Today we recognize Maya cities by their plazas and platforms, but long before these monuments were constructed, what attracted and oriented early settlers? How would first-comers have decided where to build their houses? And what consequences did these early decisions have for later development? I will address these questions by exploring the relationship between shared water resources and initial settlement aggregation at the Maya site of Yaxuná, Yucatán. Using data from research conducted in 2014, I will present preliminary findings on (1) the patterns of house placement as they relate to initial urbanization at the site, and (2) the possibility of waterhole-centric neighborhoods at Yaxuná and its nearby satellite site of Tzacauil.
Chelsea Fisher, Doctoral Candidate, University of Michigan, Department of Anthropology,Museum of Anthropological Arch