Civic and Residential Settlement at a Late Preclassic Maya Center
Authors: Scarborough, Vernon L.; Robertson, Robin A.
Source: Journal of Field Archaeology, Volume 13, Number 2, 1986 , pp. 155-175(21)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:The Late Preclassic period in the Maya Lowlands (300 B.C.–150 A.C.) documents the transition toward increased social and economic complexity culminating in the Classic Maya civilization (250–900 A.C.). The Late Preclassic Maya community of Cerros in northern Belize has revealed a settlement pattern of dispersed household clusters and scattered public architecture. Moreover, the site manifests a clear, three-part concentric zonation, similar to later Classic period communities. The authors' analysis provides a definition through time of civic and residential architecture and of the division between elite and non-elite domiciles. The study draws heavily on a functional analysis of the excavated ceramic assemblage. The unique settlement pattern of the semitropical Maya is suggested to be an environmental adaptation with rural elites coordinating the dispersed sustaining population through public monuments and associated ritual.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1986-01-01