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The Monjas Complex at Chichen Itza, Yucatan : Gendered spaces, domestic labour, and ideology Ruscheinsky, Lynn Marie 1994

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THE MONJAS COMPLEX AT CHICHENITZA, Y U C A T A N : GENDERED SPACES, DOMESTIC LABOUR, A N D IDEOLOGY by L Y N N MARIE RUSCHEINSKY B.F.A., Open Learning University, 1992 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Fine Arts We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November 1994 © Lynn Marie Ruscheinsky, 1994 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of A R . T 5 The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date N O V E M B E R 2 0 , 1694 DE-6 (2/88) 11 ABSTRACT My thesis will take up the challenge presented by Joan Wallach Scott of writing a new history, through an analysis not only of the relationship between male and female experience in the past, but also of the connection between past history and current historical practice. The underlying purpose of my thesis is to resist the colonialist appropriations produced by a primitivizing discourse, of which a vital component has been the erasure of gender from the archaeological record. History figures in this approach not exclusively as a record of changes in the social organization of ancient Maya society, but rather will be taken more crucially into account as a participant in the production of knowledge that reproduces gender asymmetry. From the earliest archaeological research in the mid-nineteenth century, which sought to establish the origin of the ancient Maya, to current Americanist discourses which attempt to classify Maya sociopolitical systems, the Monjas complex at Chichen Itza has played a vital role. Each of the interpretations of the Monjas has involved a similar process of selecting and decontextualizing fragments of data. The bulk of archaeological data has been provided by John Bolles' excavation of the Monjas in 1932-34 for the Carnegie Institution of Washington. In order to reinforce 'primitivist' views of the ancient Maya, scholars ignored evidence of residential function. Although recognizing residential patterns, processual archaeologists have also applied primitivist notions thus, organization within the lineage is presumed to be corporate, reciprocal, egalitarian. In this thesis Ill I will explore the ideological uses of material objects constructing social relationships, and will instead argue that the function of the Monjas structure as a lineage residence included segregation based primarily on gender. I will suggest ways in which the subtle and active role played by these historically specific material remains could be seen to have produced and reproduced a gender hierarchy. iv T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract i i Table of Contents iv List of Figures vii Acknowledgment viii INTRODUCTION: Background and Approach 1 CHAPTER ONE: CONSTRUCTING THE F R A M E : VIEWS OF CHICHEN ITZA IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 6 Early Exploration: De Landa to Stephens 7 Late Explorers: Charnay, Le Plongeon, Maudslay and E. H . Thompson 11 Early Culture-Historical Archaeology and the Carnegie Institution of Washington 19 The Maya-to-Toltec Sequence 27 Neo-Evolutionism: Postwar Racism and Cultural Imperialism 30 Evolutionary Models of Theocracy and Autocracy 33 Conclusion 42 CHAPTER TWO: S U M M A R Y OF E X C A V A T I O N D A T A PERTAINING TO THE MONJAS C O M P L E X 45 Introduction 45 Setting 46 Buried Structures and Basal Terraces 47 V East Wing 48 East facade of East Wing 49 Platforms 1-5 51 Second Story structure 52 Third Story Structure 55 Iglesia and North Court 57 Southeast Court 58 East Court and associated structures 61 Northeast Terrace structures 64 The Ballcourt and other southern constructions 65 Conclusion 68 CHAPTER THREE: THE MONJAS RESIDENTIAL C O M P L E X : THE G A P B E T W E E N E X C A V A T I O N A N D INTERPRETION 70 The Archaeology of Maya Settlements 72 Early Maya Archaeology and residence classifications 73 New Archaeology and Maya settlement patterns 81 The Tikal Project 83 The lineage model of social hierarchy and the Copan Valley Project 87 Residence at Chichen Itza 93 Settlement pattern 93 Comparison with the Monjas Complex 97 Standard residential arrangements at Chichen Itza 103 Socio-political Articulation in the Chichen Itza Polity 106 VI Conclusion 110 CHAPTER FOUR: THE MONJAS C O M P L E X AS A SITE OF PRODUCTION A N D REPRODUCTION OF GENDER H I E R A R C H Y 116 Introduction: Why the Writing of a Feminist History? 116 Review of artifactual evidence supporting the exploitation of women's labour and a segregation of residence based on gender 122 CONCLUSION 136 Figures Bibliography 139 151 V l l LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Chichen Itza. A part of the site: Redrawn for Kilmartin and O'Neill by Brainerd 1958: Map 19:355. 139 2. The Monjas Plaza Group. 140 3. Initial Series Group; Lincoln 1990: Map sheet VII 141 4. Southwest Group; redrawn from Ruppert 1935. 142 5. Monjas Complex : court identification; Bolles : plan at completion of work, 1977:40. 143 6. Monjas Complex: identification of early remains; Bolles: plan at completion of work, 1977:40. 144 7. East Wing and Second Story; Bolles: plan at beginning of work, 1977:39. 145 8. Southeast Court plan: identification of structures and artifact location; Bolles: Southeast Court plan, 1977:177. : 146 9. East Court plan: identification of structures and artifact location; Bolles: East Building, East Court plan, 1977:170. 147 10. Ball Court, Bolles: reconstruction drawing , 1977:75. 148 11. Monjas Complex: views; Bolles, 1977:33-34. 149 12. East Wing, east elevation; Bolles 1977:114. 150 V l l l A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S I cannot sufficiently thank my advisor and friend Marvin Cohodas, Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia, for the sharing of his intelligence—he has significantly added to my knowledge and contributed to my thinking. My thanks go first and foremost to Marvin for his tremendous encouragement and support—I never would have made it without him. I am also deeply appreciative of the guidance and support offered throughout my graduate education by my advisor, Maureen Ryan, Assistant Professor, Department of Fine Arts, University of British Columbia. Thank you Sandra Noble for your enthusiasm and constant inspiration. I am indebted to Beth Sandager, the Archivist at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University, and her staff for their invaluable assistance. I would also like to thank Rosemary Joyce, Associate Professor of Anthropology at HarVard University for her suggestions and advice. I would like to thank Julia Hendon, Indexer, Tozzer Library, and Research Associate, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University for her invaluable advice and would also like to acknowledge the formative role that her investigation of structures in the Sepulturas at Copan, Honduras has had on the development of my work A very special thanks goes out to Jennifer Cullen, the Administrative Assistant and Graduate Administrator for the Department of Fine Arts, University of British Columbia for the excellent work she does keeping us all organized. I am especially grateful to Jennifer for the kindness and support she has offered me throughout the years. Last but not least, I would like to thank my friend, Maisie Lam, for her constant support and encouragement. 1 INTRODUCTION: Background and Approach A l l production of knowledge is situated within, and attempts to impact on, current relations of power. Contemporary North American society is partially characterized by a gender hierarchy, the reproduction of which, under the paradigms of modernity, is still facilitated by coded practices designed to 'primitivize' the feminine. At the same time, North American and other formerly colonial European powers continue imperialist domination and exploitation of Latin American nation states, while the governments of these states, likewise formerly European colonialists, dominate and exploit this hemisphere's indigenous peoples—a system of power relations that is ideologically legitimated and reproduced in part by the feminization of non-western societies viewed as 'primitive.' The underlying purpose of my thesis is to resist the colonialist appropriations produced by a primitivizing discourse, of which a vital component has been the erasure of gender from the archaeological record. My thesis takes up the challenge presented by Joan Wallach Scott (1988) of writing a new history, through an analysis not only of the relationship between male and female experience in the past, but also of the connection between past history and current historical practice as a means of de stabilizing these mutually reinforcing foundations of gender and racial hierarchy. Gender hierarchy along with those based on race or class, have become particularly intractable phenomena in the present century not only because they are presently inseparable from the dominant economic relationships—the relations of production—but also because they are legitimized, maintained and reproduced by so many ideological means. One overarching ideational 2 hierarchy which has fostered these relations of exploitation is the notion of primitivism, which as Daniel Miller (1991) shows is essential to the definition and legitimation of its inverse: modernism. Exploitation of laboring classes, colonized peoples, and women has typically been legitimated by primitivizing notions of evolutionary precedence and distance from capitalist commerce. Among these primitivizing discourses, the related disciplines of American anthropology and archaeology have provided powerful forms of knowledge since they underwent institutionalization a century ago. Before I confront issues of how the Monjas Complex as a particular representation of objects could be seen to construct, reproduce, and legitimize the subordination of women in the past, I would like to review some ways in which history, as a production of knowledge in the present, constructs, legitimates, challenges, maintains and reproduces gender hierarchies. Following Michel Foucault (1980), I use knowledge to mean the understanding, produced by societies, of human relationships—in this case of those between men and women. Knowledge refers not only to history, or ideas presented in literary discourses, but to all practices, material and otherwise, which constitute social organization. In this application, knowledge is a means of ordering the world; as such it is not prior to social organization but inseparable from it (Scott 1988:2). Because knowledge is neither absolute nor true, but always situated and relative, its uses and meanings have always been contested politically and are the means by which relationships of power—of domination and subordination—are constructed (Scott 1988:2). 3 Asking questions about "how" hierarchies such as those of gender are constructed or legitimized suggests a study of processes rather than origins, of multiple rather than single causes, of rhetoric or discourse rather than ideology or consciousness (Scott 1988:4). Underlying the discussions in this thesis is the notion of writing not just history but feminist history, and specifically in the way Joan Wallach Scott has articulated this objective. As Scott informs us "Feminist history then becomes not just an attempt to correct or supplement an incomplete record of the past but a way of critically understanding how history operates as a site of the production of knowledge" (1988:10). Tracing the construction and reproduction of gender hierarchy through the production of knowledge about the material objects composing the archaeological record of the Monjas Complex at Chichen Itza offers a site for analyzing the processes by which we make such meanings. This methodology of knowledge as power is profoundly political in its implications for it puts conflict at the center of its analysis. I acknowledge that my own interest in the production of a feminist history is political. The Monjas Complex is located in the ancient Maya city of Chichen Itza, situated in the North Central portion of the Yucatan peninsula approximately 125 kilometers southeast of Merida, the capital of Yucatan state, Mexico. The general aspect of this portion of the limestone peninsula is that of a vast wooded plain. In places, the riverless surface is pierced by sinkholes, or cenotes . where the thick limestone bedrock has collapsed over subterranean cavern's or rivers. Chichen Itza was built around two of these cenotes; one, known as the Xtoloc Cenote, is believed to have served as the principal source of water for the ancient community while the other, called the Sacred Cenote or Cenote of Sacrifice, is believed to have been held sacred by the 4 inhabitants (Coggins 1992), and to have generated the name by which the city has been known at least since the Spanish conquest. One of the earliest accounts, that of Cabildo of Valladolid in 1579, refers to the ancient site named "Chichiniza" by the local inhabitants. The etymology of the name has been defined (Coggins, 1992:1) using the Diccionario Maya Cordemex (Barrera Vasquez 1980). Chi is Maya for mouth, Chen for well, while Itza refers to an ethnic group of Yucatec-speaking Maya peoples. Hence "Mouth of the Well of the Itza." This thesis will deal primarily with the mapped and/or excavated structures comprising a large architectural complex known as Las Monjas [The Nunnery], including structures 4C1, 4C3, and 4C4 of the Kilmartin-O'Neil map. Working for the Carnegie Institution of Washington, John S. Bolles excavated the Monjas complex in 1932-34, applying techniques newly developed in Germany for investigating architectural stratigraphy. Bolles' excavation report was not published during his lifetime; instead, a version of his manuscript was edited by John H. Jennings and published in 1977 by the University of Oklahoma Press. This thesis is divided into four chapters. In the first chapter, I will review the archaeological literature in an endeavor to identify how the interpretations of ancient Chichen Itza in general, and the Monjas Complex specifically, have been shaped by the socio-political contexts in which they were made, and in turn have impacted on political relations. In Chapter 2,1 will turn to a review of the archaeological data, the primary sources of which are Bolles' 1932-34 field notes, his unpublished manuscript held in Harvard's Peabody Museum archive, and the 1977 posthumous publication. Chapter 3 examines the 5 settlement pattern discourse which has dealt with the ancient Maya household and questions why resulting interpretive models have not been applied to Chichen Itza or the Monjas. Chapter 4 takes up the issue of interpreting the function and history of the Monjas complex, on the basis of theoretical models generated by current study of gender relations and offers some concluding thoughts on the importance of such critical evaluation to present academic and larger socio-political contexts. 6 CHAPTER 1: CONSTRUCTING THE F R A M E : VIEWS OF CHICHEN ITZA IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE Archaeologists are always influenced by, and actively participate in, the world around them. Archaeological interpretations are shaped by the socio-political contexts in which they are made, and in turn impact on political relations. Often archaeological activities are implicated in the construction and maintenance of asymmetrical power relations, particularly those involving different 'races'. Indeed, history of colonialist intervention and archaeological practice in the Maya area can be mapped out in terms of the exploration of Chichen Itza, a site which has been selected for special attention for over four centuries. The Yucatan peninsula and its ancient city of Chichen Itza have been subjected to an almost constant stream of explorers for over 450 years. In 1517 the Spanish expedition under Hernandez de Cordoba landed on the peninsula of Yucatan, followed in 1518 by the exploratory expedition of Juan de Grijalva and in 1519 by Hernando Cortes. The Spanish Conquest of the northern Maya began in 1528 under Francisco de Montejo. Due to severe resistance, the Spanish were not able to establish a capital until 1542, when Merida was constructed on the ruins of the Maya city of Tihoo. The Maya's struggle against European domination continued into the nineteenth century. The "Caste War" of 1847-53 came very close to re-establishing indigenous political and economic control of the Yucatan peninsula and further revolt followed in 1860. Militant political opposition continued into the twentieth century with "sublevado" forces occupying the lands of Chichen Itza during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-20. 7 Early Exploration: De Landa to Stephens Investigation of archaeological remains in Yucatan began during the early part of Spanish colonial rule, when Fray Diego de Landa, the Bishop of Yucatan, and Fray Antonio de Ciudad Real, documented the ancient cities of Chichen Itza and Uxmal in 1566 and 1588 respectively. Diego de Landa arrived in Yucatan in 1549, and by 1561 he was the "provincial" of the "custodia" of Yucatan and Guatemala, an ecclesiastic post which gave him control of the 'spiritual welfare' of the region. Shortly after his appointment, a number of incidents, which included the torture and imprisonment of Mayan caciques [chieftains] for idolatrous practice, brought him into conflict both with his religious superiors and with the Spanish crown (Pagdenl975:11-25). Landa returned to Spain to face charges of the misuse of authority, corruption, and careless handling of the missionary program in 1563. Acquitted on all charges, Landa's colonialist domination and exploitation of the Maya resumed with his appointment as bishop of Yucatan in 1571. Among the papers Landa took to Spain with him in 1563 were the notes on Maya customs and beliefs which were later compiled as the Relacion de las cosas de Yucatan (1566) at the behest of the Franciscan order and intended for the instruction of future missionaries, but which were not published until the nineteenth century. Landa describes the Castillo and Sacred Cenote of Chichen Itza, since these were still in ritual use and a path connecting them kept clear, but he was not aware of the Monjas Complex. Landa's chapter on the early history of Chichen Itza, wherein he stated "that in that place there once reigned three Lords who were brothers and who had come to the land 8 from the west" (Delgado 1884 in Maudslay 1889-1902), supplies one example of the linkage between archaeological remains and oral history—the others being primarily the Chilam Balams and the Relaciones de Yucatan 1— that makes Chichen Itza the cornerstone of culture-historical construction in Mesoamerica. The end of Spanish colonial rule following the Napoleonic wars, and the subsequent collapse of the Bourbon monarchy in 1820, engendered a full-scale renegotiation of political and economic relations between Spanish America, Northern Europe and the United States (Pratt 1992:112). In this particular context, the early nineteenth century archaeological rediscovery of America, published as travel literature, encoded non-capitalist landscapes and societies in Mesoamerica as manifestly in need of the kind of rationalized exploitation that Europeans and Euro-Americans could bring. Indeed, since the time that the 1841 publication Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan, by the diplomat and lawyer, John Lloyd Stephens, achieved its enormous popularity, American archaeologists and historians have dominated Maya studies. It is important to realize not only that Stephens' exploration represents the beginning of recognizable archaeological study in the western world, but also that his publication played an important role in the construction of American national identity at that time. Stephens' linkage of archaeological study in the New World to colonialist appropriation and capitalist hegemony would continue to dominate Maya studies in particular, through the present day (Ruscheinsky 1992). 1 Written in 1579 and 1581, the documents known as Relaciones de Yucatan consists of the replies to a list of 50 questions requested by the King of Spain, Charles III in regard to the towns held by the encomenderos. The questionnaire covers the physical, political, and economic geography of the region and town as well as the customs, clothing, weapons, and wars of the inhabitants. 9 Stephens and his illustrator, the English artist Frederick Catherwood, were the first since Bishop Landa to assign the ruined cities which they encountered to the actual inhabitants of the country, rather than to the diffusion of Old World populations, as promulgated concurrently by European explorers such as Count Waldeck (1838). However, even though Stephens acknowledged the indigenous origin of the "magnificent" ancient cities, he lamented throughout Incidents of Travel in Central America.... that such a lovely country should rest in the hands of incompetent, disorganized, fallen people. America, say historians, was peopled by savages; but savages never reared these structures, savages never carved these stones. We asked the Indians who made them, and their dull answer was "Quien sabe?" "who knows?" (1841:104) In 1841 Stephens and Catherwood returned to the Yucatan. In their subsequent 1843 publication Incidents of Travel in Yucatan. Stephens and Catherwood documented their exploration of the ruins of Chichen Itza, which "had additional interest in our eyes from the fact that the broad light of day beams upon their history" (1843:220). The authoritative role given to historical accounts at that time was exploited by Stephens in his effort to authenticate and corroborate his theory of indigenous origin. The Monjas "remarkable for its good state of preservation, and the richness and beauty of its ornaments" (1843:193) was material proof of the past glory and great achievements recorded in the colonial chronicles. 10 Just as Stephens' descriptive text combines a progressive attribution of the Maya ruins to Maya peoples, with a derogatory construction of their descendants as in need of external leadership, so too Catherwood's illustrations combine a new sophistication in the rendering of architectural form and detail with romantic notions of the picturesque that reinforce Stephens' colonialist position. Catherwood's engravings of the Monjas create a vision of destruction and lost grandeur (1843:193-197). By placing derelict ruins within an idealized nature, Catherwood established the landscape as largely an abandoned one. The apparent desertion of the landscape could work as a justification for transforming it to a more efficient, vital one (Birmingham,1986). Catherwood's engravings of the Monjas also include the Maya guides and bearers whose labour was essential for Stephens' and Catherwood's successful expedition. Yet Catherwood depicts these bearers lazying before the decaying ruins, echoing Stephens' earlier patronizing description of them: ...the indians, as in the days when the Spaniards discovered them, applied to work without ardour, carried it on with little activity, and, like children, were easily diverted from it... (1841:118) Catherwood's portrayal of the contemporary Maya thus reinforced Stephens' assertions of their "degeneracy" (1843:309) and aided in separating the current 'dependent' population from their independent historical past. Stephens' legacy of romantic imagination, ethnocentrism, and proprietary stewardship which had its basis in the white mythology of Enlightenment doctrine, the leitmotif of nineteenth century industrial capitalism, constitutes an essential part of the patrimony of American archaeology. 11 Late Explorers: Charnay, Le Plongeon, Maudsley, and E. H . Thompson Napoleon Ill's invasion of Mexico in 1864 was accompanied by "an army of savants" eager to investigate pre-Columbian America. During the "imperial experiment" French scholars undertook large scale excavations of ancient Mexican sites and although the larger enterprise was brought to an ignominious end in June 1867 when Maximillian was executed, French interest in ancient Mexican civilizations continued throughout the nineteenth century (Williams 1985:150-51). Many explorer archaeologists of the late nineteenth century studying ancient Mesoamerica shared with classical archaeologists the belief that historical knowledge could be acquired only from written documents or reliable oral traditions, and that artifacts and monuments merely illustrated the historical accomplishments of the past (Trigger 1989:72). Hence, the 1864 Paris publication of a French translation of Diego de Landa's previously unknown account of the Yucatan, as the Relation des choses Yucatan- texte espagnol et traduction francaise-par l'Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg, had a tremendous impact on the exploration and interpretation of the ancient city of Chichen Itza. Desire Charnay, the French archaeological explorer, journeyed to Chichen Itza during his 1857-60 Mexican trip and again in the 1880s. Determined to follow J.L. Stephen's 'romantic and adventurous spirit' Charnay gained sponsorship from the French Ministry of Public Instruction for his own explorations of Yucatan (Davis 1981:12). While Charnay's 1857-60 Mexican 12 travel was not overtly political, his attitude toward French control of Mexico is clearly expressed in the resulting 1862-63 Paris publication, Cites et mines americaines: Mitla, Palenque, Izamal, Chichen Itza. Uxmal, receuillies et photographiees par Desire Charnay avec un texte par M . Viollet-le-Duc. in which he asserts that: It was France's duty to rouse Mexico from its numbness...France will see Mexico rejuvenated by its attention and influence. Enriched from railroads, increasing its immense riches tenfold in several months, it will assure our manufacturers outlets for their products and will bring a prosperity never before dreamed of (202-203). In the early 1860's, Charnay participated in French expansionist efforts in Madagascar returning to Mexico in 1864 with French troops sent to support the Maximillian regime. Charnay's 1880-82 Mexican expedition, a cooperative Franco-American project supported by the French government and Pierre Lorillard, a New York businessman of French descent, in addition to collecting artifacts to be returned to France, was to prepare paper molds of bas-reliefs and architectural details of the ancient buildings for both the Trocadero Museum in Paris and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C (Davis 1981:25). For this expedition, Charnay came armed with the recently published translation of Landa's Relaciones. Charnay was one of the first archaeologist explorers who went beyond pure description of the monuments in attempting to reconstruct ancient Maya society, as in his numerous publications for the North American Review. Revue d'Ethnographie and Le Tour du Monde. Though Stephens had 13 stylistically compared the painting and architecture of Chichen Itza to Aztec monuments, it was Charnay, based on Landa, who first advocated the totalizing theory that all Central American monuments were of Toltec origin, and that they were relatively modern, the oldest being no more than eight centuries old. For example, in his opus, The Ancient Cities of The New World: Being Voyages and Explorations in Mexico and Central America from 1857-1882 in describing the Castillo he states that: It was in this temple that the striking analogy between the sculptures and the bas-reliefs of the plateau [of central Mexico] with those at Chichen was first revealed to us; and since the dates of the Toltec immigrations are known, we can fix approximately the age of these monuments...both Toltec and recent (1887:341-43). Charnay's Ancient Cities... also includes a description of "El Palacio de las Monjas." Attempting to explain the "traditionary appellation" of the "Nun's Palace" which "is one of the most important monuments at Chichen-Itza, and possesses a greater number of apartments than any other," Charnay proposed a function for the Monjas complex based on historical record. He attests that "we know from Mexican writers that it was the custom among the Aztecs to dedicate girls of noble birth to the service of the gods...and 'according to Clavigero' there were "different male and female religious orders...Thus the Nunnery may very well have been a convent and a priestly abode" (1887:331-34). Charnay's interpretation of the Monjas as a purely religious structure arises from persistent western notions of the separation of sacred and profane, or church and state, and thus differs only in detail from those articulated even a century later (see Lincoln 1990). 14 Although the indigenous origin of the ancient civilizations of the New World was widely accepted in the late nineteenth century, elaborate theories linking the Old and New Worlds persisted. Probably the most fanciful explication of such diffusionist theory since Frederic de Waldeck's 1838 Paris publication of Voyage pittoresque et archeologique dans la province d'Yucatan pendant les annees 1834 et 1836 and perhaps in opposition to Waldeck's view that "Egyptians and Hindoos" had peopled America, was Augustus Le Plongeon. In his 1866 publication, Sacred Mysteries among the Maya and the Quiches 11,500 Years Ago: Their Relation to the Sacred Mysteries of Egypt Greece, Chaldea, and India, Le Plongeon asserted that "Maya colonists transported their ancient religious rites and ceremonies, not only to the banks of the Nile, but to those of the Euphrates, and the shores of the Indian Ocean, not less than 11,500 years ago"(22). The Monjas played a key role in Le Plongeons' highly imaginative reconstruction of world history. For Le Plongeon, on the facade of the Iglesia "is a tableau representing the worship of the great pachyderm, whose head, with its trunk, forms the principal ornament of the temples and palaces built by the members of King Can's family"(93-95). The "ornaments" of the east facade of the East Wing of the Monjas "serve as illustration for the relation of the creation, as we read it at the beginning of the first chapter of the Manava Dharma Sastra...and more ancient works of the Brahmins" (71-72). Clearly Le Plongeon's flamboyant invention on the archaeological interpretation of Chichen Itza has had little impact other than serving to set off subsequent archaeological interpretation as more 'objective' and scientific' 15 The five-volume 1889-1902 publication of English archaeologist Sir Alfred Percival Maudslay's Archaeology in the encyclopedic Biologia Centrali-Americana heralded the beginnings of a professionalized 'scientific' archaeology in the study of ancient Mesoamerican civilizations as distinguished from the 'antiquarianism' of earlier times. Participating in the development of a self-contained and systematic study of Mesoamerican prehistory, Maudslay desired "to preserve some further record of these remains, [buildings and monuments] and especially to take exact copies of the carved hieroglyphic inscriptions, before the disintegrating effects of a tropical climate and the careless mutilations by man had rendered them useless for study..."