The Production and Exchange of Early Postclassic Elite Wares in the Eastern Maya Lowlands

Author(s): Carmen Ting

Year: 2015


This paper investigates the role played by Marco Gonzalez in the production and exchange of elite wares, as represented by the Zakpah ceramics, during the Early Postclassic period. Located in Ambergris Caye off the coast of northern Belize, Marco Gonzalez was occupied continuously throughout the Classic to Postclassic transition, with strong Early Postclassic (ca. AD950/1000–1200/1250) evidence yielding one of the largest Zakpah ceramic assemblages alongside Lamanai. By using various archaeometric methods (e.g. thin-section petrography, pXRF, and SEM-EDS), the resultant compositional and technological data reveal that the community at Marco Gonzalez was not actively engaged in the production of elite wares. All Zakpah ceramics recovered from Marco Gonzalez were imported from multiple producers in mainland northern Belize. In fact, such concentration of Zakpah ceramics from diverse sources at Marco Gonzalez can be argued to be evidence indicating the involvement of the community in redistributing elite wares. It is further suggested that Marco Gonzalez could have acted as the link between local and regional markets, thus promoting greater socio-political, economic and ideological integration among elites in eastern Maya lowlands during the Early Postclassic period.

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Cite this Record

The Production and Exchange of Early Postclassic Elite Wares in the Eastern Maya Lowlands. Carmen Ting. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 394814)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;