Consumer Culture at the 19th century Maya refugee site at Tikal, Guatemala

Author(s): James Meierhoff

Year: 2017


In the mid-nineteenth century Maya refugees fleeing the violence of the Caste War of Yucatan (1857-1901) briefly reoccupied the ancient Maya ruins of Tikal, Guatemala. These Yucatec speaking refugees combined with Lacandon Maya, and later Ladinos from Lake Petén Itza to form a small, multi-ethnic village in the sparsely occupied Petén jungle of northern Guatemala. The following paper will discuss the recent archaeological investigation of the historic refugee village at Tikal, with a focus on the recent analysis of commercially made British ceramics, glass, and copious metal artifact assemblages; and includes a discussion on what the villagers may have been trading to obtain such goods, such as tobacco and other jungle products. As will be demonstrated, despite its remoteness from urban centers, the Tikal Village was well connected to trade networks of surrounding societies, demonstrated by the quantity and diversity of foreign items found in their homes and in vast midden deposits around this short lived community.

Cite this Record

Consumer Culture at the 19th century Maya refugee site at Tikal, Guatemala. James Meierhoff. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431973)


Historic Maya Refugees

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): 16138