Public Spaces and Polity Making in Maya Hinterland Communities: A Case Study from San Lorenzo, Belize
Public structures in the Maya region materialize ideologies and define centers of power as they create politically charged sacred landscapes. These locations are nexus points for community and polity making processes, embedding social hierarchies, ideologies, and social memories into the physical landscape. However, archaeologists have historically focused attention on monumental public spaces within large civic-ceremonial centers, and relatively little attention has been given to public spaces within rural communities. Yet it is at these public structures and spaces that entanglements of both top-down and bottom-up processes are visible to archaeologists. To explore the ways in which hinterland or ‘rural’ communities may integrate and articulate with larger ‘heartland’ seats of power, this paper will examine one such public group at the hinterland site of San Lorenzo, Belize. Data demonstrates that this group was used and modified by the local community from the Preclassic to the Terminal Classic periods. Its proximity to the large center of Xunantunich and the continual use of this space over centuries suggests that this group played an enduring role in the socio-political integration of the San Lorenzo community and Xunantunich polity.
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Public Spaces and Polity Making in Maya Hinterland Communities: A Case Study from San Lorenzo, Belize. Victoria Ingalls, Jason Yaeger. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443845)
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min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20442