Overlapping and Shifting Networks: Comales, Spouses and Other Social/Material Interactions between/within Highlands and Coast in Colonial Guatemala
Ceramic assemblages of Postclassic and Colonial Maya sites in highland and coastal Guatemala are dominated by comales: griddle-like cooking vessels indicative of a maize tortilla diet. Given that some archaeologists have interpreted the appearance of the nixtamal/tortilla/comal complex in Guatemala as evidence of the "Mexicanization" of the Maya region, the Pacific coastal region of Guatemala -and its Central Mexican diasporic populations- is seen as the likely source of comales. As a result, comales are useful for tracking the degree/nature of entanglements between coastal and highland populations. Whatever the origin of comales, by the Colonial period, their presence is ubiquitous, despite the fact that documentary sources speak to strained interactions and severed social and economic networks between coastal Pipil and highland Kaqchikel communities. This paper explores coastal and highland interactions prior to and after colonization through the comparative Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) of comales at the Pacific piedmont Kaqchikel Maya site of San Pedro Aguacatepeque and Guatemalan coastal sites. We also draw on Colonial censuses, other archival sources and ethnoarchaeological research as additional lines of evidence that help reconstruct the dynamic, varied and overlapping social and material networks between and within coast and highlands in Postclassic and Colonial Guatemala.
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Overlapping and Shifting Networks: Comales, Spouses and Other Social/Material Interactions between/within Highlands and Coast in Colonial Guatemala. Guido Pezzarossi, Kelton Sheridan. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444348)
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min long: -94.57; min lat: 13.112 ; max long: -87.759; max lat: 17.937 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22385