Sea Change: Maritime Maya Lifeways, Social Organization and Dynamics at the Port of Isla Cerritos, Yucatán
Author(s): Dylan Clark
Mesoamerican archaeology typically approaches social, cultural, political, and economic dynamics from a center-periphery perspective, tracing the historical pulses of integration and disintegration through the lens of the urban centers of the social and cosmological landscape. While the coastal Maya may seem peripheral geographically, maritime communities were actually central integrative forces throughout their dynamic histories. They facilitated and motivated movements and interactions of people, goods, and ideas within and beyond cultural regions and simultaneously stimulated sociocultural change. In this paper, I shift the viewpoint from inland to the coast, focusing on recent household archaeology at the island port of Isla Cerritos, on the Gulf coast of central Yucatán. The study addresses the question of social organization and change within the small resident population, as well as the sociocultural and political relationships with contemporaneous coastal and inland sites—especially Chichén Itzá. Moving between scales of archaeological data, from a single artifact assemblage and house mounds, to settlement patterns at the levels of site and region, I examine what we know about social life at this port from 300 BCE to 1500 CE and what a coastal Maya case study adds to our consideration of the social-historical dynamics of the northern Maya lowlands.
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Sea Change: Maritime Maya Lifeways, Social Organization and Dynamics at the Port of Isla Cerritos, Yucatán. Dylan Clark. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431315)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 16228