Title

Architecture and Sociopolitical Transformation at Chau Hiix, Belize

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Publication Source

Journal of Field Archaeology

Volume

34

Issue

1

Inclusive pages

1-24

ISBN/ISSN

00934690

Peer Reviewed

yes

Abstract

Recent investigations at the Maya site of Chau Hiix, Belize have identified a previously undocumented long structure on the north side of the central precinct. This possible civic-ceremonial structure (Structure 150) represents part of a larger remodeling of the site center during a transitional period in the community's history. Structure 150 is significant in that it departs from contemporary construction at other Maya sites in northern Belize and anticipates Postclassic (A.D. 1000–1500) buildings documented in Yucatán, Petén, the Guatemalan highlands, and at other locations in northern Belize. This study discusses influences potentially at work at Chau Hiix during the Classic-to-Postclassic transition (A.D. 750–1050) and considers the sociopolitical implications of changing spatial configurations in the architecture of this and other pre-contact Maya communities. It is hypothesized that the site center architecture of southern lowland centers that persisted through the Terminal Classic (A.D. 800–1000) reflects corporate power-sharing strategies associated with Postclassic northern lowland Maya communities. The transitional qualities of the architecture at Chau Hiix suggest a blurring of the boundary between Classic and Postclassic traditions.

Keywords

archaeology, architecture, anthropology, belize, mesoamaerica, central america, andres

Disciplines

Anthropology

 
 

Link to Original Published Item

http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/009346909791071096