(62). Maudslay's approach was influenced by innovative Scandinavian archaeologists, who were both more interested in learning from archaeological data how specific peoples had lived in the past by means of ethnographic parallel (Trigger 1989:108) and also pioneered seriation as a form of chronology in their notion of three successive ages of stone, bronze, and iron. Rather than attempting to historically situate ancient Chichen Itza as earlier antiquarians had done, Maudslay considered seriation as a form of chronology appropriate to ordering the material remains of the site. Maudslay was thus the first to propose a construction sequence for the buildings of the Monjas.2 As Maudslay was the first to postulate that the 2 Mauds lay ' s proposed construction sequence was as fol lows: 1. "the lower half of the third basement" [Platform 1] 2. "the addition of the upper part of the third basement" [Platform 2] 3. "the second basement [Platform 3] accessible by the present stairway or possibly by a narrower stairway in the same position-chambers probably removed, but possibly remaining as the two long chambers of the present lower range [Second Story]" 4. "enlargement of second basement [Platform 4 and 5], and erection of the present lower ranges of chambers [Second Story]" 16 construction sequence of the main Monjas structure could provide the outlines for a 'culture history' of Chichen Itza, his work may have influenced Morley's later decision to have Bolles intensively excavate the complex. Although pre-Hispanic archaeology developed with considerable support from American federal government agencies such as the Smithsonian Institution and the Bureau of American Ethnology, initially philanthropical support of museums was of equal, if not greater, importance. The first archaeological excavations in the Maya area were carried out in 1892 at the site of Copan, Honduras, by Peabody Museum of Harvard University, an institution supported largely by philanthropic contributions of the Bostonian elite. Edward Thompson, the next important figure in the archaeological investigation of Chichen Itza, was also an affiliate of the Peabody Museum. Like John L. Stephens before him, Thompson's government position— as the American consul to Yucatan— politically coloured his archaeological reconstructions with justifications for imperialism. Furthermore, Thompson purchased the hacienda containing the site of Chichen Itza in 1894, and continued to operate it within the Yucatec system of peonage. He is perhaps most famous for dredging the Sacred Cenote in search of its treasures, which were deposited in the Peabody Museum. Although romanticized as an heroic figure in American archaeology (see Coggins 1992), Mexican archaeological historian Daniel Schavelzon reminds us that: 5. "filling-up of northern long chamber [Room 18], and erection of upper stairway and upper chamber [Third Story]" 6. "East Wing" 7. addition of the South addition to East Wing 8. "filling-up of central chambers of east wing with intention of erecting upper story-not carried out" (18). 17 ... in Mexico he is considered a looter, someone who unmercifully destroyed archaeological sites and exploited the Maya Indians. His name is usually recalled when Mexicans want to refer to some lunatic exercising political and intellectual power. In his official activity he was consul and representative of the American corporation that controlled the monocultives on which the lives of thousands of Maya Indians depended (Schavelzon 1989: 111). Within the context of an evolutionary anthropology, Thompson attributed Euro-American hegemony to racial and cultural superiority over the New World's Native peoples (Hinsley 1981). For example, Thompson created an ideology of American superiority in opposition to the practices of the Maya, which were cast as primitive or unhealthy. Intervention in the lives of the Maya was justified in the name of science, health, and progress. Thompson's paternalistic attitude toward the Maya is clearly expressed when describing, in his 1934 publication People of the Serpent, the work carried out at Chichen Itza by the Carnegie Institution.3 "By example and precept the members of the staff are doing everything possible to increase the morale of the native population in the matter of healthy sentiments toward education, industry, and hygiene" (300). Thompson's reconstruction of ancient Chichen Itza history depended on the assumption that prehistoric times were not qualitatively distinct from the ethnographic present. Using the Chilam Balam of Mani (Craine 1979) as his 3 The Carnegie Institution had to pay Edward Thompson to work at Chichen Itza, The legal battle to retain the Hacienda Chichen Itza lands, inhabited by "sublevados" and contested by the newly formed revolutionary government since the Revolutionary War, was settled in Thompson's favour by the National Agrarian Commission by March 7, 1920 as his letter to Bowditch attests (Coggins 1992:25). 18 historical source in conjunction with his own collection of "the oral traditions of the Maya" Thompson reinforced negative stereotypes of native peoples by constructing both the ancient Maya and the present native, population as 'primitive' by virtue of their "religious beliefs", especially 'nature worship', and therefore less developed intellectually and emotionally than Europeans. For example, he states that "...while the Mayas recognized One Supreme Being, the Hunab Ku, their religion was essentially a form of nature worship, with the serpent and the sun as emblems of the chief deities. Their ancient builders seem to have had their religious beliefs ever in their minds, for the facades of palaces, temples, and public buildings are covered, not with merely ornamental designs, but with the more or less conventionalized serpent motive in almost endless variations. The eastern wing of the Nunnery, and especially the eastern facade of that wing, offers remarkably fine examples of this fact" (234). E. H . Thompson and his archaeological investigations have been dismissed as amateuristic operations in order to relationally legitimate professionalized archaeology in the Maya area. Hence his connections to imperialist politics and colonialist exploitation are typically repudiated in order to construct modern archaeology as scientifically objective and politically neutral (Cohodas, personal communication). However, we will see that, no matter how covert, such political and economic agendas remain the core of Maya archaeology. 19 Early Culture-Historical Archaeology and the Carnegie Institution of Washington By the end of the nineteenth century, the Enlightenment paradigm which linked the material objects of past civilizations to the four stages of human progress—from savagery, to barbarism, to agriculture and to commerce—was being challenged by accumulating evidence of changes in the archaeological record. In Western Europe and North America, nationalism increased as intensified industrialization heightened competition for markets and resources. At that time, the construction of distinct identities fundamental to nationalistic ideology was based on definition of pre-modern or ethnic heritage. Archaeology fulfilled this aim by replacing earlier broad evolutionary stages with particular culture histories, thus constructing the second major paradigm in American prehistoric archaeology. Despite their work at constructing heritage, archaeologists felt no heightened sense of identity with the people they studied (Trigger 1990:206); on the contrary, primitivist stereotypes of the American Indian were increasingly promulgated. Under this primitivist and cultural historical paradigm, ethnic groups were archaeologically identified through the stylistic analysis of their artifacts. Change was explained in terms of diffusion of innovations from one society to another or to migrations that had led to the replacement of one people by another (Trigger 1989). Hence the replacement of one assemblage of material objects considered "Old Empire" Maya by another assemblage bearing stronger Central Mexican relationships, was regarded as further evidence for the pre-hispanic imposition of a new Mexican or Nahua 20 biological population on the indigenous Yucatec Maya of Chichen Itza, corroborating evidence from Nahua linguistic borrowings in Yucatec Maya language, and ethnohistorical accounts of northern Maya rulers employing Mexican mercenaries to shift the balance of power. Implicit in those interpretations, which imposed a society with presumed military and technological superiority over an indigenous population, was the perception that American Indians were weak or inferior, because they were unable to withstand the onslaught of Euro-American capitalist development. These views about the fragility of pre-Columbian societies became part of the resurgence of racism reflected by the passage of segregation and immigration laws in the United States during the 1920s (Patterson 1986:11). In 1902 the Carnegie Institution of Washington [hereafter CIW] was established, with an initial endowment of $10 million, by the former 'Laird of Steel', Andrew Carnegie as part of his 'philanthropic endeavors.' The foundation's mission was "to encourage in the broadest and most liberal manner, investigation, research and discovery, and the application of knowledge to the improvement of mankind." Carnegie's general desire was to rationalize the production of new knowledge in part as a solution to social problems confronting an industrializing society (Slaughter and Silva 1980:62). In an age when 'rationality' was the guiding principle of the production of knowledge, the broad theme of "science in the service of society" was fundamental to the Carnegie Institution's construction of a pragmatic ideology that justified the perpetuation of industrial capitalism (Howe 1980:33). 21 Early Mexican archaeology was heavily influenced by the United States. Manuel Gamio, the most important Mexican archaeologist of this period (Bernal 1980:164) studied at Columbia University under Franz Boas and later brought him to teach in Mexico where he advocated his model of cultural relativism. In 1910 Boas helped establish La Escuela Internacional de Arqueologia y Etnologia in Mexico City; Boas, and later Alfred M . Tozzer, directed the center. The overriding concern of the United States in the establishment of educational institutions in Mexico was to train the future leaders of the country within a pro-Western, pro-capitalistic framework which would ensure that American economic and strategic interests were not threatened (for comparison see Amove 1980:12). The mandate of American philanthropic foundations, like the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations which were funding educational programs in the United States and in Latin America, were viewed from the outset with suspicion. In the period 1913-1919, claims that the newly formed corporate foundations were directed specifically against the growing wave of socialism that involved labor unions in the United States, and was gaining a stronger foothold in Europe, resulted in a "sweeping investigation of all the country's great benevolent organizations" by the Walsh Commission (Amove 1980:305-30). The Mexican Revolution of 1910-20 and the changes it wrought were viewed by the United States as a real threat to the economic and social stability of North America. Stepped-up economic and military interference resulted in the United States invasion of Vera Cruz in 19144 and northern Mexico in 4 In 1914, as more and more oil thundered to Mexico's surface, the new self-appointed President General Huerta favoured the British oil companies against American. Hence the United States refused the dictator recognition. In April 1914, U.S. marines killed hundreds of Mexicans to seize the major port of Vera Cruz, cutting off revenues to Huerta's government and oil to British Imperialists (Hodges and Gandy 1976). 22 19165 In his 1986 article, "The Last Sixty Years: Toward a Social History of Americanist Archaeology in the United States," Thomas Patterson suggests that the interests of the United States' "Eastern Establishment" dominated by "international monopoly and finance capitalists...who controlled 95% of foreign investment in Latin America" (12) were being expressed through the agency of Carnegie Institution archaeology as a subtle means to further destablize the Mexican government. This was the milieu of the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Maya Project as it began in 1914. In that year, the CIW board of directors voted in favour of supporting archaeological research by funding Sylvanus G. Morley's "scientific exploration in...the domain of manners and morals" of ancient Central America (Reingold 1979:329). For its first decade, the program was carried out in Guatemala where the CIW had close ties with the Boston-based United Fruit Company which owned or controlled land containing archaeological sites. It was not until 1923 that the strained relations between the United States and Mexico improved enough to allow work at Chichen Itza to commence. In 1923 support for the Carnegie Institution of Washington archaeological project by the newly formed revolutionary government of Mexico was primarily political. A committee that had been discussing the possibility of reinstating diplomatic relations between Mexico and the United States allowed excavations to commence in order to facilitate negotiations 5 In October 1915 the American government, wanting an end to political and economic chaos in Mexico, recognized Carranza as "el Presidente," sent him aid, and laid down an arms embargo against Pancho Villa the revolutionary leader of the guerrilla army "Division del Norte." By 1916 the United States was sending armed troops into the Mexican state of Chihuahua to aid in the "struggle against Villa" (Hodges and Gandy 1976). 23 (Schavelzon 1986:110). Perhaps recognition of its newly formed government by the United States was seen by Mexicans as crucial to its international acceptance and continued domestic support. (By comparison, Consul John L. Stephens' refusal to recognize Francisco Morazon as the legitimate president of the recently elected Republican Government of Central America in 1839, during the civil war, was partly responsible for its dissolution). Because the Mexican national revolution of 1910-20 may not have succeeded without the armed support of indigenous peasants who constituted a majority of the population, the new government policy undertook to integrate Indians into national life. It became strategic both for carrying out this integrative policy as well as for contributing to the construction of a modern nationalist identity utilizing a distinctive pre-modern past, to encourage archaeological projects studying Mexico's pre-hispanic heritage and making their findings an integral part of Mexican history. As part of the Mexican government's popularization of prehistory, the restoration of the archaeological site of Chichen Itza as an open-air museum, one of the stated goals of the Carnegie Institution project, promoted national integration and Mexican national distinctiveness through the formation of an historical perspective that could be shared by Mexicans and foreign visitors alike^ (Trigger 1989:180-181). Chichen Itza was in the middle of the most restless region of the Yucatan with a long history of rebellion, recently recovered from the Caste War and " The Carnegie Chichen Itza Project may have also provided employment for many of the "intruding squatters" (Thompson 1920) which had occupied the Hacienda Chichen Itza lands since the Revolutionary War, thereby providing the "rentals" awarded to E .H. Thompson by the National Agrarian Commission in 1920. 24 now led by communist Felipe Carrillo Puerto^ who wanted to declare Yucatan independent of the central Mexican government (Schavelzon 1989:111). Agricultural and labour reforms enacted by Carrillo Puerto's socialist government would have provided a similar, if stronger threat than the trade union movement to the U.S. government and international corporations.8 The interests of the Mexican and U.S. governments thus intersected in the agenda of overcoming Yucatec socialist separatism, reducing Carrillo Puerto's power and impact on the Yucatan political economy. In this context, the concurrent archaeological projects at Chichen Itza of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia (INAH), became important tools in fulfilling this joint agenda. However, U.S. interests did not entirely coincide with that of the Mexican government, involving as well methods of weakening federal control of Yucatan in ways that would benefit American economic concerns. Here too, the CIW excavations of Chichen Itza could function as a tool of American imperialist policy. As Patterson explains: The Carnegie archaeological program was not value free and neutral, for it carried a subtle political message to the revolutionary government of Mexico and to the peoples of Central America. By focusing on the Maya, "the most brilliant culture of the pre-Columbian 7 l n 1922 Felipe Carrillo Puerto became governor of Yucatan. Under his direction, the organized workers and peasants helped push through reforms, including distribution of land to villages. Carrillo Puerto translated the Constitution of 1917 into Maya and had peasants taught their rights. In 1924 the landowners had Carrillo Puerto and his associates assassinated. ^see Gilbert M . Joseph in Rural Revolt in Mexico and United States Intervention(T988') for an interpretation of the some of the power relationships involved, including International Harvester's role in affecting the structure and control of henequen production during this period and its impact on the regional economy of Yucatan. 25 world," the archaeologists were implicitly questioning the unity of the Mexican state and the cultural attainments of the ancient societies of central and northern Mexico-the regions that controlled the modern state (1986: 12). The collaborative excavation and restoration of Chichen Itza commenced in 1924. The Mexican Government's Direccion de Arqueologia, later to become the Instituto Nacional de Antropologia e Historia, undertook the excavation of the Castillo and Great Ball Court Group, monuments which were perceived as the supreme architectural achievements of the Nahua or Mexican period considered to be derivative of Toltec achievements in Central Mexico. The selection of such monuments is explained by the manifestation of nationalism in Mexico following the 1910 Revolution in the form of the Indigenismo movement, which glorified the pre-Hispanic past of the Aztec and earlier societies centered in the Valley of Mexico (McGuire 1993:105).9 In contrast to the Mexican program, CIW archaeologists chose to elaborate the culture-historical model by excavating structures representing an historical sequence from 'pure Maya' (Monjas, Temple of the Three Lintels, Red House) through a 'transition' period (Caracol), to the period of 'Mexican domination' (Temple of the Warriors, Mercado, Casa Redonda, Temple of the Wall Panels). John Bolles was hired by CIW to excavate the Monjas complex in 1932 for two reasons: [1] his architectural training was considered desirable for restoring the Monjas, one of the Mexican government's conditions for CIW excavation, and [2] he had acquired " The results of the INAH excavations were never published in full, but were summarized in Ignacio Marquina's 1951 book Arquitectura Prehispanica. 26 techniques newly developed in Germany for investigating architectural stratigraphy which were considered essential to the development of a chronology for the site of Chichen Itza. In his 1934 CIW Yearbook report on the excavations at Chichen Itza [for the ten years covered by the first permit granted to the Carnegie Institution of Washington by the Government of Mexico], S. G. Morley appears to corroborate Patterson's suggestion of a decentralizing political agenda, downplaying the importance of Highland Mexican peoples at Chichen Itza: ...while presumption is very strong that the invaders (Nahua) were responsible for the development of the late architecture of Chichen, the extent of their contribution can not yet be gauged. It is possible, for example, that the peculiarities in question were of independent local origin Maya) and were subsequently copied in Mexico (91). The view of Morley and other CIW archaeologists, who saw the Maya past as a period of brilliance characterized by great achievements in art and architecture that ceased with the Spanish onslaught, was further reinforced by much of the ethnographic research carried out by Carnegie Institution during the 1930s and 1940s (see R. Redfield and A. Villa 1934), which portrayed contemporary Maya culture as a pale reflection of its pre-Columbian predecessors. Placing themselves in the position to form such judgments, contemporary Euro-American and Euro-Mexican scholars were also constructing themselves as the discoverers and controllers of that ancient knowledge which had formed the basis for past greatness, and of which the subsequent absence explained current decline. Thus maintaining the 27 episteme first forcefully promoted by Stephens in 1841, both archaeologists and ethnographers served to defend the status quo and legitimate the continued exploitation of indigenous Americans (Patterson 1986:13). The Maya-to-Toltec Sequence In 1940, with the close of the first season of excavation at the Central Mexican site of Tula, Hidalgo a new era of pre-Hispanic archaeological theorizing began. By 1941, the stratigraphically identifiable ceramic sequence defined for Tula by Jorge Acosta, which placed it between the collapse of Teotihuacan and the rise of the Aztec, permitted support for Wigberto Jimenez Moreno's ethnohistorically-based contention that this site was in fact the Toltec capital of the historical sources. That the architecture and sculpture of Tula was stylistically linked to Chichen Itza brought a renewed interest in, and a revised account of, the chronological sequence promulgated by the Carnegie Institution scholars since the completion of Chichen Itza excavations in 1934. La Sociedad Mexicana de Antropologia held a Mesa Redonda in 1941 to explore implications of these new findings. J. Eric S. Thompson represented scholarship in the Maya area, and was able to coordinate with Jimenez Moreno in revising interpretations of ethnohistoric chronologies to arrive at a consensus which for the first time linked Central Mexico and the Maya area in what was constructed as an accurately dated historical event, the Toltec invasion and conquest of Yucatan in a.d. 986. The theory that ethnicity was responsible for the differences noted in architecture, ceramic types, and the iconography and artistic style of 28 sculpture and painting has continued until recently to provide the basic culture-historical framework for Chichen Itza archaeology (see J.E.S. Thompson 1927, 1931). The accord reached at the 1941 Mesa Redonda re-established the importance of defining distinct 'Maya' and 'Toltec' remains in order to reinforce the presumed historical sequence and conquest event. In his synthesis of Chichen Itza archaeology, Chichen Itza and its Cenote of Sacrifice: A Comparative Study of Contemporaneous Maya and Toltec, compiled and published posthumously in 1957, Alfred M . Tozzer best enunciated the theory that the two periods of history at Chichen Itza corresponded to two ethnic groups: the earlier period of monumental architecture at Chichen Itza, the Late Classic, was seen to be exclusively "Yucatan Maya" and the later was "Toltec" or "Toltec-Maya". [These two stages were then followed by a period of 'Maya Resurgence' characterized by inferior remains (1957:25-30)]. In addition, Tozzer's view of ethnicity was based largely on his identification and interpretation of racial physiognomy which distinguished Maya from Toltec as physical types in architectural sculpture and painting (1957). The multi-roomed, range-type structures of the Monjas complex, as well as the Casa Colorada, House of the Deer, the Akabdzib, and the Temple of the Three Lintels, have been constructed in the literature published initially by the Carnegie Institution of Washington as exhibiting Puuc or pure Yucatec Maya traits of architectural form and decoration, including solid-core masonry construction, mosaic facades and hieroglyphic inscriptions. Architectural groundplans of these structures also contrast with those described as reflecting Central Mexican or Toltec influence, such as the Great Ballcourt, Temple of the Warriors and the Castillo on the Gran Nivelacion. 29 These latter monuments, most often cited as typical of Central Mexican architecture, feature a veneer masonry technique, along with the use of columns and wooden lintels. The 'Toltec' style at Chichen Itza is also defined by a perceived emphasis on warrior imagery in the architectural relief sculpture, and the lack of hieroglyphic inscriptions. Under this paradigm the contrasting architectural modes operative in the Monjas complex were situated on either side of the Maya-to-Toltec boundary. The East Wing, Iglesia, Southeast Annex, and the Second Story Structure were viewed as pure Yucatec Maya constructions, whereas the veneer masonry buildings of the East Court, the columned structures of the Southeast Court, the Third Story and the Ballcourt assemblage were considered to be of the Toltec period. That its architectural superimposition refuted the canonical sequence—for example, the platforms supporting the upper stories rest upon the floor of the original ball court—may help explain the nearly half-century delay in the publication of Bolles' excavation report. The monograph was published in 1977 in an abbreviated form which modified or completely eliminated evidence that contradicted the Maya-to-Toltec progression. In constructing the Late Classic Stage at Chichen Itza as characterized by "the serenity of a society dominated by priests and acolytes" (Tozzer 1957:16), subsequently brought to an "end" and followed by the "Militaristic Age" of the Toltec, Tozzer defines an historical progression from theocratic Maya priest-rulers to militaristic Toltec conquerors that reproduces the succession from Classical Greece to Roman Empire so important to European historicity (Cohodas 1989:228). Because the opposition of democratic 30 Greece with militaristic Rome was also employed in the mid-twentieth century to articulate cold war tensions, any privileging of Maya artistic, scientific, or intellectual achievements could be used as a legitimation of the American west and attack on Soviet communism. By attributing the "moral degradation and deterioration" of the Maya to the military domination of the Toltec, Tozzer forcefully contributed to the construction of American democracy as superior to Soviet Communism. The profound resonance of this model in twentieth century global politics accounts for its continued reproduction and reinforcement in archaeological literature through the 1980s and, among some scholars, through the present day. Neo-evolutionism: Postwar Racism and Cultural Imperialism The period following World War II witnessed a growing alienation between United States and Mexican archaeologists partially because of the former's continued emphasis on processual theory and a search for universal laws. McCarthyism and the Cold War's domination of American politics created an atmosphere which seriously curtailed, or at times actively repressed, an intellectual engagement with Marxist theory, insulating social scientists from intellectual currents in Europe and Latin America (McGuire 1993:115). Mexican archaeologists who had engaged with Soviet Marxism, Maoism, and French structural Marxism as a theoretical base for investigation continued their long-standing interest in the uses of archaeology as a political tool and expressed a profound concern that North Americans were bringing superior 31 resources to bear in Mexico, using them to further imperialistic interests 10 (McGuire 1993:109-10). In North America, the New Archaeology of the 1960s advocated trying to discover laws governing human behaviour and societal change. This line of inquiry, while initially building on traditional culture-historical chronologies and spatial boundaries, fostered a materialistic outlook including notions that there was a universal pattern to human history, and that technology was the key to human betterment (Trigger 1989:289). This new ideology was used by American archaeologists to 'naturalize' the politically dominant position of the United States following W.W II, by demonstrating its assumed superiority to be the inevitable outcome of an evolutionary process in which human beings gained greater control over their environment through technological innovation (Trigger 1989:289). New Archaeologists drew on the neo-evolutionism that developed within the anthropological discourse in the United States in the 1950-60s. Initially in the formulation of neo-evolutionary theory, Leslie White offered the concept of 'General Evolution', which treated progress as a characteristic of culture in general (1949,1959), while Julian Steward (1955) assumed that there were significant regularities in human societal development and that ecological adaptation determined the limits of variation in culture systems. In an attempt to reconcile these two approaches, Marshall D. Sahlins (1968) and Elman R. Service (1962,1975) used ethnographic data to construct 1 0 The exposure of the Camelot project in the mid 1960s, which had enlisted anthropologists, knowingly and unknowingly, to gather information for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use in counterinsurgency campaigns in Latin America and Southeast Asia, heightened the distrust between Latin American and U . S. archaeologists (McGuire 1993:109-10). 