Recent excavations uncovered numerous small rooms constructed on top of the Danta Acropolis at El Mirador, Guatemala. The characteristics of the settlement and the material items indicated that it was a late occupation and lacked the features associated with large Maya polities and Classic Maya culture. This thesis focused on describing the continuities and changes that occurred from the Late Classic to the Terminal Classic at El Mirador based on the ceramic assemblage and architecture. Significant continuity and stability of the pottery making community is reflected in the ceramic assemblage. Additionally, it was desirable to gain an understanding of how the Terminal Classic occupation at El Mirador differed from other Maya cities. The comparisons show that on a general level, despite being a small settlement, El Mirador participated in many of the cultural patterns that characterize the Terminal Classic period. Two levels of ceramic production are postulated for the Late Classic period, one sustaining production of fine wares (polychromes) and the other sustaining production of basic production (utilitarian wares). The people inhabiting El Mirador in the Terminal Classic period were materially less well-off, and did not pursue activities associated with high culture as their counterparts did in larger cities. Nevertheless, they were not culturally isolated and they had access to trade items and small quantities of prestige goods.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Anthropology



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El Mirador, Terminal Classic, ceramic production, cultural continuity

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Anthropology Commons