Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Dr. Scott Hutson

Abstract

Variation in domestic architecture results from the agency households exercise in their daily lives. This study defines the domestic expression of the megalithic architectural style, based on data collected in and around the ancient Maya site of Ucí, Yucatan, Mexico, by comparing it to its expression in monumental structures. It also shows how the analysis and documentation of architectural variability away from the monumental core can locate more than just commoners and elites within the social organization of the Ancient Maya. This analyzes provides evidence for higher social status for households that possess megalithic architecture since they also possess larger platform volumes and more structures in a compound than non-megalithic groups. Concentration of megalithic platforms also indicate potential communities that often share similar orientation ranges. The diversity in style, size, and quality of stones in domestic settings provide archaeologists with clues to how these households differentially utilized their social, economic, and political resources reflecting the degree of power possessed by each household in relation to each other, the larger community, and beyond. The methodology used here can be replicated for other stone architectures, providing a means by which to differentiate households of similar construction on attributes other than size.

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