El Achiotal in Context: Settlement and Geopolitics in the Northwest Peten, Guatemala

Author(s): Luke Auld-Thomas

Year: 2018


This paper presents research carried out by members of the Proyecto Regional Arqueologico La Corona at the site of El Achiotal since 2009, with emphasis on new findings since 2015. Occupation at the site spans the Late Preclassic and Early Classic periods (roughly the 1st to 5th Centuries AD, with the possibility of some earlier occupation). An inscribed stela discovered in 2015 provides critical insight into the geopolitics of the Early Classic period and establishes greater time-depth for some known aspects of Classic Maya statecraft. Moreover, an airborne LiDAR survey carried out in 2016 and ground-truthed during the 2017 field season indicates that El Achiotal may have been part of a larger and more complex settlement system than was previously recognized. The survival of this political and demographic system during the transition to the Early Classic period, when monumental construction decreased or stopped altogether at many large centers in the region, will be considered in ecological and political terms.

Cite this Record

El Achiotal in Context: Settlement and Geopolitics in the Northwest Peten, Guatemala. Luke Auld-Thomas. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445420)

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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): 21546