Recent Investigations of War, Economy, and Population at Piedras Negras, Guatemala


This paper presents a synthesis of current results from the 2016 - 2017 research seasons at Piedras Negras, Guatemala with implications for understanding warfare, economy, politics, and population dynamics throughout the ancient kingdom. First, while project members had identified a series of fortified centers and palisades in the region’s hinterlands, the recent identification of fortifications in the near periphery of Piedras Negras makes it one of the rare polity capitals in the southern Maya lowlands where such features have been reported. Second, while regional research had revealed evidence for craft production and exchange, prior evidence for craft production at Piedras Negras was relatively scant. Recent excavations have significantly altered this perspective and changed our understandings of economic integration at the capital and across the kingdom. Third, prior subsistence and diet research largely focused on soils and bone isotopes, while the present project adds the complexity of research into plant economies. Further, project participants have begun to draw together the disparate threads of settlement research to produce a more integrative picture of settlement dynamics. Finally, a return to Piedras Negras has also afforded the opportunity to further conserve the site and engage with local stakeholders for long-term protection.

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Recent Investigations of War, Economy, and Population at Piedras Negras, Guatemala. Andrew Scherer, Charles Golden, Mónica Uriquizú, Griselda Pérez Robles. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444308)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 18752