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No Direction Home; Refining the Date of Occupation at Tikal’s 19th Century Refugee Village.

Author(s): James Meierhoff

Year: 2016

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In the latter half of the 19th Century, the ancient Maya ruined city Tikal was briefly reoccupied.  The frontier village was established some time before 1875, and had a maximum population of 15 households comprised of at least three distinct Maya speaking groups.  However, the site was again abandoned when archaeologists visited Tikal in 1881.  Most of the inhabitants were reportedly said to be Yucatec refugees fleeing the violence and upheavals of the Caste War of Yucatan (1847-1901) that raged for over 50 years.   However, similar conflicts with English woodcutters in British Honduras also caused displacements, as many of the Yucatec refugees’ initial settlements there were destroyed by British Troops.  Was Tikal reoccupied by Maya refugees fleeing British violence?  Ongoing artifact analysis from the 2014 field season, as well as previously excavated material and documentary evidence will attempt to refine the occupation sequence at the historic Tikal village.

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No Direction Home; Refining the Date of Occupation at Tikal’s 19th Century Refugee Village.. James Meierhoff. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434735)


Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 527

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