-track projects in large spa-
Morelos, with the enthusiastic participation of
our students at the Anthropology Department of
tial areas. The methodological proposal pre- the University of Morelos. Thanks to the
Mexico is a country that requires the con- sented to the municipalities to protect heritage Alexander con Humboldt Foundation for support-
struction and expansion of infrastructure to resources was already in use by environmental ing the project Archaeology for the Future
increase the competitiveness of its economy. planners. In areas of concern to planning, land- Society, through a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel
Building this highly competitive logistic plat- use plans already include spatial decision sup- Research Award.
form has had an impact on Mexicos cultural port systems (SDSS), use of information tech-
and social heritage. In the State of Morelos, Citation: Lpez Varela SL, 2014. Sustainable her-
nologies for data collection and consulting,
itage in Mexico: archaeological solutions for

the municipalities of Cuernavaca and Jiutepec deliberative processes, and predictive model- infrastructure planning and building. In: RH

considered that sustainable development could ing in an integrated spatial planning frame-

Tykot (ed.), Proceedings of the 38th International
be integrated with heritage preservation at the work. Basically, an archaeological approach Symposium on Archaeometry May 10th-14th
time of land use plans designing and adoption. had to be integrated and to consider the rela- 2010, Tampa, Florida. Open Journal of
Hereby described, a geographic information tionship between space-time and nature-socie- Archaeometry 2:5304.

system-based predictive model, differentiating ty (Conolly and Lake, 2010). To minimise risks,
areas by their potential for different types of
resources, is suggested as a solution to protect
Mexicos heritage within a uniform permitting
environmental assessment plans include col-
laborative planning as a main strategy to pro-
vide citizens with the opportunity to express
Presented at the 38th International Symposium on
Archaeometry May 10th-14th 2010, Tampa,
and compliance process. their opinion or expertise through their knowl- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
edge of a problem or by devising a solution. Attribution 3.0 License (by-nc 3.0).

However, collaborative planning cannot entire-


ly contribute to sustainable growth. The Copyright S.L. Lpez Varela, 2014

Introduction process of deliberation stands for limited citi- Licensee PAGEPress, Italy
Open Journal of Archaeometry 2014; 2:5304

zen representation, as the stakeholders are

In Mexico, archaeological resources remain selected to participate based on their leader-

in a defenseless state against the intense and ship, their contribution to society, or as repre-
rapid building of infrastructure to promote sentatives of a government program or agenda.

economic growth. Measuring the benefits and The absence of other voices provides an under- predictive model, differentiating areas by their
adversities of development projects is centered represented model, leading to the familiar potential for different types of resources.
Instead, the discussion is concerned about pro-

on the environment, without accommodating unrest. The solution is to design a more peo-
moting a geographic information science con-

the clear mandated responsibility to protect ple-focused approach, with the acquisition of
Mexicos heritage in the design of impact value-based data by sampling the targeted pop- cerned with the space-time relationships
assessments. The National Institute of ulation, which in return contributes to a better between natural and social phenomena.

Anthropology and History (INAH) lacks suffi- sustainable conservation of natural and her-
cient staff and adequate funding from the fed- itage resources.
eral government to fulfill its responsibility of The following pages discuss the relevance of
protecting Mexicos heritage in this intensive introducing an archaeological perspective in
How to place heritage in land-
building context (Paredes Gudio, 2006). In land-use planning and brings to the attention of use plans
the absence of a heritage management indus- the archaeologist that, the exclusive use of a
try in Mexico, the federal government is geographic information system (GIS), without Undoubtedly, the restricted financial setting
bounded by law to absorb the full costs of her- further consideration of the current manage- for archaeological investigations in Mexico is a
itage management (Altschul and Ferguson, ment processes and definition of heritage, relevant factor to protect her heritage.
2010), leaving INAH in a vulnerable stage to restricts its capacity to protect Mexicos her- Fortunately, new methodologies and techniques
prevent the destruction of peoples valued and itage. Without a process that can be expanded assessing the characteristics of the landscape
significant spaces. and used to minimise adverse effects on her- and to inform planning decisions, such as pre-
The people of Mexico have expressed their itage resources or without contemplating the dictive modeling, are powerful tools to protect
discontent to this situation, demanding their values and knowledge of the people of these two Mexicos heritage at a relatively low cost. Already
voices to be heard and their right to participate municipalities, as demonstrated here, the qual- in Mexico, predictive modeling is essential to
in the design of infrastructure development ity of the GIS dataset and structure is compro- policy makers in choosing the best location to
projects, as clearly stated during the construc- mised. Thus, the commitment to protect build a road or to develop economic activities.
tion of a COSTCO store on the grounds of the Mexicos heritage moves the discussion beyond In environmental management, a GIS is reg-
hotel El Casino de la Selva in 2002 (Lpez GIS as a software tool describing a GIS-based ularly used as a modeling tool to generate new

