Preclassic excavations at Punta de Chimino, Peten, Guatemala: Investigating social emplacement on an early Maya landscape

Bruce Robert Bachand
Dept. of Anthropology, University of Arizona
August, 2006
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Two excavation seasons in Punta de Chimino's E-Group Acropolis provide a record of monument construction, refurbishment, desecration, and abandonment. This evidence is used to explore the material dimensions of social emplacement---any act, event, practice, or behavior that affects the way a community and its descendants relate to a particular locality over time. The attributes and treatment of monuments are taken to signify cultural and political dispositions. An extensive overview of Preclassic and Protoclassic Maya archaeology situates Punta de Chimino's monumental remains in different historical settings. Bayesian analysis of the stratified sequence of radiocarbon and luminescence dates is used to accurately pinpoint the timing of specific cultural events. Stratigraphy and radiometry allow refinement of the Punta de Chimino ceramic sequence. In the end, varied lines of material evidence are garnered to infer changing social dispositions toward Punta de Chimino's ceremonial precinct and the ancient Mesoamerican world at large.