Project Results
Dissertation and all web site contents copyright 2008 Bradley W. Russell
Comparing Settlement Patterning Inside and Outside of the City Wall

  Inside the wall there are three main zones to consider: the Main Plaza which housed the main temples
and administrative structures, a zone extending out from that which contained the elite residences the
central market areas and a third zone filled with residential groups that were very densely clustered
inside of the wall with many boundary walls abutting the adjacent group.  Outside of the wall the density
is lower and  boundary walls generally form discrete rings with areas between groups.  Inside the wall,
neighborhoods are suggested by the distribution of colonnaded hall administrative groups, particularly
those outside of the Main Plaza.  It is possible that those contained within the plaza precinct may have
been functionally distinct, dealing with broader regional government, and those scattered in a few
locations within the city may have had more city-centric concerns such as neighborhood level
administration and controlling access to city gates.  The lower density found in the periphery made it
home to productive activities that either required large amounts of land (agricultural, livestock, lime and
honey production).  Most green space within residential enclosures was dedicated to small orchards
and gardens.  Combined, these activities provided goods and services to the residents of Mayapán
through the broader regulated and taxed market system at the site.
  Reconstruction of the settlement history revealed significant differences between these two areas that
were the products of the natural environment and chronology.  Water bearing cenotes in the south and
northeast resulted in settlement that dated back to the Late Preclassic period.  In the Terminal Classic
period there was an increase in population in each of these two settlement pockets. Settlement began in
the Telchaquillo area in the northwestern portion of the study area and in the southwest portion of the
site.  In the Postclassic there was a population explosion that drew people in from all over the Yucatan
and Gulf coast filling in what we see today.  The settlement pockets in the south and the northeast
underwent different developments.  The southern pocket, D’zan Tun Chen, remained a distinct site while
the northeast pocket was swallowed by the expanding city.  It appears Telchaquillo ceased to be a
distinct center during this period and its population, along with one of its temples, were incorporated into
the city.  At the fall of the site, all of the peripheral areas were left just as empty as the site center itself.
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