Constructing Power in the Preclassic: Monumental Architecture and Sociopolitical Inequality at Early Xunantunich, Belize

dc.contributor.advisorBrown, M. Kathryn
dc.contributor.authorRawski, Zoe J.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberYaeger, Jason
dc.contributor.committeeMemberHalvaksz, II, Jamon A.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberBey, III, George J.
dc.creator.orcidhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1755-5574
dc.date.accessioned2024-02-12T19:50:44Z
dc.date.available2021-05-27
dc.date.available2024-02-12T19:50:44Z
dc.date.issued2020
dc.descriptionThis item is available only to currently enrolled UTSA students, faculty or staff. To download, navigate to Log In in the top right-hand corner of this screen, then select Log in with my UTSA ID.
dc.description.abstractThis research seeks to explore the emergence of inequality and divine kingship in the Preclassic Maya lowlands. This project contributes to the growing dialogue on the topic by exploring the role of monumental architecture in this process, utilizing ritual economy and performance theory frameworks. Furthermore, this research includes a cross-cultural analysis of strategies of centralization in order to better understand the ways in which an emergent elite would have legitimized and maintained their social standing. This dissertation presents the results of archaeological research of a monumental platform, Structure F1 at the site of Early Xunantunich, Belize. The construction history of the platform, and the site of Early Xunantunich more broadly, spans both the Middle and Late Preclassic period, providing insights into an important transitional time in Maya prehistory, as it is during this time that the institution of divine kingship emerged across the lowlands. The data collected for this study show that Structure F1 was likely the locus of integrative community rituals during the Middle Preclassic period. By the Late Preclassic, Structure F1 is associated with divine kingship, as evidenced by cached greenstone diadem jewels documented within the platform. A wider study of similar greenstone jewels demonstrates that the Structure F1 cache is part of a widespread Late Preclassic artistic canon and ritual economy which is contemporaneous with the spread of divine kingship across the lowlands. This apogee was short lived, however, and the site was abandoned by the end of the Late Preclassic. In keeping with more recently refined understandings of the size and density of Preclassic ceremonial centers, I argue that Early Xunantunich was not eclipsed by the nearby polity of Actuncan, but rather was more likely a ritual node of the same center which fell into disuse in the Terminal Preclassic.
dc.description.departmentAnthropology
dc.format.extent414 pages
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12588/5048
dc.languageen
dc.subjectAncient Maya
dc.subjectComplexity
dc.subjectFormative
dc.subjectMesoamerica
dc.subjectMonumentality
dc.subjectPreclassic
dc.subject.classificationArchaeology
dc.titleConstructing Power in the Preclassic: Monumental Architecture and Sociopolitical Inequality at Early Xunantunich, Belize
dc.typeThesis
dc.type.dcmiText
dcterms.accessRightspq_closed
thesis.degree.departmentAnthropology
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Texas at San Antonio
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy

Files

Original bundle

Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
Name:
Rawski_utsa_1283D_13105.pdf
Size:
24.29 MB
Format:
Adobe Portable Document Format