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1 PLAIN BUT NOT SIMPLE: MIDDLE PRECLASSIC STONE MONUMENTS OF NARANJO, GUATEMALA By KAREN PEREIRA A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009
2 2009 Karen Pereira
3 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This work has been poss ible thanks to the cons tant aid of my advisor Dr. Susan Gillespie. I thank her for her tireless effort to help me understand new bodies of theory and for helping me frame this work. I also thank my other committee members, Dr. David Grove and Dr. Kitty Emery: to Dr. David Grove for sharing hi s knowledge and enthusiasm of Formative Mesoamerica, and to Dr. Kitty Emery for her prompt and detailed comments about how to improve the methods in this thesis. I want to thank specially Dr Brbara Arroyo, director of the Proyecto Arquelogico de Rescate Naranjo in Guatemala, who has been a great mentor throughout my career. Without her support and enthusiasm about the plain stone monu ments topic I would have never been able to do this work. I also want to thank the rest of the Proyecto Naranjo team for their help in the field and laboratory back in Guatemala City. Spec ial thanks go to Lorena Paiz who answered all my e-mails every time I had to find specific in formation of the monuments in the Proyecto Naranjos archive. This work was made possible thanks to the support of Fulbright Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation who have sponsored my gradua te studies at the University of Florida. The field research portion was made in part through the Tinker Field Research Grant provided by the Center for Latin American Studies at the Un iversity of Florida which supported my fieldwork during the summer of 2007. I am also grateful for the constant support of David Garca, my partner in life and for the support of the rest my family, to all of them, many thanks.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................3 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........6 LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................7 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................10 Stone Monuments in the Maya Area...................................................................................... 12 Study Objectives.....................................................................................................................14 Significance of the Study........................................................................................................15 Organization of the Study.......................................................................................................15 2 PLAIN STONE MONUMENTS IN THE MAYA AREA ..................................................... 22 Preclassic Plain Stone Monuments in the Maya Area............................................................23 Previous Interpretations of Plain Stone Monum ents.............................................................. 28 Rulership and Social Organization.................................................................................. 30 Astronomical Observatories............................................................................................ 32 Decorated Stones............................................................................................................. 35 Stone Beyond the Image......................................................................................................... 37 Conclusion..............................................................................................................................39 3 THE DWELLING APPROACH: Method and Theory..........................................................50 The Building Perspective........................................................................................................53 The Dwelling Perspective....................................................................................................... 57 The Study of Landscape..................................................................................................60 Bridging the Nature/Culture Divide................................................................................67 Conclusion..............................................................................................................................71 4 STONE MONUMENTS OF NARANJO, GUATEMALA.................................................... 73 Middle Preclassic Occupation in the Valley of Guatem ala.................................................... 74 Geography of Naranjo............................................................................................................76 History of the Occupation at Naranjo.....................................................................................78 First Occupation at Naranjo............................................................................................. 80 Monumental Constructions at Naranjo............................................................................ 82 Monuments in Row 1............................................................................................... 86 Monuments in Row 2............................................................................................... 88 Monuments in Row 3............................................................................................... 90
5 Monuments in the Western Area.............................................................................. 91 Natural Stones at Naranjo.......................................................................................................94 Stone Sources..................................................................................................................94 Limestone source...................................................................................................... 95 Andesite stone..........................................................................................................96 Columnar basalt stones............................................................................................. 97 Stone Shapes....................................................................................................................99 Conclusion............................................................................................................................101 5 LANDSCAPE AS A PROCESS.......................................................................................... 143 Creating Place at Naranjo.....................................................................................................144 Placing Stones at Naranjo.....................................................................................................149 Conclusion............................................................................................................................163 6 BRIDGING THE NATURE/CULTURE DICHOTMOMY................................................166 Stone Sources as Places........................................................................................................167 The Creation of Monuments at Naranjo............................................................................... 177 Conclusion............................................................................................................................182 7 CONLCUSIONS.................................................................................................................. 184 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................189 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................204
6 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1 Chronology for the Maya Area.......................................................................................... 18 2-1 Preclassic Archaeological sites in Me soam erica with plain stone monuments.................41 4-1 Chronology for the central highlands of Guate mala........................................................ 103 4-2 Plain stone monu m ents of Naranjo.................................................................................. 104 4-3 Clay floors associated with the plain stone m onuments of Naranjo................................ 106 4-4 Detailed information of plai n stone monum ent s at Naranjo............................................ 107 4-5 Distances between rows of monuments and Mound 1 and the Natural Hill .................... 109
7 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Map of Guatemala showing the location of Naranjo......................................................... 19 1-2 Satellite Photo of Guatemala City showing Naranjo......................................................... 20 1-3 Map of Guatemala showing three different ecolog ical regions: Lowlands, Highlands, and Pacific Coast.............................................................................................................. ..21 2-1 Map showing Preclassic sites with pl ain stone m onuments in Mesoamerica.................... 44 2-2 Map showing the archaeol ogical sites with plain stone m onuments in the central highlands of Guatemala..................................................................................................... 45 2-3 Map showing the archaeological sites with plain stone m onuments in Pacific Coast of Mexico and Guatemala..................................................................................................46 2-4 Ujuxte Map................................................................................................................. .......47 2-5 Monte Alto Map............................................................................................................. ....48 2-6 Map of Takalik Abaj showing Structure 7 and the three rows of stone m onuments.........49 4-1 Map of the Valley of Guatemala show ing Preclassic s ites with plain stone monuments.......................................................................................................................110 4-2 Satellite photo of the Valley of Guat em ala showing the location of Naranjo in relation to Guatemala City............................................................................................... 111 4-3 View of the Cerro Naranjo from Naranjo (view east to west) ......................................... 112 4-4 View of the Cerro Naranjo in Guatem ala City, view southeast to northwest .................. 113 4-5 View from Naranjo to the Cerro Nara njo and A gua Volcano to the southwest.............. 114 4-6 Natural Hill at Naranj o, view north to south.................................................................... 115 4-7 Satellite photo of Guatemala City showing the location of Naranjo ............................... 116 4-8 Water spring in the southwestern periphery of Naranjo.................................................. 117 4-9 Topographic map of Naranjo, Guatemala........................................................................ 118 4-10 Map of Naranjo as drawn by Williamson........................................................................ 119 4-11 Map of Naranjo as drawn by Edwin M. Shook...............................................................120
