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Anthropology

Anthropology Faculty Publications

Mesoamerica

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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

An Iterative 3d Gis Analysis Of The Role Of Visibility In Ancient Maya Landscapes: A Case Study From Copan, Honduras, Heather Richards-Rissetto Mar 2017

An Iterative 3d Gis Analysis Of The Role Of Visibility In Ancient Maya Landscapes: A Case Study From Copan, Honduras, Heather Richards-Rissetto

Anthropology Faculty Publications

For several decades, Geographic Information Systems (GISs) have held center stage in archaeological studies of ancient landscapes. Recently, three-dimensional (3D) technologies such as airborne LiDAR and aerial photogrammetry are allowing us to acquire inordinate amounts of georeferenced 3D data to locate, map, and visualize archaeological sites within their surrounding landscapes. GIS offers locational precision, data overlay, and complex spatial analysis. Three-dimensionality adds a ground-based perspective lacking in two-dimensional GIS maps to provide archaeologists a sense of mass and space more closely attuned with human perception. This article uses comparative and iterative approaches ‘tacking back and forth’ between GIS and 3D ...


Producing Goods, Shaping People: The Materiality Of Crafting, Julia A. Hendon Sep 2015

Producing Goods, Shaping People: The Materiality Of Crafting, Julia A. Hendon

Anthropology Faculty Publications

The study of craft production has a long and venerable history in archaeological research on ancient societies. In this chapter, I consider the crafting of useful and desired things from a materiality perspective by looking at the interactions between the craftpersons, the materials with which they work, and the ways that their end products are valued in society. I use two examples: working with fibers by the Maya of Mesoamerica and with metals by the Moche of Andean South America. These are two very different kinds of materials whose characteristics affect how one interacts with them. Crafting was a part ...


Social Memory And Ritualized Practice In Prehispanic Honduras, Julia A. Hendon Jan 2012

Social Memory And Ritualized Practice In Prehispanic Honduras, Julia A. Hendon

Anthropology Faculty Publications

This paper discusses ritualized practices in domestic spaces as signs of an ongoing and dynamic engagement between the people living there and non-human material and incorporeal social actors, using archaeological evidence from the ancient town of Cerro Palenque and related sites in northwestern Honduras occupied from the 7th to 11th centuries. The paper considers the ways that figurines, pottery, and other kinds of material culture were given meaning through their involvement in these ritualized practices, the materiality of the objects themselves, and their association with human bones. These practices are situated in particular spaces and occur at particular points in ...


Social Interaction At The Maya Site Of Copan, Honduras: A Least Cost Approach To Configurational Analysis, Heather Richards-Rissetto Jan 2012

Social Interaction At The Maya Site Of Copan, Honduras: A Least Cost Approach To Configurational Analysis, Heather Richards-Rissetto

Anthropology Faculty Publications

In this article, I employ least cost paths using GIS to measure the relationship between site configuration and social connectivity at the ancient Maya site of Copan, Honduras. I investigate two questions. First, did people of different social classes experience varying degrees of social connectivity? Second, did people living in different parts of the city experience difference degrees of social connectivity? Ultimately, the goal is modify traditional configurational analysis using least cost analysis (LCA) to identify how social hierarchy was embedded in landscapes and how ancient people may have strategically manipulated landscapes to structure social interaction and community organization.


Local Interaction And Long Distance Connections In The Ulua Valley: The View From Cerro Palenque, Julia A. Hendon Jan 2009

Local Interaction And Long Distance Connections In The Ulua Valley: The View From Cerro Palenque, Julia A. Hendon

Anthropology Faculty Publications

The site of Cerro Palenque, the largest settlement in the lower Ulua Valley (Sula Valley) in Honduras during the ninth and tenth centuries AD, was a locus of craft production of figurines and pottery, feasting, the ballgame, and other events associated with its ballcourt. Based on the analysis of imported obsidian, the evidence for ritual and craft production, and the layout of the settlement, Cerro Palenque maintained long distance trade connections with Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. It also took part in local rituals and events with its smaller neighbors in the valley.


