Preclassic Kaminaljuyu, Guatemala: New Interpretations on Social Processes

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

Kaminaljuyu is one of the most important sites in Mesoamerica and has been a major focus of archaeological research by many scholars. The currently prevalent chronology of Kaminaljuyu, established mostly by relative ceramic dating, implies that various social and political institutions developed significantly earlier in the southern Maya area than in the Maya lowlands during the Preclassic period. Evaluations of new and existing data, however, suggest that this chronology needs to be revised substantially. Such a chronological revision indicates that scholars also need to question existing interpretations on the role that Kaminaljuyu and the Maya highlands played in the development of centralized polities in the Maya area. Session participants will discuss relevant data, including ceramics, radiocarbon dates, and stone monuments, and present new interpretations on social processes.

Other Keywords
MayaChronologyCeramicsMesoamericaArtGuatemalaRadiocarbon datesSculpturePreclassicKaminaljuyu

Geographic Keywords
MesoamericaCentral America

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-6 of 6)

  • Documents (6)

  • All in Good Time: the "New Highland Chronology" and the Sculptures of Kaminaljuyú, Guatemala (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Lucia Henderson.

    This paper considers the impact of the new highland chronology proposed by Dr. Inomata on prevailing interpretations of the stone sculptures of Kaminaljuyú. The revised chronology moves the archaeological record of Kaminaljuyú approximately 300 years forward, shifting the site’s sculptures to a wholly new cultural and chronological framework. This paper begins the process of re-contextualizing the art of Kaminaljuyú by investigating the ways in which the new chronology disrupts and/or supports...

  • The Antigua Valley, Guatemala: Dating and Contexts of the Middle Preclassic Period (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Eugenia Robinson.

    Evidence of sedentism in the Antigua Valley begins in the Middle Preclassic Period at the archaeological sites of Urias and Rucal, located at the head of a corridor to the Pacific coast. This area has evidence of mobile Early Preclassic peoples as early as 1400 B.C. Middle Preclassic finds at Urias and Rucal include middens, bottle-shaped pits, stone markers, platforms, a burial, and pottery similar to Charcas types from Kaminaljuyu and Naranjo. Radiocarbon dating and stratigraphy could...

  • The Chronological Ceramic Sequence of Naranjo, Guatemala: A Revision and Relationship to Kaminaljuyu (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Gloria Aju. Barbara Arroyo. Lorena Paiz. Andrea Rojas.

    Recent research at the site of Kaminaljuyu and the revision of the ceramic sequence has promoted a revision of Naranjo chronology and ceramics. The site of Naranjo is located 3 kms north of Kaminaljuyu and has a significant occupation during the Middle Preclassic. An abandonment of the site has been dated to around 500-400 BC, the moment when the first rise of Kaminaljuyu has been identified. The results of analysis presenting the relationships of various ceramic types from Naranjo connected...

  • Early Maya Script and Visual Culture: A Chronological and Geographical Reassessment (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David Stuart.

    This paper presents evidence for a lowland origin of Maya hieroglyphic writing and iconography during the Late Pre-Classic period. It calls into question long-standing models of highland-lowland interaction that have assigned temporal priority of Maya monumental art and visual culture to the southern highlands and Piedmont region. In addition to the several known sculpted and inscribed monuments from the Peten region, archaeological evidence from the site of San Bartolo has revealed integrated...

  • A revised Kaminaljuyu chronology and its implications for social processes (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Takeshi Inomata.

    An evaluation of new and existing data indicates that the Middle and Late Preclassic portions of the Kaminaljuyu chronology need to be shifted 300 or 400 years later. This paper primarily examines relevant radiocarbon dates and then discusses the implications of this revision for our understanding of how centralized polities with rulership developed in the southern Maya area and in the Maya lowlands. SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and...

  • Revisiting the Preclassic Ceramic Sequence of the Greater Kaminaljuyu Zone (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Jose Raul Ortiz.

    In a recent work, Inomata and colleagues present a revised chronology of Kaminaljuyu during the Preclassic period which cross-dates other cultural sequences in southeastern Mesoamerica. This paper provides further ceramic data including a re-evaluation of the various typological sequences already established in the literature and presenting a modal sequence of vessel shape, surface treatment, and decoration based on ceramic analysis of collections from the most important sites in the greater...