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“ALL THAT IS SOLID…”: SACBES, SETTLEMENT, AND SEMIOTICS AT TZACAUIL, YUCATAN

“ALL THAT IS SOLID…”: SACBES, SETTLEMENT, AND SEMIOTICS AT TZACAUIL, YUCATAN AbstractThis paper applies structuration theory and semiotics to interpret the results of a recently completed total coverage pedestrian survey to the east of Yaxuna, Yucatan. Data from this survey suggest that a social group centered at the site of Tzacauil vied for political clout in the Late Preclassic period through the construction of a triadic acropolis 3 km from Yaxuna. This group also initiated but did not complete a new experimental construction: a long-distance causeway between the two sites. A central facet of structuration is the instability of social practice. Rules can be altered when transposed to new contexts, while durable resources, such as causeways and acropolis groups, do not ensure the solidity of the coalitions they are meant to represent. Despite an outlay of labor never again seen to the east of Yaxuna, Tzacauil had a rather short occupation. Though they never completed the causeway, the people of Tzacauil did succeed in transforming the conventional understanding of causeways. These events support a semiotic approach since they show that materiality is contingent: it has a potential that people may or may not work to realize. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Ancient Mesoamerica Cambridge University Press

“ALL THAT IS SOLID…”: SACBES, SETTLEMENT, AND SEMIOTICS AT TZACAUIL, YUCATAN

Ancient Mesoamerica , Volume 23 (2): 15 – Dec 18, 2012

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012
ISSN
1469-1787
eISSN
0956-5361
DOI
10.1017/S0956536112000211
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis paper applies structuration theory and semiotics to interpret the results of a recently completed total coverage pedestrian survey to the east of Yaxuna, Yucatan. Data from this survey suggest that a social group centered at the site of Tzacauil vied for political clout in the Late Preclassic period through the construction of a triadic acropolis 3 km from Yaxuna. This group also initiated but did not complete a new experimental construction: a long-distance causeway between the two sites. A central facet of structuration is the instability of social practice. Rules can be altered when transposed to new contexts, while durable resources, such as causeways and acropolis groups, do not ensure the solidity of the coalitions they are meant to represent. Despite an outlay of labor never again seen to the east of Yaxuna, Tzacauil had a rather short occupation. Though they never completed the causeway, the people of Tzacauil did succeed in transforming the conventional understanding of causeways. These events support a semiotic approach since they show that materiality is contingent: it has a potential that people may or may not work to realize.

Journal

Ancient MesoamericaCambridge University Press

Published: Dec 18, 2012

References