Maya Architecture in the Northern Lowlands

Author(s): Maline Werness-Rude; Kaylee Spencer

Year: 2017


It has long been recognized that ancient Maya architecture encoded sacred ideologies and replicated primordial landscapes through building forms and structural orientations. Many studies have focused on the architecture of the Southern Maya Lowlands, where rich textual sources exist and where an abundance of archaeological data aids in efforts to understand and interpret the meanings of architectural groups. We seek to augment interpretive frameworks with respect to the Northern Maya Lowlands, rather than just applying already existing models to new material. Indeed, northern built environments cannot be seen as carbon copies of southern ones nor can they be understood simply as late derivations from, and/or modifications of, southern ways of thinking about building. Looking at such constructs thus also has the potential to expand our awareness regional variation and specificity. In this paper, we build upon our work concerning northern architectural spaces by considering site orientations, plaza arrangements and sculptural embellishments. While we will focus on the northeastern, Puuc, region, we include sites from northwestern Yucatan and the north-south 'buffer zone,' which also allows us to revisit and reexamine old, conceptual divisions between the Puuc and adjacent areas in the scholarship.

Cite this Record

Maya Architecture in the Northern Lowlands. Maline Werness-Rude, Kaylee Spencer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429663)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Architecture Maya Puuc

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): 17227