By Cynthia Robin
The farming group of Chan thrived for over twenty centuries, surpassing the durability of many higher Maya city facilities. among 800 BC and 1200 advert it was once an immense nutrients construction middle, and this selection of essays unearths the $64000 position performed by means of Maya farmers within the improvement of old Maya society.
Chan deals a synthesis of compelling and groundbreaking discoveries collected over ten years of analysis at this one archaeological website in Belize. The members enhance 3 important topics, which constitution the publication. They study how sustainable farming practices maintained the encompassing wooded area, permitting the group to exist for 2 millennia. They hint the origins of elite Maya country faith to the advanced spiritual trust procedure constructed in small groups similar to Chan. ultimately, they describe how the group-focused political suggestions hired by way of neighborhood leaders differed from the hugely hierarchical techniques of the vintage Maya kings of their huge cities.
In breadth, technique, and findings, this quantity scales new heights within the research of Maya society and culture.
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Extra resources for Chan: An Ancient Maya Farming Community
The paucity of Early Classic ceramics reported at Belize Valley sites has led to a debate in the literature over whether the Early Classic was a period of depopulation in the Belize Valley or if researchers are not recognizing the ceramic assemblages of this time period, as elite pottery types from the central Petén region have primarily been used to identify the Early Classic (Awe 1992; Demarest 1992; Ford 1991; LeCount 2004a; Lincoln 1985). While the evidence from Chan does not resolve this debate, it does demonstrate that at Chan populations did not decrease in the Early Classic and that Early Classic commoner domestic assemblages from outside of the central Petén area are identifiable archaeologically.
The Chan project is a direct offshoot of Wendy Ashmore’s Xunantunich settlement survey, which first mapped the central portions of Chan. But our research is even more about Wendy Ashmore’s intellectual legacy in the field of archaeology. From her early role in the development of settlement and household research to her more recent explorations of archaeological 16 · Cynthia Robin landscapes, Ashmore’s research instructs scholars how to use detailed archaeological studies to come closer to the lives of the people whom we study (Ashmore 1981, 1991; Wilk and Ashmore 1988; Ashmore and Knapp 1999).
Through time, Chan interacted with numerous Belize River valley centers in complex and overlapping relations of influence and authority. The late intrusion of the polity capital of Xunantunich into the long history of Chan provides an opportunity to explore how a farming community might be transformed by its interaction with a polity capital and, as well, how a rising polity capital might have needed to accommodate to preexisting contexts in farming communities. In light of Chan’s history and the broader regional history of the Belize Valley, the Chan project was developed to accomplish two goals: (1) to understand the lives of Chan’s residents across its 2,000-year history, and (2) to examine how changes in farming community life affected and were affected by broader political-economic changes in Maya society.