8 4-12 Map of Naranjo showing the location of Clay Floor #1..................................................121 4-13 Southern Platform excavation.......................................................................................... 122 4-14 Map of Naranjo showing the location of Clay #2............................................................ 123 4-15 Close-up of the map of Naranjo showing the location of the pl ain stone monum ents.... 124 4-16 West profile drawing of the plain stone m onuments in Row 1. Distance between monuments not at scale.................................................................................................... 125 4-17 Photographs of monuments in Row 1.............................................................................. 126 4-18 Row 1 Plain Stone Monuments showing re lative height in relation to Floor #2 .............127 4-19 Profile drawing of Monument 3 and Altar 2 in NJO5-3.................................................. 128 4-20 Row 1 Plain Stone Monuments showi ng relative height to modern surface ................... 129 4-21 Row 2 Plain Stone Monument s showing absolute height ................................................130 4-22 Photographs of monuments in Row 2.............................................................................. 131 4-23 Profile drawing and photograph of Monument 28........................................................... 132 4-24 Profile drawing and photograph of Monum ents 23 through 26....................................... 133 4-25 Columnar Basalts from Row 3......................................................................................... 134 4-26 Plain Stone Monuments on Western Area of Mound 1 and North Platform showing absolute height .................................................................................................................135 4-27 Excavation photograph of Monum ent 17........................................................................ 136 4-28 Rock outcrop in the southwestern slope of the Natural Hill, Naranjo............................. 137 4-29 Rock outcrop located in the s outhwestern periphery of Naranjo .....................................138 4-30 Map showing Andesite stone sources near Naranjo........................................................139 4-31 Map of sites in Southeastern Mesoamer ica with colum nar basalts and columnar basalt sources...................................................................................................................140 4-32 Stela 9 of Kaminaljuyu showing a carving on a colum nar basalt.................................... 141 4-33 Columnar basalt source at Suchitoto, El Salvador ........................................................... 142
9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts PLAIN BUT NOT SIMPLE: MIDDLE PRECLASSIC STONE MONUMEN TS AT NARANJO, GUATEMALA By Karen Pereira May 2009 Chair: Susan D. Gillespie Major: Anthropology This work examines the role of plain stone monuments at Naranjo in relationship with the emergence of social differentiation, using pheno menological concepts drawn from the dwelling perspective proposed by Ingold (1995). The first objective of this study is to trace the life history of the site by investigating the physical ch anges that occurred th roughout the whole Middle Preclassic occupation. Special attention is drawn to the erection of stone monuments by analyzing them in relation to ot her monumental constructions at the site. Instead of looking at the final layout of Naranjo as monolithic cons truction project, this study adopts the notion of landscape as a process, which entails the idea that people, places and things are shaped recursively through time. The second objective of this study is to anal yze the particular characteristics of each monument to avoid looking at them as homogene ous stones. Shapes and stone sources of the monuments are analyzed and discussed under the nature versus culture debate. The final conclusion of this study states that the ancient residents of Naranjo shaped, and were shaped back by the constant modifications and inhabitati ons of this place, which enabled the constitution of heterogeneous categories of spaces and persons.
10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION This research focuses on the relation ship between plain stone m onuments and social differentiation at the Middle Preclassic site of Naranjo, Guatemala (F igure 1-1). It is during this period (Table 1-1) that the construction of monumental works such as stone monuments, mounds, and platforms became a widespread activ ity. This evidence is relevant because it highlights a new sense of public and organized space, but most importantly, it points to the emergence of social complexity in Mesoamerica (Joyce and Grove 1999:2-3). The main thesis presented in this study is th at by transforming the space in specific ways, such as the erection of stone monuments and the construction of mounds and platforms, the residents of Naranjo were able to create and transform the place they inhabited. Therefore, both the process and outcome of these modifications affected the way people interacted with each other, and in the long term, it facilitated social differentiation. Landscape anthropology is responsible for the re cent debate by scholars who are interested in understanding how human beings engage with the physical world around them, and thus the relationship between space and place (e.g., Bender 1993, 2002; Hirsch and OHanlon 1995; Low and Lawrence-Ziga 2003; Thomas 2001). As a result, physical space is no longer seen as a background for human activities, but is conceived as an active part icipant in how humans shape and construct their world, and most importantly, in how humans interact w ith one another. Thus, space is now problematized in anthropology a nd has become an esse ntial component of sociocultural theory (Low and Lawrence-Ziga 2003:1). In archaeolog y, the study of spatial features has brought to attention the notion that space was actively inhabited in the past and that the social relations and spatial st ructures are linked recursively. This relationship is based in the
11 notion that as humans shape their buildings, the buildings shape humans back (Ashmore 2002:176). Plain stone monuments are part of this corpus of monumental works and have been documented for the Middle and Late Preclassic pe riods at several locations throughout the Maya area of Mesoamerica1, including some of the major sites occupied during those periods (Bove 2002; Shook 1952). Nonetheless their study has b een neglected until recent times, which means that plain stone monuments have yet to be considered a relevant element within the framework of social complexity or monumentality in Mesoamerica (Bove 2005:104). Recent research at the site of Naranjo, Guatemala (Arroyo 2006) has documented more than 20 plain stone monuments in situ Naranjo is located in the Maya highlands, in the modern city of Guatemala (Figure 1-2). Despite the rapid urban expansion in the city, which has destroyed most of the archaeological sites in th e area (Crasborn 2000), the site managed to stay undisturbed until the last years of the 20th century. Since then th e area has undergone a rapid development. Currently there are more than a dozen construction projects in the area. In 2005, due to one of these construction projects, the In stitute of Anthropology and History in Guatemala City2 (IDAEH by its initials in Spanish) demanded an archaeological rescue project at the site. As a result, the Naranjo Archaeological Rescue Project (NARP henceforth ) directed by Brbara Arroyo started operating in August 2005 (Arroyo et al. 2007:862). Three different excavation seasons were carried out, one each in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and currently the NARP team is still analyzing materials for the final publication. 1 The Maya area is usually referred to the area encomp assing Guatemala, the west po rtion of Honduras and some parts of Chiapas, Tabasco, and the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico (Evans 2004:61) 2 IDAEH is the official institution in charged of every archaeological work at Guatemala.
12 Research at Naranjo included a systematic study and excavation of all the plain stone monuments, which represents a unique opportuni ty for the study of these monuments in a controlled archaeological context. I was invol ved in the NARP since its beginning, which has provided me with first-hand experience in the u nderstanding and excavati on of the plain stone monuments at this site. Stone Monuments in the Maya Area The m ain reason for the marginalization (or ne glect) of the plain stone monuments in the Maya area is due to the fact that Maya studies have a long-standing tradition of investigating carved stone monuments (Parsons 19 76; Spinden 1976). Research om stone monuments has led to an over-emphasis on the study of the images de picted on the stone, thus forgetting about the stones themselves (Clancy 1990; Newsome 2002:ix). Stones have been conceptualized as an empty canvas on which the carved message is the most relevant characteristic. In the case of the plain stone monuments, this repres ents a critical issue, since th eir lack of carving has led some scholars to believe that these monuments were a less elaborate version of the carved ones (Guernsey 2006:44). Since the first reports about plain stone monuments appeared in the archaeological literature, these monuments were named plain st ela. In the Maya area stelae are uniquely defined asthree-dimensional monuments in the format of carved stone slabs depicting human figures; often the depictions ar e accompanied by hieroglyphic texts. (Christie 2005: 277). This definition matches the dictionary use of the term stela to refer to an upright erected monolith with inscriptions3. Carved stelae were a predominant form of stone monument in the Maya lowland area during the Classic period (Table 1-1), around one thousand years after the erection 3 According to the Oxford Dictionary (2008) a stela is an upright stone slab or column bearing an inscription or design.
