The Late Classic Period at Kaminaljuyú is one of the most poorly understood periods of occupation, possibly because the artifacts and architecture lack the ornate decoration found in earlier periods. One of the largest and best preserved areas of the site is located in the Parque Arqueológico de Kaminaljuyú in Zone 7 of Guatemala City. A major focal point of architecture atKaminaljuyú is the Acropolis, which has been the focus of various excavations, particularly the work of Gustavo Espinoza from 1958 to 1962. Despite this research, much of the important documentation and artifacts recovered from these excavations have been lost. In 2003, Brigham Young University and colleagues from the Universidad Del Valle in Guatemala City conducted excavations near the Acropolis and Palangana in order to collect additional artifacts and create a chronology of the structures found at the park. The team also focused on studying architecture and remapping the area, hoping to recover information vital to interpreting the construction and function of the buildings found there, with a particular focus on the relationship between the occupants of Kaminaljuyú and the people living at Teotihuacán. Using ceramics collected from the Brigham Young University/ Universidad Del Valle excavations, this thesis will focus on the Late Classic period of Kaminaljuyú in order to determine the function of the Acropolis during this period. A discussion of the status of the ancient inhabitants of the Acropolis will also be included. This thesis will provide the reader with a description of Late Classic ceramics and building phases. These findings will be explained in terms of the function of the Acropolis and the status of its residents during that period. The ultimate goal of this work is to illustrate that the Acropolis was used as a residential zone during the Late Classic Period. I will also argue that the people who lived near the Acropolis probably achieved an elevated status compared to residents of other parts of Kaminaljuyú, but lacked many of the luxury goods commonly associated with elites in Mesoamerica.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Anthropology



Date Submitted


Document Type





Guatemala, Kaminaljuyú, ceramics, Mesoamerica, Amatle, Late Classic, Pensativo, Cafe Negro, Alegria, Universidad Del Valle



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Anthropology Commons