Architecture and Sociopolitical Transformation at Chau Hiix, Belize
Journal of Field Archaeology
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.
archaeology, architecture, anthropology, belize, mesoamaerica, central america, andres
Christopher Andres (2009).
Architecture and Sociopolitical Transformation at Chau Hiix, Belize. Journal of Field Archaeology.34 (1), 1-24.