Chichén Itzá and its maritime ports during the Terminal Classic period

Author(s): Rafael Cobos

Year: 2015


The ancient city of Chichén Itzá reached its apogee as a regional capital in the tenth century. Part of this apogee included the territorial hegemony that Chichén Itzá exerted over a vast area of the maritime coasts of the Yucatán peninsula and Belize. By controlling the coasts, Chichén Itzá maintained strict authority over the different objects and merchandise that were distributed and exchanged throughout the maya lowlands in the Terminal Classic period. In order to control the distribution and exchange of objects and merchandise, Chichén Itzá developed a complex and efficient seaport infrastructure, which resulted in the establishment of at least two contemporary types of seaports along the Gulf of México and the Caribbean seas. The morphological differences between seaports founded in those two areas suggest that Chichén Itzá faced distinctive economic as well as political challenges, however, the ancient city successfully acquired objects and merchandise from other regions of the maya area and beyond.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Chichén Itzá and its maritime ports during the Terminal Classic period. Rafael Cobos. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396582)


Classic Maya seaports

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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