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A Preliminary Settlement Pattern Study of a Prehistoric Cultural Corridor: The Comayagua Valley, Honduras

Boyd Dixon
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 16, No. 3 (Autumn, 1989), pp. 257-271
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/529833
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/529833
Page Count: 15
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A Preliminary Settlement Pattern Study of a Prehistoric Cultural Corridor: The Comayagua Valley, Honduras
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Abstract

Recent archaeological research on the SE Maya Periphery in northern Honduras, El Salvador, and southern Guatemala suggests that this zone, far from being peripheral to larger Mesoamerican developments, was involved in a complex web of interaction with cultures from Mexico to Costa Rica. One major route of cross-cultural communication has been named the Central Honduran Corridor, a chain of valleys connecting Middle America to lower Central America. Between 1985 and 1987, the author conducted a 10% stratified random survey of prehistoric remains in the 550-sq-km Comayagua Valley, the highland basin linking Pacific and Caribbean drainage systems along this corridor. This research project revealed a complex culture history spanning approximately 2500 years from the Early Preclassic Period (ca. 1000 B. C.) to the Spanish Conquest (A. C. 1537). Changes in prehistoric settlement patterns through time indicate that the inhabitants of this valley, belonging to the Lenca tribe historically, were constantly responding to the changing political and economic climate in much of southern Mesoamerica.

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