New Data on the Urban Grid at Nixtun-Ch’ich’, Petén, Guatemala

Author(s): Timothy Pugh

Year: 2016


Gridded settlements are rare in the Americas and previously unknown in the Maya world until the Spanish conquest. Recent work has documented a modular orthogonal grid at Nixtun-Ch’ich’, Petén, Guatemala. The grid appears to have been imposed upon much of the site around 400-200 BCE. In other parts of the world, planned orthogonal grids are frequently associated with powerful central authority. If this were the case at Nixtun-Ch’ich’ then then this act of power is correlated with the emergence of states in the area. Hence instead of elite claims to power carved on monuments, we likely have evidence of elite power carved into a city. Early rulers at the site likely used the grid to organize and control the newly urbanized population. Our recent work on the grid corridors has revealed that some of their surfaces were uniquely constructed.

Cite this Record

New Data on the Urban Grid at Nixtun-Ch’ich’, Petén, Guatemala. Timothy Pugh. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404144)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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