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Pottery and Politics: Contextualizing the Classic to Postclassic Transition in Champotón, Campeche
Latin American Antiquit (2016)
  • Jerald D. Ek, Western Washington University
The past decades have witnessed major advancements in our understanding of Classic Maya political history, particularly geopolitical dynamics centered on hegemonic states. Yet there has been only halting progress toward historically based archaeological research focusing on the political, social, and economic impacts of political domination and subordination. To address this deficiency, I examine changes in settlement patterns and ceramic sphere affiliation in the Río Champotón drainage within broader historical and geopolitical developments. In this region, the end of the Classic period is characterized by dramatic changes in ceramic links, with a shift from inland-focused traditions to the incorporation within a coastal ceramic sphere—the Canbalam sphere—that linked maritime trade centers between northwest Yucatán and coastal Tabasco. These transitions were embedded within major reorientations in regional settlement patterns and broader geopolitical dynamics centering on the expansion and dissolution of the Kanu’l state, or Snake Dynasty. Following the decline of the Snake Dynasty of Calakmul, communities in central Campeche forged new political and economic ties with emergent centers along the Gulf Coast and the northern Maya Lowlands. The results of this study demonstrate the transformative nature of hegemonic interpolity relationships and highlight the potential for new avenues of conjunctive research combining historical and archaeological data sources.
  • ceramics,
  • Mesoamerica,
  • political organization,
  • Classic Maya
Publication Date
Winter December, 2016
Citation Information
Jerald D. Ek. "Pottery and Politics: Contextualizing the Classic to Postclassic Transition in Champotón, Campeche" Latin American Antiquit Vol. 27 Iss. 4 (2016) p. 527 - 548
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