Good Neighbors: Investigating Maya Neighborhood Organization in Northern Belize

Author(s): Laura Levi; Sarah Boudreaux

Year: 2016


Socio-spatial constructs that loosely translate as "neighborhoods" are found within many indigenous Mesoamerican communities. Unfortunately, the phenomenon receives less attention and commentary by observers of contemporary lowland Maya place-making. Nevertheless, archaeologists have long suspected that ancient lowland communities possessed multiple spatial subdivisions; and, at long last, neighborhood archaeology would seem to be a growing focus of research. To date, however, the physical delineation of neighborhoods seldom looks beyond such basic issues as residential proximity and topography. In this paper, we hope to expand research protocols through consideration of an array of supra-household socio-political affiliations that fixed people to specific places within the ancient Maya community. Using data from the sites of San Estevan and Wari Camp (in northeastern and northwestern Belize, respectively), we argue that neighborhoods varied functionally, structurally, and spatially. Not surprisingly, different kinds of neighborhoods produced markedly different kinds of neighbors.

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Good Neighbors: Investigating Maya Neighborhood Organization in Northern Belize. Laura Levi, Sarah Boudreaux. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405310)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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