chapter  5
22 Pages

Excavations in an urban community

During the nal lab season for Capilco and Cuexcomate, in 1989, a crew from the Morelos INAH oce was excavating an Aztec mound at the edge of Yautepec, a city east of Cuernavaca. My graduate school advisor, David Grove, had shown me this mound many years earlier. Dave knew the archaeology of the state of Morelos like no one else, and we stopped to take a look at the Yautepec structure on one of our trips across the state. Covering 1.7 acres, it was the ruin of the largest ancient building in the entire state, and it must have been a palace or temple complex. When the landowner died, his heirs planned to sell the land for a housing subdivision, which would have meant destruction for the mound. A local organization, the Yautepec Cultural Society, petitioned INAH to excavate the structure and save it from being damaged or demolished. Cindy and I took a day o from lab work in Cuernavaca to visit the excavations, and we ended up spending several years digging at Yautepec ourselves.