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Bird and Fish Remains from Isla Cilvituk: Evidence of Ecological and Market Niche Construction in a Postclassic Maya Lacustrine Environment

Author(s): Brandon McIntosh

Year: 2015

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The archaeofauna of Isla Cilvituk, a Postclassic (A.D. 900-1520) Maya site in the state of Campeche, Mexico, offers a unique opportunity to understand differential subsistence and economic strategies across the Postclassic Yucatan. With significant ecological diversity found throughout the peninsula, the production of empirical data from the zooarchaeological record can provide a contextual framework through which the evolution of prehistoric human behavioral ecology may be interpreted in terms of resilience following the so called "Maya Collapse."

In this paper, the archaeofauna assemblage of the inland lacustrine site of Isla Cilvituk is compared to Mayapan and the Postclassic settlements on Cozumel Island. As these three sites are located in various ecological regions, an account of relative taxonomic abundance across sites will provide context for how people at Isla Cilvituk, Mayapan, and Cozumel utilized their local environments and related faunal resources to sustain daily life and participate in market exchange. Such comparison can highlight differential market niche construction strategies across the Maya landscape. People across the Maya region likely extracted commodities specific to their local ecosystems as a way to remain socially, politically, and economically relevant during the Postclassic.

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Bird and Fish Remains from Isla Cilvituk: Evidence of Ecological and Market Niche Construction in a Postclassic Maya Lacustrine Environment. Brandon McIntosh. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398228)


Spatial Coverage

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

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America