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Ancient Maya Animal Use at El Mirador: Subsistence, ceremony, exchange and environmental resiliency

Author(s): Erin Thornton ; Richard Hansen ; Edgar Suyuc

Year: 2017

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El Mirador (Peten, Guatemala) is among the largest Preclassic settlements in the Maya lowlands. The site has attracted attention due to its size and antiquity, but also for its location within a region containing few permanent or perennial water sources. This study presents a preliminary analysis of the site’s faunal remains to assess diet, ritual, habitat use and exchange. Comparison of the El Mirador data with other Preclassic faunal assemblages allows us to assess the degree to which animal use patterns were shaped by local environmental conditions or larger pan-Maya Preclassic dietary and ritual traditions. Although a large portion of the faunal remains date to the Late Preclassic (350 BC-AD 150), remains associated with a Late Classic (AD 600-900) re-settlement provides an additional opportunity to address diachronic variation in animal use, and how the local environment may have changed or recovered after nearly 500 years of human abandonment. The dataset is thus significant to documenting the timing/tempo of potential wildlife resiliency in the Maya Lowlands.

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Ancient Maya Animal Use at El Mirador: Subsistence, ceremony, exchange and environmental resiliency. Erin Thornton, Richard Hansen, Edgar Suyuc. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429888)


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): 16062

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