32 speculative and highly generalized sequences of unilinear development, involving the band, tribe, chiefdom, and state. Implicit in their approaches, and in Morton H . Fried's scheme of political evolution (1967), was that technological progress characterized societal change as a general feature of human history (Trigger 1989:289-92). Richard Wilk has called this evolutionary assumption based on distinction between 'traditional' and 'modern' societies the "modernization theory" (1991:18). Wilk also informs us that: Chirot (1981) places modernization theory squarely in the intellectual armory of the U.S. Department of State during the cold war period. Modernization was rationalization and efficiency, a movement that would bring prosperity and happiness to the peoples of the underdeveloped world, pulling them away from the temptation to follow communism and revolution as solutions to their problems (1991:20). Evolutionary Models of Theocracy and Autocracy Major advances in the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing in the 1960s generated an explosion of interest in ancient Maya society which coincided with the entrenchment of neo-evolutionary theory in American archaeology. As a result of this concurrence, Western historians envisioned ancient Maya society as belonging to one or another societal types. These typologies were seen as representing a chronological development from 33 ranked chiefdom to stratified state, from a reduced simplicity through stages of increasing complexity. With the adoption of neo-evolutionary theory into the discipline of New World archaeology, the identification of "theocracy" as a transitional stage in the development of state-type societies became more common (Webster 1976). Assignment of Classic Maya society to this theocratic stage was aided by concurrent advances in the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic writing in the late 1950s and early 1960s, which identified the human figures with supernatural attributes as historical rulers, hence 'priest-kings'. H In the 1960s, Tatiana Proskouriakoff modified Thompson's priest-peasant hypothesis: Under Proskouriakoff s 'autocratic model' the ruling aristocracy retained the exclusive right to monumental production, designed to glorify themselves within the 'ceremonial center' before a populace of agricultural peasants. Based on the contemporary misconception that medieval cathedrals were constructed by devout peasant volunteers, (Becker 1979:12) the idea that ancient Maya 'temples' and 'palaces' were the free-labours of a devoted public was the basis of the European derived concept of a Maya 'elite class' or 'aristocracy'. Note that the glorification of the ancient Maya ruler by American archaeologists and historians, through their continued emphasis on, and construction of, vertical relations of dominance in the archaeological 1 ^The adoption of theocracy as an evolutionary 'stage' of organization juxtaposed with a later 'secular' one, presented difficulties in envisioning what sort of evolutionary continuities were found between their often strikingly variant distinctions (Webster 1976:813). As a result, widespread examples of 'early states'—for which there developed a plethora of terms such as, galactic polity, theater state, divine kingship, segmentary state, and early state module—existed in which the religious and political roles and functions of the "temple elites" were not separate, but rather, interdependent. Classic Maya political organizations are generally placed in these' early state' categories and thereby compared with Classic Greece and the Khmer. 34 discourse, also legitimates the exploitation of the producers in the past and the present. Autocratic kingship as an early stage in the development of state organization was applied to the material remains of Chichen Itza (Davoust 1980: Kowalski 1989) subsequent to David Kelley's (1962) decipherment of the name Kakupacal in the Chichen Itza inscriptions. Through the partial reading of the Monjas lintels and Casa Colorada inscription, Kelley proposed that "the name Kakupacal in the inscriptions of Chichen Itza validates the view that the Mayan inscriptions of Chichen Viejo were the work of the Itza." Kelley's suggestion that the Itza were Maya and not Toltec contradicted the "conventional" view which regarded the Itza as 'foreigners' who occupied Chichen Itza during the Tula-Toltec period and were responsible for 'new Chichen' (Tozzer 1957:36). The integration of preconceived notions of ancient Maya societal development, which now included the concept of theocracy, into a neo-evolutionary teleology, required a division of the succeeding 'state' stage into a 'theocratic' form, more like the preceding chiefdom stage and more related to notions of the 'primitive' or 'pre-modern', versus the late secular, militaristic and capitalistic state analogous to the modern west. For example, with the publication of The Rise and Fall of Maya Civilization in 1954, J. Eric Thompson had reformulated his "priest-peasant hypothesis" (Becker 1979) from a static attribute representative of pre-Columbian society to a universal stage of human evolutionary development. The classic cities of the Central area had a dominantly religious 35 setting. Subsequently there seems to have been a shift to a more secular society, which later developed strongly militaristic tendencies...(1954:93). Contextualizing the concept of an autocracy within an evolutionary teleology, which culminates in secular institutions governing trade and technology, supports capitalist hegemony as a political ideal. For example, the presumed evidence at Chichen Itza for a linear progression of social organization from a class-based model identified as a priest-peasant dichotomy (J.E.S. Thompson 1954) to a secular state said to be characterized by hierarchical social groupings through the appearance of urbanism, militarism, craft specialization, and long-distance trade ( E. W. Andrews IV 1973; J.'W. Ball 1974,1986; Anthony Andrews and F. Robles 1985; E. W. Andrews V and J. A. Sabloff 1986; Ball and Taschek 1989) made Chichen Itza central to processual theories which considered its inhabitants to be the inheritors and innovators of the Classic traditions of the Maya Lowlands. Ruth Krochock promoted the view that "the art of Chichen Itza...owes its origin more to precursors in Classic Maya Iconography than to influence from an invading Central Mexican culture"(130) in her 1988 thesis, The Hieroglyphic Inscriptions and Iconography of Temple of the Four Lintels and Related monuments. Chichen Itza. Yucatan. Mexico. Krochock's proposed decipherment of Chichen Itza inscriptions "confirms Kelley's hypothesis that the pattern of dating at Chichen Itza emphasizes the structures themselves rather than the individual rulers who may have commissioned the carving of the monuments" (129). Applying a structural methodology to the 36 decipherment of inscriptions and iconographic interpretation of the pictorial imagery associated with these inscriptions, Krochock concluded that: "the Dedication Ceremonies recorded on these structures... [Monjas, Temples of the Four, Three, and One Lintels, Temple of the Initial Series, and Yula] do not record a dynastic sequence of kings, as Davoust (1980) proposed, but may instead record the actions of several high-ranking personages of possibly equal status. This evidence suggests that the Maya political social structure of Terminal Classic Chichen Itza, before any presumed foreign invasion, must have diverged fundamentally from that of the southern Classic Maya Lowland sites" (129-30). Ruth Krochok does not extrapolate from this epigraphic study to postulate a function for buildings in which these inscriptions are found. However Krochok focused specifically on the Monjas Complex in a later paper jointly written with David Freidel, which discusses the iconography of ball courts in relation to the "Evolution of Political Rhetoric at Chichen Itza." Krochok and Freidel suggest that the function of the pyramidal Platform 4 and Second Story structure was to serve as a reviewing stand for witnessing ball games in the court behind (1991:9). This allows the authors to further postulate the contemporaneity of the texts on the second story lintels with the "text-free ballcourt", and thereby to place the Monjas complex in a transitional position within an evolutionary teleology, one which saw "the great tradition of public writing...linked so closely with the institution of the high kingship to survive its demise" replaced by "spectacularly ambitious pictorial expressions of the 37 ancient politics of the Maya and the revolutionary transformation of those politics" at Chichen Itza (12). Perhaps the clearest articulation of the neo-evolutionary progression from a divine kingship in the Maya southern lowlands to the formation of a secular state at Chichen Itza is Linda Scheie and David Freidel's 1990 publication A Forest of Kings. In their opening chapters the authors speculate upon the necessity for the "invention" of the "institution of kingship." The development of a high civilization always creates problems of social inequality, but such differences between people need not be manifested negatively. For the Maya, kingship became the primary symbol of and rationale for the noble class, the ahauob. Kingship addressed the problem of inequality, not by destroying or denying it, but by embedding the contradictory nature of privilege into the very fabric of life itself....The farmer, the stonemason, and the craftperson might have to pay tribute to the king, but the king compensated them for their service by giving them a richer, more enjoyable, more cohesive existence. The people reaped the spiritual benefits of the king's intercession with the supernatural world and shared in the material wealth his successful performance brought to the community (98). Scheie and Freidel thus describe Maya kingship as a social contract of reciprocity, a concept central to western liberal democracy. The notion that "hierarchy," based on patrilineal descent and religious sanction was "for the...Maya...an institutional means of maintaining an egalitarian way of life" 38 (43) was integral to Scheie and Freidel's 'primitivist' view that each member of Maya society would have shared a universal system of values that the elite class articulated in permanent forms of image and text. On the other hand, in their introductory sections they claim that the "innovative political solutions to the social crises that dominated life in ancient America" were "as eternal and as flexible as the American Constitution" (18). Scheie's and Freidel's project of validating the United States in terms of 'democracy,' 'technology' and 'supremacy' requires ambiguities and perhaps contradictions only partially resolved by the congressional model of multepal proposed for Chichen Itza. Reformulating the Thompson/Tozzer cold-war paradigm of Maya and Toltec, and building on Krochock's model of "cooperation" and "collectivity," derived from epigraphic evidence of kin relationships for personages named on the inscribed lintels of the Monjas Second Story and related Chichen Itza structures, Scheie and Freidel, propose that: In order to perpetuate the principle of kingship in this period of crisis, to expand it beyond the limitations that caused its demise in the south, the Maya lords of Chichen Itza terminated the office of king and the principle of dynasty that had generated it....The key to success for the Chichen Itza lords lay in their redefinition of the political consequences of defeat in war. They turned away from the dynastic feuds of the past and moved toward effective alliance and consolidation (375). 39 The native chronicles of the Itza declare that Chichen Itza was ruled by brothers...At the time of the Spanish Conquest, the Maya had a word for this kind of government: multepal joint or confederate government (361). In proposing a confederate government for Chichen Itza based on democratic selection, constitutional law and military alliance as a prerequisite of conquest state and hegemonic empire formation, Scheie and Freidel effectively echo, and thereby legitimate, the representational government of the United States. Scheie and Freidel's simultaneous use of the American Constitution as a paradigm for both 'autocratic' and 'democratic' rule within an evolutionary teleology reproduces a system of power relations which in turn ideologically legitimates American imperialism and military preeminence. Although increasingly anachronistic, The Forest of Kings constitutes a powerful ideological weapon in the context of cold war politics. In his 1990 dissertation "Ethnicity and Social Organization at Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico" Charles Lincoln applied a methodology strongly influenced by structural approaches, particularly Claude Levi-Strauss' investigation of the symbolic patterns underlying native American mythology. Drawing upon ethnographic and ethnohistorical material concerning native religious beliefs and symbolism as historical evidence, Lincoln attempted to account for variety in Chichen Itza's architecture by focusing on three types of structures, which he identified as temples, range structures or palaces, and gallery-patios. First, he defines temples as "the central foci of ritual... on the architectural groundplan of two-rooms with twin column entrance...a grand entrance-way and an inner sanctum with only 40 one means of access (621). Second, he defines range structures or palaces as "architectural entities whose groundplan is composed of simple rooms, arranged in rows, tandem rows, which often include transverse single or tandem end-rooms at right-angles to the primary axis of the building" (606). He adds that: "One can easily imagine, that the Akabdzib [range structure] might have indeed functioned as a true 'palace' or elite residence" (607). Finally, Lincoln defines gallery-patios as "really a simple colonnade which serves the larger structural component—the patio—as a kind of wide porch or portal" (602). Lincoln also notes that: "The function of gallery-patio structures remains unknown. Karl Ruppert thought of them as "judicial courts', David Freidel as elite residence, and Dan M . Healan discussing "analogous structures at Tula (e.g. House VI)...favored a public and/or ceremonial interpretation..."(604-05). Lincoln differentiates these three architectural categories by form and function in order to apply to the Maya the three functions of the ideal state proposed by Georges Dumezil, which are: [1] judicial power, [2] military power, and [3] the production of wealth. Lincoln avers that: The most elementary elite architectural compounds at Chichen Itza consist of three types of structures: Temple, Palace, and Gallery-Patio structure. I see in these a sophisticated and institutional differentiation of (1) priestly sovereignty, (2) a warrior-based nobility and royalty, and (3) a third element, never granted the architectural or artistic elaboration of the first two, open and with great spatial access, suggesting reference to the largest class of society, possibly those who carry out the basic production of wealth and the livelihood of society (67). 41 As the final step in this structural synthesis, Lincoln combined the postulate of three functions of state government located in three types of architectural construction, with the legend recorded by de Landa that Chichen Itza was ruled by three brothers. Lincoln thereby asserts his own interpretation of the multepal, wherein the governmental system at Chichen Itza involved an institutionalization of triple rulership to fulfill the three Dumezilian functions of the state— and located in three distinct types of structures. Although he places his reformulation of Dumezil's structural model within the evolutionary teleology also promulgated by Scheie and Freidel (1990), Lincoln sees the achievement of "state formation" and hegemonic empire at Chichen Itza, not through the alliance of an elite brotherhood as Scheie and Freidel propose, but through the modernist view of the eradication of class privilege. He argues that: ...the social order at Chichen Itza withstood the social dislocations of the collapse period because the priests and warriors had reached an accommodation with the third function/class/"estate", which granted equal standing, at least in ritual, to the producers (75). The leaps of hypothesis needed to generate Lincoln's interpretations are so wide and so unfounded that they do not really merit debate. Although seemingly remarkable, it is in fact characteristic of Maya studies that the same material remains can be interpreted in diametrically opposed fashion, yet supporting the same type of theoretical construct. The works of Lincoln as well as Scheie and Freidel formulate essentially the same evolutionary 42 progression from primitive theocracy to advanced oligarchy that legitimates liberal democracy and capitalism against Soviet communism. Yet while the inscribed lintels of the Monjas complex are central to Scheie and Freidel's reconstruction of the multepal Lincoln's formulation of a system of triple rulership does not merely ignore the Monjas but, in fact, excludes it. As Lincoln's model could not sufficiently incorporate variation in scale, he confronts the Monjas by reverting to the hieratic model promulgated since the late nineteenth century. Proposing an alternate and unique function for the elevated portion of the Monjas complex, Lincoln suggests that: ...the height of the Monjas, and its "public" location, with ease of access provided by the monumental stairway, make one doubt any suggestion of a permanent residential function for this 'palace.' It is easier to imagine the Monjas as a distinctive type of temple for mass-display, in which priests might have lived at most part-time (608). Conclusion Meanings applied to the material remains of the Monjas have been subject to 'promiscuous' shifts. The dramatic contrasts in interpretation also illustrate that archaeology has always said more about the society doing the interpreting than the society being interpreted. Nineteenth-century archaeologists, as emissaries of 'the civilizing mission' aimed at legitimating Euro-American economic and political expansionism, used the Monjas remains to support the paradigm through which all non-western archeological societies were viewed, with inherent limitations exemplified by cultural achievement leading to subsequent degeneracy. By the twentieth century, 43 European and American archaeologists working at Chichen Itza, and supported by foundations like the Carnegie Institution of Washington, exerted theoretical hegemony over research which served to recast world history as the growth of a world capitalist system (Wilk 1991:22) thereby opposing communism as a viable economic and political alternative. In the late twentieth century, the American expression of new archaeology applied high-level generalizations to ancient Maya society and a comparative perspective which asserted "the unimportance of national traditions...and of anything that stands in the way of American economic activity and political influence" (Trigger, 1984:366). The shifts of paradigm in New World archaeology from the "white mythology" of the Colonialist era, to the evolutionary ordering of society into a linear tableau from primitive community through semifeudal to capitalism (Wilk 1991:18) has marked the dramatic contrasts in interpretation. Although the arguments and political points presented by scholars investigating ancient Maya society have been varied, and their national or economic interests distinct, their assumptions and their historical analyses have been very similar. Their positions rest on European history, interpreted as inevitable evolution and imposed on the Third World (Wilk 1991:21). Furthermore, archaeological sites, their excavation, and their interpretations, form a site of struggle between opposed political forces. Hence archaeological investigation at Chichen Itza in 1924 carried a different significance for Carrillo Puerto, leader of rebel forces in Yucatan, than for the Carnegie Institution of Washington or the Mexican government (Schavelzon 1984). Nor can Mesoamerican archaeology be considered monolithically, even within a limited time frame, as interpretations have differed according 44 to national interests. For example, (American) Thomas Patterson's writing of the "Social History of American Archaeology" differs from that of (Mexican) Daniel Schavelzon's "History of Mesoamerican Archaeology" or (Canadian) Bruce Trigger's A History of Archaeological Thought. These conflicting histories underline the dynamic nature of archaeological 'knowledge' and how it is produced. The historical conditions that permit the continued existence of archaeology as a field of inquiry, the social and political conditions in which the archaeological investigation and subsequent publication is carried out, and the critical relations of power inherent in all production of knowledge, reflect the positions of groups with different relations to power. As Michael Shanks and Christopher Tilley assert: "Academic archaeology, as often as not, operates as part of a wider cultural discourse serving to reproduce the relationship between the dominant and the dominated"(1987:187). 45 CHAPTER 2: SUMMARY OF EXCAVATION DATA PERTAINING TO THE MONJAS C O M P L E X Introduction: This chapter operates as a kind of internal appendix: I present here a highly descriptive account of the excavated remains of the Monjas Complex without focusing on problematics of interpretation. This assemblage of data is designed specifically to offset earlier interpretations of the Monjas Complex presented in Chapter 1. Readers interested primarily in interpretive issues and not in archaeological detail may skim or skip this chapter and move on to Chapter 3. Topics directly related to information provided in Chapter 2 will be redirected accordingly. At the time of Bolles' excavation of the Monjas Complex, during the early 1930's, the dominant culture-historical discourse within which archaeological materials were interpreted configured all monumental ancient Maya structures as functioning ceremonially, as temples or the temporary residences of priests [see Chapter 3]. For this reason, the majority of the excavated remains of the Monjas, especially those pertaining to domestic activities associated with residence, though recorded by Bolles, were obscured or eliminated from his published data. Hence, despite the monographic publication of the Monjas Complex excavation, my research into the residential functioning of the compound required searching out the original manuscript and field notes in the archives of Harvard University's Peabody Museum, as others had done previously (Lee A. Parsons, personal communication to Marvin Cohodas). 46 In the following brief outline I will be presenting previously unpublished material from Bolles' manuscript [here referenced as ms.] and field notebooks [here referenced as fn.], as well as reconfiguring the published information. I have chosen to format the excavation data according to the Monjas Complex sequence of construction as suggested by Bolles' stratigraphic analysis of architectural superimposition; however, I have reorganized the presentation of the later remains to incorporate human activity, thus emphasizing courtyard spaces as much as discrete buildings with interior chambers. Setting The Monjas is built on a fairly flat stretch of terrain, requiring a minimum of fill in order to obtain a level plaza for a group of structures. This area, just south of the important Xtoloc Cenote, is sometimes referred to as the Maya Chichen group (Cohodas 1978), and it also includes such constructions as the Casa Colorada [Red House] and Casa del Venado [House of the Deer], the Caracol [Observatory] and its South Annex , and the Akabdzib. Extensive quarrying operations carried on in the depressions and sink holes south and west of the Akabdzib like provided stone for these constructions (Bolles ms:61). [figure 1] The Monjas complex demarcates the south end of a large plaza which is open on the west side and which is bordered by the Temple of the Wall Panels on the East and the Caracol and its substructure on the North, and which is punctuated by a ceremonial platform near its center, [figure 2] This plaza is 47 connected to the Gran Nivelacion or Great Terrace, considered the nucleus of Chichen Itza, by way of Sacbe [Causeway] 4. In addition, Sacbe 5 connects the Monjas plaza at its northeast corner to the Group of a Thousand Columns to the North, while Sacbe 7 travels south from the Monjas linking it with several other large plaza groups, [figure 1] Buried Structures and Basal Terraces The vertical wall sections which comprised the shell of the basal terraces were built of rough-dressed ashlar masonry laid in lime mortar. These pavements were then filled with rubble and topped by a plaster floor providing a level terrace above the irregular surface of the bed rock upon which the complex was built. In places the basal terraces covered earlier, destroyed constructions. 12. Bolles also found remains of two early structures built upon Basal Terrace 1 preceding the oldest standing structure, the East Wing. 13. j u s t west of the detached, one-room structure known as the Iglesia, incorporated into the 5th addition to the East Wing basement, and extending south below the East Wing proper, were remains of another early building believed by Bolles to have partially stood until the construction of the Iglesia. [figure 6] East Wing '^Such early remains of buildings were found to the east of, and beneath Basal Terrace 3 which supports the East Court, and below the N W corner of Basal Terrace 1 just west of the Main Stairs and below Platform 4. 13 The building plinth course found beneath the Southeast Court and extending below Platform 4 was considered "problematic" by Bolles by nature of its ground plan. He states that "the 6 m. width of the plinth is too great for a single range of rooms, and too narrow for a double range. A building the nature of the Northeast Annex [NW extension of the East Building of the East Court] would serve, yet, in Chichen Itza, that is considered a later type of structure" (ms.34). 48 The East Wing basement, or floor level of the building upon which the walls were built, rests on Basal Terrace 1. Originally the free-standing East Wing structure comprised three ranges of rooms, with access to the center range alternating between north and south. The rooms were approximately 2.5 m. in width by 5.4 m. in length. The north facade of the East Wing initially functioned as a front facade, looking onto the more public space [figure 5]. Hence it was apparently more lavishly decorated than the south facade from the start, although all that remains from this initial stage is a lattice pattern decorating the lower walls. The East Wing was significantly altered several times. The north-south partition walls between rooms show several alterations. The construction of the pyramidal support known as Platform 3 involved the filling in of the central rooms of the East Wing, thus further separating the rooms which make up the north facade [figure 7]. Alteration of the north facade decorations at this time is implied by the use of four different mosaic mask types on the upper portion of the facade. On the basis of little more than the resulting asymmetry created by the juxtaposition of the East Wing and the pyramidal Platform 3 it has been suggested that a duplicate West Wing once existed on the other side, and this phase is so-illustrated in a perspective reconstruction (Bolles 1977:86). The otherwise plain southern exterior of the East Wing and its South Addition, facing the southeast court, is notable for remains of exterior murals. Below at least three coloured wash coatings, traces of line paintings were found on the earliest finish coat of plaster. On a small fragment above and north of the entrance to Room 14 was the profile of a face with traces of a 49 headdress and shoulder, [figure 7] A guilloche pattern and a possible headdress of a figure were also found below later wash coats on the east jamb of the east door through the south wall of Room 2. [figure 7] East Facade of the East Wing There were noted differences in the construction of Room 1 in relation to the rest of the East Wing that set it apart both in date of erection and in construction of status. For example, interior cordholders, designed for controlling textile door curtains, were positioned to either side of the exterior doorways and on both sides of the interior doorways leading from room to room: The cordholders of Room 1 are of the spool-type like those found in other buildings of the complex, while all other rooms of the East Wing had the U-type (ms. 350-51). The decorative eastern facade of the East Wing constitutes a particularly elaborate development of the Northern Maya scheme in which a large deity mask surrounds the upper part of the doorway, [figure 12] This facade was further elaborated with the carving of a male figure seated within a mandorla-like frame, a configuration similar to bas-relief representations in the Great Ball Court Complex, wherein the frame is referred to as a sun disk (Cohodas 1978:237-241). A course of stones on this facade is carved to represent the 'Planetary Band,' a segmented design with celestial symbols, in this case elaborated with carvings of animals that has been interpreted as a representation of the Maya zodiac (Kelley 1976:27-52). The stone lintel above the single entrance was carved on its outer face with a configuration unique within the corpus of Maya carvings. It consists of an as yet 50 untranslated hieroglyphic inscription that has been separated into two portions, each rotated 90 degrees to symmetrically flank a central deity head in high relief, with vegetation streaming from its mouth. 