Power, Space, and Place in the Heart of La Milpa

Author(s): Debora Trein; Brett Houk; Gregory Zaro

Year: 2017


La Milpa was one of the largest ancient Maya urban centers in the eastern Maya Lowlands during the second half of the Late Classic to the Terminal Classic periods, its influence extending over communities throughout the Three Rivers Region of northwestern Belize. La Milpa’s rise to regional prominence is associated with a series of upheavals during this period, including increased political dynamism following the decline of Tikal at the end of the Early Classic period, and a dramatic rise in the population of the Three Rivers Region. In this presentation we provide a synthesis of the research conducted over the past ten years at La Milpa, utilizing multiple datasets to chart the cultural trajectory of this large urban settlement. Further, we explore ways in which the residents of La Milpa and surrounding communities may have articulated their position in the region through the design, access, and use of the built environment of La Milpa. We suggest that La Milpa’s architecture provided an arena for members of the La Milpa polity to interact with one another and negotiate changing social, political, economic, and environmental conditions in the region, through both extraordinary events as well as mundane activities.

Cite this Record

Power, Space, and Place in the Heart of La Milpa. Debora Trein, Brett Houk, Gregory Zaro. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431530)


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): 16356