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Activity Areas, Form, and Social Inequality in Residences at Late Postclassic Zacpetén, Petén, Guatemala

Timothy W. Pugh
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 29, No. 3/4 (Autumn, 2002 - Winter, 2004), pp. 351-367
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/3250897
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3250897
Page Count: 17
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Activity Areas, Form, and Social Inequality in Residences at Late Postclassic Zacpetén, Petén, Guatemala
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Abstract

Zacpetén, Petén, Guatemala was densely settled from the Late Postclassic to Contact periods. During initial contact with the Spaniards and after the conquest of Petén in A.D. 1697, a group called the Kowoj occupied the area where the site is located. Excavations in domestic contexts at Zacpetén revealed that occupants of larger residences had greater access to resources. Many common trade artifacts such as greenstone, serpentine, and obsidian strongly correlate with residence size, indicating that inequality in spatial resources was associated with access to trade. The scarcest non-local items, including copper alloy artifacts, were limited to public ceremonial areas and the residences of the highest Kowoj elite. Instead of corresponding with access to trade, the possession of these items was related to high-level participation in the religious hierarchy. There are a variety of activity areas that were structured by a dualistic division in domestic space that was not overtly related to gender.

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