LIVING IN BORDERLANDS. ARCHAEOLOGY AND MEANINGFUL DIVULGATION OF THE NORTHERN FRONTIER OF MESOAMERICA
The state of Aguascaliente’s pre-Hispanic history did not become the subject of systematic studies until recently, in the 21st century. Moreover, despite all this new recent archaeological research, archaeologists investigating Aguascalientes’s past often fail to communicate and disseminate their findings to the public despite additional archaeological information that is increasingly created and circulated among specialized audiences (i.e.,,, academics, practitioners, and governmental agencies). This dissertation aims to fill the knowledge gap related to the archaeological investigation of the Mexican state of Aguascalientes by producing new knowledge on the Cerro de en Medio (CDEM) site. The project documented 215 architectonical features and created a photogrammetric 3D record of buildings from the ground surveys and drone-based photographs. Afterward, the project excavated in 3 household’s compounds and analyzed recovered archaeological artifacts to finally integrate this knowledge within a regional perspective of the Mesoamerican Northern Frontier. Then, the project design and develop Meaningful Divulgation practices to convey the societal importance of the investigated cultural heritage to the Mexican society at large and critically reflect on what it takes to do so. Finally, this dissertation explores a ‘theoretical outline for Serious Game development’ planned to engage the non-specialized audience interested in Aguascalientes archaeological heritage through a “serious game.” This project argues that combining digital technologies and communication strategies is necessary to effectively produce viable divulgation in museums and sites. In doing so, the project takes a step forward in the conservation and preservation of the archaeological heritage of Aguascalientes, which, although it may be irrelevant to nationalist narratives, is vital for the local population. The local Indigenous cultural traditions can receive new invigorating airs because their depth in time is often ignored, although they are still alive. In this sense, this research seeks to play an essential role in preserving local social memory and heritage.