(Re)integrating Cultures at Cacalchen: Recent Excavations at Two Rral Chapels in Central Yucatan


The arrival of Europeans to the Americas in the sixteenth century forever changed processes of cultural integration. This paper explores how small Maya communities in Central Yucatan navigated the process of integration of new religious practices and the use of pre-existing structures in the landscape. This examination stems from recent excavations of two different rural chapel structures at the site of Cacalchen, located in the greater Yaxuna region between the towns of Yaxcabá and Kancabdzonot. While new permanent structures were created to fulfill the needs of a changing religious practice, spaces were chosen that already had important symbolic meaning to the local population. The remote location of these chapels likely meant that there was not a permanent European presence at Cacalchen during their use which may have resulted in a disintegration of new cultural practices. This research illustrates how landscape participates in social disintegration, as well as integration, when occupied by two distinct cultures that had previously not been in contact. Cacalchen emerges as a space in a constant process of re-integration that continues well into the present day.

Cite this Record

(Re)integrating Cultures at Cacalchen: Recent Excavations at Two Rral Chapels in Central Yucatan. Julie Wesp, Traci Ardren, Melissa Haun, Harper Dine, Roger Sierra. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431320)


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): 17230