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Tracing the Emergence of Maya Lordship at Secondary Centers of the Copan Polity: An Examination of Residential Differentiation and Access at Centers in the Cucuyagua and El Paraiso Valleys

Author(s): Erlend Johnson ; Ellen Bell ; Marcello Canuto

Year: 2017

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Summary

In this paper we contend that Copan fundamentally transformed the political structures and social institutions of centers in outlying areas as it expanded and integrated these regions. Evidence from our areas of study, the Cucuyagua and El Paraiso valleys, suggest that these regions had long lived autocthonous populations prior to Copan’s expansion into these regions in the Late Classic period. Using evidence from other non-Maya sites in Western and Central Honduras we contend that while varied political systems in these valleys lacked the same degree of social and political hierarchy typical of Maya culture. By examining how Late Classic period site layouts and residential patterns changed over time, we will evaluate to what degree Maya style political hierarchy was adopted in each valley. The data suggest that integration within the Copan polity an adoption of Lowland Maya style political relations led to significant structural changes that allowed local rulers to accrue greater wealth and prestige than had previously been possible. At the same time the degree to which these changes occurred varied from center to center, which may point to differing mechanisms and processes by which these institutions were introduced.


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Tracing the Emergence of Maya Lordship at Secondary Centers of the Copan Polity: An Examination of Residential Differentiation and Access at Centers in the Cucuyagua and El Paraiso Valleys. Erlend Johnson, Ellen Bell, Marcello Canuto. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431168)


Keywords

General
Copan Maya Politics

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14550

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