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Lamb, Celine Catherine

Grant Type
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation
Kentucky, U. of
Completed Grant
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Project Title
Lamb, Celine C., U. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY - To aid research on 'Constructing Community and Complexity: Hinterland Interactions at the Ancient Maya Settlement of Crescencio, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Scott R. Hutson

CELINE C. LAMB, then a graduate student at University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, received a grant in April 2016 to aid research on 'Constructing Community and Complexity: Hinterland Interactions at the Ancient Maya Settlement of Chunhuayum, Mexico,' supervised by Dr. Scott R. Hutson. This project addresses the social complexity constructed by the inhabitants of Chunhuayum, a small ancient Maya rural settlement occupied from the Late Preclassic to the Late Classic (BC 300-1000 AD). Various datasets (including settlement patterns, domestic architecture and household assemblages) are used to diachronically investigate suprahousehold relations of community affiliation and differentiation. During daily interactions, spurred by spatial proximity, Chunhuayum residents could tacitly acknowledge their mutual understandings founded on shared subsistence strategies and constraints, and similar material experiences, including constructing and residing in megalithic dwellings and using the same basic set of culinary and serving wares. However, exotic materials (chert, obsidian and trade wares) were unevenly distributed and dwellings varied drastically in size and elaboration. Specialized crafting at structures N141 and N588 and hosting of community events at N148 enabled three households to enjoy privileged social standings. These distinctions, expressed and reproduced through differentiating architecture and personal adornment, would have been apparent to community members, particularly during face-to-face interactions at suprahousehold gatherings. Simultaneously, community events and the distribution of shell ornaments throughout the community served to mitigate and/or legitimize these differences, thereby enabling this heterogeneous community and its households to socially reproduce and outlast larger regional centers.