The Late Classic Islas de los Cerros Landscape: A Tapestry of Kinship, Identities, Histories, and Ancestries

Author(s): Bradley Ensor

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Archaeological studies on cultural landscapes are promising avenues for interpreting the embodiment of meaning to ancient peoples. Within Mesoamerica, most are restricted to elite contexts and centers with monumental architecture. In contrast, this presentation considers residential landscapes across social classes using settlement data and house mound construction sequences from Islas de los Cerros, Tabasco, Mexico to infer the intersection of settlement history, kinship practices, and successor relations to ancestral spaces. Whereas patrilineal elite groups maintained nucleated residential areas at ancestral locations across generations, and adding new lower-ranked subgroup residences at those locations, one class of commoners practicing neolocality expanded and cast bilateral networks across the islands whereby only one descendent (and spouse) of each generation remained residentially affiliated with their ancestral locations. Viewed in this way, the tapestry of space, identities, histories, ancestries, and statuses can be read into Islas de los Cerros’ kin-embodied landscape. The case study illustrates the utility of residential features and class differentiation in the interpretation of ancient Mesoamerican cultural landscapes.

Cite this Record

The Late Classic Islas de los Cerros Landscape: A Tapestry of Kinship, Identities, Histories, and Ancestries. Bradley Ensor. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449288)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -98.987; min lat: 17.77 ; max long: -86.858; max lat: 25.839 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22971