Site History
Dissertation and all web site contents copyright 2008 Bradley W. Russell
Brief Site History

The site of Mayapán flourished circa 1200 to 1450 AD and exerted significant control over large portions
of the Yucatan Peninsula (Peraza et al. 2007; Pugh 2001; Pugh and Rice 1996; Masson 2000).  The
rulers of the city promoted a widespread new religious cult, engaged in extensive local and long distance
trade, and drew upon the services of a an effective military force, composed in part of full-time
professional mercenaries with Central Mexican roots.  As the site’s rulers spread their dominance, they
consolidated their power in part by “inviting” the ruling elites of newly acquired lands to move to the
capital and take up residence (Roys 1962; Tozzer 1941).  As the process unfolded, large numbers of
immigrants arrived at the site, causing its population to balloon.  The power of the elites to command
labor at the site is clear.  In the site’s relatively short history, the residents of Mayapán constructed large
temples and administrative halls that filled a walled main plaza precinct, a substantial city wall and
thousands of other structures.  This rapidly expanding population needed housing, administration,
goods, food, water, access to religious officials and all of the other trappings of urban life.