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

 Carlos Peraza Lope and his IHAN team have worked since the mid 1990’s on a massive excavation,
restoration and conservation project (Escamilla Ojeda, Barbara 1999; Peraza 1999; Peraza et al. 1997;
Peraza et al. 1999; Peraza et al. 2001).  In addition to greatly improving the condition of the ruins, the
ongoing research project in the main monumental center has provided a wealth of information on that
critical sector of the city.  The excavation and consolidation of the principle architecture has force
archaeologists to re-evaluate the long lived impression created in part by the Carnegie project
researchers who had a distinctly negative interpretation of this “decadent Postclassic center.  The finds
from the new INAH reflect a highly cosmopolitan city with extensive long distance contacts which
underwent several major shifts in stylistic influence, and religion that reflect dramatic changes in political
power, (Milbrath and Peraza 2003; Masson and Peraza 2006, 2007, in press; Masson, Hare, Peraza
2006).  Ceramics recovered from trenches in the plaza have shown the site to older than once thought
with lower levels showing distinct ceramic links to the latter years of Chichen Itza.  To date they have
restored most of the principle civic and ceremonial architecture in the north half of the monumental center
of the city.  The team has found evidence of a great deal of violence and destruction at the site.  Given the
internal strife mentioned in the histories above, this is hardly surprising.  Radiocarbon dates for early
construction levels at the site suggest early construction in the eleventh century for structures in this
portion of the site (Milbrath and Peraza 2003; Peraza et, al. 2007).  Recent analysis of iconography at the
site focused on evidence for Mexican interaction at the site.
 Clifford T. Brown followed up A.L. Smith’s (1962) research with a series of excavations in the residential
areas of the site which he presented in his doctoral dissertation, Mayapán Society and Ancient Maya
Social Organization (Brown 1999).  He compared artifact styles between house groups to illuminate
spatial variation across site.  Among other things, he laid out a model of spatial organization and organic
growth urban growth based on fractal geometry.  He has continued to explore that model in more recent
work that uses GIS mapping and ground surveys to explore broader regional spatial patterns for fractal
geometry (Brown and Witschey 2001; Brown et al. 2006).
PAGE (5 of 6 previous research) 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6