Great Expectations: Negotiating Community at Ucanha, Yucatán, Mexico


Activities of all actors should be considered collectively given that communities were likely forged through a negotiation of needs and wants from the perspectives of rulers and subjects. Successful elite institutions would need to closely monitor these negotiations. If the needs of the general public were not met, elite institutions could be undermined. During the Terminal Preclassic, Ucanha, a secondary center connected to other monumental centers via an 18-km long causeway in the Northern Lowlands, experienced significant population growth and large-scale monumental construction, from mobilizing regional support. Ceramic and architectural evidence shows larger structures near the ceremonial center likely served as nodes that galvanized the community on a more intimate local scale, while monumental contexts integrated the community at large. The presence of an elite structure with pop motifs suggests the presence of formal rulership by the end of the Preclassic. By the Middle Classic, however, many houses were abandoned, and the hinterlands along the causeway experienced a florescence. Nonetheless, Late Classic monumental construction and residential reoccupation evidences that local elites were successful in coaxing people back to Ucanha. Tacking between elite and nonelite structures across time enables us to present a better picture of the social dynamics at Ucanha.

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Cite this Record

Great Expectations: Negotiating Community at Ucanha, Yucatán, Mexico. Barry Kidder, Daniel Vallejo-Cáliz, Shannon Plank, Jacob Welch, Scott Hutson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395819)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;