Community Complexity and Collapse: A Settlement Analysis of the Ancient Maya Site Contreras Valley, Belize
Author(s): Kathleen Forward
The city-state of Minanha, located in west central Belize, reached its zenith and most culturally complex stage by the Late Classic period, 675-810 AD. Only a century later, its royal court had "collapsed". Contreras Valley is a small farming community in the settlement region of Minanha. Decades of research at Minanha and the analysis of artifact frequencies from commoner households allows for a better understanding of the the intra- and inter-community social practices occurring at the site of Contreras Valley and within the greater Minanha area. A community archaeology framework is utilized to explore the integrative social, political, and economic strategies of this commoner population. This framework allows for a peripheral perspective on the "rise" and "fall" of the royal court, providing a more holistic analysis of Minanha’s history. As Contreras Valley was able to sustain a population whilst its royal court disintegrated, the resilience of this group of individuals will generate an increased cognizance of how a community copes with and continues to thrive in a climate of political chaos and instability.
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Community Complexity and Collapse: A Settlement Analysis of the Ancient Maya Site Contreras Valley, Belize. Kathleen Forward. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443321)
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min long: -92.153; min lat: -4.303 ; max long: -50.977; max lat: 18.313 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21775