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Digital Companion to 'Archaeological Animals of the Southern Maya Highlands: Zooarchaeology of Kaminaljuyu'

Content related to a chapter in 'The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals'

Project Abstract

Project Note

This content pertains to the chapter “Archaeological Animals of the Southern Maya Highlands: Zooarchaeology of Kaminaljuyu” in The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals (Christopher Götz and Kitty F. Emery, eds.), published by Lockwood Press. The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals is an edited volume that links many of its chapters to rich digital content published open access with Open Context. The authors have chosen to link their chapters to related online content (including primary data, maps, and additional images) in order to provide additional research resources in their subject area. A list of content associated with each chapter can be found on the book's project page. The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals is available for purchase from ISD.


The site of Kaminaljuyu in the Valley of Guatemala dominated the politics and economics of the southern highlands of the Maya during the Middle and later Preclassic periods. The site therefore lies at the heart of several important discussions about early settlement, politics, and economics in the Maya highlands. This paper presents the analysis of animal remains recovered in the core of the site during excavations by the Proyecto Arqueológico Parque Kaminaljuyu. The importance of other lacustrine/terrestrial fauna from the site surroundings highlights a reliance on locally available fauna despite the importance of dog. Comparison with previous animal remain studies conducted in the site provides a clearer picture of animal use by the residents of Kaminaljuyu and the ancient environs of the site. Our findings shed light on the use of local and nonlocal animals, both domestic and wild, in ritual and daily life. Furthermore, the spatial and chronological distribution of domestic-dog remains suggests an important role for dogs at this site that is in keeping with Preclassic assemblages in other lowland and coastal areas. We argue that dogs may have been an important elite commodity during this early period of political expansion. Our results highlight the value of detailed contextual information in revealing information in revealing differences in animal use by various members of the community.

The digital compendium associated with this study includes a high resolution spatial map of the site excavation areas, images of the site, faunal specimens, and research methods, and the data upon which the chapter findings are based.

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Cannarozzi, Nicole R., PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA,

Emery, Kitty F., Associate Curator, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7800, USA,

Escobedo Ayala, Héctor, Ministerio de Cultura y Deportes, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, Segundo Nivel, Ala Poniente, Patio de la Paz, Sala 2, Ciudad de Guatemala, GUATEMALA,

Houston, Stephen, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Brown University, Providence RI 02912, USA,

Thornton, Erin Kennedy, Dept. of Anthropology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164 USA,

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Open Context editors work with data contributors to annotate datasets to shared vocabularies, ontologies, and other standards using 'Linked Open Data' (LOD) methods.

The annotations presented above approximate some of the meaning in this contributed data record to concepts defined in shared standards. These annotations are provided to help make datasets easier to understand and use with other datasets.

Suggested Citation

Kitty F Emery, Erin K Thornton, Nicole R Cannarozzi, Stephen Houston, Héctor Escobedo. "Digital Companion to 'Archaeological Animals of the Southern Maya Highlands: Zooarchaeology of Kaminaljuyu'". (2017) In The Archaeology of Mesoamerican Animals. Christopher M Götz, Kitty F Emery (Eds.) . Released: 2017-02-12. Open Context. <> DOI:

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