13 of the first plain stone monuments in the Maya highlands and Pacific Coas t of Guatemala (Figure 1-3). Thus, as will be explained in further de tail in Chapter 2, plain stone monuments have previously been analyzed using the same parameters and biases as for the study of carved stone monuments. This thesis thus avoids using the term pla in stela because of the connotations mentioned above in which a stela, properly speaking, has a carved image on it. Instead the term plain stone monuments is preferred. This term is used in a rather loose manner to refer to any freestanding large stone that was erecte d in an upright position within an archaeological site. Thus, a stone monument is considered to be a broader category in which a st ela, a column, or a plain slab can fit. The study of carved stone monuments in the Maya area has brought about another bias that is inherited in the study of plain stone monuments: the lack of ar chaeological context. Since the main emphasis of the study of carved monuments is on the images, less attention has been drawn to the archaeological contexts th at could provide furthe r information about the life history of the monuments in relation to the rest of the archaeolog ical site or the differe nt practices associated with the monuments (Newsome 2002:2). Carved monuments are often analyzed as art pieces and as finished products that were commissioned to be displaye d through messages on a stone as monuments. Plain stone monuments are likewise usually analy zed as finished products that were erected in specific locations of the sites with the ultimate purpose of displaying elite power and control over certain resources, su ch as the count of the days4. Nonetheless, less information is known about the practices carried out in relation to the erection of stone monuments in general, plain or carved. Stone monuments are usually 4 The Count of the Days refers to the Long Count cal endar tradition that was established in the Maya region during the Late Preclassic period and persisted during the Early and Late Classic periods (Sharer 2006:568).
14 visualized as a class of artif acts considered homogeneous or redundant in their qualities, and little to no attention is paid to the possible differe nces in the stone sources used, the shapes of the monuments, their locatio n within the site, thei r chronology in comparison to one another and to other monumental works, or associated practices that might be visible through the study of the archaeological context. That is why the study of plain stone m onuments introduces an interesting opportunity, because th eir lack of carvings demands a different approach than the one usually applied to the study of carved stone monuments in the Maya area. This different approach is guided by the objectives explained in the following section. Study Objectives The m ain goal of this research is to study the creation of place at Naranjo to understand how by transforming the landscape, the landscape tr ansformed the residents of Naranjo as well. Such processes and practices are believed to enable social differentiation (Barrett 1999; Thomas 1993, 2001). This goal is accomplished by looki ng at the variability and the specific characteristics of the plain stone monuments at Naranjo and their relationships with the rest of the monumental works at the site. Th e study has two specific objectives. The first objective is the study of the life history of the Mi ddle Preclassic occupation at Naranjo to understand the ch ronology of the plain stone monuments and their main characteristics associated with the actions of their placement and thereafter. This objective includes the identification of th e smallscale changes that oc curred at the ceremonial center during the four hundred years of occupation in the Middle Preclas sic period. It also includes detailed information about the temporality and sp atial location of the monuments at Naranjo, in order to compare them with one another and to contrast them with the rest of monumental construction at the center of the site.
15 The second objective is the study of the stones used as monuments at Naranjo. This study discusses the differences and similarities betwee n all the plain stone monuments at Naranjo in relationship to their final shape, modifications, and possible stone sources. It also encompasses the study of the geography and geology of Naranjo and its su rroundings to understand other relevant elements of Naranjos physical environment that could be associated with the plain stone monuments. Significance of the Study This study aim s to bring more attention to th e study of plain stone monuments in the Maya area, and specifically, it intends to present the data from the plai n stone monuments of Naranjo in relation to the general oc cupation of the site, to use those data to reconstruct the significance of landscape changes and corresponding changes in so cial organization. This case study presents an example of the possibilities for the study of plain stone monuments when reliable and systematic data are available. Thus, besides ad ding data to the corpus of plain stone monuments of the Maya area, this study intends to appl y a different methodology than the ones previously employed for the study of stone monuments. Furthe rmore, it aims to brin g the attention of the study of stone monuments (carved or plain) using data from ex cavations and by looking at the material and physical properties of the stones. Organization of the Study In order to achieve the object ives outlined here this study is organized in six chapters. Chapter 2 summarizes the inform ation available about plain stone monume nts in the Maya area and the main interpretations previous authors ha ve given to this type of monument. Besides providing a general background, this chapter discusses the main perspectives that have affected the way plain stone monuments have been interp reted. Chapter 3 provides the theoretical and methodological framework that guides this study. The major theory discussed is the dwelling
16 perspective, as it was presented by Ingold (199 5). The methodological a pproach is discussed based on previous studies of plain stone monume nts in Europe, the megaliths. Also, specific methods are presented as a means to pursue the two main objectives presented in this introduction. Chapter 4 presents the main data us ed for the discussion in this study. This chapter focuses mostly on the data obtained by the Na ranjo Archaeological Rescue Project, although additional geological and geographical information is also presented. These data are discussed further in Chapters 5 and 6. Chapter 5 is de dicated to the understa nding of Naranjo as a landscape and how place was created there. Th is chapter explains the major stages of occupation at the site. It di scusses the erection of plain st one monuments at Naranjo by explaining their location and temporality. Chapte r 6 discusses the nature of the plain stone monuments of Naranjo by looking at their shape, texture, and po ssible stone sources. Finally, Chapter 7 presents the conclusion of this study based on the adoption of a dwelling perspective and the study of plain stone monume nts. This chapter also presen ts possible future studies that can continue the understanding of plain stone monuments in the Maya area. This study concludes that the erection of stone monuments at Naranjo was part of a complex set of arrangements between the ancient residents of the site and their surroundings. Rather than visualizing the fina l layout of Naranjo as the pro duct of a master building plan executed by the ancient residents, this study re veals a series of c ontinuous practices and modifications to the physical aspect of Nara njo throughout its entire 400 years of occupation during the Middle Preclassic period. During this time people were able to transform the material aspect of Naranjo which at the same time, wa s interrelated with the social changes occurred among its inhabitants. By the end of the Middle Preclassic peri od, Naranjo achieved a formalized and symmetrical arrangement in whic h three rows of monume nts were erected, two
17 platforms were built, and three mounds were constr ucted. This final aspect of Naranjo enabled different spaces throughout the site that did not exist at the beginning of the occupation. Therefore, I argue that by transforming the phys ical landscape the ancient residents of Naranjo were transformed into a more centralized organization. The analysis of the plain stone monuments at Naranjo revealed that these monuments were erected at different stages of the occupation. Therefore the three rows of monuments that are evident in the final layout of Naranjo is the ou tcome of the final portion of the Middle Preclassic occupation, but the stones were not erected as a single event. This study also suggests that the stone sources from which the st one monuments were obtained were part of the network of relevant places that connected the monuments to their sources of origin, and possibly to other sites with similar stone monuments. This st udy shows that a great variety of plain stone monuments existed in Naranjo. This variety was the outcome of the use of different sources and of the different treatments to each stone. Although some monument s were left without alterations, others were completely modified by the ancient residents. In sum, the erection of plain stone monuments at Naranj o transformed the social and physical space in a manner that enabled a new web of connections between people and places. In a recu rsive way, as different types of spaces were created at Naranjo, social heterogeneity was also cr eated, and thus, social differentiation was facilitated.
