Community Archaeology and the Production of Space at Punta Laguna, Yucatan, Mexico

Author(s): Sarah Kurnick

Year: 2019


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

Archaeologists have considered the relationships between the production of space and the production of social inequality in past societies. Those practicing community and other forms of engaged archaeology have also examined the relationships between the production of space and inequality in the present, including at archaeological sites developed for tourism. As others have noted, the creation of such attractions, and particularly eco-archaeological parks, often involves the processes of spatial colonization and spatial commodification, which justify and exacerbate inequality. This presentation suggests and presents a case study – the Punta Laguna archaeological site in the Otoch Ma’ax Yetel Kooh reserve in Yucatan, Mexico – in which the production of an eco-archaeological tourist attraction has empowered an indigenous group and helped ameliorate inequality. Specifically, this presentation argues that those seeking to decolonize archaeological practice can facilitate the indigenous production of archaeological tourist spaces in three ways. Through academic research, archaeologists can expose faulty narratives of spatial colonization and defy erroneous attempts at spatial commodification. Through collaborative, community-based field research, archaeologists can help local groups disseminate their own history and identity to others. And, through public outreach, archaeologists can generate awareness and encourage tourists to patronize spaces owned and operated by local groups.

Cite this Record

Community Archaeology and the Production of Space at Punta Laguna, Yucatan, Mexico. Sarah Kurnick. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449800)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24723