Rural economies at agrarian houselots before and after the rise of urban Mayapán


This paper examines wealth and occupational diversification of rural houselots of the Terminal Classic and Postclassic northern Plains of Yucatan. Eight dwelling groups are compared that were situated in different types of rural/peripheral contexts. Ubiquitous Terminal Classic dwellings in the study area were located at the margins of a modest town (the Rank IV center of Tichac/Telchaquillo) far from cities of any size or political significance. In contrast, Postclassic houses were within one or two kilometers of Mayapán’s city wall, with their economies potentially linked to the needs of the largest urban capital of the Maya realm and enhanced opportunities for exchange. Significant differences are observed in the household economies of urban versus rural Postclassic houses in the quantity, value, and diversity of debris. Rural houses of both periods exhibit low indices of wealth and productive diversification. All houses exhibit long term occupations and investment in architecture suggestive of permanent occupation, challenging views that low artifact densities equate with seasonal farmsteads. The implications of these findings contribute to understanding the role of peripheral and agrarian populations in regional political economies of northern Yucatan.

Cite this Record

Rural economies at agrarian houselots before and after the rise of urban Mayapán. Marilyn Masson, Carlos Peraza Lope, Timothy Hare, Bradley Russell. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403023)


Spatial Coverage

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