1300 years of a Classic Maya ceramic tradition at El Perú-Waka’, Guatemala

Author(s): Keith Eppich

Year: 2017


In the course of 13 field seasons, archaeologists have carried out 23 operations across the ruined city of El Perú-Waka’. During these investigations, excavators recovered upwards of a million ceramic sherds from a wide variety of contexts; palaces, pyramids, residences, sheet middens, construction fill, ritual deposits, spoil piles, termination deposits, votive deposits, surface collections, burials, caches, and tombs. The excavation contexts are good enough, the quality of preservation generally high enough, and the quantity of sherds easily high enough to being to reconstruct the ceramic tradition of this ancient city. The Maya of El Perú-Waka’ crafted a multitude of ceramic artifacts, from artistic polychromatic masterworks to low-end unslipped water jars and chamberpots. This includes all the ceramic vessels required for everyday life in the tropical rainforest of the Classic Maya. From this material, one can examine both the internal society of the city-state as well as the external connection to neighbors near and far. What emerges from this analysis is the distribution of quotidian ceramics and the exchange of high-end serving-wares. This exchange is not just between social units within the El Perú-Waka’, or between this city and neighboring cities, but interaction between social units in different cities.

Cite this Record

1300 years of a Classic Maya ceramic tradition at El Perú-Waka’, Guatemala. Keith Eppich. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431896)


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): 15035