Surviving the Maya Collapse: A View from Moxviquil, Chiapas, Mexico

Author(s): Elizabeth Paris; Roberto López Bravo

Year: 2016


Although the famous "Maya collapse" in the 9th century A.D. destabilized many powerful Southern Lowland Maya Late Classic kingdoms, the small polities of highland Chiapas not only survived, but thrived. Excavations in the Central Highlands of Chiapas suggest that the small cities and towns in this region maintained their roles as political centers throughout the Late Classic-Early Postclassic period transition. Recent excavations at Moxviquil provide evidence for the economic and social foundations of households at the site during and beyond the 9th century, which suggest that this period was one of stability and prosperity for its residents. Domestic structures were renovated and expanded multiple times during this period, in conjunction with the expansion of residential settlement into new areas. Economic stability was likely derived from diversified local economies and relatively flexible and shifting participation in long-distance trade networks. A micro-scale perspective on household life and activities can shed light on contributing factors to broader political and economic stabilizing trends within the region during an otherwise turbulent period.

Cite this Record

Surviving the Maya Collapse: A View from Moxviquil, Chiapas, Mexico. Elizabeth Paris, Roberto López Bravo. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405295)

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Collapse Households Maya

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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