Mayapán, the last Maya capital, was abandoned less than 100 years before the arrival of the Spanish to the Yucatán Península, México. During its existence (around AD 1100-1450) the archaeological record evidences a much less spectacular architecture and material remains than in earlier periods; however, Native literature and Spanish documents describe large towns, thriving markets, and entrepreneurial people. Most archeologists have interpreted the poorer material remains as indicative of a decadent society. Some have proposed an alternative view that considers the Maya at the time of contact a more egalitarian, pragmatic, and mercantile society that gave less emphasis to the construction of magnificent objects and more to profit-making activities, which brought about more competition and more generalized well-being. Borrowing from geology and petrographic analysis, this research uses a multidisciplinary approach to determine the number of ceramic recipes in Mayapán’s pottery in order to make inferences about competitiveness in this society. The results indicate the apparent selection of a pottery production technique that enhances the strength of the final result and the existence of multiple ceramic producers, suggesting a more pragmatic and competitive environment.
|Keywords:||Maya, Late Postclassic, Petrography, Petrographic, Mayapan, Ceramics, Ceramic, Mercantile, Decadent, Postclassic|
Graduate Student, Anthropology, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA
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