Posted by: Johan Normark | September 22, 2011

Caves, cenotes and Postclassic miniature shrines

Here are two “abstracts” for articles dedicated to an edited book about the anthropology of the Cochuah region, from the Middle Formative to the present.

Caves and cenotes in the Cochuah region

Located at the southeastern edge of the greater Chicxulub fracture zone are 28 documented karstic features of various sizes. Three of them are cenotes and they show various degrees of Colonial period usage at their mouths. Of the other twenty-five karstic features only one is located within a Colonial settlement. All other caves lack a detectable Colonial presence at their entrances. The Prehispanic usage of the same features was far more extensive (61% compared to 14%). This text will discuss the karstic features that do have nearby settlement and particular focus will be set on their location within each site and in the region as a whole.

Postclassic reusage of buildings in the Cochuah region

Most sites in the Cochuah region do have small Postclassic miniature shrines located on top of earlier structures. Notable here is the small site of Nohcacab which was has at least fourteen such shrines. The large site of Yo’okop has more substantial Postclassic structures. So far no Postclassic domestic architecture and residential areas have been located at any site. Most likely the miniature shrines are related to Postclassic households rather being traces of pilgrimages. This text will look at where these shrines are located at each site and in the region in order to fill the gap between the late Terminal Classic open-fronted/C-shaped structures and the early Colonial congregated settlements.

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