Maya Socio-Political Interaction and Domestic Architecture in the Petexbatun, Guatemala
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The nature of ancient Maya political organization has long been debated. Recently, a focus on specific social and political interactions has been utilized to better characterize classic Maya political strategies. This research sought to analyze the nature of socio-political interaction between an intrusive Mutul dynasty and the local lords and population of the Petexbatun region of Guatemala in the Late Classic Period (A.D. 600-830). Three main avenues of investigation were used: hieroglyphic texts, ceramic data sets, and regional domestic architectural styles (both local and introduced). All known hieroglyphic texts associated with the region were analyzed for evidence of social and political interactions. A program of survey and excavation of ancient rural settlement between the power centers of Aguateca and Tamarindito was conducted and the distribution of architectural styles determined. Domestic ceramic assemblages resulting from these and previous investigations were examined for local and introduced characteristics. Little evidence for directed settlement was found, but some local emulation of Mutul elite architecture was implied. Preliminary results suggest that strategies employed by Mutul lords in the region, although varied, were predominantly indirect and perhaps exclusionary in nature. Further investigation is warranted.