From Coast to Coast: Trade Routes and Commerce of Northwest Yucatán’s Mayapán

Author(s): Marilyn Masson; Collin Gillenwater

Year: 2015


Late Postclassic Mayapán formed the nucleus of a complex system of trade routes in northwest Yucatán, some of which endured into the Contact Period. The importance of ports and overland trade routes to commerce in late Maya history has long been acknowledged, but landlocked Mayapan’s specific connections to towns and exchange facilities has not been systematically considered from an archaeological perspective. Our analysis draws on Postclassic-to-Contact Period historical and archaeological data with the goal of framing Mayapan’s trade network within a regional perspective of connected and interdependent subject and allied towns. We consider settlement pattern evidence in order to identify secondary centers and smaller towns of greatest importance to trade, due to their strategic locations along overland routes that linked Mayapan to its ports. Sourcing of nonlocal artifacts exchanged into the urban center also sheds light on coastal trading towns of greatest importance to this city.

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Cite this Record

From Coast to Coast: Trade Routes and Commerce of Northwest Yucatán’s Mayapán. Collin Gillenwater, Marilyn Masson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396590)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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