Warfare, Fortifications, and Archaeological Formation Processes: The Case of Mensabak, Chiapas, Mexico
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
This paper musters archaeological, ethnohistoric, and ethnographic data to highlight that a greater focus on formation processes and sampling bias is necessary in the archaeology of warfare and study of martial architecture. Fortifications are some of the most important archaeological indicators of past warfare. For example, the myth of a peaceful Maya civilization was shattered through multiple studies that established the presence of martial architecture prior to the Postclassic period (AD 900-1521). Yet, when compared to the amount of Maya sites, a proportionally low number are fortified. Additionally, many known fortifications contain gaps or do not encircle entire sites. The breaks in martial architecture shed doubt on their defensive function. By examining formation processes associated with martial architecture, we suggest that contemporary methodologies lead to an underrepresentation of Maya fortifications. Thus, the study of Maya warfare should bring the issue of sampling bias to the forefront. To build our case, we examine masonry fortifications from two sites in the Mensabak region of Chiapas, Mexico. Our analysis suggests the presence of Maya fortifications is strongly affected by the physio-chemical properties of construction materials (wood and plaster) and bioturbation.
Cite this Record
Warfare, Fortifications, and Archaeological Formation Processes: The Case of Mensabak, Chiapas, Mexico. Christopher Hernandez, Josuhé Lozada Toledo. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450029)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 23072