Identity on the Edge of the Kingdom: the Artifacts, Residences, and Ritual Areas of Río Amarillo, Copan

Author(s): Walter Burgos; Edy Barrios; Cameron McNeil

Year: 2015


Excavations at the site of Río Amarillo, an ancient Maya town, reveal a community with complex affiliations influenced by the waxing and waning of Copan’s power. While seemingly autonomous during the Early Classic period, the Late Classic inhabitants of Rio Amarillo’s ritual core from the time of Ruler 12 through the reign of Ruler 16 embraced important aspects of the ideology and identity of the Maya city of Copan. These affiliations extended to an elite residential sector where a censer with a lid in the form of K’inich Yax K’uk’ Mo’, the first Copan Maya king, was uncovered. The Late Classic contexts contain a mixture of Ulua polychrome and Copador ceramics echoing similar patterns found in Copan’s ancient center. With the breakdown of the political structure of the southern Lowland Maya cities, including Copan, the inhabitants of Rio Amarillo, concentrated their settlement in higher areas, and returned to a reliance on predominantly locally-produced ceramics while continuing to trade for goods from El Salvador, highland Mexico, and the interior of Honduras.

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Cite this Record

Identity on the Edge of the Kingdom: the Artifacts, Residences, and Ritual Areas of Río Amarillo, Copan. Cameron McNeil, Edy Barrios, Walter Burgos. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396922)


Copan Identity Maya

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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