In 1961, archaeologist William T. Sanders traveled to México’s Teotihuacán Valley to film a documentary based on his 1957 Harvard dissertation. The film, Land and Water: An Ecological Study of the Teotihuacán Valley of México, provides an invaluable snapshot of agricultural and land-use practices in the area just prior to the urban explosion of México City.


Sanders documented peasant farmers using masonry dams, canals, and splash irrigation; women and children washing clothes at a nearby spring; and the many uses of the native maguey plant. Cultural conservation was not the intention of the original film, but it is a sobering reminder of how quickly traditional landscapes and cultural adaptations vanish when sustainability is ignored.


LAND AND WATER REVISITED consists of 1) a look at what the original film captured; 2) a comparison of the old footage with the valley today; and 3) how researchers are currently studying the effects of urbanism in the Teotihuacan Valley. The film will be a modern and tangible view of the effects of unchecked and unregulated growth.

For more information visit the Land and Water Revisited website.