Implications for Spinning Thread in a Marketplace at the Classic Maya site of Xunantunich, Belize
Author(s): Bernadette Cap
The identification of marketplaces among the Classic Maya has contributed to more complex understandings of their economies, but scholars are still working to determine the fundamentals and variations of Maya marketplace exchange across time and space. Recent investigations at the Classic Maya site of Xunantunich, Belize recovered a small assemblage of spindle whorls from the site’s Lost Plaza, a posited marketplace. This the only example among the Classic Maya to directly connect the activity of spinning thread with a physical marketplace, from which I infer that thread was part of the marketplace exchange system. Classic Maya artwork provides examples of a variety of textiles, but due to tropical conditions few traces have been left of the production process. Spindle whorls represent one of the most durable lines of evidence for textile production. This poster presents details of the spindle whorl assemblage and associated features and soil chemical signatures to understand the activity of spinning thread within the Lost Plaza. Broad economic implications of thread as a marketplace good are also discussed. In Mesoamerica, spinning and weaving is depicted primarily as a female activity. The Lost Plaza assemblage provides an opportunity to discuss the role of gender in marketplace exchange.
Cite this Record
Implications for Spinning Thread in a Marketplace at the Classic Maya site of Xunantunich, Belize. Bernadette Cap. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429450)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 15574