The Jovel Valley of Highland Chiapas from the Classic Period to the Postclassic Period

Author(s): Roberto Lopez Bravo; Elizabeth H. Paris

Year: 2017


In contrast to the sociopolitical instability and depopulation observed at many sites in the Southern Maya Lowlands during the Classic to Postclassic transition, Highland Chiapas was characterized by stability and demographic expansion, as suggested by our excavations in the Jovel Valley, where small cities and towns maintained their roles as political and economic centers throughout this period. In this paper, we examine patterns of continuity and change evidenced by recent excavations at the cross-valley monumental centers of Moxviquil and CV-38 (San Pedro y San Pablo). Founded near the beginning of the Late Classic period, these centers experienced a period of prosperity during the Early Postclassic, marked by the expansion of residential settlement into new areas. The occupation of domestic spaces for multiple generations is reflected in numerous building phases and renovations to residential terraces and houses. Both sites are characterized by distinctive architectural building styles that combine adobe and masonry techniques, including an adobe ballcourt at CV-38, and the use of adobe brick foundation walls and puddled adobe floors in outlying residential areas. We also observe a significant transformation in burial practices during this period, from rectangular masonry tombs to communal graves in mortuary caves.

Cite this Record

The Jovel Valley of Highland Chiapas from the Classic Period to the Postclassic Period. Roberto Lopez Bravo, Elizabeth H. Paris. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429964)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15693