AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: IDENTITY, PLACE, AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT IN EBTUN, YUCATAN, MEXICO
Author: RANI ALEXANDER (New Mexico State University)   
Date/Time: Sat., 2:45 PM
Co-Author(s): RANI ALEXANDER (New Mexico State University) 
Abstract: Ebtun, Kaua, Cuncunul, Tekom, and Tixcacalcupul comprise one of the few groups of related communities on the Yucatan peninsula for which we have a substantial and long-running (1600-1833) corpus of Maya-language documents, originally published by Ralph Roys (1939) as The Titles of Ebtun. Although the towns were created after the conquest by forcibly moving native inhabitants to these locations, the Maya retained ownership of their lands, which largely corresponded to the boundaries of the prehispanic native province of Cupul, into the 20th century. My goal in this paper is to explore the transformation of Ebtun’s landscape after the Spanish invasion, by examining how the life histories of the built environment relate to historical contingencies from AD1550 to present. I examine how four aspects of identity (production, kinship, community, and people’s relations with the past) are inscribed in the material record using archaeological and documentary evidence. The results suggest multilayered aspects of native identity are not strongly compartmentalized between town and countryside. Instead, Ebtun’s landscape reflects a historically contingent process that has continually transformed relations between place and identity, fostering autonomy of cultural practice and renewal of tradition.

Program Number: 4-0775
Session Title: THE ARCHITECTURE OF IDENTITY
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Sat., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): KATHRYN SAMPECK (Illinois State University) 
Chair(s): ELIZABETH SCOTT  
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