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The Making of a Hinterland: Evaluating Classic period Copan’s Political Organization and Territorial limits with Data from the Cucuyagua and Sensenti Valleys.

Author(s): Erlend Johnson

Year: 2016

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Summary

The ability of Maya Ajaws to project political power outside of their capitals is a widely debated topic: some investigators sustain centralized territorial models for Maya political organization, and others defend segmentary models. The location of Copan on the southern fringe of the Maya world gives a unique opportunity to study this phenomenon because political boundaries in this multicultural environment are more visible than in other Maya kingdoms. We will explore the tempo and degree of political changes in the Cucuyagua and Sensenti valleys southeast of Copán. We will present arguments that suggest that the expansion of Copán during the Classic period transformed the two valleys: integrating the first valley into the Copán polity and transforming the political geography of the second valley. This suggests that the rulers of Copan had the ability to instigate major, structural changes outside of their seats of power and that a centralized model of political organization may be more apt for Copán.


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The Making of a Hinterland: Evaluating Classic period Copan’s Political Organization and Territorial limits with Data from the Cucuyagua and Sensenti Valleys.. Erlend Johnson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404395)


Keywords


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