Whereas scholars of postrevolutionary Mexico have long attended to the ideological significance of pre-Hispanic monuments, this article looks at the actual work involved in reconstructing them. Field reports from state archaeologists for the pyramid at Tajín (in the lowlands of northern Veracruz) from the mid- to late twentieth century reveal a parallel between the fragility of the monument and the precariousness of the local population, whose labor refashioned the pyramid. An ethnographic consideration of San Antonio Ojital, a community once located north of the archaeological site, further suggests that the making of monumentality elicited a regime of perceptibility that conceals the ongoing struggles of local residents. By layering these temporally dispersed episodes in the long recovery of the main pyramid in Tajín, I present monumentality as a selective process of reconstruction, which despite privileging wholeness, unity, and containment has only worked on the basis of obscuring social and material fragmentation, destruction, and precariousness.

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