[Open Journal of Archaeometry 2014; volume 2:5304] [page 73]


parameters representing the environmental care of the heritage documents and archives of municipality could identity heritage and envi-
impacts of actions or the number of people Jiutepec guided us through the streets and ronmental resources. To interview its citizens,
exposed to risk from spatially referenced data fields of the municipality, demonstrating the the municipality of Cuernavaca was subdivid-
(Peckham, 1997). Measuring the environmen- irrevocable presence of archaeological sites ed in 10 defined ecological zones, each divided
tal impact on people is based on the recovery of that INAH still has to systematically record. into five environmental management units
demographic data, without incorporating the The information was not taken into considera- (EMU). Twenty people were interviewed for
values or feelings people place on the land- tion to create the predictive models. The sites each EMU. Even if this is not the most repre-
scape (Low, 2008). In archaeology, the use of a were located on a map for comparative purpos- sentative of samples, it was extremely useful to
GIS considers the relationship between space- es and to help us validate the predictive model demonstrate the limited citizen representation
time and nature-society (Conolly and Lake, later on. Additionally for the municipality of at public workshops with a profiled stakehold-
2010). Since a GIS characterises by the capac- Cuernavaca, we included the information pro- er. Obviously, it is impossible for this case to
ity to integrate spatially referenced informa- vided by INAH, but also considered the infor- assess the sampling error, even more, when
tion coming from different sources, this mation on historic and modern resources pro- the guards of the wealthiest gated community
archaeological equation can easily be integrat- vided by the multiple stakeholders participat- of Cuernavaca did not allow our collaborators
ed as another thematic map layer of sustain- ing in the public workshops. Knowing that the to interview the people living in this area.
able development projects. stakeholders hold particular agendas in this Instead, our collaborators move to the city cen-
The power of a GIS relies on the quality of type of projects, it was decided to take into ter of Cuernavaca to do the interviews.
its database. Recently, INAH has been using a account the views of the ordinary citizen of the Results from this experimental stage reveal
GIS to record and manage archaeological data municipality of Cuernavaca (Figure 1) for the that the citizen of the municipality of
(Snchez Nava, 2007). However, historic and creation of the land-use plan. The strategy Cuernavaca recognises valuable elements pres-
modern heritage resources are absent from required the collection of data by sampling the ent in the social and natural landscapes that

the database. Modern heritage resources are population living in the municipality of would never be considered as heritage resources

managed by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Cuernavaca. Given the population size of the by UNESCO, INAH, the academia or the stake-

Artes (INBA), running very different permit municipality, approximately 349, 102 inhabi- holders. The future city of Cuernavaca, according
process to access its database. Data partition tants in 2005, we established a quota sample of to 62% of the sampled population, must include
relates to the prevailing definition of heritage a thousand individuals to be interviewed non- an orderly presence of heritage resources. The

resources and institutional dynamics in randomly, by choosing a maximum of three future city should preserve the traditional neigh-
Mexico, affecting how data is collected and
managed. The constitution of the databases
reveals the absence of national management
houses or individuals per street. The question-
naire was designed so that the citizens of the
borhoods of Acapatzingo, Gualupita, and
Tlaltenango. The management of urban transit
standards and strategies for the management
of heritage resources. The time required to

obtain permits to access the data at INAH and


INBA is incompatible with the common 30-day

framework to produce the land use models

required by the municipalities.

The University of Morelos has a cooperation

agreement with INAH. Still, the database was

impossible to obtain and to be included in the

land use plans. Even if we had had access to

the databases, the information would have

proved to be insufficient. The INAH database


was incomplete as it lacked information on

historic resources and the INBA database has
no data of any resource type beyond the 19th

century, except for those with an aesthetic

value. Having a GIS without an efficient con-
ceptualised uniform permitting and compli-
ance process giving fast access to data layers is
not the best way to prevent the destruction of
Mexicos heritage. For both municipalities, the
identification of heritage resources was based
mostly on the literature. Data collection to
define heritage resources for both municipali-
ties included those sites listed at INAH in
Cuernavaca (Centro Regional del INAH-
Morelos) and Mexico City (Registro Pblico de
Monumentos y Zonas Arqueolgicas).
However, the INAH archives provide no records
of archaeological sites in the municipality of
Jiutepec or evidence of a systematic survey to
determine their presence. Given that we Figure 1. Spatial distribution of population sampling along ten ecological zones, each
lacked the appropriate permitting from INAH defined into five environmental mapping units. Courtesy of Valentino Sorani, University
to carry a surface survey, the historian taking of Morlos.

