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Motul de San JoséPolitics, History, and Economy in a Classic Maya Polity$
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Antonia E. Foias and Kitty F. Emergy

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813041902

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813041902.001.0001

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Architecture, Volumetrics, and Social Stratification at Motul de San José during the Late and Terminal Classic

Architecture, Volumetrics, and Social Stratification at Motul de San José during the Late and Terminal Classic

Chapter:
(p.94) 4 Architecture, Volumetrics, and Social Stratification at Motul de San José during the Late and Terminal Classic
Source:
Motul de San José
Author(s):

Antonia E. Foias

Christina T. Halperin

Ellen Spensley Moriarty

Jeanette Castellanos

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813041902.003.0004

This chapter by Antonia E. Foias, Christina T. Halperin, Ellen Spensley Moriarty, and Jeanette Castellanos explores the stratification of social, economic, and political power in the epicenter of Motul de San José based on the evidence from a test pitting program and more limited horizontal excavations undertaken at the site. The involvement in different economic activities by the inhabitants of plaza groups that varied in architectural volumetrics and elaboration are compared to model the levels of elite control over the Late Classic economy. Based on these architectural and artefactual analyses, the social system of Motul consisted of three ranks, the royal elites, secondary nobles, and commoners. The distribution of ground stone suggests a system of tribute or tax based on foodstuffs. Apart from food preparation, elite compounds and royal palaces were involved in more economic activities than lower rank households. The highly restricted use of valuable non-exotics suggests elite control over these substances. At the same time, the broad consumption of polychromes and obsidian indicates that Motul was a wealthy community.

Keywords:   Classic Maya, archaeology, social stratification, architectural volumetrics, tribute

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