18 Table 1-1. Chronology for the Maya Area LATE AD 1350 AD 1524 POSTCLASSIC EARLY AD 900 AD 1350 LATE AD 600 AD 900 CLASSIC EARLY AD 200 AD 600 TERMINAL 100 BC AD 200 LATE 400 100 BC LATE 600 400 BC MIDDLE EARLY 900 600 BC LATE 1100 900 BC MIDDLE 1100 1250 BC PRECLASSIC EARLY EARLY 1250 1500 BC (Source Bove 2005:Fig.8.2)
19 Figure 1-1. Map of Guatemala s howing the location of Naranjo
20 Figure 1-2. Satellite Photo of Guatemala City showing Naranjo (Google Earth 2009)
21 Figure 1-3. Map of Guatemala s howing three different ecological regions: Lowlands, Highlands, and Pacific Coast.
22 CHAPTER 2 PLAIN STONE MONUMENTS IN THE MAYA AREA Plain stone monum ents remain an under-investigated topic in Maya archaeology. The lack of detailed information affects both the knowledg e that we have about plain stone monuments and the ways they have been interpreted. Th is chapter introduces the study of plain stone monuments in the Maya area, specifically th e Pacific Coast and the Highlands during the Preclassic period. It is divide d into two sections. The first section describes the main characteristics of plain stone monuments, th eir location, and chronology. The goal of this section is to provide a genera l background about plain stone m onuments in the Southeastern Mesoamerican region, and to explain why such monuments have remained an understudied subject in archaeology. The purpose is not to provide a detailed description of every archaeological site with plain st one monuments, but to illuminate both the importance of a topic that needs to be addressed in archaeology, and the di fficulties that any study of plain stone monuments confronts. The second section of this chap ter explores the different inte rpretations that have been stated about plain stone monuments. These interpretations have been based on two main ideas. The first idea relies on the broad comparisons that have been made between plain monuments and carved monuments, specifically the monument s called stelae (see Chapter 1). As will be explained in further detail, plai n stone monuments have been studi ed by trying to interpret their lack of carvings, instead of treating them as a type of monuments on their own. The second idea focuses on the fact that Maya st one monuments in general have b een analyzed as a final product, or an art piece, often lacking the archaeologi cal context from which they were recovered. Therefore the ultimate goal of this chapter is to demonstrate the need for a different approach in
23 the study of plain stone m onuments, one that treats them in their own social and historical contexts. Preclassic Plain Stone Monuments in the Maya Area Currently, the inform ation about plain stone monument in the Maya area is fragmentary. Plain stone monuments are usually reported among the findings of larg er survey projects (see Bove 1989; Shook 1952; Smith 1955) or as casual discoveries through excavation programs (see Hammond 1982; Robinson et al. 199 9; Sharer and Sedat 1987; Sharer and Sheets 1978). Nonetheless, none of these investigations has undertaken the study of pl ain stone monuments as the principal objective; therefore, a systematic st udy of plain stone monuments is still lacking in Maya archaeology. As a direct result, most of the information about plain stone monuments in this study has been compiled using two types of spatial data. The first type of spatial data points to which sites have plain stone monuments. With this information it is possible to say that plain stone monuments are found mostly in the southeastern portion of Mesoamerica, specifically in the highlands of Guatemala (Borhegyi 1965; Shook 1952; Smith 1955) and the Pacific Coast of Mexico (in Chiapas), Guatemala and El Salvador (Norman 1973; Bove 1989, 2005; Ichikawa 2006). Plain stone monuments have also been reported in the Maya lowlands (Hammond 1982), and other parts of Mesoamerica such as the Gulf Coast (Stirling 1943) and the state of Gu errero (Porcayo 2004; Pye and Gutirrez 2007) (Figure 2-1). With these data it is also possible to state that pl ain stone monuments are present at sites catalogued by scholars as bo th primary and secondary cente rs (Bove 2002), which indicates that plain stone monuments are closely related to possible regional centers and are absent at smaller sites. In addition, several of these major primary centers with plain stone monuments also have evidence of carv ed stone monuments (here na med stelae) (Table 2-1).
24 It was Edwin Shook (1952) who brought archae ological attention to these monuments during the 1940s and 1950s in his surveys of the central highlands of Guatemala and the Pacific Coast. Of the 38 Preclassic sites he documented for the central highlands of Guatemala, 13 sites located in the Valley of Guatemala and its vici nity had plain stone m onuments, one of them being Naranjo (Borhegyi 1965:13) (Figure 2-2). Unfortunately, almost none of the monuments reported during that time remain standing today, which makes it difficult to study the monuments in the central highlands area. Even by that time, Shook (1952:12) mentioned that some of the monuments were already out of context, lyi ng on the surface. As of today, plain stone monuments in the central highlands have been excavated only at the sites of Kaminaljuyu (Berlin 1952; Kidder 1961), Rosario Naranjo (Grignon an d Jacobo 1991; Jacobo 1992), and Naranjo (Arroyo 2006; Arroyo et al. 2007), although only at Naranjo has the study of plain stone monuments been carried out systematically. De tailed information on Nara njo and its plain stone monuments is presented in Chapter 4 as the main data for this study. The Pacific Coast is the other region where si tes with plain stone monuments are known. Plain stone monuments have been reported from sites all over the Pacific Coast (Ferdn 1953; Norman 1973; Sharer and Sheets 1978; Lowe et al 1982). However it is the work of Frederick Bove (1989; 2002; 2005; n.d.) that has brought the most attention to the topic. Bove (1989, 2002, n.d.) reported over 25 sites with plain stone monuments on the coast and in the piedmont region (Figure 2-3). He is curr ently preparing a publication in wh ich he explains in detail the information available for each site (see Bove n.d.). Therefore his data will not be repeated here, and only specific sites of his investigations will be mentioned to highlight some of the challenges for the study of plain stone monuments.