[page 74] [Open Journal of Archaeometry 2014; volume 2:5304]

Field Archaeology

has to consider the presence of weekly markets, resources, as it tries to determine the probabil- then recoded to a scale between 1 (low) and 10
the closing of streets to celebrate the festivity of ity of archaeological settlements occurring in a (high). The known archaeological sites were
a patron saint in a neighborhood. The design of non-sampled area, on the basis of quantitative included in the model, but note that much of
the ideal future city by its citizens encourages a assessment of the locational characteristics of the project areas are under urban/suburban
debate about the definition of heritage settlements in a surveyed area. However, the infrastructure obscuring most surface indica-
resources. Citizens of Cuernavaca demand their lack of a systematic approach to recover the tors. The potential to damage archaeological
parks, theaters, hotels, restaurants, cinemas, data restricts the possibility of creating a pre- sites while carrying infrastructure develop-
soccer courts, or a view of the mountains from dictive model based on the correlation between ment is very high for the municipality of
the top of an avenue, to qualify as dignified the location of archaeological sites and envi- Cuernavaca (Figure 2).
resources (Dore and Lpez Varela, 2010). ronmental variables. Thus, the project could A similar strategy was followed to produce a
Citizens demonstrating on the streets to defend only establish some base-line conditions and a predictive model for Jiutepec (Lpez Varela et
their daily living spaces should not surprise plan- process that could be expanded and used to al., 2007), taking into consideration five the-
ners or authorities, as these spaces express minimise adverse effects on archaeological matic layers: i) relief (layer converted to a 25
social values, the identity of the community or resources. m grid of pixels, classified grid based on three
their beliefs. The urban spaces and architecture Developing land-use plans for both munici- categories of agricultural field use, reclassifed
of tomorrow should be designed with a sense of palities followed a similar strategy of produc- values from 0 to 255, 5 to 127, and 10 to 1); ii)
place attachment. The people of Mexico, as ing a GIS-based predictive model that differen- soils (layer converted to a 25 m grid of pixels,
expressed by the citizens of Cuernavaca, are tiated areas by their potential for different classified grid based on three categories of soil
demanding that other type of resources, besides types of cultural resources, based on an excel- fertility, reclassifed values from 3 to 255, 2 to
those specified in its 1972 Law (Ley Federal sobre lent settlement survey in the Yautepec Valley, 127, and 1 to 1); iii) rivers [continuous grid
Monumentos y Zonas Arqueolgicos, Artsticos e east of Jiutepec (Hare, 2001). The known cor- based on the proximity of rivers, values within

Histricos), be protected and preserved. Thus, a relations between the archaeological sites and a 0 to 255 range (highest value indicates prox-

reevaluation of heritage is recommended the characteristics of the landscape from this imity to rivers)]; iv) drainage [continuous

because one has to understand that tomorrows neighboring region were used to create a grid based on the proximity of hypothetical
archaeological sites are being created today, that model that differentiated areas by their poten- drainage systems, hypothetical drainage sys-
history is happening now, and that the material tial for different types of cultural resources. tems calculated by the digital elevation model

expressions of modern life are the cultural her- Similar to any other predictive models, Hare (DEM) reclassified to 25 m pixels, calculated
itage of the nations future. Concurrently, these
are data that people are demanding to be consid-
ered as part of land use plans (Lpez Varela and
tied site locations to environmental variables,
such as slope, distance to water, soil type,
drainage and relief. In a sense, the correlative
drainage based on a hierarchy of 3]; v) slope
[continuous grid based on slope values, hypo-
thetical slopes calculated by DEM reclassified
Dore, 2008). With the information recovered for work had already been done. to 25 m pixels, values within a 0 to 255 range
both municipalities through these strategies, we Although we lacked the quantitative statisti- (highest value indicates less slope)]. All vari-

defined three types of resources (i) archaeologi- cal component that we would have had in a ables were scaled to 8 data bits with a range
scale of 0 (low) to 255 (high).

