Classic period (ca. 300-900 CE) Maya Practices of Discard

Christina T. HALPERIN, Antonia FOIAS

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What can the practices of discard tell us about Classic period Maya households? Most archaeological analyses of middens are concerned with an analysis of content: describing, classifying, and comparing midden contents to tell us about the people who left such remains. Yet much can be learned about households from studying the actual practices of getting rid of trash. This paper documents midden patterns from the Classic period Maya site of Motul de San José, Petén, Guatemala, and compares them with those found elsewhere in the Maya area. We reveal the ways in which trash deposition was integral to (1) defining household space, (2) marking the lifecycles of households, (3) the differential experience of social status, and (4) the possible expression of regional dispositions.

To cite this article

Halperin C.T., Foias A., 2016 – Household Garbage: Classic period (ca. 300-900 CE) Maya Practices of Discard, in Chapdelaine C., Burke A., Gernigon K. (eds.), Household Archaeology – A Transatlantic Comparative Approach, Proceedings of the International Symposium, October 24-25 2014, Université de Montréal, P@lethnology, 8, 126-145.