Year of Publication

2002

Document Type

Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Christopher A. Pool

Abstract

This thesis presents the results of petrographic point counting analyses of Muna Slate ware, thepredominant slipped ceramic ware in the Northern Maya Lowlands during the Late and TerminalClassic Periods (600-1000 A.D.) of Maya prehistory. Recently, it was hypothesized that MunaSlate wares were centrally produced and distributed from the Puuc Hills site of Sayil (Smyth andDore 1994; Smyth et al. 1995). Given that Muna Slate wares may be considered utilitariansubsistence items (sensu Brumfiel and Earle 1987), this suggestion runs counter to severalarguments that ancient Maya utilitarian ceramics production is associated with outlyingcommunities and that their distribution is localized. In the research presented here, the model ofMuna Slate ware production presented for Sayil is evaluated in terms of ceramic ecology,economic theory and models of craft distribution, the culture-historical context of Muna Slateware use, and previous studies of ceramic production and distribution in the Maya Lowlands.Muna Slate wares from three sites in the northern Lowlands - Kiuic, Labná, and Ek Balam –were then analyzed in order to test the whether or not Sayil was the sole producer of theseceramics.

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