Plano Reconstructivo de la Region de Tenochtitlan al Comienzo de la Conquista

Arquitecto Luis Gonzalez Aparico, 1968

Map found in book Plano Reconstructivo de la Region de Tenochtitlan (Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, Mexico 1973)

(High-resolution file of full map available for download at URL link at bottom of this page)

An unusually detailed, archaeo-/anthropologically informed conjectural map of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, and its lacustrine hinterland of Lake Texcoco. The map shows the lake in wet season conditions, when the water was high. During dry season the water lowered, turning the lake zone into swampland and several lakelets (see maps at bottom of page).

From the Conquest period onward, the lake underwent a dramatic process of infill and drainage. Today this once formidable geographic feature has disappeared, replaced by the expanse of modern-day Mexico City (see last map on page).

Map of Lake Texcoco showing dry-season (minimum) shorelines (From Bradbury 1971 in Gina Alexandra Torres Alvez 2018, “Reliability Analysis of the Nezahualcoyotl Dike” […]

Detail of the 1555 Uppsala Map of Lake Texcoco, showing the Xochimilco – Chalco southern arm of the lake basin (right is north). Note the blue and tan lines crossing the lake: these are dry-season canoe canals (blue) and roads (tan).

Shoreline of historical Lake Texcoco superimposed on modern satellite of Mexico City (Erik Beck).

Further reading:

Barbara Mundy 2015, The Death of Tenochtitlan and Life of Mexico City (U Texas Press).

Map Collection: Tenochtitlan (1968 Reconstruction)