14 [figure 12] A 'standard holder'—three-dimensional sculptured figures into which poles assumed to be adorned with pendants were inserted—carved in the form of a seated jaguar was found in the debris to the east of the East Facade. Bolles speculates the "practically identical figure in the Merida Museum probably served as the companion piece to the one which was found in front of the East Wing facade" (ms.635). The lavish and unusual decorations of the East Wing, include interior paintings placed on the central capstones, though only the capstones in Room 2 had enough remains to be discernible ( Bolles 1977:128-129). The imagery consists of the elderly male deity known as God L , with the youthful saurian-human composite known as god K or Kauil, constructing a juxtaposition which is otherwise known from, and characteristic of, the elaborate clay flasks with mold-impressed decoration often called 'poison bottles' (for an example see, D. Reents-Budet 1994:215). A shallow buff ware bowl with a series of three black spirals painted on the interior [suggested function is food service] 15 was the only artifact noted to be found in the east room [Room 1] of the East Wing. Below the surface at the juncture of Basal Terrace 3 and Basal Terrace 2, in line with the East Wing eastern facade doorway, was found ceremonial cache consisting of two celts of dense black stone, a flint spear point, an unworked shell, a shell tinkler, a sculpted piece of bone and three obsidian blades. A carved stone l^Maya facades were generally painted but usually the paint has disappeared: there were fragments of remaining colour on the central motif over the door of the east facade of the East Wing. 1 5Raymond H. Thompson's 1958 Modern Yucatecan Maya Pottery Making, will be the source cited when allocating function for ceramic types. 51 incensario was also found near this cache, providing further evidence for ritualized activity which parallels the architectural and sculptural means of articulating the prominence of this locus within the Monjas complex. Platforms 1-5 The pyramidal mass which forms a striking feature of the Monjas Complex was built up in stages, through a series of pyramidal platforms, [figure 11] Platform 1, the earliest known, was 4 m. high and approximately 13.5 m. by 20 m.. Platform 2 is a 3.8 meter vertical extension of Platform 1. "Late incensarios" and much human skeletal material was encountered when attempting to locate the stairway to Platform 2. The location of this 'interment' within the platform is very similar to the deposition of human remains found within the Caracol platform (Ruppert 1935): in both cases the skeletal remains were considered to have been re-interred, and the possibility that earlier graves were encountered during construction was suggested (fn. 8-43). The next stage of platform construction was the complete enclosing of Platforms 1 and 2 by Platform 3, which also shortened the East Wing by at least one tier of rooms. Platform 3 was approximately 22.5 m. by 34 m. with a maximum height of nearly 10 m. A break in the cornice on the north face indicates that the approach to Platform 3 may have been by a set of stairs narrower than the present Main Stairs. Platform 4 was the U-shaped construction built around three sides of and of the same height as Platform 3 which gave the main platform its present 50 m. 52 by 27 m. size. On the east, the foundation of this platform covered another three rooms of the East Wing. The remaining center line rooms of the East Wing had been filled and the doorways leading into them were walled in and plastered over by this time, as the east foundation line of Platform 4 steps up over the filled Room 9. The five bottom risers of the Main Stairs terrace and the twenty-nine risers of the extant Main Stair would have serviced Platform 4. Platform 5 consists of the 1 m. high decorative mask course and .55 m. high three-member molding above the cornice of Platform 4. Each of the sixty decorative masks of the Monjas complex, including the twenty-nine of Platform 5, are composed of separate mosaic elements including, a two-part eye, snout hook and snout ornament, upper and lower jaw and mouth scrolls, earflare with fret design, and a forehead band (for Russell Smith illustrations and discussion of masks, see Bolles 246-260). The existing thirty-nine step stairway with its toothlike parapet ornaments served Platform 5. At the base of, and central to the main stairway an inset dressed stone plaque was found at floor level. No cache was found beneath. [figure5] Second Story Structure The room structure supported by Platforms 3 and 4 is known as the Second Story structure, [figure 11] Although not the highest point, since it is surmounted by the Third Story structure, the Second Story structure is today the most imposing aspect of the complex, raised high above the large open plaza to the north by means of Platforms 3-5 and reached by way of the centralized monumental stairway. Furthermore, the exterior wall surface of 53 the Second Story Structure was entirely decorated with elaborate mosaic panels of a geometric design, and the solid core of the central wall suggested to Bolles that the original vault supported a roof comb (ms. 382). The building, approximately 31m. long and 9.33 m. wide, contains eight rooms: a double range of three (east-west oriented) rooms is flanked by a single (north-south oriented) room at either end. The two large central rooms are each furnished with three doors, and measure approximately 14.4 m. long by 2.25 m. wide [Rooms 18; 22]. These are flanked by small single-doored rooms measuring 4.02 m. long and 2.25 m. wide [Rooms 17; 19; 21; 23]. The single-doored end rooms flanking these are the most narrow, measuring 2.07 m. by 7.40 m. [Rooms 16; 20]. [figure 7] Although symmetrical in plan the rooms of the north and south ranges are not identical in detail. Cordholders were fund on the inner jambs of each door in the Second Story except for those entering the three north-facing rooms; hieroglyphic texts decorate the lintels of all Second Story doorways except for those entering the three south-acing rooms. These hieroglyphic inscriptions, carved on the soffits and outer faces of the two side doors and five north-facing doors are all dated to February 6, 880 (according to the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson correlation of Maya and Christian calendars). As will be discussed in Chapter 3, these texts are interpreted as recording the dedication of the lintels by high status persons who celebrate their familial relationship to the site's ruler: Kakupacal. The Second Story rooms are furnished with a series of niches or recesses in the central core, on the wall opposite each doorway. Mural painting within 54 these recessed areas was identified by John L. Stephens in 1842, though only remnants remained in Rooms 17 and 22 by the time of Bolles' 1932 excavation. Some of the lintels over the niches in Room 22 of the Second Story "bore traces of what appear to have been glyphs painted on their soffits" (ms.626). Bolles' evidence suggests that only Rooms 17 and 22 ever had mural painting and these originally covered the plastered wall from floor to capstone, [figure 7] On the walls of Room 17 were at least two horizontal rows of male figures, many of which were "holding dull red trumpet-like objects to their mouths" while another holds a stick in his right hand as though beating a drum" (ms. 588). The upper register above the spring of the vault was covered with "trees" and "sheaves of corn" (ms.587). The mural fragments remaining on the walls, vaults, capstones, and the niches of Room 22 depict several scenes. Occupying the most prominent position, on the north vault soffit opposite the central doorway, are remnants of a figure standing on his left foot with his right leg relaxed and heel raised, a feathered headdress falls to below the calf of the leg. On the east end of this north vault soffit, painting remains are interpreted as depicting the besieging of a walled city, a theme known from other wall murals of this site. A "sacrificial scene" depicting bound prisoners and other figures "where the left breast is a visible wound with blood spurting from it" was definable on the south vault soffit between the center and west doors (ms. 596). A few of the capstones of Room 22 retain traces of colour and from these, Bolles suggests a "bold plumed serpent meander pattern ran the full length of the room"(ms.621). (illustration of mural fragments Bolles 1977:196-219) 55 In the fi l l just below the surface of Platform 5 north of the door to Room 17, a striated porous grey ware olla—a common storage vessel for both water and drygoods—was recovered. An abundance of slateware and "late incensario" sherds were also recovered from the fill of the platforms and stairways. No other artifactual material was noted for the Second Story, presumably because it had been regularly swept. Third Story Structure The 3.48 m. by 10.5 m. Third Story structure consisted of a single large room entered through a single doorway on the north. Attached to the south wall was a bench platform 0.28 m. high, 0.70 m. deep, and 1.55 m. along the wall. Although such benches were apparently used for seating during the day and sleeping at night, the hierarchic arrangement of this bench, as the culmination of an axis traversing the doorway, terrace, and stairs, indicates further that it served as a 'seat of authority' for the lineage head. 16 Within the bench were four face stones that "appear to have formed a cist," containing "black earth, small sharp stones and possible ash" (ms. 450)—perhaps cached ceremonial offerings. Below this extant bench Bolles noted possible evidence of an earlier Third Story structure (fn.8-54). Indiscernible fragments indicated that mural painting decorated the bench and the wall immediately behind—also a frequent pattern at Chichen Itza. The Third Story rests on filled-in Room 18 of the Second Story structure and is reached by way of an arched stairway leading from, and tied into the 1 6 For a discussion regarding the function of "seats of authority" in the Sepulturas Group at Copan, a residential group like the Monjas, see Bardsley (in press) and Cohodas (in press). 56 construction of Platform 5, and extending the monumental stairway providing access to that level. 17. A platform on the central axis of the Third Story, which extended the area directly in front of the doorway, was built within the upper stairway. There was a niche or recessed area within the south face of the platform. A "jaguar throne" believed to have fallen from this stair platform was recovered from the debris at the front of the Main Stair (ms.635-36) [figure 5]. A second platform or dais was located at the east end of the Second Story roof. According to Bolles, the alignment of this platform is approximately N14 30' E, which "was on line through the centers of the south doors of E l Castillol8 and E l Caracol." (Bolles 1977:149). No exterior decoration has survived in situ, but the fallen debris about the Third Story, containing quantities of sculptured stone of the type used for masks, plus eighty-eight spools, and a dozen roof adornos. points to the possibility that the upper zone was elaborately ornamented. Sculptured stones similar to those used for the feathered adornment of the male personage on the East Facade of the East Wing were also found. The only noted portable artifact was a ceramic incensario recovered on the surface from the northeast corner of the Third Story room (fn.8-54). Iglesia and North Court The Iglesia rests on the northern end of the Third Addition to the East Wing Basement, which appeared to have been built specifically for this purpose. 1 7 Bolles suggests that the upper vaults of the Second Story were replaced when Room 18 was filled to provide support for the building of the Third Story. '^The Castillo [Castle], the tallest structure at Chichen Itza, sits atop a nine-tiered, four-staired pyramid situated on the Gran Nivelacion. 57 The elaborately decorated structure's single room is approximately 3 m. wide by 6.5 m. long, [figure 5] The decorative program for the exterior of the west-facing Iglesia included a step-fret patterned medial molding, surmounted by a mask course which incorporated three-quarter round figures of the quartet of elderly male deities with animal attributes known as the bacabs or pauahtuns. An elaborate flying facade type of roof comb decorated with mask panels was constructed above the upper cornice molding of the main facade, supported by the west wall. U-shaped grooves were cut in the joint edges of the lower cornice overhang of the Iglesia. Bolles suggests that these holes "must have been used for the hanging of draperies or festoons" (ms.456). As in the nearby, Casa Colorada, a hieroglyphic band was modeled in stucco surrounding the interior of the Iglesia below the vault spring. This band, though distinguishable, was indecipherably eroded at the time of Bolles excavations. C\4 samples taken from wooden beams in the Iglesia and Casa Colorada gave similar dates, further suggesting their contemporaneity. 19 The decorative north facade of the East Wing and the equally elaborate west face of the Iglesia created an open court with access to the open plaza [figure 5]. Basement additions 4 and 5 of the East Wing created the terrace of this court. At the threshold of the doorway to Room 5, a cylindrical stone was found beneath the floor, possibly a cache. Such stones are generally identified as manos, the handstones used with the flat surface of a metate for grinding maize. However, the excavation in the Monjas complex courts of several mano-shaped stones not in association with metates raises the 1 9 These dates are A . D . 600 ± 70 from the Casa Colorada; and both A . D . 610 ± 60 and A . D . 780 ± 70 from the Iglesia (Andrew V 1979:4). 58 possibility of additional functions. Other surface artifacts associated with the North Court were considered to be of the Colonial period. Southeast Court The tight enclosure of the Southeast Court, the mode of construction, architectural mode, decorative programs of its buildings, and the abundance of artifacts found, contrasts with that of the more open North Court. A l l the buildings of the Southeast Court were built on or above the level extending out from the top of the East Wing Basement, [figure 8] The South Addition to the East Wing underwent a series of alterations. Originally constructed against the base of Platform 4, the South Addition was a free-standing, single-roomed structure [Room 13] with a centralized doorway. A bench ran along the north and west interior walls. The construction of Room 14 tied Room 13 to the vault of the East Wing. Two additional doorways were cut into Room 13 and the interior bench was removed. Due to the calcinated condition of the large flagstoned area before the central doorway Bolles suggested it functioned at one time as a hearth (ms. 574). [figure 8] The south range of the East Wing and the South Addition to the East Wing, which bound the Southeast Court on the north and west respectively, contrast in architectural style with the buildings on the south and east, which were both constructed with columned entrances and benches elaborated with figural reliefs. 59 The East Building of the Southeast Court was built in two major phases. The colonnaded west room, with benches along the north and east walls, was the earliest extant phase of the structure built on the same floor level as the South Addition to the East Wing. Wooden beams would have spanned the distance between columns and supported the vault. The bench in the southeast corner of the west room had two sculptured meander patterns with floral spacers, the only design of this type in the complex. The doorway through the eastern rear wall was original to the structure and possibly led to an early version [a floor level was found] of the east room. This would have been demolished for the construction of the extant east room, furnished with a large bench. The higher floor level of this later construction required two stair risers in the doorway from the earlier west room. Cordholders were found in the north and west facades as well as within the rooms. An obsidian arrow point came from the floor in the east room. Three risers in the passage left between the East Wing and the East Building were used in ascending from the level of the Southeast Court to that of the East Court. The cordholder on the north facade of the East Building serviced this passageway. The L-shaped South Building of the Southeast Court had four rooms, all of which had benches. In the central room with the columned entrance there are two benches against the south wall, one to either side of the center door providing access to the south. The columns, capitals, jambs, and east bench of the central room were carved in low relief with male figures in elaborate dress holding weapons (Bolles 1977:220-233). Martial imagery was used throughout: the east bench relief also included bound prisoners. No sculpture was found on the west bench. Sculpted panels which may have been taken from this bench were found as building material in other areas of 60 the complex. On the other hand, Bolles suggests that the entire east bench relief may have "been borrowed from another structure" (ms:544). No cordholders were found in the walls of the South Building. Evidence suggested that the gateway between the South Addition to the East Wing and the South Building of the Southeast Court was "spanned by a series of timbers" (ms:561). The exterior passage at the west end of the south wall of the South Building, "gives the impression of having been a staircase to the roof of the South Building with a passage left beneath" (ms:162) [figure 8]. The addition of a wooden stairway ascending from the roof of the East Wing to the top of Platform 5 would have provided a more informal and private access to the Second Story Structure, in contrast to the highly public and formal nature of the main stair. Portable artifact remains in this court were unusually rich, many corresponding to high status caches at other Maya sites. For example, a miniature three-legged metate, and two polishing stones, one of black stone, the other of jade, were found in the entrance colonnade to the South Building. A conch shell was encountered just outside the entrance to the northeast room of the South Building. An undesignated courtyard area is limited by the outer walls of the East and South buildings of the Southeast Court, as well as the south side of the Southeast Annex. In this area, a small platform incorporating a bench and a stone lined hearth was constructed along the east face of the South Building terrace abutting Basal Terrace 2. [figure 8] Three spindle whorls—ceramic discs used in the production of thread for weaving—numerous grinding 61 stones, and charred ceramic sherds were found at this locus. A water drain was also located nearby. Numerous other grinding stones and a basalt celt were found on the surface, at the north end of the Southeast terrace surrounding the hearth platform, and others were found throughout this area as well as in the debris of the Southeast Court. East Court and associated structures The large East Court is constructed on the approximate level of the surface of the East Wing and Iglesia basements. It is bounded on the west by the Monjas East Wing and the East Building of the Southeast Court, and on the south by the Southeast Annex, [figure 9] The Southeast Annex, built entirely of reused stone, is supported upon Basal Terrace 4 built specifically for that purpose [figure 9]. The plinth originally built for the two-room structure it now supports, was extended to east and west when additions were made. The vault zone incorporated decorative mask and lattice panels. Both surviving rooms at one time had benches. The structure was extended to the east, but the layout of the extension is unknown. According to Bolles, this eastern extension was dismantled when a low wall was constructed extending north to the East Building and a flagstone pavement was laid, [figure 9] Within the depression of the flagged area was "the better preserved of the firepits found about the complex" (ms:572). Refuse in this area included charred faunal material. A few stones of the north wall and plinth is all that remained of the west addition to the Southeast annex. "The wall may have served as a late 62 connecting unit from the Southeast Annex to the rear of the East Building of the Southeast Court" rather than of an additional room (ms:493). [figure 7] A large pela [stone basin], a basalt celt, two round stone balls, and numerous grinding stones were found in the passageway between the Southeast Annex and the East Building of the Southeast Court. The East Court is bounded on the east and north by the East Building Complex, [figure 9] A veneer masonry technique, wherein a small mortar-bound rough masonry core is faced with squared tenoned stones, was employed for the construction of these East Buildings. The talused East Building, the first of the East Group to be built, was a six-roomed structure with a four-columned portico facing west and a two-columned antechamber through which the rear rooms were reached. A door in the north facade of the East Building also accessed these rear rooms. Both the portico and antechamber rooms contained benches. Wooden lintels were used throughout the East Building. Cordholders were found only on the interior north and south room doorways. The first addition to the East Building was the single roomed structure built against the north facade. Interior columns set against the north facade of the East Building supported the south end of the vault. This structure would have had a two-columned entry providing both north and west access. This structure had a decorative band composed of a disc and pendant motif in the upper vault zone. The building forming the north end of the East Court was built as the second addition to the East Building. The seven columns of the large west room 63 supported timber beams with two east west vaults. A bench ran along the interior of the north and east walls. The eastern extension of this construction completely encircled the first addition, creating an " L " shaped room later divided into two rooms by the addition of an interior wall. The East Building north doorway was later filled. Just west of the portico of the East Building, a flagstoned area "with a burned over appearance" suggesting a hearth was laid in the last floor level (ms:575). Low walls south of the East Building turning west to join the Southeast Annex created a penned area which may have supported a perishable structure. The majority of the basalt celts and flint knife blades recovered from the Monjas came from the surface just east of this area. Several animal bones and a badly crushed human skull were found on the flagstoned area abutting the south face of the basement of the East Building and the west face of the low wall, [figure 9] In the East Building, several metates were found resting on cylindrical stone drums—perhaps raising the height of the working surface—while other manos and metates were found alongside them. Ten metates and eight of the drums were found in the portico, while in the vestibule there were two of each. The two metates in the vestibule were standing on ends against the walls in the two south corners. The one in the southeast corner was surrounded by a quantity of small blue paste beads. On this basis, Bolles suggested that: "The East Building and additions offered a group of metates which appeared to have been placed there as ceremonial offerings" (ms:645). A single plain metate and a drum were also found in the North Addition, along with a three-legged metate. A metate was found in the entrance to the Northwest 64 Addition to the East Building, while another was found just outside. Numerous grinding stones and a pela were also found in the East Buildings, [figure 9] Other surface artifacts include ceramic spindle whorls, two of which were encountered at floor level near the flagged area before the East Building, "while others were picked up off the surface" (ms. 651). A shallow red ware bowl, like those found in the northeast burial vault, [see below] was also found above the floor in the east room of the East Building. A n olla with two horizontal loop handles was found in the north addition. The large narrow-mouthed olla—used for water-carrying and storage, was of a buff ware with a black trickle pattern (illustration Bolles 1977:243). Among high status objects, a jadeite ear or nose plug and a star-patterned shell ornament came from the debris in the east room of the East Building. Northeast Terrace structures The remains of a late building believed to have had a pole and mortar roof were found just north of the Northeast Terrace, [figure 5] Oriented northward, the Monjas' North Building bounded the southern limit of the plaza created by the Temple of the Wall Panels in the east and the South Annex of the Caracol to the north, [figure 2] A metate and several manos, along with a round stone ball, were found in close proximity to the North Building. A burial chamber built in the approximate center line of the North building contained forty distinguishable human skulls as well as many other 65 disintegrated human bones, [figure 5] A high percentage of these burials appeared to be of children or young adults. As several of the skulls were covered by later coats of plaster, the entire assemblage was considered by Bolles to be of secondary burial. Whether the tomb was continually re-entered to deposit new burials or whether earlier interments were encountered during the construction of the North building which needed to be redeposited (scant remains suggesting the possibility of an early vault were encountered) remains unclarified. The northeast burial vault furnishings included two redware vases and two shallow redware bowls—all had three rattle-type legs and were probably used for food-service rather than food preparation. Extending north from the northwest corner of Platform 4 a low ridge ties in with a small mound that was probably a platform or a building, [figure 2] This construction was not carefully explored, though similar partitions encountered at Mayapan (1954) and Coba (1975) were considered to be low retaining walls enclosing 'solares' or kitchen gardens (Fletcher 1983:123-31). The Ballcourt and other Southern Constructions South of the Southeast Annex is a large unexcavated building which had an eight-columned entrance portico on the west, [figure 5] Between this Southeast Building and the Ballcourt are traces of other small structures extending south as far as the south line of the Ballcourt. West of the Ballcourt upon a natural rise in the bedrock were the remains of what appeared to be "a cistern or a storage cave" (ms:58). 66 The Monjas Ballcourt, a smaller version of the Great Ballcourt of Chichen Itza on the Gran Nivelacion, was similarly constructed on an I-shaped plan: the 29.35-29.70 m. long playing benches and their platforms defined the court area on the east and west while 1.5 m. high walls enclosed the original end zones on north and south. The first construction was the floor of the court. Inset into the floor, on the north-south center line of the playing field were three so-called 'markers', more precisely defined by Bolles as: "three well-cut flat slabs, each approximately .50 m. square" (ms.196). Three fragments of carved ball court rings were recovered in the later fill of the court: the location of the finds, "leads to the belief that the rings occupied positions in the walls near where found. This assumption would place them behind the north quarter panels..." (ms.204), i.e. in line with the central marker plaque, [figure 10] The marker stones, side walls and playing benches of the ball court were set upon the first floor level. Two bands of stones, carved in low relief with a serpent guilloche pattern, which were set into one of the later floor levels, extended from bench to bench at the ends of the playing area, thereby demarcating the central playing field from the endzones. The first floor continues north beneath the south end of Basal Terrace 1 supporting the main pyramidal mass. A small terrace platform was later constructed in two phases, abutting Basal Terrace 1, possibly supporting a small structure decorated with masks and adornos, which was termed the North Temple to further the parallel with the Great Ball Court Complex. The north end plaque of the playing field came to light below this platform, 67 demonstrating that it was not part of the original ball court conception.20. The construction of Basal Terrace 1 and the contingent construction of the North Temple terrace, which occupied much of the north end zone of the ball court, required that the playing walls be extended to the south, leaving the stone rings now off-center, but apparently requiring the relocation of carved bench panels. The similarity of the imagery on the remaining lower course of the seven sculptured bench panels of the Monjas' ball court to that of the Great Ballcourt panels has allowed for their theoretical reconstruction (illustrations Bolles 1977:226-229). At the center of the panels, a decapitated figure kneels beside a ball carved with a death's head, while figures dressed in ballplayer costumes are opposed to either side. The carved panels of the Monjas ball court were unusual in that the number of players per panel varied, from five in the south half of the west bench center panel to eight in the short end panels. In some cases, the setting of the playing bench panels involved the removal of earlier floor levels. Given their unusual number, location, and non-uniformity of imagery, their re-use or relocation is probable. The small chamber dug into the east stairs and erected at the time of filling in the area to the east of the Ballcourt may have been for burial purposes, 2 0 T h e removal of the heightened section of the Basal Terrace 1 cornice and its replacement with "boveda" stones suggested to Bolles that Basal Terrace 1 was the north supporting wall of the North Temple structure (ms.195). 68 though only a few finger bones and fragments of a red ware plate were found within the construction. 21 The majority of artifacts recovered from the Monjas Complex were removed from the refuse pile in the northeast corner of the Ballcourt where it abuts Basal Terrace 1. 33 fragments of obsidian flake blades obtained from this locus came from its lowest level. The cache-type material obtained from the test pit dug into the south end playing zone of the Ballcourt included 43 unworked fragments and 1 complete conch shell, 6 bivalve shells, 4 tinkler shells, 11 flint chips, 10 obsidian flake blades and fragments; grey and green, 1 obsidian, 2 slate grey and 8 bone points. Conclusion Bolles did not attempt to map all of the Monjas Complex structures or even define the entire limits of this group. The large area east of the Ball Court and south of the East Court gave evidence of particularly dense construction activity which was not pursued. Hence the preceding description of the Monjas Complex, like most descriptions of archaeological remains, is biased in favor of the monumental. Nevertheless, this artifactual record, combined with the knowledge that much remains unrecorded, permit critical evaluations of previous functional interpretations of this group and treatment of several issues surrounding these interpretations. 