Reconsidering Heirarchy, Caching, and Architectural Practices at Cerros Belize

Author(s): Jeffrey Vadala

Year: 2016


Caches have been recovered in the Maya area dating to every period since the Middle Preclassic (c. 700 BC) and are among the most common assemblage type recovered from Maya architecture. In the past, most scholars have treated caches as a normative Maya custom, failing to identify significant spatial and temporal variation within cache assemblages. Additionally, many studies have isolated cache contents from their larger contexts, especially the context of the rituals of which they were a component. Taking a different view, my project illuminates caching as a set of repeated ritual events that would have organized ritual and productive social processes resulting in "structured depositions" that linked many aspects of ancient Maya life. The social processes that produced caching events have been characterized by mapping the activities associated with caching as networks that emerged in each caching event, creating 3d computer generated reconstructions to examine ritual space. Furthermore, each of Cerros’ recovered caches has been contextualized by diachronic approach employing Bayesian modeling. The results of this analysis have dramatically shortened Cerros’ Preclassic occupation history and have provided data to support new interpretations about the rise of hierarchy and the development of social order at Cerros.

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Reconsidering Heirarchy, Caching, and Architectural Practices at Cerros Belize. Jeffrey Vadala. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404939)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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