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Wayfinding: Paths, Pathway Markers, and Navigational Monuments at Wari Camp and Beyond

Author(s): Laura Levi ; Christian Sheumaker ; Sarah Boudreaux

Year: 2017

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Social life never proceeds in the absence of a spatial dimension that defines, brackets, segregates, alters or otherwise organizes interaction. The power to organize space emerges historically from the sweep of institutional arrangements across society and operates along many different dimensions and scales, at once establishing boundaries all the while insidiously permeating them. This historical process – this "social production of space" – is what we refer to as landscape. Landscape has been a foundational concept for research at the Programme for Belize site of Wari Camp for almost 15 years. We have explored how the spaces of social life there facilitated control by political leaders over a diverse array of people and landforms, and how people through their various institutional affiliations devised a multiplicity of provisioning strategies. Yet only recently have we begun to detect the manner in which people and things moved within and among these spaces. Our paper celebrating the 25th anniversary of research at Programme for Belize tackles this particular dimension of place making. We focus on the identification of paths, pathway markers and navigational monuments because their distributional patterning provides unexpected insights into both community and regional landscapes.

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Wayfinding: Paths, Pathway Markers, and Navigational Monuments at Wari Camp and Beyond. Laura Levi, Christian Sheumaker, Sarah Boudreaux. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431531)


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): 15514

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