A comparative study of fortification developments throughout the Maya region and implications of warfare

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Cortes Rincon, Marisol, 1975-

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This dissertation presents data to support the continuity of warfare throughout the Maya lowlands, and adjacent regions. I discuss the current problems with the archaeology of warfare, the continuity of conflict beginning with the Late Preclassic through the Terminal Classic. Additionally, I emphasize the influence that Teotihuacan had during the Early Classic throughout Mesoamerica, while in some areas there is evidence of diplomatic and economic relations, there is also clear evidence of forced relations at other sites. Conflict is identified on the archaeological record through the heterarchical analysis of a variety of data encompassing defensive features, settlement patterns, epigraphy, iconography, and forensic data. I examine data from San Jose Mogote, Monte Alban, Montana, Izapa, Kaminaljuyu, and sites located within the northern, central, and southern lowlands. The primary goal is to present a cohesive series of war-related events per lowland zone, and chronological time period. Some of the primary questions deal with how land use, and economic trade relations transform political relations and alliances throughout time. Additionally, how do changes in political alliances affect trade routes? By recognizing the important role warfare played in the lowlands, we also recognize how these events affected the elites and their interaction with other polities, and most importantly how these events affected the commoner populace. In the process of investigating conflict throughout the Preclassic and the Classic periods, we can attempt to pinpoint continuities, political and economic changes, and the sociopolitical responses undertaken by polities in a time of war.