Pre-Columbian Society of Washington DC

The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. (PCSWDC), is an educational organization dedicated to furthering knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the Americas before the time of Columbus. Founded in 1993, the Society provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding these pre-Columbian cultures between academic professionals and interested members of the public.

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Ancient Urban Landscapes: Project Plaza of the Columns Complex at Teotihuacan, Mexico, Nawa Sugiyama, PhD, George Mason University

This meeting will be held at the Charles Sumner School, 17th & M Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.

NOTE: Photo ID may be required to enter the building.

The meeting starts with refreshments at 6:45 pm and the lecture begins at 7:15 pm.

Teotihuacan LiDAR Map  Copyright: Project Plaza of the Columns Complex

Teotihuacan LiDAR Map

Copyright: Project Plaza of the Columns Complex

With 54% of the world’s population living in urban zones, investigating the nature and impact of urban centers has never been more relevant. Prehistoric urban landscapes are bountiful storehouses of data for dissecting social and demographic processes that drive and maintain the complex system of urbanism and sculpt its legacy into the terrain. Project Plaza of the Columns Complex (PPCC) explores this subject through the examination of a premier archetype of pre-industrial urban systems in the New World, at Teotihuacan Mexico. Three research questions will be examined. 1) How do we characterize the ecological imprint of pre-industrial urban systems like Teotihuacan? 2) How did sociopolitical structures at Teotihuacan emerge? And, 3) why do urban systems like Teotihuacan collapse?


Nawa Sugiyama is an Assistant Professor at the Sociology and Anthropology Department at George Mason University. Her research focuses on Mesoamerican archaeology, human-animal interactions, zooarchaeology and isotope bone chemistry. She is co-director of Project Plaza of the Columns Complex, excavating a civil-administrative complex at the core of Teotihuacan, Mexico (  Dr. Sugiyama received her PhD from Harvard University, where her dissertational research focused on faunal remains from Teo. She completed post-doctoral studies as a Peter Buck Fellow at the National Museum of National History in Washington, D.C. 

Earlier Event: February 1
Later Event: April 5

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