Architecture is the largest and most visible vestige of the ancient Maya. Traditional approaches to the analysis of Maya architecture provide detailed information about these remains but are limited in their utility to understand the ancient Maya society. A new approach to architectural analysis is presented in this dissertation. The approach is based on the analysis of patterns in the construction, modification, and destruction of architectural features. The goal of this type of architectural analysis is to infer changes in the society of the people who built and used the structures. A 400-year construction sequence from the Maya site of Copán, Honduras is used as a case study for the new approach to architectural analysis. Patterns recognized in the construction materials, construction methods, location, decoration, and in the rate and scale of construction are used to infer changes in the organization of labor and resources, including the construction season, concepts of spatial relationships of buildings, the relationship between decoration and building function, and in the political relationships between the elite and non-elite population of the Copán valley.
|School:||University of Pennsylvania|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 69/09, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Copan, Honduras, Maya archaeology, Maya architecture|
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