25 The second type of spatial data that provi des information about plain stone monuments focuses on a smaller scale since it shows the loca tion of plain stone monuments in each site. Looking at these data, it is clear that plain stone monuments were erected in courts or plazas; at the base, on the frontal slope, or on top of th e structures; and/or forming north to south alignments (Shook 1971:73). According to Bove (2005:99) a north to south alignment is a common characteristic during the Mi ddle and early Late Preclassic periods and is also seen in the architecture of most of the re gional centers. This monument al pattern comprises north-south plazas flanked by mounds and usually large temple mounds at the north-south extremities. In addition, a deviation of 20 degr ees east of north is the av erage orientation among these constructions, including the rows of plain stone monume nts (Shook 1952:3). In spite of the works of Edwin Shook and Fred erick Bove, most of the information about plain stone monuments is sca ttered throughout archaeological reports. However those reports often offer few insights about the plain stone monuments or their archaeological contexts. Specific information, such as the location of plai n stone monuments within the site, their source of stone, or their general shape, is usually l acking. With a few exceptions (see Bove 1989; Estrada-Belli 1999; Shook 1952) it is difficult to determine whether the monuments had been excavated or not, since this information is not al ways stated in the archaeological reports. An exception to this pattern is the recent st udy at Ujuxte by Estrada-Belli (1999). Ujuxte is a Late Preclassic site located in the eastern Pacific Coast of Guatemala (Figure 2-3). Even though the study of plain stone monuments was not the main goal of this investigation, EstradaBelli (1999) excavated several test pits in the center of the site, including excavations of all the stone monuments (Figure 2-4). Nine plain m onuments were found and ex cavated, and eight of them had an oval-shaped stone altar at its ba se. The excavations of the monuments did not
26 find any associated offerings. But in a few inst ances, such as the Stela 6-Altar 4 pair, several small stones were found beneath the altar. In term s of their spatial distribution within the site, the excavations revealed that all the monuments were situated in fr ont of the main structures of the site (Estrada Belli 1999:45, 137-139). The general lack of excavation of plain stone monuments creates another big problem for the understanding of plain stone monuments : their accurate dating. Even though Shook (1971:73) dated the plain stone monument traditi on to the Middle and Late Preclassic periods, such dates have been corroborated by archaeological excavations at only a few sites. Thus, there are still doubts as to whether thes e monuments date to either the Mi ddle or Late Preclassic. This information is harder to elucidate because most of the sites with plain stone monuments were occupied during both the Middle and Late Preclassic periods, and at the most of them, the exact date of erection of the monument s is still unknown (Table 2-1). Ev en at sites where excavations have been carried out, the fact that plain stone m onuments are usually not excavated makes it difficult to assign them an accurate date (e.g., by stratigraphic association). In most cases the dating of plain stone monuments is provided by looking at surface ceramic collections of the sites, or when these are unavailable, the dating is provided by looking at th e settlement pattern. Nonetheless, accurate dating by excavating the m onuments and obtaining controlled material for ceramic seriation, or even carbon samples for C14 dating, is not the usual situation. The cases of El Blsamo and Monte Alto loca ted on the Pacific Coast stress this problem. According to Bove (1989:62-4) both sites we re major centers during the Middle and Late Preclassic periods, and both have evidence of plain stone monument s. Nonetheless, even though both sites have been excavated (Parsons 1976; Shook and Hatch 1978) and revealed occupations for both the Middle and Late Prec lassic periods, the plain stone monuments were not excavated.
27 Thus, it is not certain whether th e plain stone monuments were er ected during the Middle or Late Preclassic periods. A more positive result was obta ined from the recent excavation at the site of Uras in the central highlands of Guatemala. There, the research showed a small plain stone monument accompanied by a Middle Preclassi c ceramic cache (Robinson et al. 1999:478). Furthermore, most of the cente rs investigated in the Pacifi c Coast and the highlands of Guatemala also have carved monuments (Table 2-1), which highlights the fact that plain and carved monuments coexisted for some period of tim e. As already stated, plain stone monuments were erected starting in the Middle Preclassic period, but there is also evidence of plain stone monuments during the Late Preclass ic period, and it is du ring this latter pe riod that the erection of carved stones became a widespread practice am ong several regional centers in Southeastern Mesoamerica (Bove 2005:103). This overlap in time between the erection of plain stone monuments and the erection of carved stone monuments has helped to hide the plain stone monument phenomenon, since scholars are usually more interested in the study of carved monuments. At sites with both carved stone monuments and plain monume nts, the lack of interest in the latter monument class is further accentuated beca use it is common to see a vast co rpus of descriptions of carved monuments in the archaeological l iterature, in contrast to the s carce information regarding plain stone monuments. The cases of the centers of Izapa (see Norm an 1973) and Takalik Abaj (see Orrego and Schieber 2001) highlight this probl em. Takalik Abaj and Izapa (Figure 2-3) are considered to be two of the most important regional centers of th e Pacific Coast during the Late Preclassic and Terminal Preclassic periods (Bove 2002; Lavarreda and Orrego 2001; Love 2007; Lowe et al. 1982; Miles 1965) (Table 2-2), and their carved stone monuments are well known in the
28 Preclassic corpus (see Guernsey 2006; Norman 1973; Orrego y Schieber 2001; Parsons 1986). Nonetheless, both sites have evidence of plain st one monuments, and this evidence represents a considerable amount of the total of stone monuments at these two centers (Bove n.d.; Lowe et al. 1982). At Takalik Abaj 57 of the 268 stone monumen ts are plain, and at Izapa more than half (51 of 89) of the stone monument s are plain (Lowe et al. 1982:92). In spite this information and the fact that at both sites some of the plain stone monuments ha ve been excavated, there are no published data from these excavations, which is a big contrast when we observe the degree of published data concerning the carv ed monuments at both sites. Finally, at a smaller scale, ther e is a lack of detailed descrip tions about the characteristics of the monuments themselves. Information such as the general shape of the monument, possible sources of stone, or evidence of cultural modifi cations in the stone are usually absent in the literature of the sites with plain stone monuments, to the degree that most reports do not include drawings or pictures of them. The best information comes from Edwin Shook (1971:73) who stated that plain stone monuments could be exceedingly rough unworked shafts of stone, unworked sections of columnar basalt, or partly well-shaped and dressed stones in the typical stela form. Shook also called at tention to the fact that a large quantity of the plain stone monuments from the highlands and the Pacific Coas t of Guatemala were plain columnar basalt. According to him (1971:73), this type and shape of stone was widely us ed during the Middle and Late Preclassic periods, but was no l onger being used in later periods. Previous Interpretations of Plain Stone Monuments The absence of i mages on plain stone monument s, and their apparent earlier date in the central highlands and the Pacific coast of Guatem ala, has made them ideal candidates to explain the origins of carved stelae. Carved stelae were a predominant type of monument used widely during the Classic period in th e lowland Maya region, although as noted above, their earliest