2 1 The recent excavation of hundreds of finger bones within a cached bowls at Cahal Pech (personal communication David Cheetham 1994) leads to the supposition that this find may have been a ceremonial offering. 69 The purpose of this chapter has been to present the Monjas excavation data with relatively minor interpretive content in order to subsequently confront it with the types of interpretations which have either employed or ignored it. If this discussion of hearths and spindle whorls seems out of place in either a thesis about monumental Maya 'art', or a thesis on issues of art historical or feminist-historical interpretation, it will show how much, as scholars engaged in the production of knowledge, we reproduce the arbitrary divisions— between high and low culture; between art and artifact—that are strategies for constructing gender and racial hierarchies. 70 CHAPTER 3: THE MONJAS AS A RESIDENTIAL C O M P L E X : THE GAP BETWEEN EXCAVATION AND INTERPRETATION Though diverse in their conclusions, published interpretations of the Monjas have involved a similar process of selecting and decontextualizing fragments of data provided by the archaeological record. In all of the recent reconstructions, the Second Story, which is today the best preserved and most imposing part of the Monjas complex, has been selected to stand for the complex as a whole: as an example of priestly residence, as the documentation of oligarchic government shared among kin, or as the reviewing stand for ball games and attendant sacrifices. Two forms of distortion operate in each of these interpretations: [1] they involve free speculation on elements (height, texts, and view, respectively) not normally employed in determining building function, and [2] the remaining nine-tenths of the Monjas complex is effectively erased. Of those who discuss the Monjas Complex, only Bolles deals with the variety of its components, and he withdraws from any functional interpretation. Personal comments in his field notebooks suggest the reasons for this approach. Bolles resented Morley and his associates for their elitist approach, translating Boston's high society to the Hacienda Chichen, and indulging in free speculation on the meaning and chronology of the ruins. Bolles, whose credentials were based on education rather than social standing, needed to construct himself as a scientist and consequently to distance himself as much as possible from the speculative interpretations of other CIW archaeologists. 71 The magnitude of these distortions is most evident when one recognizes that all of the diagnostic criteria conventionally employed by Mayanist archaeologists specifically to define residential or household functions^ are abundantly present in the Monjas Complex artifactual record. These include the presence of hearths for cooking, manos and metates used for grinding maize; and spindle whorls used for the spinning of cotton. Furthermore, the architectural remains of the Monjas Complex conform to Classic Maya residential patterns (see P. Harrison 1971) not only in the arrangement of structures around courtyards, but also in the continual modifications which accommodate increasing and changing population, such as the construction of additional rooms or buildings and the use of partitions to increase privacy--or, conversely, movement—within pre-existing constructions. Interpretation of such remains as residences owes much to the comparison of ethnohistoric documents of conquest period Yucatan to archaeological remains in this region, as for example at the late pre-conquest site of Mayapan 85 kilometers east of Chichen Itza. Correlations in space and time would lend themselves naturally to investigation of the Monjas group as a residential complex. Why have the aforementioned interpretations of the Monjas as a temple, reviewing stand, or house of priests not confronted these criteria for household residential function? What larger purpose is at stake in such interpretations? The Archaeology of Maya Settlement 2 2 I n addition to archaeological evidence, ethnological information employed to determine the function of ancient Maya buildings in the Yucatan has traditionally included early ethnohistoric writings by Spanish and Maya sources such as, the Books of the Chilam Balam. the Collecion de Documentos Ineditos. Landa's Relaciones... and Cogulludo's Historfa de Yucatan . 19th c. and 20th c. ethnographic studies of lifeways in the region (see Redfield and Rojas 1934, Redfield 1941, Wauchope 1938) are the second major source of information cited. 72 As Cohodas has recently articulated (1994; in press), Mayanists tend to operate through two largely autonomous discourses within which different kinds of questions are asked and different forms of evidence summoned to pose solutions. Criteria for residence are virtually ignored by investigators operating within the culture-historical discourse, which focuses on the interpretation of monuments and inscriptions and on the construction of large-scale models of Maya autocracy and oligarchy, as examined in the first chapter. In contrast, constructions, tools and products of everyday life are the primary evidence for interpretation of household labor and interaction in the opposing processual discourse surrounding settlement pattern archaeology. One archaeologist operating within this discourse has even suggested that certain linear features at the northern site of Coba might represent barriers delimiting animal pens or perhaps solares, the intensively cultivated kitchen gardens (L. Fletcher 1983). Although likewise limited in their inability to deal with specific political structures, the models of interpretation employed by processual archaeologists do permit us to address the problem of function for a much larger portion of the excavated remains. Before turning to a discussion of residential features of the Monjas Complex in comparison to other apparently residential complexes at Chichen Itza, I will review some of the ways in which the identification of residences have been used within the processual discourse to elucidate ancient Maya social structure and, the ways in which these interpretations may contrast with those of the culture-historical discourse. Marshall Becker (1979) and Jeff Karl Kowalski (1987) provide useful summaries of the history of archaeological interpretations of ancient Maya residences, in both cases summoned to highlight the narrow limitations of the culture-historical discourse. 73 Kowalski's treatment of the structure at Uxmal known as the Governor's Palace presents a similar problem to that of the Monjas Complex at Chichen Itza, in that review of literature on Maya residences forces him to reject the culture-historical discourse's identification of the structure as a temple, and to see it instead as a residence. His view remains narrow, however, both because he concentrates on single structures in isolation, and because he does not apply the results of his analysis of residential features to other structures at Uxmal or other Maya sites, and thus by identifying a single royal residence he ends up reinstating the culture-historical view. In contrast, Marshall Becker's problem is broader both in its focus on the relationship between structures of a site and in its emphasis on the models underlying interpretation. While the issue which Kowalski treats ultimately seems self-evident, Becker brings up issues of interpretation which deserve further treatment. Early Maya Archaeology and Residence Classifications The point rarely made in the literature, and only in critical summaries like those of Becker and Kowalski, is that the identification of residence and of the Maya site as a nucleated settlement is not new, but was instead a consistent trend throughout the history of Maya archaeology from the late nineteenth century. Even before the Peabody Museum began sponsoring excavations in 1892, European and American explorers of Maya sites (Waldeck 1838; Stephens 1843; Maudslay 1886-1902) in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries generally considered that the ancient Maya had lived in cities and that these sites once had large and socially differentiated 74 populations. In 1886, E.H. Thompson identified residential buildings at sites such as Sayil and Labna in the Yucatan (252-53), on the basis of what he defined as the "principle of abundance," arguing that the most abundant type of structure at a site is likely to be the residential form. The use of analogy as a major interpretive device, implicit in both the arguments and the terms selected, is characteristic of archeological thought before the First World War. Hence, until the first publication of archaeological excavation by the Carnegie Institution of Washington in the 1920s, scholars still referred to range-type structures as permanent dwelling places (Spinden 1913:98), and Maya sites as complex cities (T.W.F. Gann 1918:127). However, after W.W.I, and especially in the 1920s, major shifts in anthropological as well as archaeological thought in Europe and North America led to a rejection of such extensive comparative methods in favour of intensive functional interrelationships. Behind this rejection of comparative methodology was a shift in paradigm from evolutionism, in which non-western societies were ranked on a scale of social and technological development, and granted some implicit potential to reach nearly the level of western civilization, to relativism, in which non-western societies were exoticised, set apart from the evolution of society in the West as an entirely distinct and often non-evolving or allochronic 'primitive.' Looking behind the shift to an exoticising primitivism in anthropological and archaeological disciplines, which were continuing the still-recent processes of professionalizing and institutionalizing themselves, we can perceive colonialist and imperialist strategies of domination through separation, as Johannes Fabian (1983) has demonstrated. 75 To this need to primitivize the Maya, J. E. S. Thompson responded with his reconstruction of their ancient social organization as a rigid two-class system of priests and peasants, and with a functional interpretation of the monumental remains as vacant ceremonial centers, maintained by a skeleton crew of priests and fully occupied only during religious festivals (Becker 1979:11-14). Within this paradigm, monumental public buildings in the urban core were seen to be used for administrative purposes, for storage of ritual objects, or at most as the temporary residence for the Maya nobility and priests— while the common people, providing sustenance for the elite, lived in wattle and daub huts outside the ceremonial precinct (see J.E.S. Thompson 1927; 1931; Ricketson and Ricketson 1937; Satterthwaite 1935). When material was uncovered that did not appear to fit this dichotomy of rulers and priests in the ceremonial center and peasants on the periphery, it was reinterpreted and subsumed within the primitivizing paradigm. An important case in point was the CIW excavation project at Uaxactun, in northern Guatemala, which was carried on from 1926 to 1937, and which included the first intensive investigations of the humbler remains. A. Ledyard Smith later recalled that it was "the necessity of knowing something of the composition and arrangement of rural and urban populations in order to appreciate the character and significance of ceremonial centers" which led to the investigation of house mounds at Uaxactun (1963:170). As director of the Uaxactun Project for the Carnegie Institution of Washington, O. G. Ricketson (1929) planned to survey and study house mounds in order to determine the population size of the site. Hence in 1932, Robert Wauchope's project of excavating house mounds in an attempt to use residential patterns to determine the social structure of ancient Uaxactun marked an important 76 shift in the goals of Mesoamerican archaeology. Wauchope identified this project as the first "archaeological attention...given to the study of the mode of living of the vast majority of the Maya people,...the people who were numerous enough to provide the sheer man-power that made possible the pyramids and the palaces...of only the highest social stratum, the priests and the chieftains..."(1934:113). The "dwelling site" chosen by Wauchope to characterize the ancient Maya household of Uaxactun consisted of "house mounds on three sides of a small plaza"(148), with associated artifactual materials consisting of "weapons and domestic implements," domestic pottery, the existence of a chultun or storage pit, and burials within the structures. Wauchope arranged the dwelling remains on a hierarchic scale of complexity, with the perishable 'bush house' as the simplest; the semi-perishable structure with a combination of stone and wood walls and thatch roof as the intermediary; and dwellings built entirely of stone masonry, including corbel vaulted roof, as the most complex.23 The potential to infer relative investments of labor from such hierarchic scales has led to its continuing use in investigations of residential compounds. Although Wauchope focused architectural form and features as primary attributes of structure function, his analysis did include a short section listing the recovered artifacts from each structure. For example, Wauchope's list of artifacts shows that the furnished and cist burials and elaborate polychrome ceramics were only found within the context of the labour-intensive masonry structures of the residential group, while unfurnished dirt burials and plain 2 3 Although wood and thatching materials are defined as perishable, and stone is defined as a permanent material, even the masonry structures were frequently torn down and rebuilt. 77 domestic pottery were associated with the more perishable structures. Although associated artifact distribution would have allowed Wauchope to correlate relative differences in the associated portable artifacts and relate it to this hierarchy of dwelling constructions, he did not infer a social hierarchy from these corresponding status differences. Wauchope's interest was not on stratification within the residential group, because the primitivizing paradigm—as articulated by Frederich Engel's (1820-1895) in his definition of the 'primitive' household [see Chapter 4]— relied on notions of the household as an egalitarian unit based on reciprocity and cooperation rather than on the relations of exploitation and competition associated with capitalism. Wauchope's concern was to interpret the patterns of stratification within the community of Uaxactun as a whole, subject to the exoticizing function of the primitivist paradigm. Thus he treated the residential grouping he excavated as a single, cohesive, social unit, identifying it as a lower-class household in contrast to the monumental remains in the heart of the site, thereby validating the two-class model promoted by Thompson and others contributing to the culture-historical discourse. From the inception of large scale archaeological investigation in the Maya area, excavation of residential structures could have demonstrated that a much more complex social hierarchy existed within a single site than could be encompassed by Thompson's two-class model. Excavation of the large 'acropolis' known as Structure A - V in the "ceremonial core" at Uaxactun (A.L. Smith 1936) revealed a complex superimposition of multi-roomed structures apparently composing a royal residence or palace (A.L. 78 Smith 1950:5) rather than the expected temple grouping. Consequently, investigation of mounds not previously considered to be residential structures by virtue of their "ceremonial" location were undertaken by A. Ledyard Smith in 1937, who identified several structures in the "ceremonial core" of Uaxuctun that shared the criteria for residence discussed above. Furthermore, in his report on excavations in the complex designated Structure B-XIII, Smith associated the various construction phases of the residential compound to the need for expanded living space as the occupancy of the unit increased, perhaps the first analysis of a Maya complex incorporating notions of household dynamics. The excavation of B-XIII revealed a complex of semi-perishable residences yet of considerable size and elaboration. Because Structure B-XIII could not be identified as the royal residence, since the far larger and more elaborate Structure A - V was seen to fulfill that function, nor was it 'humble' enough to be ascribed to the 'lower class' as characterized by Wauchope's excavation, its placement in the two-tier class structure was problematic. However, J. E. S. Thompson's interpretation of the hieroglyphic text on the mural painting uncovered in Room 7 (Smith 1950: fig.46), provided the needed evidence for a specialized residential function for the B-XIII complex that would not disrupt the paradigm. Thompson proposed that the "fragment of almanac" below the pictorial image: ... may have served as a kind of first reader in introducing novices in the mysteries of the calendar. At least we know that in central Mexico novices passed long periods within the religious edifices, and it is logical to suppose the same customs existed in the Maya area (58). 79 This may have been the first instance in which identification of Maya residence was subsumed within the culture-historical model by identifying centrally located and monumentally constructed residential buildings as houses for priests —but it was not to be the last. For example, the Carnegie Institution of Washington's extensive research carried out at the site of Mayapan during the years 1951-55, which included the surface examination of 4140 structures and the complete excavation of 28 residential constructions, continued to emphasize the sacred nature of the elite. In order to justify the presence of heavy deposits of household pottery amid the terraces and perishable structures observed behind the colonnaded halls of "the ceremonial groupings" surrounding the Castillo, Proskouriakoff, in her "Civic and Religious Structures of Mayapan" (1962:90) concedes that these could have functioned as "secular or religious lodging quarters for men." In the course of the subsequent Tikal Project led by the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania from 1956 to 1970, Peter Harrison (1971) excavated the Central Acropolis, the largest and densest complex of multi-room and multi-story buildings at the site, and one which earlier in this century (Tozzer 1911:120) had been identified as a palatial residence. However, in searching for functional analogies with the Aztec to explain the architectural form of the excavated remains, Harrison avoided information on the royal residence of Tenochititlan in favor of description of the temple complex with its shrines, schools for nobles, and residences for priests and novices, and he thereby interpreted most of the Tikal structures as ritual residences for men. Lincoln's (1990) more recent interpretation of the Monjas Complex as a residence for priests continues this approach to 80 functional intepretation not only in its conclusions but also in its underlying premises, suppositions, and methods. Lincoln merely updates the exoticising strategy of the primitivist paradigm: using methods of direct historical analogy, he decontextualizes and dehistoricizes concepts drawn from Maya archaeology, Aztec and Maya ethnohistory, and contemporary ethnography in order to reconstruct them according to a European structuralist model. It is important to note that a large portion of Lincoln's thesis treats the ceramic finds, and these are studied according to complex statistical methods characteristic of the processual discourse in contrast to the structural-symbolic method by which he treats architecture. This methodological split is not unique: as we have seen, the separation between the two discourses involves not only 'how they do it' but also 'what they do it on'. More commonly, in structuring the archaeological project, the archaeologist responsible for mapping and interpreting the monumental downtown remains is distinct from the archaeologist responsible for the category variously characterized as 'settlement pattern,' 'housemounds,' or 'the periphery.' Typically the residential patterns of the 'periphery' are interpreted chronologically to trace population growth according to the concerns of the processual discourse, while the monumental remains are interpreted as places of ritual, according to the concerns of the culture-historical discourse. Implicit in this selective approach is a reductive view of Maya society not only as a two-class sytem, but as an opposition of a laboring peasantry treated in largely secular terms, with an administrative, theocratic elite which, since it is viewed through the lens of ritual, is constructed as sacred. The imposition of the western sacred-secular dichotomy on non-western peoples, 81 and particularly the construction of these societies as sacred through the focus on ritual behavior of its leaders, is central to the primitivizing paradigm which has long served strategically as a legitimator of colonialism. The construction of a Maya elite as highly religious is also a moralist construction in the context of early twentieth century society. Thompson exploited this moral concept most fully, with his ruler-as-calendar-priest altruistically informing the peasants when to plant and spending the rest of their time contemplating the perfect beauty of time. New Archaeology and Maya Settlement Patterns An increase in university-based research in the United States during the 1950's brought more anthropological concerns with developing models of behaviour to bear on residence and settlement archaeology. The methodology of this processual or 'new' archaeology gave the discipline stronger academic currency by defining it as a science rather than as a liberal art. As a result, much more energy and funding went into settlement pattern research and publication than previously. Settlement pattern researchers identified relations between technology and the environment as the key factors determining systems of societal identification and change. This marked a distinct difference from the earlier settlement pattern approach supported by the museums of the 'Eastern Establishment' and industrial corporations like Carnegie, where no attempt was made to pinpoint causality (Willey and Sabloff 1974:186). Although accumulating settlement pattern data concerning the urbanization of native Americans had the potential to place native people on an equal footing with Euro-americans and other ethnic groups, it was nevertheless formulated as a basis for generalizing about 82 human behaviour within an evolutionary mode that reinstated Western technology and capitalism as the apex. Therefore, for the most part the significance of native people for archaeologists had not changed (Trigger 1989:314-316). The question that must be asked is: why was the New Archaeology so quickly embraced by a rising generation of American archaeologists during the 1960s,—a period of social unrest in the United States centered on racial and gender inequality and an increasing disillusionment with their government's intervention in Vietnam? Thomas Patterson has argued that the majority of New Archaeologists came out of the increasingly powerful and nationalistically oriented middle class of the central and western sections of the United States rather than the internationally oriented east-coast elite that had dominated American economic and intellectual life during the early years following WWII (1986a: 17-20). The New Archaeology appealed to the tendencies of these Americans to value what was technologically useful (Trigger 1989:313) and strengthened their concern with social complexity which was seen to be tied to the rise of capitalist production, the leitmotiv of the American middle-class. Interest by New Archaeologists in capitalist economy brought with it a reformulation of world history recast as the growth of a world capitalist system. These assertions opened the way for a new evolutionary division of the world's societies into those that existed before the coming of capitalism and those that existed afterword (Wilk 1991:23). With this revision of world history, the scale of settlement pattern archaeological analysis descended from the polity to the household. New questions were asked of the 83 archaeological record: dramatic historical change in economy, from the kin-based subsistence agriculture of the pre-capitalist period to that of a market economy, was assumed to have induced change in household organization which in turn would be archaeologically testable. The Tikal Project With its methodological emphasis on the demonstration of social complexity, the Tikal Project (1956-1970) was the first large-scale articulation of this New American 'middle class' Archaeology in the Maya region. The excavation of a broad spectrum of residential groups, by archaeologists William Haviland and Marshall Becker working on the settlement pattern component of the Tikal Project, were some of the most comprehensive attempts to establish the function of Maya structures in order to confirm social complexity. Marshall Becker's dissertation, The Identification of a Second Plaza Plan at Tikal and its Implications for Ancient Maya Social Complexity (1971) repudiates the two-class model in order to suggest that a complex and socially stratified system which existed at Tikal during the Classic Period was based on varying degrees of economic assessibility. He postulates that the multiplicity of structures conforming to each of a number of distict plaza plans at a single site indicated social complexity at the polity level. Furthermore, he asserts that within a single plaza group, the spatial relationship, size, and construction of the architectural components, and their associated artifacts, as indication of differential access to goods, reflected the social positions of their occupants. 84 In the nine small groups excavated by Becker he found the most consistant feature in its architectural arrangement and monumentality to be encompassed by the elevated structure occupying the east side of the plaza group [see below]. A multi-roomed range-type structure, fitted with stone benches, often employing solid stone masonry construction when others within the group had not, were found to be most often located at the south side of the plaza, though other arrangements were recorded. Semi-perishable and/or fully perishable single and multi-roomed structures occupied the other locations around the courtyard. Becker's demonstration that buildings specialized for ritual use were prominent features of many ancient Maya household arrangements has become a standard reference when inferring function (see Webster 1989:18). These 'shrines' were differentiated from residential structures by the combination of higher elevation, smaller interior space with fewer provisions for sleeping, and squarer ground plan. They were also characterized by consistent location on the east side of the courtyard and the presence of "dedicatory" burials placed in specially constructed graves and comprised of an extremely high percentage of males. Other evidence of ceremonial activity exclusive to these structures included the presence of caches, altars, and axially located burning on floors. Becker concluded that ritual practice within the household serves as an indicator of a social differentiation based on gender, which in turn may be used as evidence of social complexity. Writing before feminist thought had achieved any impact on American archaeology, Becker does not consider the ideological implications of such a 85 social practice —that is the construction of male status and reinforcement of male authority. William Haviland's investigation of small residential groupings at Tikal was posed to gather "a more detailed understanding of Maya household composition" (1988:121). The self-subsistence, precapitalist 'family' of "modernization theory" (Wilk 1991) surfaces in Haviland's article, "Musical Hammocks at Tikal: Problems with Reconstructing Household Composition"(1988:121-34). Haviland's hypothesis of a "generational cycle" was premised on the assertion that "extended families, which are common in nonindustrial agrarian societies the world over, consist of related nuclear families living together as members of the same household" (ibid. :122). In the excavation of household groups in the periphery of Tikal, Haviland found that usually the oldest or first and most frequently rebuilt structure was hierarchically priviledged in terms of size, as well as quality of contemporary pottery and artifacts strewn on living surfaces, in relation to the other structures arranged around the level court. In these groups,24 without special family shrines, the greater number of burials, and invariably the richer male burials, were placed in favored locations in this architecturally more complex residential structure, further supporting the notion that these dominant structures were related to an authority based on gender. Using the dynastic model developed for Tikal's "rulers" as secondary evidence, Haviland suggested that having one dominent residence structure within a patio group is consistent with an extended family model based on patrilocal residence 2 4 Marshal l Becker identified and named the type of groupings investigated by W i l l i am Havi land as P laza Plan 5 (dwellings dispersed around a central court) and Plaza Plan 3 (enclosed quadrangle plan). 