Reexamining the Identity of Reverential Termination Rituals in the Maya Lowlands

Author(s): Kaitlin Ahern

Year: 2017


In the pursuit to understand ancient Maya ritual, researchers have commonly relied upon the analysis of termination rituals and caches. In the early 2000’s, Jonathan B. Pagliaro, James F. Garber, and Travis W. Stanton introduced a clarification of the terminology, differentiating between reverential and desecratory termination rituals. Following this publication, a surge of studies conceptualizing desecratory termination rituals emerged, while the literature on reverential termination rituals remained sparse. Even today, the interpretation of reverential termination rituals remains particularly broad and unclear. Specifically, there is no clear demarcation separating reverential termination rituals from dedication rituals or even from desecration termination rituals. This ambiguity has made it difficult to properly identify the occurrence of this type of ritual in the archaeological record. Therefore, it is necessary to reconceptualize reverential termination rituals and establish a more concise definition of this ritual act. This examination draws from various case studies from across the Central Maya Lowlands to establish a list of characteristics associated with reverential termination rituals.

Cite this Record

Reexamining the Identity of Reverential Termination Rituals in the Maya Lowlands. Kaitlin Ahern. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429510)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16526