PART II: ARCHAEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIONS AT MOTUL DE SAN JOSE

Chapter 2:
History and Politics: The Polychrome Pottery of Yajaw Te’ K’inich, Divine Lord of the Ik’ Polity
By Dorie Reents-Budet and Ronald L. Bishop
Abstract:  The 8th-century A.D. ruler Yajaw Te’ K’inich employed a number of mechanisms to augment his social, political and economic power as part of his efforts to expand the boundaries and influence of the Ik’ polity, centered at Motul de San Jose.  One of these may have been the sponsorship of elaborate feasting events held in honor of his accession, war victories and other ritual affairs.  Feasting events are implied by the contents of middens surrounding the elite residential compounds in the city’s central precinct and by a large corpus of special drinking vessels painted with representations of Yajaw Te’ K’inich.  Yet the dramatic difference in quality of the painted images indicates that many different painters created these wares, although the number of workshops and their locations remain unknown.  However, these can be inferred by combining the data sets from paste chemical compositional analysis, art historical research and hieroglyphic decipherment.  This paper presents the results of our multi-disciplinary analysis of the specialized 8th-century Ik’ ceramics that includes pottery excavated at the site and unprovenienced whole vessels. When combined with archaeological field data, we can achieve a better understanding of the sociopolitical history of the Ik’ polity during the reign of Yajaw Te’ K’inich.

Chapter 3:
Excavations in the Epicenter of Motul de San Jose: Architecture, Volumetrics and Social Stratification
By Antonia E. Foias, Christina T. Halperin, Elly Spensley
Abstract: This chapter explores the stratification in the epicenter of Motul de San Jose from social, economic, and political perspectives from the excavations undertaken as part of the test pitting program and more extensive horizontal excavations. The involvement in different economic activities by the inhabitants of plaza groups that varied in architectural volumetrics and elaboration are modeled to reconstruct the levels of elite control over the infrastructure.

Chapter 4:
Figurine Economies at Motul de San Jose: Multiple and Shifting Modes of Valuation
By Christina T. Halperin
Abstract: Recent archaeological research on economic systems have moved from static models of goods manufacture and exchange to those that emphasize the social practices and symbolic meanings that shape (and are, in turn, shaped by) the value, production, and circulation of goods.  This chapter examines 2,767 ceramic figurines from the Motul de San José region in relation to such shifting modes of valuation and meaning.  It assesses figurine manufacturing techniques, the context of production, and figurine density distributions across the social landscape in relation to their imagery and performative use.  The combination of these data indicate that while some figurines may have served as prestige goods or indicators of hierarchical social difference, most figurines were widely circulated and easily accessible to elite and common peoples.  These groups, and especially women and children, incorporated them into their domestic and public performances, rituals, and entertainment.  Furthermore, variability in their distribution between the Motul de San José region and other Maya sites reveal that the social meanings and roles of figurines were not uniform across the Maya area, and point to the value of examining artifacts from multiple scales and types of analyses.

Chapter 5:
Motul de San José Palace Pottery Production: Reconstructions from Wasters and Debris.
By Christina T. Halperin and Antonia E. Foias
Abstract: An understanding of the social contexts of Maya pottery production has been relatively elusive due to the dearth of archaeologically detected pottery workshops, areas, or centers.  Midden prospecting and test excavations at Motul de San José provide rare evidence of pottery production from large middens located at the edge of the site’s royal and elite residential and administrative structures.  While ceramic kilns and in situ production materials were not located, the pottery production debris from the midden contexts point to the crafting of fine polychrome pottery and ceramic figurines by palace artisans.  These data provide archaeological contexts for the epigraphic, iconographic, and chemical research on Ik style polychrome vessel production by Reents-Budet and Bishop and broaden our understandings of the social and technical nature of pottery production during the Late Classic period.

Chapter 6:
The Lithic Industry of Motul de San Jose
By Scott Brian
Abstract: This chapter presents the methods and results of the lithic analysis of the chert tools and artifacts excavated at Motul de San Jose. The functional typology used in this analysis will be critically discussed with the aim to better apprehend the uses or functions of these chert artifacts, and their methods of production.  I then follow the distribution of the stone tools across the landscape to examine the activities that were carried out in the different residential groups at Motul.

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