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Ritual Behavior in the Late and Terminal Classic: An Application of Ethnoarchaeology in the Southern Maya Lowlands to Terminal Deposits

Author(s): Haley Austin ; Olivia Navarro-Farr

Year: 2016

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Summary

In the Late and Terminal Classic periods (~750-900 B.C.) ancient Maya city centers in the southern lowlands changed in terms of population, political, and ritual climate. These changes resulted in marked emigration, depopulation of various city centers, and the fall of divine kingship. Across the Maya region, archaeologists have encountered heterogeneous surface deposits, many of which are associated with final occupational phases. Variously identified as problematic or terminal, I argue these deposits may provide unique insights into ancient Late and Terminal Classic ritual behavior; as such, they may further our understanding of the complex processes associated with collapse. In this poster, I consider ethnoarchaeology as a potential research strategy for examining the archaeology of collapse-era ritual in the Maya lowlands. I propose studying modern ritual engagement of ancient shrines as a potential analogue for evaluating ancient terminal deposits. I demonstrate how applying ethnoarchaeological methodologies may help address questions about ancient behavior and intentionality.


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Ritual Behavior in the Late and Terminal Classic: An Application of Ethnoarchaeology in the Southern Maya Lowlands to Terminal Deposits. Haley Austin, Olivia Navarro-Farr. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404515)


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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