Isotopic proveniencing at Classic Copan and in the southern periphery of the Maya Area: A new perspective on multi-ethnic society

Shintaro Suzuki, Seiichi Nakamura, T. Douglas Price

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Strontium, oxygen, and carbon isotopes were measured in human tooth enamel from 66 burials in 9L-22 and 9L-23 residential groups at the Classic Maya site of Copan in western Honduras. These results are discussed in relation to earlier studies at Copan and baseline measurements from the surrounding region and the Maya area in general. Nearly 50% of the individuals are identified as non-local based on combinations of strontium, oxygen, and carbon isotope ratios. They came from a variety of places in the Maya area. This migratory pattern at the 9L-22 & 9L-23 residential complex from the Early to Late Classic (ca. 400–800 CE) is compared with 10J-45 sector from the mainly Early Classic occupation (ca. 400–650 CE) and an interesting change is noted. The social privileges observed among the Early Classic immigrants from the north Maya Lowlands were apparently revoked in the Late Classic. New immigrants, probably from the “non-Maya” regions of Western/Central Honduras, appear to have gained those social privileges. High-status Honduran individuals in the urban core suggests a strategy by the Copan dynasty in the Late Classic that incorporated the emerging “non-Maya” elites from Western/Central Honduras.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101228
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
Volume60
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Borderland
  • Carbon
  • Maya
  • Mobility
  • Oxygen
  • Prehispanic mesoamerica
  • Strontium
  • “Non-Maya”

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology

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