Local Interpretations about Maya Pre-Hispanic Heritage: The Case of Tulum

Author(s): Mathieu Picas; Margarita Díaz-Andreu

Year: 2019


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

Cultural heritage is a social construction that allows groups of different character to appropriate culturally or politically ancient sites by attaching symbolism to them. In Mexico, the use by the state of archaeological remains for the construction of a homogeneous national identity has been marked by the management of many sites since the late 1930s. The official discourse on these sites emphasizes scientific research and promotes cultural tourism on the basis of historic and aesthetic values. This discourse contrasts with the local uses of the archaeological remains, a use that is underscored by social and sacred values. This presentation will focus on Pre-Hispanic structures, locally known as múulo’ob or mounds. The múulo’ob are considered by the local Maya to be the dwelling places of supernatural entities such as guardians and ancestors whom are considerate to the owners of the land. The Maya’s territoriality includes, therefore, a particular connection to the remains which is reflected in the agricultural cycle, social practices, and oral tradition. We will explore different ways of local communities’ interaction with archaeological sites in central Quintana Roo paying particular attention to the alternative values that they raise, especially in the case of the archaeological site of Tulum.

Cite this Record

Local Interpretations about Maya Pre-Hispanic Heritage: The Case of Tulum. Mathieu Picas, Margarita Díaz-Andreu. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449856)

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): 24011