Mexico's southern state of Quintana Roo is often perceived by archaeologists as a blank spot on the map of the Maya world, a region generally assumed to hold little of interest thanks to its relative
isolation from the rest of Mexico. But salvage archaeology required by recent development along the "Maya Riviera," along with a suite of other ongoing and recent research projects, have shown that
the region was critical in connecting coastal and inland zones, and it is now viewed as an important area in its own right from Preclassic through post-contact times.
It is an important touchstone for Maya and Mesoamerican archaeologists, demonstrating the shifting web of connections between Quintana Roo sites and their neighbors
The first volume
devoted to the archaeology of Quintana Roo, this book reveals a long tradition of exploration and discovery in the region and an increasingly rich recent history of study. Covering a time span from
the Formative period through the early twentieth century, it offers a sampling of recent and ongoing research by Mexican, North American, and European archaeologists.
Each of the
chapters helps to integrate sites within and beyond the borders of the modern state, inviting readers to consider Quintana Roo as part of an interacting Maya world whose boundaries were entirely
different from today's. In taking in the range of the region, the authors consider studies in the northern part of the state resulting from modern development around Cancún; the mid-state sites of
Muyil and Yo'okop, both of which witnessed continual occupations from the Middle Preclassic through the Postclassic; and new data from such southern sites as Cerros, Lagartera, and Chichmuul.
The contributions consider such subjects as ceramic controversies, settlement shifts, site planning strategies, epigraphic and iconographic materials, the impact of recent coastal
development, and the interplay between ancient, historic, and modern use of the region. Many of the chapters confirm the region as a cultural corridor between Cobá and the southern lowland centers
and address demographic shifts of the Terminal Classic through Postclassic periods, while others help elucidate some of Peter Harrison's Uaymil Survey work of the 1970s.
Archaeology unfolds a rich archaeological record spanning 2,500 years, depicting the depth and breadth of modern archaeological studies within the state. It is an important touchstone for Maya and
Mesoamerican archaeologists, demonstrating the shifting web of connections between Quintanarooense sites and their neighbors, and confirming the need to integrate this region into a broader
understanding of the ancient Maya.