86 (ibid.: 122). Haviland suggested that patrilocal residence is typical of societies where: [1] ecological circumstances make the role of men . predominant in subsistence, [2] men own property that can be accumulated and passed on to their sons, [3] warfare is prominent enough to make cooperation among men important, [4] and there is an elaborate political organization with men in authority (ibid.: 122-23). What he is really discussing is patriarchal authority, which can be expressed in either patrilineal or matrilineal descent, and in either patrilocal or matrilocal residence^. Perhaps such anthropological emphasis on descent and residence is designed to avoid unpacking patriarchal authority, an ideology in which many anthropologists have a stake. Furthermore, Haviland found that the stratigraphic relationship between the various structures which made up the single or multiple courtyard group showed that remodellings took in all structures at once, about every generation. This is supported by relation of burial to rebuilding (125). He suggests this rebuilding is in response to the death of the lineage head which would trigger a kind of 'musical hammocks' as the linage head's successor moved out of his house into a remodelled version of the former lineage head's dominant structure, while someone assuming his former position moved into and remodeled the structure just vacated, and so on (123-25). Haviland's use of a 'life course' model, in which individuals move through a succession of roles during their lifetime, is supplemented in the same anthology by Gair Tourtellot's (1988) application of a 'developmental cycle 2 ^The hierarchic organization of the Maya quadrangle parallels that of the northern Northwest Coast plank house, in societies that are matrilocal and matrilineal but still patriarchal. 87 model' in treating the residential compounds of Seibal's periphery. In several of these compounds, the dominant structure, distinguished by greater investment of labor and materials, was also found to contain the earliest high-status burial. In a patriarchal system, this structure would logically correspond to the residence of the founding group patriarch that was subsequently rebuilt for residential use by series of his successors, each of whom could appropriate for this purpose a greater amount of the group's surplus production than other lineage members of lower status. Such dynamics of patriarchal authority represent important contributions to the explanation of status within the extended household. However, they are typical of archaeological writing in the exclusion of female members of the residential group from consideration. This erasure of women's presence will be noted in the more recent reconstructions of household patterns at the site of Copan, and its implications for the legitimation of patriarchal capitalism will be investigated in the final chapter. The lineage model of social hierarchy and the Copan Valley Project In contrast to the construction by the culture-historical discourse of large-scale models of Maya autocracy and oligarchy, the processual discourse has focused on evidence supporting a lineage model of ancient Maya social structure. Though settlement pattern research has been valuable in identifying residential arrangement, Cohodas (in press) has demonstrated that the proposed lineage model is deficient in scales smaller or larger than the single compound. 88 The scale larger than the compound involves the political organization of the community or polity. As Cohodas has shown, interpretations of Maya polity organization have differed according to the conflicts between the two competing discourses. As he notes, whereas the focus of the culture-historical discourse on dynastic monuments creates a sampling bias leading to a centralized model of autocratic state organization, which further presupposes the existence of a class system with an elite class at its apex; the focus of the processual discourse on residential compounds creates a sampling bias leading to a decentralized model of segmentary polity organization based on the ranking of autonomous lineages (Cohodas 1993a and personal communication). I would add that the lineage focus of the settlement pattern discourse fosters a projection of the social hierarchy within the residential group onto a model of society as equivalently hierarchic. As Cohodas points out, this lineage-based construction of a decentralized Maya polity does not explain the types of dynastic sculptures and their texts—those features employed by the culture-historical discourse to produce a similarly one-sided model of Maya autocracy. Departing from the goals and objectives of the Tikal Project during the 1960's, the recent research at Copan, Honduras (since 1975), led by Gordon Willey, Claude Baudez and co-directed by William T. Sanders, and David Webster since 1980, was posed to address wider issues of household adaptation by placing individual patterns of choice and strategic behavior within larger social structures and economic-ecological contexts. Excavation goals of the Copan Archaeological Project over the last two decades have gone beyond mere demonstration of social complexity and attempted to identify the specific economic and socio-political status of individuals or 89 groups of individuals that comprised the social system within a given historical moment. David Webster's (1992) recent synthesis compares "elite" residential compounds from the core to the peripheries of the Copan pocket in terms of the widespread residential courtyard arrangement. In "Maya Elites: The Perspective from Copan," (1992) Webster demonstrates that the many levels of Copan valley society shared similar residential arrangements, differing in scale but not in kind, and ranging from fully perishable to acropolis-topping monumental buildings. The identification of the main acropolis as residential, and the intra-residence dispersal of ceremonial functions, are all offered as ways of supporting kin-based political organization and opposing centralized institutions of power. Based on combined research at Copan and also upon comparative ethnographic data-particularly from "the more complex African states (Benin, for example)", both William Sanders (1992:279) and David Webster (1992) proposed that the Copan polity was "characterized by a high degree of segmentation.... Although the system was politically centralized around a group of preeminent titled elites (the royal lineage), kinship was still the dominant mechanism in overall social, political, and economic organization" (Webster 1992:153). Sanders and Webster also proposed that the leaders of the large corporate, internally ranked, kin-based land holdings or maximal lineages formed a noble class that in turn provided the political, economic, and religious leadership for their "dependents." Consequently, Sanders' and Webster's construction of a competative lineage system dismisses the centralized authority of Copan as "very weakly developed" (Webster 90 1992:155) because in their view the effective power of the ruler was circumscribed by the many competing nonroyal elites and corporate lineages. Investigations into residential patterns at Copan, like those of Tikal and Seibal cited above, have demonstrated that the range of status differences within the co-residential group are as great if not greater than the differences in status among the lineages, an analysis that severely weakens the argument for an 'elite class'. Further theoretical contribution to the internal composition of the residential compound is provided by Julia Hendon, in her analysis of activity distribution within the 9N-8 group of the Las Sepulturas district at Copan (1991a). The Proyecto Arqueologico Copan Fase II under the direction of William Sanders employed a method of excavation which allowed an in-depth study of the relationship between the buildings of Group 9N-8, 9M-22 and 9M-24 and their associated artifacts. The first step of Hendon's project was to identify the kinds of activities [human agency] carried out in residential sites through an analysis of artifact type and distribution. Hendon identified six activities most commonly associated with residential groups cross-culturally: [1] food preparation and cooking; [2] food serving and consumption; [3] ritual observances; [4] manufacturing and production; [5] storage; and [6] sleeping. The notable exclusion of child-rearing from the list of residence-based activities will be considered in the following chapter. Hendon's project to determine activity locations through artifact distribution necessitated first a functional re-interpretation of the artifacts.26 For ^Hendon's functional interpretation of the artifacts was based on a comparison of formal properties, analogy with modern Mesoamerican groups, and use-wear analysis, the evaluation of the kinds of activities from which these artifacts derived, and the location and spatial association of artifacts. 91 example, whereas the fancy painted ceramics have been conventionally treated as ritual or funerary wares, because their interpretation has come under the purview of the culture-historical discourse, Hendon's analysis of form, distribution, location, and wear patterns, showed that they functioned in everyday context as serving and eating vessels. Once the distribution of artifacts representing these activities was established, their patterned relationships with various formal features of the structures, such as building plan, room layout, and size, could help determine the possible functions of these structures. Residential structures, ritual structures, and ancillary structures (kitchens and storage) were identified by this method. The repeated occurrence of the basic residential activities suggested to Hendon that each patio functioned as a separate social unit. Differences in the distribution of building materials and architectural decoration, of certain kinds of artifacts, and of burials, provided evidence of unequal access to resources and energy. Hendon offered several possible explanations for such disparities. Epigraphic evidence suggested that ranking within the descent group, based on some combination of birth order, gender, and individual genealogy, could account for some of the variations in architecture and burials found within the patios. An explanation offered by Hendon for other within-patio differences is that the smaller and "shoddier" houses were used by servants. Hendon preferred to view these servants as lower-ranking members of the descent group whose obligations and rights were determined by kinship rather than contract or involuntary servitude. However, the universality of slavery—provided by prisoners of war—among Mesoamerican societies at the time of European 9 2 conquest, combined with the abundant representation of war prisoners during the Classic period, suggests that household servants are more likely to have been slaves. Perhaps Hendon maintained that household organization was defined solely by kinship in order to sustain Webster's and Sander's assertion that the Copan polity was representative of a chiefdom stage of evolutionary development [see below]. Yet, slavery was postulated as the essential basis of a pre-capitalist economy by Thorstein Veblen (1972, orig. 1899), who used the nineteenth century evolutionist term 'barbarism' for the level that corresponds roughly to the neo-evolutionist term 'chiefdom'. Another perspective on slavery is provided by Emmanuel Wallerstein's (1971) in his formulation of a world systems theory. Rather than attributing slavery to a particular time or level, he notes its regular occurance in a particular social-geographic space, that of the colonialist periphery, the site of most intense labor and resource exploitation to serve the prosperity of the metropolitan core. Archeological treatments of slavery can serve to mask the slavery or quasi-slavery of colonialism, either by emphasizing its importance in societies constructed as most unlike our own, or erasing it from the analysis of societies like the Ancient Maya considered (socially, morally, politically, or legally) most like our own. Historical practices that obscure or efface domination, especially in ancient Maya society which is constructed as an American ideal, are particularly frightening in view of the violence against contemporary Maya carried out in Mexico and Central America. Hendon's illustration of social ranking based on the abuse of economic and political power in ancient Maya society serves to dismantle the exoticising and primitivizing paradigms of the master discourse. Her concern with 93 domination and exploitation sets her apart from most Mayanist archaeology. But, typically, she did not investigate gender hierarchy, even when she found that the most labor-intensive architecture, burials, and ceramics were spatially associated with male burials in the main courtyard of the 9N-8 group, while less investment of labor was characteristic of the adjoining courtyard in which the overwhelming majority of burials were of women and children. Indeed, application of the nuclear family model, including the use of a conjugal bed, eliminates the possibility of gender segregation. As contemporary western society is permeated by ideological constructions designed to naturalize this typically bourgeois structure, marginalizing exceptions and defining them as deviant, it is regrettable but understandable that the nuclear family model would underlie and thereby be reproduced by archaeological interpretation. The relevance of this unutilized data on gender segregation and hierarchy to the Monjas Complex and Maya residential patterns in general will be pursued in the final chapter. Residence at Chichen Itza Settlement Pattern The central portion of Chichen Itza was first surveyed by J. O. Kilmartin in 1924 and 1928 for the Carnegie Institution of Washington under the direction of Sylvanus G. Morley. The resulting map covered an area of about 4.8 square kilometers and has been reprinted with revisions by J. P. O'Neil in 1932 (in Ruppert 1935). [figure 1] Despite the employment of Chichen Itza as a cornerstone in the construction of a Mesoamerican 'culture history', little attempt was made over the next half century to redress the deficiencies of this map, which covered only the central portion of the city and recorded 94 only the most visible stone architecture. The Institute Nacional de Estadistica, Geografia, e Informatica de Mexico has recently produced geographical data maps, on the basis of which Lincoln estimates that the site of Chichen Itza, including the outlying architectural groups, encompasses an area of at least 28 square kilometers (Lincoln, 1990:573), six times the area covered by the Kilmartin-O'Neil map. In 1983-86, The Peabody Museum and Harvard University Chichen Itza Archaeological Project, directed by Charles Lincoln in cooperation with E l Instituto Nacional de Antropologia (INAH), produced a series of detailed maps of the area south of the Monjas complex and Hacienda Chichen Itza but north of the Temples of the One, Three, and Four Lintels— part of Chichen Itza known as "Old Chichen."27 The detail provided by Lincoln's new series of maps clearly shows that terraced platforms serving as foundations for other mounds and free-standing structures constitute the basic units of settlement at Chichen Itza. Lincoln undertook both test pit and surface survey of artifacts for each platform group in his survey area. The subsequent ceramic analysis revealed that "striated and plain unslipped [wares] for cooking and storage, Dzitas for serving and storage" made up over 80% of the sample (387). Manos and metates and chultuns were also located and recorded for all platforms. From this evidence, Lincoln inferred that all of the platform groups, regardless of differing architectural arrangement, functioned as residential units. Lincoln's more comprehensive mapping techniques have revealed Chichen Itza to have also been far more densely populated than is evident from the Kilmartin-O'Neill plan, both in terms of the number of structures in each group, and the amount of area 2 7 The newly mapped region roughly corresponds to sections 5C , 5D and 6E on the K i lmar t i n -O 'Ne i l map. 95 supporting groups of structures. Mapping and excavation have revealed a multiplicity of residential groupings ranging from small and perishable structures to large scale, monumentally constructed, labor intensive, and elaborately decorated examples like the Monjas. It can be inferred from topographic evidence that high ground was the favored location for terrace groups (Kilmartin-O'Neil in Ruppert 1932, 1952; Lincoln 1990:559). According to Lincoln, the earliest and dominant structures of these groups occupied the higher ground in the context of the karstic terrain of Chichen Itza (1990:426-27). Lincoln's data suggests that elevation may also have played a role in the construction of a hierarchy between plaza groups. For example, the highest proportion of large groups employing labour-intensive methods of construction occupy the most elevated and/or those limestone outcroppings of the greatest surface area, while smaller groups and single structures generally built of perishable materials were scattered throughout the interstices composed of poorly drained kancabals [soils] (555-559). Lincoln considered the small architectural groupings located on the habitable land surrounding the large terrace compounds to be subsidiary to the larger compounds (for example, Platforms Chulya and Wechob as extensions of the Initial Series Group 1990:452). In some cases, shared architectural constructions, low walls, or platform extensions connect these auxiliary groups to each other or to the larger compounds (Lincoln 1990: map sheet IV). While the previously mapped paved causeways or sacbeob [singular sacbe] served at the level of the polity to link large residential groups to the core of Chichen Itza, Lincoln's maps demonstrate that less elaborate sacbeob also united subsidiary groupings and their larger compound affiliates (1990: map sheet 96 V). In comparison with interpretations of residential compounds in the Sepulturas district of Copan, which were treated as autonomous, and thus as if occupied by families unrelated to each other, Charles Lincoln's use of topography to suggest that adjacent platforms might represent splinter groups constitutes a more ambitious attempt at reconstructing social structure. A settlement pattern in which premium locations are settled first is to be expected. In a system based on extended kinship, no single complex or even terrace group could contain all descendants over long periods of time. Some male members fission off to begin their own subsidiary complex, still with economic, ritual, and social allegiance to the parent complex, but naturally occupying less preferable locations. This is part of the developmental cycle which underlies Tourtellot's analysis of Seibal residence. However, the less desirable locations might also be settled by groups recently attached to the corporate lineage or conversely, to small groups independent of affiliation. In fact, the incorporation into residential models of groups which are not necessarily related by kinship represents an important recent advance in Mesoamerican household archaeology (Wilk 1989). The evidence has come primarily from ethnographic analogy, as kin groups do not necessarily leave archaeologically testable traits.28 Comparisons with The Monjas Complex The Monjas Complex is by no means unique at Chichen Itza. For example, it shares with portions of the Initial Series Group a similar architectural arrangement, [figure 2; 3] including: [1] the dominant range-type structure 2 ^ Wisdom (1940) also notes that social groupings are not detectable physically among modern Chorti, but are identified according to the relationships between the people living in various structures (in Fash 1983). 97 oriented toward a large plaza to the north; [2] a second story atop the dominant structure; and [3] enclosed courtyards composed of both range-type and colonnaded structures extending from the dominant structure and away from the large plaza. The addition of the large platform elevating the Second Story gives the dominant structure of the Monjas a greater monumentality than that of the corresponding Temple of the Phalli but does not significantly detract from their architectural similarity. In more general terms, this architectural configuration appears to conform to the plazuela arrangement of Maya residential structures which predominates in the Southern Maya Lowlands as at Uaxactun, Tikal, Seibal, and Copan, and which was perhaps first systematically defined by Becker [see above]. A closer look at the Monjas complex in relation to the research carried out at these sites permit us to address the problem of function for a much larger portion of the excavated remains. The extant remains of the Monjas complex represent the visible remains of several stages of development, perhaps associated with a succession of patriarchs as evidenced by the epigraphic texts of the Second Story [see below]. The East Wing, Second, and Third Stories share the aspect that they were the most monumental constructions in the complex at the time they were built. Similarities among these three structures at the times of their constructions included architectural plan, public orientation, sculptural elaboration, hieroglyphic inscriptions, and elaborate mural paintings. Artifactual evidence of domestic activity was slight for these three structures--it included only food service pottery. 98 In the extant structures of the lower courts and the adjacent less labor-intensive or elaborate structures no longer standing, residential or domestic activities are demonstrated in architecture by the addition or removal of interior partitions and doorways, benches, cord holders for partitioning of rooms, and in smaller artifacts by hearths, cooking and storage vessels, ceramics associated with food storage and preparation as well as food service, manos and metates and spindle whorls. In recognition of Becker's demonstration that buildings located on the east side of the courtyard and specialized for ritual use were prominent features of many ancient Maya household arrangements, I suggest the single-roomed, west facing, and elaborately decorated Iglesia may have served for a time as the 'shrine' of the Monjas complex. Furthermore, the proportional scale and locational relationship of the East Wing to the Iglesia is repeated later in the relationship of the Second Story to the Temple of the Wall Panels, which therefore probably served as the Monjas Complex shrine when it had expanded to encompass all of the area as far as the Caracol platform, [figure 2] We see a similar arrangement in the relationship of the Temple of the Phalli to the Temple of the Initial Series (Lincoln 1991: map sheet VII). [figure 3] I suggest the Temple of the Wall Panels, the Caracol south annex, and the structures and elements of, and around, the main plaza in front of the Monjas Complex may represent an expansion of the Monjas maximal lineage in later times. A sweat bath [Ruppert 1952: 3C15], another feature associated with residential compounds, was constructed during this phase of the Monjas Complex expansion. Similarly, Lincoln (1991) suggested that the entire assemblage of structures constructed on the large Initial Series Group terrace may represent one of the maximal lineages at Chichen Itza. 99 While the architectural details and the artifacts found in and around the lower courts of the Monjas Complex demonstrate that a large number of people lived and worked there, the lack of benches and paucity of portable artifacts in the sequence of dominant structures [East Wing, Second Story, Third Story; figure 5, 11] renders their function more problematic. For reasons which will become increasingly apparent, I believe it is important to speculate on the function of these imposing monuments. I argue that in complexes of this population size and complexity, it was not only possible but in some cases considered desirable to segregate residents on the basis of gender, age and rank. I suggest that the series of dominant structures in the Monjas Complex were the residences of the highest ranking males of the dominant lineage or lineages within the group. The argument for this kind of segregated residential function involves a series of comparisons leading to speculative conclusions. I note that the so-called Temple of the Phalli, the corresponding dominant structure of the Initial Series group, is constructed on a similar plan to both the East Wing and Second Story of the Monjas Complex, [figures 3; 5] This structure clearly served as a residence, as it is liberally supplied with bench platforms. Furthermore, its function as a gender-segregated residence for men is implied by the carved stone phalluses which protrude from the wall above these bench/beds. Although the dominant Monjas structures lack both these features, the second story structure is furnished with niches, a form that in other sites is usually associated with bench platforms, and these rooms are decorated with mural paintings of combat scenes—a male gendered form of imagery. The absence of stone bench platforms apparently does not preclude 100 residential function, as Kowalski (1987) demonstrated for the Palace of the Governors at Uxmal, a structure which is typologically linked to the Monjas Second Story despite its far grander scale and elaboration. Perishable wooden bench/bed platforms, which could be finely carved, represent a viable alternative. With this interpretation, the comparison with residential patterns at Copan becomes more instructive. As discussed previously, late stages of the 9N-8 Compound at Copan include a dominant three-room residential structure furnished with bench platforms but no evidence of productive activity [cooking, textile manufacture, or other craft work]. Hendon applied a nuclear family model in describing the residential function of this structure, but other data undermine this assumption. Most of the burials at this stage in the plazuela dominated by this building are of males, while in the directly adjoining court, the overwhelming majority of burials are of women and children. I suggest that as this residential compound grew in size and population, members of the dominant lineage invested in segregated accommodations, whereby the dominant plazuela group which was most frequently and elaborately rebuilt, was occupied by the high status males of the dominant lineage, while the wives and children of these men lived in the adjoining plazuela. Accordingly, I suggest that the East Wing and Second Story were the residence of the males of the dominant lineage within the Monjas group, and that their gender specificity explains the absence of artifacts associated with female occupations. This comparison alerts us to the possibility that, as in the 9N-8 Group at Copan, attached families of lower status labourers and craft workers were also accommodated within the Monjas residential complex. 101 In the Monjas Complex, the lower courts involve varied degrees of elaboration which show status to have been fixed not entirely through gender, but negotiated according to additional criteria. Hence the Southeast Court [figure 8], although at plaza level, shares the monumentally and the sculptural decoration with the second story structure and may have been physically connected to it by a private stairway [see Chapter 2]. Perhaps the Southeast Court originally served lower status males. Judging from the martial imagery of the relief sculpture, the Southeast Court may have been occupied by unmarried male youths whose direct access to the elder high-status males allowed them to serve as guards. The proximity of the Ball Court to the Southeast Court supports its possible use as a residence of young males, [figure 5] The presence of a ball court within the Monjas Complex raises the issue of activities which would have been undertaken exclusively by able-bodied males. These would include hunting, combat, and the ball game. The latter two would have involved training which could have taken place in the context of the residential compound. Furthermore, Veblen (1973, orig. 1899) in his Theory of the Leisure Class discusses the ways in which the activities of sport, hunting and war are interconnected. Applying Veblen's theory, sports like the ball game would have encouraged competition among subordinate males vying for elder approval or, helped keep up a juvenile aggressive readiness in case of the advent of war. Aside from sport, it has been suggested that the ball game may have functioned within a broader-spectrum of political and economic activities (Santley, Berman, and Alexander 1991). These authors suggest that the ball game was used as an 102 alternate means to acquire wealth and territory (20) or carve out tributary domains (23). I can imagine a multitude of other functions the ball game may have served within a residential setting, not the least of which was the acquiring of honor and prestige for the lineage through inner- and inter-polity competition. We cannot assume a static function for any architectural form, as some renovations may have been designed to significantly alter the use of space. For example, alteration to the Southeast Court involved the removal of martial imagery—the sculpted panels of the west bench of the south building were replaced with plain panels and the murals on the south facade of the East Wing.were plastered over. The ball court was also removed sometime during this later stage of Monjas occupation. Whether or not these alterations reflect a change in the function of the Southeast Court from exclusive male residence to a familial group, they alert us to the necessity of treating households as dynamic rather than static systems. Assigning function to the East Building of the East Court is more problematic. Although it shares with surrounding court structures the ruinous condition owing to less investment of labour, and the discovery in its outer rooms of artifacts associated with female activities, including manos and metates, spindle whorls, and utilitarian pottery, the structure also shares with the elaborate men's residences the use of a hierarchic plan, stone bench platforms, and sculptural decoration. One explanation for this combination is that the East Building housed the men, women, and children of a lineage segment that lacked the resources necessary to invest in segregated accommodations. Another explanation is that this structure housed the 103 highest ranking women of the complex, and consequently that the architectural furnishings combine high status with female occupations. The latter possibility suggests an overall functional differentiation among the structures and spaces of the east court, which is further supported by the possibility of animal pens adjoining the Southeast Annex. Standard residential arrangements at Chichen Itza In comparing the architectural arrangements on the residential terraces of Chichen Itza, both Lincoln and Cohodas have identified repeated patterns. As discussed in the first chapter, Lincoln constructs a tripartite political system conforming to a systematic juxtaposition of three types of structures: temples, range buildings, and gallery-patios. Whereas the weakness of his structural interpretation has already been discussed, the empirical weakness should be mentioned here: that range buildings and gallery-patios very rarely occur around the same courtyard. Cohodas identifies a standard group arrangement which includes five types of structures: [1] north-facing temple-pyramid with a sanctuary plan; [2] west-facing temple pyramid on a transverse, two-room plan, embellished with serpent columns, chac mool, and atlantean altar in North Terrace (Gran Nivelacion) examples; [3] gallery-patio structure, set back between the two temple-pyramids and facing either west or north; [4] a four-stair platform placed in the main plaza, usually on axis with one of the temple-pyramids; and [5] colonnaded structures usually adjoining the north or west side of the plaza, [figure 4] Cohodas interprets the more varied placement of ball courts in some of these groups as an artifact of a preceding chronological stage. 