Previous Research at the Site
Dissertation and all web site contents copyright 2008 Bradley W. Russell
Modern Archaeological work at Mayapán (cont.)

 The main Carnegie Mayapan volume is divided into five main sections, each focusing on a different
aspect of the site.  The introduction by Harry E.D. Pollock (1962:1-22) provides a general introduction to
the site and its history, details the natural setting of the site, reviews early archaeological work,
discusses the ceramic chronology of the site and lays out some issues regarding the site’s dating.  The
first major section of the report is the review of all literary sources pertaining to the site by Ralph Roys
(196:223-86) discussed above.  The second section, written by Tatiana Proskouriakoff (1962:87-164)
focused on the form and distribution of the civic and religious architecture at the site.  Her mapping and
excavation provided a functional typology of the civic and religious architecture and revealed a great deal
about the social dynamics of the site itself, especially regarding ritual and ethnic influences in the
iconography.  The third section of the volume was written by A. Ledyard Smith (1962:165-320) and dealt
with everything that was known about residential architecture at the site.  He used the survey and
excavation data to draw conclusions about such issues as economic stratification.  In particular he broke
residential architecture down into two basic types, “poor or unimportant” or “wealthy and important”.  This
basic stratification into an elite and commoner class is common in Mesoamerica.  The final section was
a review of all artifacts recovered during work at Mayapan (Proskouriakoff 1962a:321-434).  
 The team also produced a number of important periodic Current Reports volumes detailing select
ongoing work.  Of particular note is Winters’ (1955) publication discussing the thorough excavation of the
colonnaded hall, Q-80 along the north court of the Temple of Kukulkan.  This group yielded up several
well preserved Chen Mul effigy incense burners which Winters identifies and discussed in detail.  These
and others served as the basis for another important publication, Thompson’s (1957) Deities Portrayed
on Censers at Mayapan, a comprehensive study of the iconography of the Chen Mul censers recorded by
the project.  His identification of the various attributes marking the gods on the censers still serves as the
basis for our study of new examples today.  Also of significant interest were two reports by Bullard (1952,
1954) detailing the arrangement and function of boundary walls and the various lanes and roads that
they formed at the site.
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