Nineteenth Century Maya Refugees and the Reoccupation of Tikal, Guatemala

Author(s): James Meierhoff; Lorena Paiz

Year: 2015


After nearly millennia of isolation and abandonment, Tikal, the once mighty city of the ancient Classic Maya, was briefly reoccupied by Maya refugees fleeing the violence of the Caste War of Yucatan (1847-1901). While small, this village was comprised of a conglomeration of at least three different Maya speaking groups, seeking safety and autonomy in the frontier zone of the dense and sparsely occupied Petén Jungle. This remote region was exploited for centuries by groups escaping ecclesiastical, colonial, and later nationalistic control. During the Caste War waves of migration continued to enter this area. A broader phenomenon of migration into the Caste War era frontier zone is the reoccupation of ancient Maya cities that had been abandoned for hundreds of years. This presentation will discuss the occupation of the ruined city of Tikal, Guatemala, with an emphasis on new data of the refugee village gathered during the 2014 field season.

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Nineteenth Century Maya Refugees and the Reoccupation of Tikal, Guatemala. James Meierhoff, Lorena Paiz. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433964)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 181