104 Although Cohodas' definition of a standard plan fits the mapped remains at Chichen Itza much better than Lincoln's, it requires two modifications to be usable as a model. First operating within the culture-historical discourse, Cohodas interpreted this conventional architectural arrangement as cosmographically-generated and designed solely for ritual in the context he called the 'warrior cult'— an interpretation he now regrets (Cohodas 1994 personal communication). Second, in searching for structural regularities, Cohodas failed to probe those monumental exceptions, including the Monjas Complex and the Initial Series Group (Grupo de la Fecha) in which the dominant structure is a range-type building and the gallery patio, if present, is situated in a subsidiary group. The plazuela configuration which Cohodas identified as a 'standard plan', for which he used the Southwest Group as prime example, is a more open type of residential grouping, [figure 4] Rather than combining various ritual, administrative, and domestic functions within a single complex of contiguous structures, the standard plan articulates the social organization of the lineage through more individualized and functionally differentiated architectural units. Nevertheless, these units involve many of the same articulations of contrast identified in the Monjas and Initial Series complexes. Characteristic is the perpendicular placement of the group's shrine relative to the dominant patriarchal residence. The pyramidal structures with a sanctuary plan located on the south side of standard plazas, allocated within Lincoln's tripartite model to a ritual function (1990:621-626), do correspond to Becker's functional category of the shrine in Tikal's plazuela arrangement and also seen in the Iglesia of the Monjas complex, but here shifted from the east to the south side of the courtyard. In agreement with Cohodas [see below], I 105 suggest that the two-room structure on the second pyramid functioned as the residence of the lineage head, here shifted from the south to the west side of the standard plan plaza. Elaborate versions of this eastern structure included mural paintings (especially combat scenes) and sculpture both in bas relief and full round, culminating in a 'seat of authority' in the form of an atlantean-supported table. These structures have sufficient interior space to house many prominent male members of the dominant lineage, and they are often fronted by colonnades which could have served not only in public rituals but also as a residence for the unmarried men serving as a military guard (Cohodas, personal communication). They adjoin the gallery-patio structure, which in its placement below and set back from the elevated male residence corresponds in placement to the lower courts of the Monjas and Initial Series complexes. A similar residential function for the gallery patio is demonstrated by remains of metates in the largest example, known as the Mercado, and by an abundance of domestic ceramics in smaller versions tested by Lincoln (1990:445-48)29 Such variation in the ancient Maya household form has been linked to population density and agricultural intensity (Webster 1992; Sanders 1992) or to differences in social rank, role in economic production, wealth, and political status within a single society (Hendon 1991a). The evidence from Chichen Itza of contemporaneous use of two household forms that occur at various scales and in both distinct and blended varieties suggests that these explanations are insufficient. 2 9Excavations at Mayapan clearly demonstrated that colonnaded halls were also residential in function (1962:90). Further comparison with Mayapan suggests the altar platforms located in the middle of residential plaza groups at Chichen Itza may also have served as locations for effigy figurines and ritual activity (1962:165-321). 106 Socio-political Articulation in the Chichen Itza Polity Interpretations of the political system for the Chichen Itza polity, like those advanced for other parts of the Lowland Maya region, vary from strongly centralized and organized governments, as proposed by Scheie and Freidel and by Charles Lincoln, to segmentary state systems in which autonomous lineages are sufficiently powerful to forestall such centralization, as proposed by William Ringle (1990). However Cohodas' "Articulation Model" (in press) based on the interaction between polity and lineage institutions, appears to best represent the archaeological evidence for the site of Chichen Itza during the Late and Terminal Classic periods. In conversation, Cohodas has suggested that this model of articulation may serve to generate hypotheses on the functional relationships of monumental constructions at Chichen Itza. In his opinion, the major architectural monuments on the west side of the North Terrace complex may constitute the residence of the ruling lineage along with families of related lineages, attached clients including craftworkers, and slaves or servants. As structures associated with polity-wide administration and ritual, he identifies the Great Ball Court (excepting the final phases of construction) and the Castillo as well as the paired Caracol constructed in the Maya Chichen Group. The Temple of the Warriors and its preceding structures [Temple of the Chac Mool below, and Temple of the Big Tables adjoining], along with their fronting colonnades and open plaza space, conform to his definition of the locale for royal audience where the interests of polity and lineage intersect in such contexts as ritual and the aftermath of conquest. 107 My concern in this paper on the Monjas Complex is more with the lineage component of this political articulation. I propose a system of socially integrated lineages, whose heads controlled the means of production and redistribution of surplus through the subordination of the producers. In agreement with Cohodas' model of articulation, these patriarchs would in turn have controlled the integration of their lineages into a centralized polity administration, dominated by the royal lineage whose ideological position reinforced the legitimacy of social domination. Two issues arise from an investigation of the relationship between the Monjas Complex—as a residential compound housing a maximal lineage along with, perhaps, households of attached clients, craft-workers, and slaves—and the wider context of multiple lineages, each advancing their own interests through participation in polity administration. First, a quantitative comparison in scale and elaboration of decoration, suggests that the dominant lineage housed in the Monjas was one of the most powerful in the Chichen Itza Polity. The complex has the largest ball court, tallest pyramid, most accomplished mural paintings, and most hieroglyphic texts outside of the North Terrace Group (Gran Nivelacion). A second, more qualitative issue concerns the content of the hieroglyphic inscriptions, not only in their mode of lineage articulation with the polity ruler, but also in the message of rank they imply for an audience of competing peer lineages. According to Ringle (1990) while Kakupacal, the Ch'ul Ahau or Sacred Lord of Chichen Itza is listed as the dedicator on 5 of the 7 front texts of each Monjas Second Story lintel, a different titled individual is recorded as dedicator on the underside of each lintel, and 108 additional individuals in unknown relation to the dedicator are also mentioned (Lintel reproductions and drawings in Bolles 1977:268-74)30. Each dedicator of the underside of the Second Story lintels records a patronym (Ringle 1990) as well as listing lineage relationships (expressed as sibling, child, or mother of another individual) and documents political relationships through a series of titles. While the precise nature of both types of relationships remains unresolved, it seems clear by the syntax of these expressions that the dedication of these monumental tests served to record and legitimate high status persons in terms of their lineage and polity affiliations. As the Monjas lintels highlight kinship in constructing the Monjas complex as the residence of a maximal lineage, they may render marginal and invisible other groups residing therein, including slaves and attached families of agricultural labourers and/or craft producers. The ways in which the Monjas dedicatory lintels could be seen to have functioned politically within the lineage and within the polity of Chichen Itza is further illuminated by comparing them with the dedicatory records from other lineage structures. For example, similar statements are made on the Yaxchilan Structure 23 lintels, dated ad. 726, which demonstrate the association of this prominent residence with the lineage that had provided wives for the preceding and present Yaxchilan ruler, and which also provide genealogical information linking the residents and the ruler (Cohodas 1993b). If we take into account the shifting of rank that accompanied many rebuilding programs according to Haviland's life course model [see above], we can see 3 0 O n the two front texts not dedicated by Kakupacal, lintels 3 and 4, explicit relationships to him are cited. Lintel 3 traces the ancestry of Kakupacal's mother, Lady Wa Kuk,[Dl] while Lintel 4, located above the centralized chamber of the Second Story, presumably an earlier "seat of authority," is dedicated on 10.2.10.11.7, 8 Manik, 15 Uo [lintel 4 A3-A4] (February 6th, 880 ad. according to the G M T correlation) by the lineage head of the Monjas Complex, the sibling, and u chok. of Kakupacal [E4-E5 followed by B2-D3]. (Lintel reproductions, Bolles 1977:268-74) 109 that the ceremonial events that accompanied the dedication of these dominant structures provided important opportunities for members within these lineages to publicly display and construct their positions of prestige and authority. The question of articulation between lineage and polity also raises the issue of connections or alliances between powerful lineage groups. Lincoln's excavations revealed the importance of simple paved walkways in linking contiguous residential groups. The larger scale causeways or sacbeob generally link the most prominent residential groups with the downtown core of Chichen Itza, presumably the residence of the ruling lineage as well as of polity administration. One important exception is sacbe 7. the longest sacbe in central part of Chichen Itza, which links the Monjas Complex with another prominent but unnamed residential complex, the latter likewise distinguished by a large number of hieroglyphic lintels dedicated at approximately the same time. If Ringle is correct in his identification and interpretation of patronyms, this southern complex was occupied by a different lineage group than the Monjas Complex, hence the affiliation was likely a form of political alliance. The evidence opens up many further possibilities for investigation into the articulation of lineage and polity in Chichen Itza. Conclusion Discussions in this chapter support Cohodas' criticism that processual treatments of the settlement pattern are not appropriate for dealing with larger or smaller scales than the residential group, perhaps because they can only be associated with generalities of resource ownership and exploitation. The 110 model for dealing with the scale larger than the complex that has proven most successful is the articulation model, because it opens up possibilities for seeing different kinds of negotiation that are clearly taking place, as in the lintel dedication texts of the Monjas. The model that makes most sense of the scale smaller than the residential group, is one of hierarchy according to social age: based on criteria of gender, age, and descent (proximity to founder). Their are ways in which variations in all these criteria could be speculatively situated within the Monjas complex, albeit relying on insufficient data and admitting other possible interpretations. Furthermore, while Haviland's life-course model is based on the criterion of age, and Tourtellot's developmental cycle model is based on the criterion of descent, no model has yet emerged to explain such remains according to the criterion of gender. Here is where the ontological closure of male-gendered archaeology is at work, even in Hendon's contribution. As controlled expressions of social power, architectural forms carry great potential in defining, maintaining and constructing social relationships. The built environment especially served the interests of the dominant groups at Chichen Itza by ideologically producing and reproducing their relations of domination. Variation in the degree to which the control of energy and land, or the manipulation of symbols of power—including extolling one's relationship to the royal lineage or central authority—could be viewed as evidence of lineage stratification at the polity level. This is the processual model of ranked lineages forming a weakly centralized chiefdom. However, I contend that the display of conspicuous consumption in the form of monumental and elaborately decorated architecture was not only a means to assert wealth and power by competing lineages, but also operated as a means I l l of constructing the lineage's identity within the polity. Innovation in architectural style or diversion from conventional forms of representation such as 'the standard plan' was perhaps one means of marking out that identity. Numerous variations in the architectural arrangement and style of the lineage groups at Chichen Itza might have signaled familial, religious, or political affiliations within the polity or to outside communities. The proliferation of regional architectural styles, and within those styles the multiplicity of local innovations, further attest to the use of architecture as a means of identity construction in ancient Maya society. This is material style as boundary marker, which is of course characteristic of the Classic Maya era, expressed as well in writing and many other media. Together the issues I have raised present an integrated, but not single, view of the built environment and the use of space. As Nancy Fraser (1987:32-33) cautions, the transmission and extension of dominant ideologies are not necessarily integrative or universally accepted within any given society. People adapt, subvert, and resist social norms. Hence, the ideology encoded in the buildings of Chichen Itza should not be viewed as definitive (Hodder 1987). The extent to which conformity is expected is also historically and socially determined. The Maya residential unit is noteworthy in this respect for its considerable flexibility within a very generalized plazuela structure. By contrast, contemporaneous Zapotec and Teotihuacan residential architecture seems far more rigidly prescribed. Treating the built environment as a product of patterned and constrained choices and decisions, as Richard Wilk (1990:35) suggests, means that the focus of research must be on human actors. Wilk reminds us that "culture does not shape houses in some abstract or direct fashion; people shape houses" (ibid.). 112 Though recent authors contributing to the processual discourse and the investigation of Maya lineage residence compounds have inserted the concept of agency into their analysis, they have also limited their approach by focusing on external hierarchic ranking among kin groups, while the organization within the lineage is presumed to be characterized by corporate ownership of resources, reciprocal distribution of products, and egalitarian relationships of status. We have seen that this position is untenable. As we peered into residences such as the Monjas Complex, evidence of internal inequalities continually mounted. In the next chapter, I will argue further that the Monjas provides an example of the use of architecture to reinforce and reproduce gender hierarchy by making visible differences in power, through the control of energy, access to resources, and in the ability to manipulate coded symbols. Before turning to this final topic, it is necessary to more fully confront the question posed at the beginning of this chapter: Why has the Monjas been constructed as a very particular ritual edifice for housing priests or viewing the ball game, while the abundant evidence for prosaic activities of residence has been erased? The differences between these interpretations lie not in the ancient Maya past but in the North American present. So we need to ask: What do we stand to gain by primitivizing the Maya as devout ritualists? To take a large site like Chichen Itza and identify one complex as a palace, leaving all of the other monumental remains as an abundance of temples, represents a primitivization of the site, constructing it as primarily a sacred place. In part, this notion constructs the inhabitants of Chichen Itza as the 113 inverse, or 'Other' of Euro-American capitalists, but it also serves to legitimate authority by sacralizing it. The overriding character of these dichotomies is not just that they erect contrasts but that they draw rigid boundaries which actually serve to define and legitimate the Western elite. The notion of a 'house of priests' is used in such analyses to erect a rigid boundary between managers and producers, between men and women, between the sacred and profane spheres. This is why many archaeologists have interpreted functions for the Monjas on the basis of one part of the complex and erased the rest— to deal with the relationship of the second story to the rest of the complex would be to blur the boundaries that support privilege. Establishing an Other that is supposedly rooted deeper in ancestry and collectivity has proven to be politically advantageous for Western capitalism. Just as domination and exploitation in the form of imperialism and colonialism were legitimized through an archaeological discourse which posited Other peoples in need of guidance, so too, current historical practices which obscure exploitation by presenting monolithic views of the Other as 'sacred' construct, reproduce, and legitimize all forms of oppression. The neo-colonialist project of the multinational corporations in competition for an ever-diminishing supply of raw materials, and an ever-increasing margin of profit, benefit from an ideology produced, however unwittingly, by an archaeological discourse—a discourse which masks individual suffering by positing Other peoples, and the means by which they have been and continue to be exploited, as aesthetic objects. 114 What do we stand to lose by exposing possible relations of production wherein dominant members of a group exploit their subordinates in competition for higher status among their peers? By constructing the ancient Maya elite or leaders as highly religious, or in the context of the early twentieth century, as highly moral, is a means of legitimating capitalist leaders and masking the materialism of their competition and exploitation. The primitivizing notion of the sacred is one of the strategies in the production of an ideology that valorizes philanthropic practices designed to obscure privilege and rationalize forms of inequality. Amove (1980a) informs us that large-scale, organized philanthropy, as embodied in the notion of "scientific giving" is a uniquely American phenomenon (4). Philanthropic practices by American foundations like Carnegie represented a confluence of economic, political, and social forces tied to the industrial processes and social relations of production that led to both great wealth in the hands of a few and to poverty and discontent on the part of many (4). 115 C H A P T E R IV: T H E MONJAS C O M P L E X AS A SITE OF PRODUCTION AND REPRODUCTION OF GENDER HIERARCHY Introduction: Why the Writing of a Feminist History? In the previous chapters I have presented a multiplicity of hypotheses accounting for the exclusion of issues of domination and inequality from the archaeological discourse, and I have attempted to identify those who benefit from that exclusion. I would like to return now to the question of why critical discussions of gender have also been eliminated. In this thesis, gender means knowledge about sexual difference. I do not mean to imply that the term gender denotes fixed, or natural biological differences between men and women, but rather, that gender is the knowledge that establishes meaning for bodily difference (J. Wolff 1990:126-28). As the construction of these meanings varies across social groups and through time, sexual difference cannot be viewed as anything other than knowledge about the body: knowledge which has been invoked and contested as part of many kinds of struggles for power; knowledge which can be controlled and subverted and has the power to legitimize the subordination of women. Sexual difference is not, then, the originary cause from which social organization ultimately can be derived, but is instead, a variable social organization that itself must be explained (Scott 1988:2). This requires that we investigate the past to determine how gender hierarchy is produced and reproduced in each determinate historical situation. The form that archaeological knowledge has taken—the remarkable absence or subordination of women in the narratives of the 'rise of civilization,' and their 116 particularity in relation to Universal Man—indicates a politics that sets and enforces priorities, represses some subjects in the name of the greater importance of others, naturalizes certain categories, and disqualifies others (c.f. Scott 1988:9). Ruth Tringham investigates some of the reasons for the erasure of gender from the archaeological record in her paper, Households with Faces: the Challenge of Gender in Prehistoric Architectural Remains (1990). She suggests that in the attempt to establish archaeological research as a scientific discipline from the late 1960's to the present, the reconstruction of the role of men and women in economics, ideology, and social and political relations in prehistory was regarded as quite unvalidated and unvalidatable (97). Social and political questions in general in prehistory, and those on gender specifically, have fallen victim to the "scientific method" (Shanks and Tilley 1987). In an archaeological discourse which constructs itself as 'scientific', gender is perceived as a biological 'given.' And if biological males and females can be assumed to have occupied 'naturally' differentiated and hierarchical roles in societies, then gender can be dismissed as unproblematic and not the concern of archaeology: for gender, being stable, could not account for 'cultural' change (Wylie 1991:19). Due to the tendency to consider households as primordial and undifferentiated units with a perfect community of interests, what has dominated the research of both the processual and cultural-historical archaeologists in the construction of ancient Maya society has been what goes on beyond the household. Topics such as, the corporate production of surplus goods, exchange and alliances on a polity or inter-regional scale, the 117 struggle of humans to control the environment, or the dominance and hierarchies of structures, abound. Discussions on gender have been confined to the direct data on differences of sex, namely burial and other skeletal data. The implication of such differences has never been addressed within the context of Mesoamerican archaeology. In the social sciences, the analysis of social change at a microscale of the household has long been recognized as an essential scale for the study of social relations of production, including gender relations (Netting, Wilk and Arnould 1984). Why has there been a general lack of interest by archaeologists in household research? In view of the fact that most archaeological excavations retrieve data which are most pertinent to the study of households and the products of domestic labour, such an absence must reflect a willingness to accept the generalized assumptions concerning what goes on in and around houses (Tringham 1990:100). An investigation of the household, the most fundamental unit of social organization, necessitates the investigation of the social relations of production and gender relations which poses a challenge to 'established norms' of patriarchal authority. Yet, Mesoamerican archaeologists, who have been particularly active in developing household archaeology, have focused on what a household 'does' (Ashmore and Wilk 1988; Sanders 1992; Webster 1992) rather than what its social form is — who lives there and how they relate (Tringham 1990:100). Thus, they have interpreted the archaeological record of the ancient Maya household as units of cooperative production—redistribution and consumption, generational, patrilocal transmission, co-residence, reproduction — all functional and all without agency—through analysis of architectural remains (Tringham 1990:101). 118 This reluctance to examine social action at the microscale can be attributed, in part, to their adherence to an evolutionary teleology. Historical and evolutionary models have long been based on the premise that political and social evolution is paralleled by evolution of the family (Wilk 1991:12). Hence, if we scratch the surface of even the most sophisticated of recent models of family and household change, we find Engels, perhaps the earliest theorist of household organization. Rooted in an ideological commitment to communal ideals Frederick Engels' theoretical formulation of the precapitalist household in The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State, (English trans. 1942) has had a profound impact on anthropological and archaeological conceptions of the household, including those focusing on Mesoamerica. Based largely on Lewis Henry Morgan's reconstruction of Iroquois society, Engels proposed sweeping models of social evolution which posited the corruption of society through the origin of private property and the emergence of a monetary system that encouraged commodity exchange. Within this paradigm, both Marx and Engels promoted the view that before modern civilization (i.e. before capitalism), societies were organized communally, and exploitation of one sex by the other, or of one class by another, was unknown. Positing a pre-modern household wherein the differentiated labours of men and women were considered of equal value was a way of masking the inequality and exploitation of women within the modern household. The androcentric bias, perpetuated by many Mayanists in their primitivist construction of the precapitalist household, is currently being dismantled by Marxist anthropologists (Molyneux 1977; Rey 1979) and feminist historians 119 (Ortner 1974 Fraser 1987). These writers confront the assumption of egalitarian relationships imposed by the spatial and/or temporal boundaries fundamental to the evolutionary constructions of both the processual and cultural-historical discourses on the Maya. The characterization of the family as a socially integrated domain directs attention away from the fact that the household is a site of labor, albeit of unrecognized labor in the form of childrearing, animal rearing, food and clothing production, meal preparation, and household maintenance (Fraser 1987:37). Construction of the communal precapitalist household fails to consider the relationship of the control of reproduction and production to the subordination of women. Feminist attacks on evolutionary models of the household point out that some notions may be reproduced whatever the degree of incorporation into capitalism, whatever the type of political organization. Women tend to be responsible for the majority of child care even when they participate fully in a capitalist wage economy (Fraser 1987) or in subsistence production (Laslett 1981:241). Women tend to be responsible for a disproportionate share of household maintenance tasks regardless of the degree of involvement in the capitalist economy. The point of feminist critique is to create change —to do so, we must open the "black box" (Wilk 1989; 1991:232) and shatter the myth of the corporate, reciprocal, and egalitarian household. From this perspective, the question to be asked is not how did the advent of a capitalist economy corrupt egalitarian relationships but rather how has gender hierarchy managed to be continuously reproduced? The archaeological record of the Monjas is representative of Maya archaeology in the methods by which gender hierarchy could be seen to have been produced in the past and reproduced in the present. An investigation of that record could 120 therefore aid in an understanding of how the subjective and collective meanings of women and men as categories of identity have been, and continue to be, constructed. The two forms of evidence which have been noted for women's presence are females in burials and artifacts associated with women's labor: food preparation and textile production. Even Hendon, in her investigation of households, neglects to see gender as a dominant principle in these activities, perhaps in part because artifactual evidence of male activity is harder to find, so women here stand in for the household. Although Hendon (1987) in her study of Sepulturas residences at Copan had both burials and tools from which to draw her conclusions, I have only tools to go on. But, rather than erasing gender from the record, I will pursue what information is available. For example, in the lower private courts of the Monjas compound, artifactual evidence suggests that the activities of child rearing, food preparation and cooking, the manufacturing of cloth, and possibly animal rearing were carried out. These activities are documented for the Maya as women's labour in ethnohistoric (Carmack 1981, Landa in Tozzer 1941) and ethnographic (Wilk 1981) sources. In addition to my argument that within the Monjas lineage during the Terminal Classic Period there was a segregation of residence based primarily on gender, I will investigate more fully how the subtle and active role played by the historically specific material remains of the Monjas could be seen to have produced and reproduced a gender hierarchy. 