The Complexity of Trash: Reframing Construction Fill

Author(s): Lisa DeLance; Jaime Awe

Year: 2017


Mesoamerican archaeologists have traditionally, although not exclusively, viewed artifacts found in the context of construction fill as trash and devoid of primary contextual information, a view that has limited the questions that archaeologists are able to ask of these materials. This paper posits an alternative interpretation to the meaning of material culture used in construction fill, utilizing evidence from Formative period construction fill found at the site of Cahal Pech, Cayo, Belize. Specifically, this presentation illustrates the possibility of the deliberate and agentic placement of specific types of material culture into the context of construction fill as a deeply meaningful act of community building that places both kin groups and individuals at the center of construction episodes.

Cite this Record

The Complexity of Trash: Reframing Construction Fill. Lisa DeLance, Jaime Awe. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431156)


Fill Maya

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): 16071