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The Workings of Classic Maya Marketplace Exchange from the Perspective of the Buenavista del Cayo Marketplace

Author(s): Bernadette Cap

Year: 2016

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Marketplace exchange among the Classic Maya is frequently inferred from the degree of homogeneity in consumption practices among households of differing statuses. The actual presence of marketplaces among the Classic Maya has been a point of debate, but recent empirically based investigations at a few Lowland sites have provided evidence for their existence. The Late Classic marketplace located in the East Plaza of Buenavista del Cayo, Belize is such an example. Examination of marketplace exchange from the marketplace itself provides a unique perspective that adds to and complements the information household consumption patterns offer. In this presentation, I discuss the types of goods exchanged in the Buenavista del Cayo marketplace and the efforts involved in its maintenance. Household goods made of raw materials locally available, such as chert and limestone, and non-local materials, such as obsidian, were exchanged in the Buenavista del Cayo marketplace, which indicates that multiple communication networks were involved in sustaining a marketplace that served to provision households. The location of the Buenavista del Cayo marketplace in the site center has implications for its administration. Direct empirical evidence for administration is lacking, but I offer possible avenues of control over the marketplace by different status groups.

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The Workings of Classic Maya Marketplace Exchange from the Perspective of the Buenavista del Cayo Marketplace. Bernadette Cap. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403030)


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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