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Title: The Socio-economy of the Late Postclassic Maya: A Regional Perspective Based on Ceramic Production in Northern Yucatán, México
Authors: Sánchez Fortoul, Carmen Giomar
Supervisors: Whitbread, Ian
Award date: 5-Oct-2017
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis is about the Maya who inhabited northern Yucatán, México, during the centuries around the European arrival, the Late Postclassic (AD c. 1100-1500). The nature of Late Postclassic (LP) society is not well understood, primarily because its socio-economic nature eludes researchers. To advance our understanding of LP socioeconomic environment and to inform current debates, this research examines patterns in ceramic technology to understand better ceramic production, distribution, and exchange. The research questions can be summarized as follows. Were there patterns in raw material selection and ceramic technology reflecting zones of production, groups of potters, technological traditions, or other social divisions? What might such patterns tell us about the organization of production and the nature of interactions, including networks of ceramic exchange and technological traditions that may reflect social divisions or integration? These questions were addressed mainly through petrographic and chemical analyses of ceramic jars and cajetes, using a regional approach including Mayapán and sites from the north-central and eastern areas of Yucatán. Raw materials and pottery were characterized into compositional and technological classes. Many potters’ groups supplied the centers. Mayapán pottery fabrics are largely homogenous. Minor centers show great variability that, nevertheless, follows a pattern determined by overarching traditions dictating the appropriate materials for different types of vessels. One technological tradition dates to the Terminal Classic and continues up to the present. At least two orientations to production are emerging because the association between raw materials and types of vessels at Mayapán differs from north-central sites. Mayapán imported few vessels and exported many, found at sites less than two days’ march from Mayapán. A ritual context or a limited sub-regional market context may explain this movement. These findings have informed current views about LP ceramic production and exchange and advanced our understanding of the socio-economic nature of this period.
Embargo on file until: 5-Oct-2020
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Leicester Theses
Theses, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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