Muralla de Leon: Exploring the Fortifications

Author(s): Justin Bracken

Year: 2015


The summer of 2014 saw the return of archaeological investigation after a 30-plus year hiatus to Muralla de Leon, located on the shores of Lake Macanché in the Petén of Guatemala. Ringed by a partially-collapsed wall of varying height, the site appears to have been a locus of contestation at various eras of Maya history. A Postclassic temple assemblage within indicates occupation by the Kowoj, who were subsequently driven from the area by the rival Itzá. However, preliminary evidence dates the initial construction of the wall to an earlier time, perhaps making the Kowoj only one of many groups to take refuge within the fortifications. This past summer's work invoked a dual-pronged approach that sought to generate a digital map of the site while also obtaining general site chronology and architectural insight via targeted excavation. In the course of the mapping effort, a number of previously undocumented structures were located throughout the general vicinity. The ongoing exploration of these settlements will serve to describe in detail the occupational history of the region around Lake Macanché, while at the same time providing context for the construction and function of the wall through comparison of what lies inside with what lies beyond.

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Cite this Record

Muralla de Leon: Exploring the Fortifications. Justin Bracken. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397224)


Fortification Maya Peten

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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