Preclassic Complexity in the Central Karstic Uplands: Yaxnohcah and its Neighbors


The Preclassic (900 BCE – 150 CE) was the period during which the earliest sedentary communities in the Maya lowlands were founded. Acts that initiated these early civic charters, such as the construction of E-groups and communal platforms, were followed quickly by rapid expansion of communities throughout the landscape, involving population growth, monumental architecture, massive waterworks, and a high degree of sociopolitical complexity. It was also during this period when ideologies and practices in religion, statecraft, and commerce were firmly established. In this context archaeological research has been shifting its attention to the Preclassic in order to address the still impervious questions on how this growing complexity led to the advent of Maya culture.

Recent archaeological excavations at Yaxnohcah and other Preclassic sites have centered on those topics that endeavor to shed some light on this complex process. In this paper we will present a review of such efforts at Yaxnohcah and situate them in relationship to the development of complexity in the Central Karstic Uplands. We focus on the adaptation of the earliest settlers to the wetland landscape during the Middle Preclassic and the subsequent early appearance of low density polycentric cities in the region.

Cite this Record

Preclassic Complexity in the Central Karstic Uplands: Yaxnohcah and its Neighbors. Armando Anaya Hernandez, Kathryn Reese-Taylor. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431224)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15533