Transformation and Persistence of the Basin-Valley of Mexico in the 16th and 17th Centuries

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 In order to contribute to the debate on the origins of Anthropocene, this paper analyzes the transformations of the Basin-Valley of Mexico during the 16th and 17th centuries as an early instance of the changes produced in the Anthropocene period. More specifically, this case is studied as an example of the impact of the Iberian colonization of the Americas on local environments by focusing on the geo-hydrological alterations caused by natural and cultural innovations introduced by the Europeans into the basin. It shows how the confrontation between different ways of living and understanding the city, the lakes, and their relationship originated different proposals for water management. Transforming the basin into a valley was close to geological process rather than a mere outcome of political decisions; therefore, this occurred much slowly than the urban elites intended. While this was a problem for the city, it allowed the indigenous way of life, linked to the lakes, to persist and continue for a longer period of time.

Keywords: Anthropocene, Historical Geoanthropology, Basin-Valley of Mexico, Geo-Hydrological Alterations, Iberian colonization of the Americas, Early Modern Water Science


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