121 Review of Artifactual Evidence Supporting the Exploitation of Women's Labour and a Segregation of Residence Based on Gender First and foremost, I would like to discuss the activities of child rearing in relation to exploitation of women's labour. It has been suggested that the childrearer role of women is fundamental to the adult division of labour in human groups. Anthropological overviews of human relations aver that women become absorbed primarily in domestic activities because of their role as mothers which constrain their political and economic activities (Rosaldo 1974:24). Such assertions serve to 'naturalize' women's servitude and block the possibility of analyzing households as economic systems, that is, as sites of labour, exchange, calculation, distribution and exploitation. In order to contest the dominant view that this traditionally female occupation is merely instinctual, natural, ahistorical, and requires no special tools or labour, we must first identify children in the archaeological record. To my knowledge, the activities associated with childrearing have rarely been identified, and never specifically addressed by the Mesoamerican archaeological discourse—a discourse which has traditionally been dominated by white, middle-class males operating in their own self-interests. Contrary to the claim that children's activities are not archaeologically discernible, I would like to suggest several means by which their presence may be represented in the Monjas record. A considerable number of unslipped sherds representing miniature figurines, whistles, and vessels (see Brainerd 1958: figure 93p,s) were recovered from the debris in the Monjas East Court, [figure 9] Traditionally these types of artifacts have been, and continue to be configured as ritual objects (Hendon 1987:377-79; Joyce 1993), even though 122 Tourtellot (1983:40) noted that at Seibal the proposed kitchen units—that is ancillary structures—had the highest average frequency of figurines which he suggested represented children's toys. Ethnographic evidence further corroborates this suggestion. In his investigation of modern Yucatecan Maya pottery making, Raymond Thompson (1958) found that serving wares were produced in miniature for children's use and that whistles and figurines, though placed in, and on, both adult and children's graves, primarily functioned as children's toys (105-137). The miniature three-legged metate found in the Southeast Court may also represent a child's toy or tool. In this context, the small metate, so closely tied to women's labour, like gender-specific toys today, participated in the socialization of the ancient Maya female subject. I further suggest that the graffiti found scrawled on the walls of the Monjas (see Bolles 1977: 130-31) and other ancient Maya structures may represent the works of children. If we throw out the exoticising and primitivizing strategy of the master discourse and peer into the "black box", we are confronted by people making active decisions about their lives and the lives of their children. Ethnohistoric accounts of Maya communities at contact describe children of all ages tagging along with their mothers while they performed their household activities. At a certain age, probably around seven for the ancient Maya considering epigraphic evidence documenting heir designations, the boys would begin their training with men (Cohodas, personal communication), while the girls would stay with the women, caring for younger children, and learning the skills of women's labour. Of course, practices such as the institutionalization of gendered activities actively maintained and naturalized the sexual division of labour and participated in 123 the construction of knowledge about sexual difference in ancient Maya society. The distribution of artifacts in the Monjas data base suggests that the activities associated with meal preparation, like child rearing activities, were located in the lower courts. On the platform which abuts the southwest corner of the south building of the Southeast Court, which was probably built for the purpose of food preparation, there remained evidence of a hearth [figure 8]. At this locus were found the majority of the one hundred and eighty-six manos and fifty metates recovered from the lower courts and a multitude of utilitarian pottery sherds composed primarily of slate ware [Lincoln's Dzitas] with a mix of porous grey wares dated by Brainerd (1958) to the period of occupation for the Monjas. Additionally, there were also a pela [large stone trough], numerous stone balls and other grinding stones, a water drain and a refuse pile in close proximity to this southern hearth [figure 8]. The type of artifacts recovered from this area is consistent with the activities of food preparation and cooking, as well as food service. Several other hearths located within the lower region of the Monjas complex were identified by Bolles. Of significance to the activities of food preparation and cooking is the large flagged area to the west of the East Building of the East Court. Again, there were an abundance of artifacts associated with food preparation recovered from this locus [Chapter 2, east court]. Built into the flagged surface to the east of the Southeast annex [figure 9] there were well preserved remains of another fire pit which contained traces of charred faunal material. Significantly, the low-walled enclosures which abut the north face of this platform are consistent with forms elsewhere 124 identified as animal pens (Wauchope 1938; Laughlin 1969). A l l five celts or axes recovered during the Monjas excavation and all four flint blades that Bolles suggested "may well have served as knives" (1977:237) were located just east of this penned area. It is conceivable that the rearing, slaughtering, and cooking of animals were activities carried out in the south east area of the East Court. Whereas hunting was clearly a male activity, the ethnohistoric (Landa in Tozzer 1941:127) and ethnographic literature (Martinez Hernandez 1929; Ximenez 1967:57; Pohl and Feldman 1982).identifies animal rearing as a woman's role. I would suggest the possibility that this locus within the Monjas was then a site of women's labor. In addition to artifacts associated with meal preparation, thirty-one spindle whorls were found among the debris of the East Court and the southern hearth which suggests weaving as another major activity carried out in this area. Not only do ethnohistoric and ethnographic sources cite the manufacturing of cloth as a female activity in Mesoamerica, but the Maya patron of weaving was a goddess represented in pre-Hispanic codices and known at the time of conquest in Yucatan as Ix Azal Uoh (Cogolludo 1867-1868, bk. 4. ch. 8). Before moving on to a discussion of the evidence for male activities I would like to address the issue of hierarchy among the women of the Monjas lineage. Theory of representation contends that absence also signifies (see Barthes 1977). Inferring the unremarked, the ordinary, is a necessary step in formulating the position of women in ancient Maya society, given the scarcity of representations of women in the material remains. The lack of representations of labouring women could be seen to imply that labour was 125 the lot of all women, a universal condition that did not require specification (Kehoe 1993:267). It has been suggested that while Maya women of high status ideally spun, wove, and prepared food with their own hands, they probably conspicuously occupied themselves with ornamental work (Kehoe 1993:267) while the bulk of textiles and food was produced by women of lower status, servants, and slaves. Epigraphic evidence from the Monjas [Lintel 3] shows that some women held titles—from this I infer ranking among women within the lineage. However, to understand the significance of their situation we must examine the social definitions of gender as they were expressed by women and men, constructed in and affected by economic and political institutions, expressive of a range of relationships that included not only sex but other divisions of organization (Scott 1988:23) which may be discernible through an examination of the Monjas remains. The clearest locus of male activity was the ball court, not surprising in view of the exclusively male associations of the Mesoamerican ball game. Here finds of flint, bone, and obsidian flake blade arrow heads and worked and unworked shell were abundant, in contrast with an absence of artifacts associated with women's domestic labour at this locus. Artifacts associated ethnohistorically and ethnographically with male activities are scarce in the East court—the area within the Monjas in which I have identified women's work spaces. In fact, the only such evidence is the ceremonial cache containing a spear point, shell, a sculpted bone and obsidian blades, unearthed below terrace level on axis with the east facade of the East Wing [figure 9; 12], the first of the sequence of buildings which I-have suggested functioned as a residence for high status males. Deposits of 126 human skeletal remains and incensarios found within the platforms of the Second Story and the caches located below surface in front of Room 17 and within the bench of the third story structure [see Chapter 2] suggests ritual and/or ceremonial activities were carried out, again perhaps to dedicate these later dominant structures of the Monjas. Representations depicting other male activities which were carried out within these types of structures abound within the archaeological record of the ancient Maya. For example, Maya ceramic painting of the Late Classic period, rarely found at Chichen Itza but common in the Peten region of Northern Guatemala, regularly depict those architectural constructions which served as the seat of lineage authority and site of interface with persons external to the lineage, as the locations of male activities of a political and/or economic nature (Cohodas 1994). Within these images, women typically appear as servants rather than as inhabitants or delegates (illustration Reents-Budet 1994: figure 6.23). Analogy with Aztec practice is supportive. Representations of the royal palaces at Tenochtitlan (Codex Mendoza, fol. 69r) and Texcoco (Mapa Quinatzin in Pazstory 1983, plate 152) painted a generation after the conquest show exclusively male inhabitants. The argument could be made that women were present physically but socially invisible. However within the central acropolis at Tikal, long identified as the palace enclave, evidence of women's activities was absent, and women's burial remains were restricted to a single structure (Harrison 1971:299). Significantly, the platform Harrison identified as the locus of food preparation was outside and below this enclave. Robert Carmack (1981) reviewing ethnohistoric documents of the Maya region, specifically those concerned with the Quiche of Utatlan, also suggests that women's and men's 127 residences were separated—in larger lineages by structure and in smaller kin-groupings by room (194). The segregation of women's and men's social space was but one means of constructing notions of sexual difference in ancient Mesoamerica. From surviving representations other than those provided by the Monjas complex, it appears that Classic through Terminal Classic Mesoamerican women were certainly instrumental in productive (Hammond 1975:320, figure 116c; Willey 1972: figure 34b)) and reproductive processes (Pohl 1991:393, figure 1) on which all social members depended. While I agree with Rosemary Joyce (1993) that women's products may represent a means by which women in ancient Maya society negotiated for social status, I question whose status was primarily being maintained or enhanced through this production. In order to determine this central point, productive and reproductive activities must be situated within broader relations of production through which the goods women produced were distributed and consumed (Meillassoux 1981:72). As a case in point, on the Fenton Vase (Scheie and Miller 1986: pi. 54a), women's products of economic importance—cloth, food, and culinary ceramics— are presented as pre-existing, a tribute needed for the foregrounded action: the construction and reproduction of a relationship between subordinate and superordinate males (Stromotitch 1994). I agree with Cohodas (in press) that such a taxonomic shift served to marginalize women, appropriate their products, and transform them into the stuff of male status relations. It is not only through the appropriation of women's labour and products that meaning was being created in the above example. The objects themselves 128 and the uses to which they were put reciprocally effected social relationships through processes of exchange between the relevant social actors (Cohodas 1994). In the image on the Fenton Vase both relations between the male actors shown and between the actors and the producers of the objects manipulated can be assumed. Objects displayed to an audience in the presentation of tribute, performing of ritual or even when merely eating have the ability to communicate social messages between those manipulating and those observing (Cohodas 1994). To paraphrase a recent paper by Cohodas (1994) in the context of the Monjas, every time women prepared meals in undecorated ceramic utensils [porous grey wares and Dzita wares] within the cooking areas of the lower courts, then carried it in polychrome or polished red ware plates and bowls to the Second Story where they served it to males for eating, and perhaps then returned to the kitchen to eat remaining scraps from the simpler wares—a scenario that appears likely from the pottery distribution in the Monjas as well as from Hendon's survey at Copan —this exchange between men and women continually reinforced the subordination of women (Cohodas 1994). The entrenchment of high status positions within the social groups of the Monjas required the construction of relational oppositions to low status positions, and these constructions were effected by objects and practices which can be relationally valuated in homologous terms (Cohodas 1994). Within the Monjas compound, differences in layout, building materials and techniques, and architectural decoration delineated and emphasized social and economic inequalities within the lineage through the demonstration of a differential control of energy. For example, a simplified veneer-masonry construction technique, cost effective both in terms of labour and materials, 129 was utilized in the buildings of the lower courts of the Monjas associated with women's work areas and therefore apparently with the sleeping spaces of women and children, [figure 5] By contrast, those structures associated with high status male activity and residence, the only structures which remain standing, employed the more energy-consuming construction of solid stone masonry. Thus, the disparity in architectural materials, construction, location, size, and elaboration between the residences located on the elevated platforms and those in the lower courts indicate an unequal access to resources within the lineage and residential group. The elevation of the second and third story structures, and the addition of the elaborate sculptural decoration, intricate mural paintings, and hieroglyphic inscriptions, and the ceremonies of dedication which involved buried cache deposits, all reinforced messages of male authority as an ideological legitimation of dominance within the residential community. Furthermore, all the representations of persons in the Monjas complex relief sculpture, mural painting, and facade mosaic, are gendered male, and all but one of the hieroglyphic inscriptions refer only to male personages. The lineage head and his immediate subordinates occupying the palatial residences of the second story and performing rituals to their ancestors in the adjacent, and equally elaborate Iglesia thus likely reinforced their status and authority partially through control of the architecture as a symbol of power. On the other hand, the lower status members of the group providing the labour and products to support those of high status would have been forced, through the lack of control over energy, to participate in their own subordination by living in the perceived inferior dwellings. Thus, the built ' environment served the interests of the dominant groups at Chichen Itza by 130 ideologically producing and reproducing their relations of domination. The built environment became a set of concrete symbols—a controlled expression of social power—which had great significance in defining, maintaining and constructing sexual difference and other forms of social organization at Chichen Itza. There are other means by which the domination and exploitation of the producers within the Monjas lineage would have been legitimated and maintained. Mesoamerican males in the Terminal Classic period at Chichen Itza apparently monopolized roles in the public arena, specifically warfare, ritual, and institutionalized political realms. Men would, therefore, have monopolized "authoritative resources" (Giddens 1984:257-60), the ability to organize and control relations of production and reproduction (Schortman 1993:268). Expansion and maintenance of power depended on a social faction's ability to control productive and reproductive processes through monopolies over these relations (Cohen 1983). Ritual was one means of asserting that control. In his discussion of ideology in early history Christopher Tilley (1984) demonstrates some of the ways that symbolic practices expressed as ritual may have been employed to reproduce an imposed social order as immutable while simultaneously blocking the expression of other principles which may have been contradictory. In the Monjas complex, ritual as an integral part of residential life could also be said to have actively maintained and naturalized the subordination of women. Deposits such as the cache encountered on axis with the east facade of the East Wing [figure 9, 12] or that found in the ball court [see above] provide evidence of men's ritual and/or ceremonial activity. Objects such as arrow 131 heads and spear points included in these caches could be said to naturalize the men's activities of warfare and hunting—activities which were represented symbolically as interchangeable (Cohodas 1975). Male ritual activity not only constructed and reinforced notions of sexual difference but could also be viewed as a form of social control. For example, power and domination, mediated through ritual aspects of the ball game which included violent acts of human sacrifice, was intimately associated with the passage of time in its religious symbolism (Cohodas 1978), which served as a means of naturalizing and legitimating social control. These forms of repression were continually reinforced through their reproduction in visual form: the sculptural reliefs on the playing field benches of the Monjas ball court depict decapitation, while the capture and ritual sacrifice of war captives is reproduced in the sculptural reliefs of the Southeast Court and the murals paintings of the Second Story, [figure 5, 11] Although Bolles suggested a group of metates in the East Building "appeared to been placed there as ceremonial offerings" (ms. 645), I consider his evidence of women's ritual activity to be inconclusive 31 [figure 9] Excavation of the Monjas was carried out during the 1930's—the period in which the priest-peasant model dominated the culture-historical discourse and within which Bolles would have looked for and found evidence of ritual activity. That evidence of women's ritual activity is absent in the Monjas record can be expected. It was, in part, in and through ritual that systems of meaning were defined, that values were fixed and affirmed at Chichen Itza. 3 1 Two metates in the antechamber of the East Building were standing on ends against the walls in the two south corners. The one in the southeast corner was surrounded by a quantity of small blue paste beads (Bolles, ms. 646) [diagram 6]. Given at least eight other metates and numerous grinding stones were recovered from the portico of the East Building, the two metates in the antechamber, along with the two small columns used as metate supports also found against the east wall of the antechamber suggests this room may have functioned as a storage room. 132 Those who controlled the system could formulate esoteric knowledge and translate it into political power by imposing their conceptual structures on to those that did not necessarily benefit from its instrumentation (Bourdieu 1977:40, 160-71). It is at least possible, therefore, that women's productive and reproductive roles in the Monjas were carried out within a political economy dominated by and serving the needs of high status males. The enactment of symbolic activities defining gender-specific activities were an attempt to fix and objectify a very unequal division of labour. Women's exclusion from public ideological forms of representation is yet another means by which their invisibility was socially created and reaffirmed, while acceptance of these symbols would have effectively excluded women from those arenas in which control over household production and reproduction was exercised. While women are crucial to the physical reproduction of any social group, it is important to know the sociopolitical forces encouraging or discouraging these biological processes and who comes to control the children resulting from them (Meillassoux 1981:72). Epigraphic evidence clearly shows the importance of genealogy and ideology in the creation, definition, and maintenance of social status systems among the ancient Maya (Scheie and Freidel 1990; Tate 1992). The inscriptions define ideologically-based norms--as an ideological media in the construction of normative values, hieroglyphic inscriptions are as clear about patrilineal inheritance [in genealogical declarations] as they are about patrilocality [in long-distance marriages]. Marriage alliance —that is, the exchange of female members of royal lineages—was a political strategy employed by rulers of ancient Maya polities (Scheie and Freidel 1990: 179-98). It is at least possible, therefore 133 that the control of women's fertility and sexuality, labour and progeny was one means by which males with status within the Monjas lineage controlled the reproduction of the social system. In patriarchal systems, such as that recorded for the Quiche Maya at contact (Carmack 1981), women were restricted in ownership and in the inheritance of lands or other production facilities belonging to the lineage in which they lived and to which they were major contributors of labour. This permanent alienation of the labour of production from ownership of the means of production represents the classic Marxist foundation of exploitation (Rey 1979; Cohodas in press) . Focusing on the patterns of decision-making within the household, Wilk (1989; 1990) identifies a further contributing element to gendered relations of hierarchy: whereas the extent to which a lineage head may exploit subordinate males within the lineage is curtailed by their potential of establishing a separate household, this recourse is denied their wives and daughters (Cohodas: in press). Anthropologist Maureen Mackintosh contends that: it is not the 'domestic community' which has existed from pre-history, but female subordination. Control of women's fertility and sexuality, labour and progeny, has always been sought by dominant groups as one means of control of reproduction of the social system. And this control has always had to be fought for, and maintained by political, economic, and ideological means (1977:126). 134 Direct evidence for resistance and contestation of women's subordination in ancient Maya societies may be lacking, but this is not to say that women and other subordinate members of the household fully accepted their prescribed positions. Covert resistance to domination frequently involves subordinates in the reinterpretation of symbols in ways that meet their own needs (Gailey 1987). Mesoamerican historians attempting to show exception to domination by identifying women as rulers, and as holders of other ranks and high offices (Scheie and Miller 1986:136,138,143) are misguided in their efforts. Indeed, the separate treatment of women could serve to confirm their marginal and particularized relationship to those (male) subjects already established as dominant and universal (Scott 1988:5). These new facts may document the existence of privilege for a minority of women in the Mesoamerican past, but by valorizing their achievements within the patriarchal system of ancient Maya authority, without an investigation of the importance (or lack of it) attributed to the majority of women's activities, serves to perpetuate the domination and exploitation of all women. It appears from archaeological evidence of the Monjas Complex that the construction of women's space, both physically—where she lived, and socially—how she lived, was determined primarily by gender relations, and secondarily by related factors of age and rank. The Monjas as a space of social functioning, produced social meaning. It was a site of an important inequality both in terms of labour effort expended and in the differential social evaluation of forms of production. It seems likely that women were relegated to the clearly secondary lower courts, typically confined to the domestic sphere of cooking, weaving, and child rearing while men of status 135 within the lineage, living in the palatial residences of the upper stories, engaged in highly visible, politically-charged practices. CONCLUSION: That relationships among architectural forms and spaces within the Monjas Complex were designed to produce, legitimate, and reproduce social relations based in large part on gender hierarchy has now been established. Indeed, clear and unambiguous evidence has been available for more than half a century. The reasons why this data has been ignored or erased—why the Monjas has not been previously recognized as a residential compound, and why the architectural contrast in scale, elevation, and investment of labour and materials has not been recognized as gendered—belong wholly to the present. A l l production of knowledge is situated within, and attempts to impact on, current relations of power. Earlier I discussed international, often distinctly colonialist relations of power in which Mesoamerican archaeology has been enmeshed for more than a century. The means by which Stephens and Catherwood diminished the Maya peasantry in confronting monumental remains continues in the reluctance to recognize elaborate architecture as residential. For this conclusion, however, I would like to focus on the relations of power which affect me most directly as a member of Euro-Canadian society: the forms of gender hierarchy which underlie its economic, social, and political relationships. The reluctance to recognize residential functions and relationships in ancient Maya remains is one manifestation of the treatment of the household as a 'black box.' Relationships within this black box are 136 assumed without testing to be egalitarian and cooperative: exploitation and inequality are thereby assumed to occur only outside the household. This limited focus is wholly ideological, corresponding to current North American representations of the family, including the notion of marriage as an emotional relationship rather than a relation of labour and other economic factors, which thus masks and legitimates its elements of inequality and exploitation. Furthermore, this ideology is wholly bourgeois in content, and in particular serves males who are heads of households, the same group which has dominated archaeological excavation and interpretation. That it should be legitimated through archaeological praxis is therefore no surprise. In a very real and direct way, the black box of the archaeological [and anthropological] household legitimates and reproduces the gender hierarchy which underlies relations of production in the societies to which archaeologists belong. By showing how power inscribed its logics and scripts into the everyday lives and categories of subjects in the past and simultaneously uncovering the operation of power in institutional discourses and disciplinary practices of the present, I not only attempt to repeal the normative character of social scientific assumption but write a new history in hopes of changing our contemporary notions of gender and racial hierarchies. There are difficulties associated with the embodiment of this claim—not the least of which is the central positioning of critical theory, such as I have written, in one of the leading institutions of Western dominance—the university, although I remain optimistic that such utterances can, and do, function as a form of resistance. The authors Nicholas Dirk, Geoff Eley and Sherry Ortner in their joint introduction to Culture/Power/History (1994) claim that: 137 Concern about resistance seems both a way to find the cracks and fissures in the terrible proliferation of power itself (whether as repressive or terroristic domination or in the less discernible guises of late industrial technocratic capitalism) and to contest the hold that power has over us....we have a choice to make here, either for power or for resistance, a choice that is simultaneously theoretical and political (19). I chose resistance. 138 139 Figure 1. Chichen Itza. A part of the site 141 Figure 3. Initial Series Group 142 STRUCTURE 5R13 STRUCTURE 5BH 143 144 145 147 148 151 BIBLIOGRAPHY Adams, Robert McC. 1993 "Ideologies: Unity and Diversity," In Ideology and Pre-Columbian Civilizations, edited by Arthur A . Demarest and Geoffrey W. Conrad, pp. 205-221. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press. 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