Country roads: travel, visibility, and late classic settlement in the southern Maya Mountains

Carter, N., Santini, L., Barnes, A., Opitz, R. , White, D., Safi, K., Davenport, B., Brown, C. and Witschey, W. (2019) Country roads: travel, visibility, and late classic settlement in the southern Maya Mountains. Journal of Field Archaeology, 44(2), pp. 84-108. (doi:10.1080/00934690.2019.1571373)

Carter, N., Santini, L., Barnes, A., Opitz, R. , White, D., Safi, K., Davenport, B., Brown, C. and Witschey, W. (2019) Country roads: travel, visibility, and late classic settlement in the southern Maya Mountains. Journal of Field Archaeology, 44(2), pp. 84-108. (doi:10.1080/00934690.2019.1571373)

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Abstract

Mayanist archaeology has long been concerned with creating and evaluating explanatory models for the locations of ancient sites relative to one another and to the physical geography of the Maya world. This study combines epigraphic data and spatial analyses to explore motivations for settlement location and to interrogate territorial strategies in Late Classic (a.d. 600–830) kingdoms in the southern Maya Mountains, around the modern towns of Dolores and Poptún, Guatemala. Least-cost path analyses were used to model natural travel corridors and their relationship with site location was assessed. In conjunction, viewshed analyses were applied to evaluate the importance of visual connections to likely travel routes. The results are considered in the context of the socio-politics and economics of the region, and raise questions about the character of and interconnections between travel, exchange, settlement location, and mechanisms for reinforcing territorial claims in the Late Classic Southern Maya Mountains.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by a SPARC Award. The SPARC program is based at CAST at the University of Arkansas and is funded by a gen- erous grant from the National Science Foundation (Awards #1321443, #1519660, and #1720339).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Opitz, Dr Rachel
Authors: Carter, N., Santini, L., Barnes, A., Opitz, R., White, D., Safi, K., Davenport, B., Brown, C., and Witschey, W.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:Journal of Field Archaeology
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0093-4690
ISSN (Online):2042-4582
Published Online:22 February 2019

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
3012760Expanding Collaborative Opportunities for Research in Archaeo-Geomatics and Archaeo-Geophysics at CASTRachel OpitzNational Science Foundation (NSF)N/AArts - Archaeology