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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: DECONSTRUCTING BIOLOGICALLY BASED MYTHS AND REMEMBERING ANCIENT MAYA WOMEN
Author: DEANNA RIDDICK   
Date/Time: Sun., 8:15 AM
Co-Author(s): DEANNA RIDDICK 
Abstract: The prehistoric construction of ancient Maya society has consistently operated under the conception that the Maya were composed of a patriarchal society, subscribing to ideologies of patrilineal descent and conducting significant political, social and economic acts within the dominant, public male world. Mesoamerican archaeologists have conformed to contemporary understandings or beliefs about how society is structured and how roles are enacted and have imposed their views onto constructions of the past. These beliefs include present conceptions of division of labor and segregation of roles in public and private spaces. These beliefs, which consists of devaluation of women, the spaces in which they work and perform (the private house), have impacted how archaeology has been conducted in prehistoric Maya society. The house, a place where women were understood to have existed and functioned, was thoroughly neglected and lacked any examination due to existing stereotypes. Instead, male archaeologists centered their focus on places in which men were believed to have occupied, which were public places containing monumental architecture and palaces. These archaeologists argued that these places were the only noteworthy places within the past, thus promoting and creating a dominant, androcentric narrative and memory of ancient Maya society that intentionally excluded women and celebrated men’s contributions. This paper focuses on interrogating the lack of critical exploration regarding the existence of women and their major contributions to the past, as well as how women lack a place within the dominant memory of the prehistoric Maya past.

Program Number: 5-0165
Session Title: EXPLORING COMPETING MEMORIES AND MATERIALITY THROUGH LANDSCAPE AND HOUSEHOLD ARCHAEOLOGY
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Sun., 8:00 AM-9:45 AM
Organizer(s): DEANNA RIDDICK, CASEY HANSON, NEDRA LEE 
Chair(s): MARIA MARTINEZ  
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