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Politicized Use of the Spaces outside of Caves during the Terminal Classic Maya Collapse

Author(s): Marieka Arksey

Year: 2017

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This paper investigates the use of caves as performance spaces for water and agriculturally focused rituals during the Maya Late Classic period (~ A.D. 750-900) and the events of the 'collapse'. Although the ‘collapse’ of the social, economic, and political systems during this period has been the subject of much study, the majority of research has focused on the environmental factors with little consensus as to how rulers attempted to maintain order, social solidarity, and political power during this time of crisis. Drawing on perspectives grounded in performance theory, ethnography, and traditional archaeology, this paper examines how the use of caves was expanded during the collapse to include the more visible and accessible exteriors of caves for the first and only time in over 2000 years as rulers attempted to garner favor with the increasingly dissatisfied general populace.

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Politicized Use of the Spaces outside of Caves during the Terminal Classic Maya Collapse. Marieka Arksey. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429752)


Collapse Power Ritual

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): 17662

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America