AdvisorCulbert, T. Patrick
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractDespite a long history of recovery and description, Maya caches have received surprisingly little attention, and detailed analyses and comparisons are lacking. This study analyzes caches from Tikal, Uaxactun, Altar de Sacrificios, and Seibal in relation to where and how these were placed, associated material inclusions, and how these variables change through time. Regional comparison demonstrates remarkable cache dissimilarities at each center; however, comparison with political history indicates that major changes in patterns correlate with periods of political upheaval, wars, and dynastic changes. At Tikal, caches explode in frequency and degree of elaboration in the North Acropolis--at the expense of Mundo Perdido--immediately following the Uaxactun event of AD 378, and the dynastic change of AD 379. Caches maintain a pattern of placement in exterior areas emenable to viewing by large audiences throughout the Early Classic. This changes dramatically during the Late Classic, following Tikal's defeat by Caracol in AD 562, which leads to the majority of caches being located in interior areas, and to changes in cache content. Obsidian, jade, and Spondylus shells all decline in frequency, while the use of poisonous marine objects increases substantially. Following the rise of Ruler A in AD 695, caches are once again most common in exterior locations. Tikal's re-emergence as a major power marks the end of the North Acropolis as a key area for ritual behaviour, and caches show a corresponding decline in elaboration. Uaxactun remains Tikal's subject for the duration of the Classic period; yet, Uaxactun caches show few similarities to those of Tikal. Uaxactun's center of cache placement shifts from Group E to Groups A and B simintaneously with the move to the North Acropolis from Mundo Perdido at Tikal, apparently as a result of Tikal's dynastic change. At Seibal, caches are rare prior to the Terminal Classic, when they undergo a minor flouresence immediately following the collapse of Dos Pilas' empire. Altar de Sacrificios caches are remarkably stable, and it is notable that the site lacking sudden and dramatic changes in cache patterns is the only site whose political history shows no signs of warfare.
Degree ProgramGraduate College