The Development and Modification of a Hydraulic Urban Space at the Classic Maya site of Xultun, Guatemla.

Author(s): Jonathan Ruane

Year: 2015


In order to better understand the use history of the central reservoir at Xultun an investigation was performed during the 2012 and 2014 field seasons. ArcGIS 10.1 was used to model the site’s hydrology and excavations were performed both within the reservoir and on architecture within the catchment area to the north. The reservoir was built from a modified quarry and in use since the late Preclassic. The larger architecture associated with collection and management of this resource was not added until the early Classic. A series of depressions within the catchment area led to the discovery of a large sub-plaza drainage canal. This feature and the sacbe to the east of the reservoir were used to divert water from Plaza B into the reservoir. An elite administrative neighborhood was positioned between these two collection points. The reservoir was modified over time being dredged and expanded in the late Classic. The use of the canal also changed through time having surface collection points added and eventually being filled in and abandoned. Hydrological strategies employed by the Maya were adaptive changing with population pressure.

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Cite this Record

The Development and Modification of a Hydraulic Urban Space at the Classic Maya site of Xultun, Guatemla.. Jonathan Ruane. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396885)


hydrology Urbanism

Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

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