Kept Out or Closed In? An Analysis of Civilian Fortification Strategies during the Maya Social War
Author(s): Tiffany Cain
In this paper, I explore the ways in which albarradas, or the dry-laid enclosure walls ubiquitous to Yucatec Maya towns, can be manipulated to become defensive structures under the threat of attack. I discuss the results of a recent study that conducted a construction analysis on a series of wall features in the now unpopulated town of Tela – an auxiliary to and key commercial throughway for the burgeoning frontier hub of Tihosuco (since repopulated) during the 19th century. This town was located at the epicenter of the Maya Social War or Caste War of Yucatan (1847-1901). Preliminary archival exploration suggests that it was occupied as a stronghold for at least the first five years of the conflict. The transformation of everyday enclosure walls into blockades, both of roads and house lots, provide one line of evidence for thinking through the impact of this conflict on the daily lives of Tela’s inhabitants. After detailing our team’s findings, I link this practice back to the present with a brief discussion of the recent blockading of the major highway that passes through Tihosuco as a response to failures of Quintana Roo’s state and municipal governments.
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Kept Out or Closed In? An Analysis of Civilian Fortification Strategies during the Maya Social War. Tiffany Cain. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444296)
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min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20488