29 appearance dates to the late Middle Preclassic. Pu rsuant to an evolutionary approach, plain stone monuments, or plain stelae as they are often called (see Chapter 1), are considered to be the predecessors of carved stelae. T hus, the Classic Maya carved st ela has served as the canon or template by which the earlier Preclassic plain stone monuments in the Maya area have been analyzed, catalogued, and evaluated. Since the first reports of pl ain stone monuments were pub lished, scholars have made a correlation between these plain monuments and car ved stelae (Maler 1911; Norman 1976). This correlation has been based on several assumptions. The first assumption is that both carved stelae and plain stone monuments are the same type of monument (they belong to the same artifact class) because they are both free-stan ding stones that were vertically erected as monuments in several Maya centers. The way that scholars know that these stones were monuments is because both plain stone monument s and carved stelae are usually located in the civic-ceremonial centers within the archaeological sites, and because they were erected in front of the main buildings (i.e. low and pyramidal plat forms). In this case their spatial distribution within each site as well as their material and ge neral form/shape (usually rectangular), creates the analytical connection. Finally, some plain st one monuments have been found with an ovalshaped stone monument in front of them, which is usually interpreted as an altar (the altar side is assumed to be the front or main side of the monument). These oval-shaped stones are commonly found in front of the carved stelae as well, and their occurren ce is widely known in the Mesoamerican literature as the ste la-altar cult (Spind en 1976; Stirling 1943). As a result of these similarities, plain stone monuments have been classified according to the same parameters that are used in classifyi ng the Classic stone monume nts called stelae. It was in the early reports that the name plain stelae was adopted to refer to the plain stone
30 monuments (see Maler 1911; Shook 1952; Smith 1955; Stirling 1943; Tozzer 1911), a term that still prevails today (see Bove 2002; Guernsey 2006; Pereira et al. 2007). The close classificatory link assumed between plain stelae and carved stelae has created a deep concern with explaining why these plain monuments, similar in shape and spatial distribution within the ancient cities, had not been carve d but had been left blank. T hus, plain stone monuments have typically been analyzed in terms of what they lack : carved or painted images. This is also the reason why some of the interpretations about plain stone monuments in the archaeological literature were created to explai n both plain and carved stelae in general, since stelae and plain stone monuments are typologically grouped together within the br oad category of stelae. This study was able to identify three main in terpretations given to plain stone monuments and they are explained in the following sections. The first interpretation deals with the idea that stone monuments in general (plain or carved) are considered as symbols or media of expression of a ruling elite or power group in ancient cities. The second interpretation deals with the association of stone monuments wi th astronomical observations, as is the case at several ancient cities where stone monuments have been found fo rming north to south alignments. The last interpretation refers to the decoration of the plain stone monuments, which makes an explicit statement against the possibility that these monuments were plain stones left without carvings, paintings or other adornments. The final sectio n exposes a different set of ideas that emerged from iconographic studies, which will be linked to some of the main ideas that this research presents for the study of plain stone monuments. Rulership and Social Organization The appearance of m onumental buildings and stone monuments in the Preclassic period of Mesoamerica has led scholars to infer the type of social organization that would have existed in order for these constructions to be possible. It is often believed that the appearance of stone
31 monuments and large mounds was the result of an elite group who had taken charge of their construction (see Coe 1968; Reilly 1999). This approach considers monumental constructions as the consequences of a pre-ex isting ruling elite who was in charge of commissioning the constructions, mandating the labor inputs, and deciding where, and how the buildings were supposed to be erected. From this viewpoint, the placement of stelae in ceremonial centers during the Middle Preclassic period shows evidence of the adoption and manipulation of the stela format by the preexisting elite. Stone monument s are seen to have arisen in part as the propagandistic tool and response of elites at various political ce nters to external pressures and competition for political power (Guernsey 2006; Reilly 1994). Beyond a propagandistic tool, stelae are visualized also as a vehicle that disseminated potent messages concerning the foundations of rulership and its relationship to broader themes of religion and cosmology (Guernsey 2006:41). Nevertheless, other scholars have argued for a different interpretation. Elizabeth Newsome (1996, 2001) goes against the view that stelae were simple tools the elite used to promote and authenticate their claims of power She states that scholars often forget about the medium itself the stone and points out that stel ae have never been the subject of a systematic study to examine them as a distinct class of ceremonial monument. She notes that discussions of stelae are often associated within broader iconographic and epig raphic studies; thus the interpretation of the monument itself (as a physical monument) has been taken for granted. Inst ead of visualizing the stone as a medium, or as billboards or political po sters Newsome studied stelae or stela cycles, as a sequence of ritual actions pe rformed over the course of the katun (the twenty-year cycle of the Maya Long Count calendar). She analyzed the Classic Period monume nts of Copan, Honduras, in conjunction with the rest of th e monumental constructions of the city rather than in isolation,
32 as is normally done. Thus the carved monument s were studied beyond pieces of sculpture and within their own political and historical context (Newsome 2001:182-189). In the case of the plain stone monuments, Fr ederick Bove (2002) has also been interested in correlating the monuments with the political system. Nonetheless his investigative scope covers a larger scale by looking at all the Late Preclassic sites of the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. His study is based in the comparison between site s that have plain stone monuments with sites that have carved monuments and hieroglyphic inscriptions, and to contextualize this information with other information such as chronology and ceramic evidence. His main goal has been to suggest that variations in the plain stone monuments spatial a nd temporal patterns correlate with differences among ethnic groups, including rule rship, political, economic exchange, and ideological systems. According to Bove (2002) there were at leas t two distinct cultural systems operating during the Preclassic period on the Guatemalan south co ast. In his scheme the western region of the Pacific coast had an imposing centrally controlled political system, while the east coast had a more fragmented competitive political system. This difference he believes to be reflected in the patterns of stone monuments, becaus e the west coast has several larger centers, such as Izapa and Takalik Abaj, with abundant carved monuments. On the other hand, the eastern coast has more mid-size sites of the same rank, and these ar e the sites where plai n stone monuments are abundant (Bove 2005:106). In his scheme plain stone monuments are evid ence of less political centralization correlated with other cultural and ethnic differences. Astronomical Observatories One of the most widespread interpretations of plain stone m onuments is that they were positioned to facilitate certain astronomical obs ervations by ancient inhabitants (e.g., Bove 2002; Norman 1973; Parsons 1986; Shook 1971;; Spinden 1976). This interpretation is based on the
