A space for politics

This room stands out for being the largest and the one with the best finishes of all the excavated buildings in La Almoloya. It is the backbone to understand this place. It gives it meaning and cohesion because it was the place set up for politics. In this series and the following, we will dwell on details that will explain why we know it.

Detail aerial photo of Housing Complex 1, in which the great Audience Room or

Detail aerial photo of Housing Complex 1, in which the great Audience Room or “Parliament Hall” stands out.

The floor plan help us to distinguish details. This one represents the Housing Complex 1 where the Parliament Hall is located. Here it stands out the large continuous bench along the room perimeter and the large hearth located at the foot of the podium near the western bench, which is slightly higher than the others.

The floor plan help us to distinguish details. This one represents the Housing Complex 1 where the Parliament Hall is located. Here it stands out the large continuous bench along the room perimeter and the large hearth located at the foot of the podium near the western bench, which is slightly higher than the others.

This perspective from the East allows us to appreciate the fire that ravaged the Hall. There are even traces of calcination in the plaster that completely covered the large benches and the floor. In the centre, seven holes are the bases of the posts that supported the ceiling of the 127m2 room. Around the hearth, four wooden poles supported a smoke outlet. Moreover, the roof was reinforced with an ingenious constructive solution of eleven posts arranged in zig-zag embedded or attached to the walls.

This perspective from the East allows us to appreciate the fire that ravaged the Hall. There are even traces of calcination in the plaster that completely covered the large benches and the floor. In the centre, seven holes are the bases of the posts that supported the ceiling of the 127m2 room. Around the hearth, four wooden poles supported a smoke outlet. Moreover, the roof was reinforced with an ingenious constructive solution of eleven posts arranged in zig-zag embedded or attached to the walls.

From the Northeast, you can see better the different heights of the side benches and thus, we can imagine the use they must have had. The idea that this space should have been exclusively political was raised from the beginning of the excavations in 2013 since it is a room surrounded by these large benches that invite you to sit down. It seems ideal as a space for communication between dozens of people. In addition, the scarcity of objects related to food processing, or the production of handcrafts distinguishes this room from others. The discovery of the princely tomb supported the political and governing use of this space.

From the Northeast, you can see better the different heights of the side benches and thus, we can imagine the use they must have had. The idea that this space should have been exclusively political was raised from the beginning of the excavations in 2013 since it is a room surrounded by these large benches that invite you to sit down. It seems ideal as a space for communication between dozens of people. In addition, the scarcity of objects related to food processing, or the production of handcrafts distinguishes this room from others. The discovery of the princely tomb supported the political and governing use of this space.

We estimated that at least 50 people could sit on these benches. What else would they do but come together to solve critical community issues? It does not seem that all the people gathered had the same rank, based on the differences in the height of the benches. Possibly, these differences reflected a political hierarchy.

We estimated that at least 50 people could sit on these benches. What else would they do but come together to solve critical community issues? It does not seem that all the people gathered had the same rank, based on the differences in the height of the benches. Possibly, these differences reflected a political hierarchy.

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