Study Methods
Dissertation and all web site contents copyright 2008 Bradley W. Russell

The second phase of the research, excavation, began in 2003 and concluded during the 2004 season.  
During the second phase of research, I excavated a series of 1x1m test pits on and near examples of
each of the structure types present in 6 of 8 of the transects surveyed during phase one.  Due to the lack
of clear stratigraphy and the shallow soils in the area, excavations were conducted in 10cm arbitrary
levels to provide vertical control.  As noted above, these samples were stratified based on the initial
typology of architecture derived from phase one of the research.  Specific settlement features tested
included: Single and multi-roomed structures of Postclassic style, rubble platforms, circular features,
temple pyramids, sascaberas, and stone features believed to be the remains of sites used in the
production lime plaster.  Test excavations were placed as close to the specific architecture as possible.
However, the limited soil in the area made it impossible to place these units consistently in relation to
individual structures, resulting in variation in distances from the architecture being tested and the
placement of these units.  In ideal conditions, the units were placed directly behind the targeted
structures based on the belief that this was the most likely location to encounter midden deposits.  In
total, 59 1m by 1m test excavations were conducted over the 2003 and 2004 field seasons along 6 of the
8 transects mapped in the first phase of study (Figure 3.2-3.6).  In addition, three 1m by 2m test
excavations from other locations outside the wall are included in this discussion.  These three units were
initially part of the sampling that was carried out by the Economic Foundations of Mayapán Project
(EFMP) as part of its program to test cleared milpa fields.  These three units are included in the artifact
analysis below.  However, they were left out of the remaining analyses which deal exclusively with the
transect samples.  Also included in the artifact were a number of non-systematic “grab bag” surface
collections that my team made of artifacts found during the mapping work and several systematic
collections placed in EFMP milpas.  

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