cal, (ii) historic, and (iii) social. Archaeological true correlative modeling effort, relationships
resources were defined according to INAHs law and patterns could clearly be defined. The The resulting model (Figure 3) consists of
five layers with the following values:

as the natural and built environment of those application of these relationships used the fol-
present before the arrival of the Spaniards and lowing environmental layers to create the relief+soils+rivers x. 05+drainage x. 05+

their created objects, as well as, their encoun- model for Cuernavaca (Altschul et al., 2006): i) slope. The model was calculated by the addi-
tered human remains. The production of materi- soils (layer converted to a 10 m grid of pixels, tion of these five layers and reclassified in 10

al culture between the 16th to the 19th centuries, classified grid based on seven categories of intervals of equal classes and then recoded to a
mostly limited to written documents and a built soil fertility, reclassifed values from 6 to 255, 5 scale between 1 (low) and 10 (high). To vali-
date the model, the location of the identified

environment of religious, military, and state to 204, 4 to 153, 3 to 102, 2 to 76, 1 to 51, and 0

architecture, comprehends the definition of his- to 0); ii) drainage [continuous grid based on archaeological sites by the local historian of
toric resources. However, we added public works the proximity of hypothetical drainage sys- Jiutepec was compared to the resulting model.
and significant buildings such as mills or facto- tems, hypothetical drainage systems calculated These visited sites correlate to the areas of

ries from these centuries, as demanded by the by the digital elevation model (DEM) reclassi- greater sensitivity having a value of 8 or more.
average citizen. Social resources comprehend fied to 10 m pixels, calculated drainage based The resulting models for both municipalities,
the protected artistic works exhibiting aesthetic on a hierarchy of 3, and values within a 0 to certainly, are not statistical, nor can we quanti-
255 range (highest value indicates proximity fy their predictive power. As planning tools,
values and added modern locations and the feel-
to water)]; and iii) slope [continuous grid though, they have tremendous utility to guide
ings of association, character, and identity that
based on slope values, hypothetical slopes cal- infrastructure development towards areas that
the material and immaterial world creates in the
culated by the digital elevation model (DEM) are less likely to have archaeological sites. The
inhabitants of these two municipalities.
reclassified to 10 m pixels, values within a 0 to models are a place to start and can be refined
255 range (highest value indicates less iteratively through use, as sites are reported, or
slope)]. All variables were scaled to 8 data bits with the use of better site data layers.
with a range scale of 0 (low) to 255 (high).
Approaching predictive model- These relationships were imposed on the
ing for heritage preservation natural resource data of the project area in a
rapid exercise of thresholding and map alge-
Archaeological solutions for
In a setting in which data is absent, one can bra. The resulting model (Figure 2) consists of building better futures
only predict the presence of archaeological three layers with the following values:
resources to mitigate infrastructure growth soils+drainage+slope. The model was calculat- Incorporating archaeological solutions for
with a predictive model. In this case, predictive ed by the addition of these three layers and land-use planning shape a new way of thinking
modeling is a powerful tool to protect heritage reclassified in 10 intervals of equal classes and for managing the ideal cities of the future. In

[Open Journal of Archaeometry 2014; volume 2:5304] [page 75]


l y
Figure 2. Predictive model for the Cuernavaca, showing sensitive Figure 3. Archaeological potential model showing the probabili-

areas for finding cultural resources. Courtesy of Statistical ty of finding sites in Jiutepec, characterised by a densely built
Research for the municipality of Cuernavaca, Mexico. area. Courtesy of Statistical Research for municipality of Jiutepec.

Mexico, the use of environmental sustainable principle (PPP) already in place for the protec- sis, and postclassic states in the Yautepec
principles holds great potential as a concept for
incorporating heritage values, if only clearly
tion of natural resources. The inclusion of the
private sector will not threaten the authority or
Valley, Mexico. University at Albany ed.,
Albany, NY, USA.
mandated by law and the databases could be mandate of INAH to preserve Mexicos heritage
Lpez Varela SL, Dore CD, 2008. [La arqueologa
easily be available to planners. In the absence it will simply enhance the institution ability to aplicada: una alternativa para la proteccin

of better data, the models are far from being fulfill its mission, as the experience is proving del patrimonio ante las polticas de desarro-
robust, but at least this include the perspec- with its granting concessions to the private sec- lo nacional]. In: P. Schmidt Schoenberg, E.

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Although limited in application, the process-

City, pp. 123-38.

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[page 76] [Open Journal of Archaeometry 2014; volume 2:5304]