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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Documenting cultural transition through contact archaeology in Tíhoo, Mérida, Yucatán
by Rogers, Rhianna C., Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2010, 328; 3417223
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is concerned with the role material culture played in transformation and/or retention of Maya authority, just prior to and after Spanish contact (A.D. 1100-1800s). The primary research data used to discuss this transition was derived from the author's analysis of precolumbian and colonial artifacts from the Ciudadela Structure (YUC 2) in Tihoo, Mérida, and Yucatán—an assemblage originally collected by John Goggin in 1956 and 1957 and currently housed at the University of Florida–Florida Museum of Natural History. As one of the last standing structures in the Maya site of Tíhoo, now buried beneath the Spanish capital city Mérida, the Ciudadela collection represents a rare glimpse into a significant, yet understudied, Type 1 archaeological site.

Included in this project area general examination of Maya studies in the Northwestern Yucatán Corridor and the results of my preliminary classification and discussion of materials represented in the YUC 2 assemblage. It is important to note that as a part of this project, I created the first comprehensive catalogs for the YUC 2 Ciudadela collection, entitled FMNH YUC 2: Catalog of Artifacts, FMNH YUC 2: Ceramic Stylistic Catalog and FMNH YUC 2: Non-Ceramic Catalog.

Results of the archaeological component of this study illustrated that there was little change in production of indigenous pottery after the fall of Mayapan (ca. A.D. 1441–1461), as inhabitants of precolumbian Tíhoo continued to use preexisting wares from their former capital, particularly those within the Mayapan Red Ware and Mayapan Unslipped Ware classifications, well into the Colonial period. In the Post-Colonial period, a significant change in wares occurred as native inhabitants incorporated foreign ceramic types into their society. Ceramics from Spain, Italy, and England, and porcelains from China and Japan, combined with colonial Mexican Majolica and preexisting Mayapan wares, illustrate the interaction of native inhabitants with European immigrants and their import goods. Although the YUC 2 collection supported the transformation of material culture after Spanish contact, the Maya, through religious practices, militaristic resistance, and oral/written traditions, were able to retain significant aspects of their precolumbian power into the colonial era and beyond.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Norman, Sandra L.
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Latin American history
Keywords: Contact archaeology, Cultural transition, Merida, Mexico, Tihoo, Yucatan
Publication Number: 3417223
ISBN: 978-1-124-13473-4
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