33 spatial distribution of plain stone monuments within several sites. As explained in the previous section, plain stone monuments are usually found in front of the main structures at the center of the sites, or forming rows roughly aligned in a no rth to south fashion in the plazas. These rows of monuments have attracted the attention of scholars, and many be lieve that the erection of plain stone monuments in such alignments was for th e direct purpose of astronomical observations. Thus, their main argument is th at by erecting plain stone monuments to form north-south rows, the ancient residents of several sites were able to keep track of importa nt astronomical events, such as equinoxes and solstices (Bove 2005:103; Norman 1976:4) For example, at the site of Monte Alto, S hook (1971:72) reported an alignment of three plain stone monuments erected in a north-south row which he be lieved served astronomical purposes to record solar movement s related to agricultura l cycles (Figure 2-5). Shook noted that the azimuth from the principal structure (No. 10) to one of th e monuments marked the winter solstice sunrise on December 21st. The alignment with the central stela was marked on February 19th, and the third monument pin-pointed March 15th. He believed that even though not all of them correlated with the solstices or equinoxes, the two latter dates were related to the agricultural cycle. The astronomical interpretati on for Monte Alto led Marion Popenoe de Hatch (2002) to develop a similar hypothesis for Structure 7 at Taka lik Abaj (Figure 2-6). Structure 7 is a large platform with two superstructures, 7-A and 7-B on its north and west areas. Several carved and plain stone monuments have been identified on top of this stru cture, which Popenoe de Hatch (2002:436) has interpreted as three rows of stone monuments that point to Stela 13 located on the south side of Structure 7A. According to Popenoe de Hatch (2002:437 ), the three rows of monuments were erected simultaneously when Structure 7 was being built during the Middle
34 Preclassic. She also noted that not all the rows of monuments were perfec tly aligned. The west and the central rows show a slight change in orientation, which could be due to a later modification in the construction plan, she believes (Popenoe de Hatch 2002:437). In addition, among the carved stone monuments the central ro w shows some images in what Popenoe de Hatch (2002:437) calls an Olmec styl e, and she refers to the rest of the sculptures in the other stone monuments as of Maya styl e (including Stela 13). Underl ying this reconstruction is the idea that the stone monuments at Takalik Abaj were placed follo wing a specific order, which in this case has been interpreted by Hatch (2002, 2003) as the product of a sp ecific ethnic group or ideology. Using her previous astronomical interpretations based on the site plan of La Venta, the major Olmec late Middle Preclassic regional cen ter in Tabasco state near the Gulf coast, (Popenoe de Hatch 1971) and the Postclassic Ma ya Madrid Codex from Yucatan, Popenoe de Hatch (2002:240-241) interprets th e three rows of stone monume nts at Takalik Abaj as an astronomical device that was originally planned according to Olmec standards (i.e. as seen at La Venta) which, according to her, was oriented to follow the Big Dipper c onstellation. In later times, probably by the end of the Maya Middle Preclassic around 400 BC, the central row at Takalik Abaj was modified, and it was during that time when the Maya style carved monuments were added (Popenoe de Hatch 2002:238). The centra l row was then oriented to the position of the star Eta Draconis, in a cons tellation known to have been asso ciated with prehispanic Maya astronomy. For Popenoe de Hatch (2002:442), this shift from an Olmec astronomical system to a Maya system is evidence of the ideological changes that she believes were happening at Takalik Abaj at the end of the Middle Preclassic period.
35 Decorated Stones The second dom inant interpretation regarding the meaning of plain stone monuments is that they had once been decorate d, but that the passage of time has erased the evidence of potential elements such as cloth, paint, or stucco. However, there is yet no evidence of this lost decoration for any of the known plain stone monum ents. For example, Herbert Spinden in his very early work, A Study of Maya Art (1976:130), said of plai n stone monuments: It seems possible that these may have been painted with figures instead of carved. Or as even Norman (1976:4) suggested: There are a large number of plain, uncarved stelae at Izapa () which indicate that an erect stone itself was of symbolic signifi cance, perhaps serving as an astronomical alignment. [see above] Most have a smoothed flat surface which may have been prepared for painted scenes, as many have suggested. Feat ures might also have been depicted [in??] stucco relief as suggested by Andrews (1965: 308, Fig. 15) for plain stelae at Dzibilchaltun. It is also possible that pl ain stelae were prepared fo r carvings that were never accomplished. Even though there is no evidence of painti ng on any of the plain stone monuments found so far, some scholars believe that other lines of indire ct evidence might be helpful to prove this case. For example, in Tomb 1 at Kaminaljuyu, the large Middle and Late Preclassic regional center in the Valley of Guatemala, a stone slab decorated with stucco and red ochre was found. Julia Guernsey (2006:42) believes that this evidence is helpful to demonstrate that the use of stucco and paint was already being used by th e Late Preclassic, which for her opens the possibility that plain stone monu ments were similarly adorned duri ng Preclassic times. She also believes (following Norman 1973) that the wide horiz ontal sections at the base of some of the monuments at Izapa (e.g., Stela 30) could have been shaped to bear decoration of some kind, since the rest of the stone where this f eature appears has an un-smoothened surface. Related to the idea that plain stone monu ments had somehow been adorned is the hypothesis of bundled stones. This idea posits that plain stone monuments had been covered
36 or wrapped with cloth, and it is based on interpretations that ha ve been made previously for carved stone monuments (Guernsey 2006:42). The ma in evidence used for these interpretations comes from iconographic and ep igraphic studies made by seve ral scholars (e.g. Reilly 2002; Stuart 1996) who believe that the act of bundling carved stone monume nts was part of their ritual use which was connected to the act of demonstrating rulership (Guernsey 2006:42). David Stuart (1996:154) argued that certain carved stelae could have been bundled or enclosed in bands of cloth duri ng rituals that marked the conclu sion of 360-day periods of time (called tun; see above on the katun as a period of 20 t uns ). He suggested that the bundling of stelae was part of a ritual of r oyal accession that was in direct connection to the head bands or headdress worn by rulers. Stuart (1996:155) relied on epigraphic and iconographic evidence to demonstrate the connection between binding and rulership. According to him, the kaltun glyph, which represents an image of a stone-over-hand, is read as stone-binding and describes a special calendar ritual associated with stelae and other monuments. He also stated that stelae might have been bundled to contain the divine esse nce held within them, b ecause stelae, just like rulers, possessed a divine soul-like quality and were in some way considered to be living things (Stuart 1996:157). Therefore, Stuart (1996) conc eives stelae as both the extended royal person in space and the material evidence of rituals as eternal, never-ending events. Furthermore, in an iconographic study Kent Reilly (2002:49-50) interpreted several carved motifs on stone monuments of the Gulf Coast, su ch as Monuments 25 and 26 at La Venta which are carved stelae, as stone monuments that s how binding. The motifs he interpreted as bundles are shown in the carvings as a criss-cross pattern. The bundling action, Reilly (2002:57) stated, is closely connected to the construction and setti ng of the stone monument. For instance, Reilly believed the stone piece could have been covered with cloth to aid in the transport process and to
