Upstream, Downstream, Sacred Worlds

Author(s): Wendy Ashmore

Year: 2016


Archaeological study of ancient water management has grown tremendously in recent decades. Vern Scarborough has contributed centrally to advances in this domain, in the Maya area of Mesoamerica, as well as in cross-cultural examinations extending to the U.S. Southwest, and more distantly, South and Southeast Asia. Even his early concerns with ancient American ballcourts and ballgames link to water, with regard to the watery underworld to which the courts were entry portals. Scarborough’s inquiries into water-related ritual landscapes are well known and often richly collaborative. While some of his and others’ research involves standing water, such as cenotes or reservoirs, much treats flowing streams and moving water. This presentation explores some of the inferences about ancient practices raised by that work, especially ways in which it leads to rethinking old evidence, including some in my past research.

Cite this Record

Upstream, Downstream, Sacred Worlds. Wendy Ashmore. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403518)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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