Post-Classic Canal Excavations at Yaxnohcah, Mexico


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

Yaxnohcah is a large site in Campeche, Mexico with evidence of continual occupation from the early Middle Preclassic into the Postclassic. In 2014, the Yaxnohcah Archaeological Project commissioned a high resolution lidar scan of the region, which has allowed for accurate modeling of surface hydrology and significantly contributed to our understanding of hydrological landscape modification at the site. One feature of particular interest was an irregularly shaped, deeply etched canal located in the Bajo Tomatal, just south of the narrow drainage that connects it with the Bajo Laberinto. In 2017 and 2018, we modeled and analysed the hydrology of the Canal, which, along with associated-complimentary fieldwork, has provided insight into the extent and purpose of the feature. Our excavations show that, while the canal may originally have been a natural feature, it was extensively modified, with clear evidence for considerable refurbishment during the Post-Classic and data suggesting an earlier date for initial construction. Furthermore, the modelling indicates that the canal was used as a control mechanism for redirecting and buffering waterflow between the El Laberinto and the Tomatal Bajos. This control would have significantly augmented the agricultural viability of the surrounding area.

Cite this Record

Post-Classic Canal Excavations at Yaxnohcah, Mexico. David Milley, Armando Anaya-Hernández, Nicholas P. Dunning, Kathryn Reese-Taylor, Debra S. Walker. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449329)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.471; min lat: 13.005 ; max long: -87.748; max lat: 17.749 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 23968