350 Years after the Conquest: British Influences on a Multiethnic Refugee Maya Community

Author(s): James Meierhoff

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "After Cortés: Archaeological Legacies of the European Invasion in Mesoamerica" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

In the late-nineteenth century, Maya refugees fleeing the violence of the Caste War of Yucatan (1847-1901) briefly reoccupied the ancient Maya ruins of Tikal. Unlike the numerous Yucatec refugee communities established to the east in British Honduras, those who settled at Tikal combined with Lacandon Maya, and later Ladinos from Lake Petén Itza to form a small, multiethnic village in the sparsely occupied Petén jungle of northern Guatemala. This paper discusses the analysis of the mass-produced exotic consumer goods brought to Central America from the port at Belize which found their way into the homes deep in the Petén jungle at Tikal. Also included is a discussion on what the villagers may have been trading to obtain the copious foreign made products. This Petén assemblage demonstrates that different patterns of consumer choice were practiced at Tikal in regards to the eastern Yucatec refugee villages. These new patterns of consumerism coincided with an easing of ethnic markers, and facilitated a blending of ethnic identities at Tikal; a phenomenon which may have parallels in modern refugee behavior.

Cite this Record

350 Years after the Conquest: British Influences on a Multiethnic Refugee Maya Community. James Meierhoff. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450616)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 26317