Heterarchy As Complexity: Archaeology In Yoro, Honduras, Julia A. Hendon, Rosemary A. Joyce, Russell Sheptak Jan 2009

Heterarchy As Complexity: Archaeology In Yoro, Honduras, Julia A. Hendon, Rosemary A. Joyce, Russell Sheptak

Anthropology Faculty Publications

Based on archaeological evidence from the Cuyumapa Valley in Honduras, including the presence of multiple ballcourts, this paper argues that archaeologists need to pay more attention to Carole Crumley's concept of heterarchy when considering social relations, political relations, and power in ancient societies such as those of the Maya and their neighbors in Mesoamerica. We redefine complexity to include less centralized but regionally heterogeneous societies in which social and political relations are not all centralized into a single hierarchical structure. The Cuyumapa Valley falls in the zone traditionally described as the southeastern edge or periphery of Mesoamerica. Yet our ...


Importation Of Obsidian At Cerro Palenque, Honduras: Results Of An Analysis By Edxrf, Julia A. Hendon Jan 2004

Importation Of Obsidian At Cerro Palenque, Honduras: Results Of An Analysis By Edxrf, Julia A. Hendon

Anthropology Faculty Publications

The results of source analysis by EDXRF of obsidian artifacts from the Mesoamerican site of Cerro Palenque in Honduras are reported and changes over time discussed. Sources of obsidian include Ixtepeque, El Chayal, Jalapa, San Martin Jilotepeque, and San Barolome in Guatemala. Some Pachuca obsidian from Mexico was also found. Honduran sources include La Esperanza and La Union. The implications of the obsidian sources are discussed in the context of changes at Cerro Palenque over time as it becomes the largest settlement in the lower Ulua Valley (Sula Valley) in the ninth century AD.


Bodies Moving In Space: Ancient Mesoamerican Human Sculpture And Embodiment, Holly Bachand, Rosemary Joyce, Julia A. Hendon Jan 2003

Bodies Moving In Space: Ancient Mesoamerican Human Sculpture And Embodiment, Holly Bachand, Rosemary Joyce, Julia A. Hendon

Anthropology Faculty Publications

Judith Butler’s proposal that embodiment is a process of repeated citation of precedents leads us to consider the experiential effects of Mesoamerican practices of ornamenting space with images of the human body. At Late Classic Maya Copán, life-size human sculptures were attached to residences, intimate settings in which body knowledge was produced and body practices institutionalized. Moving through the space of these house compounds, persons would have been insistently presented with measures of their bodily decorum. These insights are used to consider the possible effects on people of movement around Formative period Olmec human sculptures, which are not routinely ...


Household Archaeology And Reconstructing Social Organization In Ancient Complex Societies: A Consideration Of Models And Concepts Based On Study Of The Prehispanic Maya, Julia A. Hendon Jan 2001

Household Archaeology And Reconstructing Social Organization In Ancient Complex Societies: A Consideration Of Models And Concepts Based On Study Of The Prehispanic Maya, Julia A. Hendon

Anthropology Faculty Publications

Studies of the settlement pattern in the Copan Valley, Honduras, indicate that a House society model provides the best way to understand the social organization of the Late Classic period Maya. The House society model, based on Levi-Strauss's original work but since modified by anthropologists and archaeologists, does not replace household archaeology. Instead, the model allows archaeologists to discuss the continuation of social identity over time.


A Flexible Corporation: Classic Period House Societies In Eastern Mesoamerica, Julia A. Hendon, Rosemary A. Joyce Jan 2001

A Flexible Corporation: Classic Period House Societies In Eastern Mesoamerica, Julia A. Hendon, Rosemary A. Joyce

Anthropology Faculty Publications

House society models, based on the work of Levi-Strauss but since refined by cultural anthropologists and archaeologists, provide a good model for understanding social organization among the ancient Maya and their neighbors in Mesoamerica based on a comparative study of societies in the Copan Valley, the lower Ulua Valley (Sula Valley), and the Cuyumapa Valley, all in Honduras. Social Houses are flexible, enduring social groupings that define kinship flexibly, recognizing adoption, marriage, shared residency, and other factors as ways to create ties that endure over generations.