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COBA, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO: A RECENT ANALYSIS OF THE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATION OF A MAJOR MAYA URBAN CENTER

  • William J. Folan (a1), Armando Anaya Hernandez (a1), Ellen R. Kintz (a2), Laraine A. Fletcher (a3), Raymundo Gonzalez Heredia (a1), Jacinto May Hau (a4) and Nicolas Caamal Canche (a4)...

Abstract

Coba represents a major Classic period Maya urban center. Archaeological investigations have suggested a complex socioeconomic integration apparent in the heterogeneity of the size, shape, and quality of architecture while demonstrating a clear demarcation between commoner and elite compounds in addition to a complex system of raised roads (sacbeob). Results of the 1974–1976 mapping efforts at Coba revealed a generalized concentric settlement pattern with elite compounds concentrated at the core. In their analysis of the settlement patterns at Tikal, Guatemala, Arnold and Ford challenged this concentric model. Their analysis of labor investment in structures within the 9 km2 core area of Tikal suggested, in contrast to Coba, a scattered rather than a concentric pattern of high-status architecture. Using a geographic information system (GIS), we tested our concentric model hypothesis for Coba by applying Arnold and Ford's work investment parameters. Our results confirmed the presence of a concentric pattern of high-status architecture at Coba closest to the core that differed from Arnold and Ford's findings of a scattered pattern in Tikal. These unique and discrete findings suggest that all major cities in the Maya area may not possess identical settlement patterns. To support our findings indicating urbanism, we also make a detailed analysis of the Coba and Calakmul demographics focusing on the Late Classic period.

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E-mail correspondence to: wijfolan@gmail.com

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COBA, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO: A RECENT ANALYSIS OF THE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATION OF A MAJOR MAYA URBAN CENTER

  • William J. Folan (a1), Armando Anaya Hernandez (a1), Ellen R. Kintz (a2), Laraine A. Fletcher (a3), Raymundo Gonzalez Heredia (a1), Jacinto May Hau (a4) and Nicolas Caamal Canche (a4)...

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