Artifact Ubiquity as an Index of Ancient Maya Socioeconomic Variability at Actuncan, Belize
Author(s): Wade Tidwell
The Actuncan Archaeological Project has conducted ten field seasons of research at this ancient lowland Maya site in Belize, Central America and inventoried all artifact classes including ceramics, lithics, marine shell, jade, daub, etc. from excavation contexts. One of my research goals was to consolidate this information into a relational Access database so that project members could more easily analyze artifacts across contexts and time periods. The database allowed me to construct archaeological indices for documenting the ubiquity of artifact classes as a measure of socioeconomic variability across households or civic spaces. To achieve this goal, I explore which index is the most valid or useful, including the ratio of artifact classes potentially controlled by elites such as groundstone, jade and marine shell to the most commonly occurring ones (ceramics or lithics) or to excavation volume. Once these indices are created, I can identify structures or spaces that have disproportionately high or low ratios of materials and hypothesize how these areas were utilized by elite and common members of the society.
Cite this Record
Artifact Ubiquity as an Index of Ancient Maya Socioeconomic Variability at Actuncan, Belize. Wade Tidwell. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443138)
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min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20982