ANT 345C - week 3 paper

ANT 345C - week 3 paper - community Low then focuses on the...

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ANT 345C September 13 Writing Assignment: Week 3 Chapters 3, 4, and 5 of On the Plaza by Setha Low present a very linear description of the origin, and development, of plazas throughout history. While she focuses on three separate areas and their historical uses of plazas, the underlying theme of these chapters is the notion that plazas were developed for, and used as, both political and social power and their concurrent struggles. She beings with modern day San Jose, Costa Rica and follows the evolution of its socioeconomic identity and the ever-changing development of its plazas that resulted. Initially, Costa Rican plazas were used as soccer fields but as the city expanded the plazas went through six stages of metamorphosis – soccer field, residential plaza, plazita, neighborhood plaza, Plaza Central and, eventually becoming, Parque Central. Each stage developed out of the one before it however always remaining the cornerstone of the
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Unformatted text preview: community. Low then focuses on the history of plazas in European cities and the development and usage of grid-plan-plaza layouts. She states that this form of urban design planning was utilized while building military strongholds and towns that were used as a means of fortification. It is then said that this sophisticated blueprint was then transported from Europe to Mesoamerica by Spanish conquistadors, who then used this framework to develop civilized society. But perhaps, Low argues, the opposite occurred and the Spaniards witnessed this urban template from indigenous civilizations and sought to redevelop their cities in Europe under this model. After careful examination of evidence, Low concludes that modern plazas resulted from an amalgamation of both Spanish and indigenous uses and construction, creating a framework unique to New World developments....
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This essay was uploaded on 03/25/2008 for the course ANT 345C taught by Professor Johnhartigan during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas.

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ANT 345C - week 3 paper - community Low then focuses on the...

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