Maya and Aztec

Ancient Mesoamerican civilizations

Archaeologist in Cacaxtla, Beatriz Palavicini, passed away

Category: News reports

INAH, may 09, 2009. Beatriz Palavicini Beltran, researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) who devoted to the restitution of the historical and architectonical values of Cacaxtla Archaeological Zone, in Tlaxcala, passed away in Mexico City in May 9th 2009, at 42, victim of a liver disease.

Along with restorer Diana Molatore, Palavicini headed the Cacaxtla-Xochitecatl Special Project, which work improved the site’s image, but also its history, by clearing out aspects such as settlement pattern and chronological periods. Part of Tlaxcala INAH Center, the archaeologist conformed one of the first bibliographies about the ancient settlement, and participated in the First International Colloquy of Cacaxtla, 30 Years of Investigations, that took place in September 2006.

During the lecture named “Geo Technical Analysis of Cacaxtla Great Base” in which Jose Luis Rangel, Efrain Ovando, Luis Barba, Diana Molatore and Juan C. Araiza presented their results, she clarified that the base was not a dwelling site where high rank people lived. The Great Base operated as a workshop where organic substances were manufactured, possibly for offerings, as rests of animal and vegetal fats, albumin and carbohydrates reveal, pointing out labor related to these raw materials.

Beatriz Palavicini obtained her archaeologist degree at the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH). Her work at the Xochicalco Project, in Morelos develop a theory that pointed out that Quetzalcoatl’s human image was born here, because the kind of representations of the deity were created here in the Epi Classic period (600-900 AD), being the earliest of the Central High Plateau (Altiplano Central). Palavicini Beltran, also a MA in Mesoamerican Studies at UNAM, focused a great part of her career in Cacaxtla, archaeological site characterized by its extraordinary mural paintings created by a culture that reached its peak during the Epi Classic period and dominated for over 300 years the Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley.

Diana Molatore, director of the Tlaxcala Regional Museum, commented that Beatriz Palavicini had a great knowledge of Cacaxtla that she could translate to her archaeological activities to give more coherence to constructive stages study, like the Great Base, an artificial elevation, over which structures were constructed between 450 BC and 900 AD. For the past years, Beatriz Palavicini, academic at the National School of Conservation, Restoration and Museography (ENCRyM) and the Anthropology College of the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla (BUAP), conducted work at the oriental face of the Great Base, and was beginning laboring at the eastern side. She also directed recovery work at the south side, damaged in 2007 after a hailstorm.

“Beatriz had an important hypothesis about Cacaxtla affiliation, which has been determined as Olmeca-Xicalanca for years. She commented her hypothesis at the Cacaxtla First International Colloquy, announcing a connection with Maya groups, early Teotihuacan, and others”.

Archaeologial chores of the Cacaxtla-Xochitecatl Special Conservation Project are now in charge of Gullermo Goni, director of the site.

Source: INAH.

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