37 help cover and protect the stone before or after the carving actions. Reilly (2002) also interpreted the motifs on a carved stela (Monum ent 21) of Middle Formative Chalcatzingo in highland central Mexico as an explicit connec tion between bundling and er ecting the monument. For him, this monument shows a scene where the single personage of the monument has her hands outstretched towards what may be a stan ding bundled stela, althoug h other archaeologists do not identify that element as a stela (e.g., Grove 1987). Stone Beyond the Image As m entioned already, studies of stone monuments in the Ma ya area have been dominated by the study of their images and inscriptions thereby ignoring the st one itself (Newsome 1993:1). In the hopes of recovering part of the e ssential meaning of stelae, Flora Clancy (1985) earlier focused on the material components of stelae, such as their structure, shape, color, line, and mass. She also considered how the manipul ation and combination of such aspects might yield answers about the orig inal function and the thematic intent of stelae. Clancy was interested in studying Maya sculpture beyond the images and icons by paying attention to the medium used for the carvings and their archaeolo gical context. For this pur pose she divided all sculptureno matter its size or raw materialinto three major ty pes based on their ultima te disposition: plaza, architectural, and buried (Clanc y 1985:58). According to Clan cy (1985:58) during the Classic Maya period there was a major contrast between the plaza and architectural sculptures, considered by her as public sculpture, versus hidden sculptures inscri bed in other type of materials such as clay, wood, and semi-precious stones. While trying to explain the origins of stel ae, Clancy (1990:25) stat es during the Middle Preclassic period people consistently used natural stone shapes with very little preparation of the form or surface before the addition of the relief carving. According to this idea the images carved on the natural surfaces did not obscure the pr evious form of the stone. She states that
38 when the naturalness of the medi um (in this case the stone) is so intrusive it is easier to think that a particular image has b een produced as much by revelation through the stone as by the intention of the sculptor. As Clancy (1990:25) states, the stone empowers the image, and the image empowers the stone. She believes that the constant manipula tion of stone and these initial carvings gave way to a greater concern for the image, at which point the monuments form became secondary, almost unnoticeable, whereas carvings became the central theme of stelae (Clancy 1985:59). Furthermore, Clancy (1990:27) states that since its beginnings, the stela whether carved or plain was conceived in conjunction with its architectural and natural environment. It was in this context that, she ar gues, stelae were used to delineate sacred space. Clancys ideas of early carving examples are of special interest for this study because it gives importance to the natural shape of the stone, and it also raises questions as to the role that the material of the carvings played in a particular landscape, both important aspects that will be outlined in following chapters. In another interesting study, David Stuart (n.d.) explores the different ideas in relation to stone as a source of ritu al objects and the material aspects of stones in terms of their physical properties. For instance, he men tioned that the fact th at polished stones are capable of reflecting light is an important trait to be further investigated. In relation to plain stone monuments, Stuart (n.d.:2) believes that the fact that these monu ments were purposely left without carvings or paintings is a strong evidence of the importance that the ancient Maya gave to stone. He believes that by studying the forms and materials of stone we will have a better understanding of why the use of stones as monuments prevailed in the form of stelae for over two millennia (Stuart n.d.:4). Similar to Clancys ideas about stones in a more natural state, Stuart highlights the possibility that the selection of some of these rough stones has to be cons idered a conscious selection.
39 Furthermore, it is probable that this selection was an important task within the set of processes necessary to acquire the stone material for the monument. The relation of the stone sources and the plain stone monuments will be explored in more detail in the rest of this study. Conclusion As discussed in the first section of this ch apter, plain stone monum ents have yet to be studied systematically. Apart from the r ecent work by Frederick Bove (2002, 2005), who is attempting to provide a macro-scale explanation for the plain stone monuments in the Pacific Coast of Guatemala, there are presently no other attempts to summarize the data on plain stone monuments. The major consequence of this lack of interest towards the study of plain stone monuments is that these monuments are omitte d from any reconstruction of the social organization of the Preclassic period. In ot her words, the study of the formation and development of social complex ity is explained without consid ering these relevant data. Furthermore, detailed spatial and temporal contexts of plain stone monuments in relationship to the sites where they were er ected are difficult to obt ain in most of the archaeological reports. Even when plain stone monuments have been excavated, the information exposed is not well integrated with the interpretation of the rest of the site. Thus, there is a void concerning specific information on the monuments, such as shape and size, their chronology, or any other practice(s) associated with them. The study of the plain stone monuments at Naranj o that forms this study attempts to bridge some of these gaps by providing an explanation of the plain stone monuments in their own archaeological contexts. Data from the excavations of the monuments and of the other structures and features at the site become the basis fo r understanding all the small-scale changes that brought about the final layout of the site of Naranj o. Particular attention is also given to the study of the stone sources used fo r the monuments. This is cons idered important to understand
40 the nature of the stones themselves apart from their quality as monuments. Nonetheless, to achieve these goals a different approach must be taken, one that considers the micro-scale nature of the data but also conceives the plain stone monuments in conjunction wit the rest of the landscape of Naranjo and its cha nges through time. This approach is further explained in the following chapter, and it is based on the noti on of a dwelling perspective following Ingold (1995).
41Table 2-1. Preclassic Archaeological sites in Mesoamerica with plain stone monuments No. Site Country Region Middle Late Plain Carved Excavated Main References Preclassic Preclassic Monument Monument 1 Amatitln Guatemala Highlands --Y -N Shook 1952 2 Bran Guatemala Highlands --Y -N Shook 1952 3 Brigada Guatemala Highlands --Y -N Shook 1952 4 Cambote Guatemala Highlands Y Y Y -Y Smith 1955; Clark et al 2001 5 Casa Blanca El Salvador Pacific Coast Y Y Y Y Y Sharer 1978; Ichikawa 2006 6 Cerrito Guatemala Highlands --Y -N Shook 1952 8 Chacay Guatemala Highlands Y -Y -N Shook 1952 9 Charcas Guatemala Highlands Y N Y N Y Borhegyi 1956 10 Chichn Guatemala Highlands Y Y Y Y Y Smith 1955 11 Chocol Guatemala Piedmont N Y Y Y Y Burkitt 1930; Bove 2005 12 Cieneguilla Guatemala Highlands --Y -N Shook 1952 13 Cotzumalguapa Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y Y Y Parsons 1969; Bove 1989 14 El Blsamo Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y Y Y Shook and Hatch 1978; Bove 1989 15 El Jardn Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y -N Bove 2005 16 El Obraje Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y N N Bove 1989 17 El Pilar Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y -N Bove 1989 18 El Portn Guatemala Highlands N Y Y Y Y Sharer and Sedat 1987 19 El Sitio Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y N Y Shook 1947; Bove 2005 20 El Trapiche El Salvador Pacific Coast Y Y Y Y Y Sharer 1978 21 Giralda Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y Y N Bove 2005 22 Izapa Mexico Pacific Coast N Y Y Y Y Lowe et al 1982; Norman 1976 (data obtained from Bove 2005:table 8.1 and compiled by the author)
42Table 2-1 (Cont.) No. Site Country Region Middle Late Pl ain Carved Excavated Main References 23 Kaminaljuyu Guatemala Highlands Y Y Y Y Y Shook 1952; Kidder et al. 1977 24 La Morena Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y -Y Bove 1989 25 La Nueva Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y Y Y Bove 1989; Estrada Belli 1999 26 La Venta Mexico Gulf Coast Y N Y Y Y Drucker, Heizer and Squier 1959 27 Las Pilas Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y -N Bove 2005 28 Los Cerritos Sur Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y Y Y Bove 1989 29 Monte Alto Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y Y Y Shook 1971; Bove 1989 30 Naranjo Guatemala Highlands Y N Y Y Y Arroyo 2006; Pereira et al. 2007 31 Nueve Cerros Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y -1 Bove 2005 32 Palo Gordo Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y Y Y Parsons 1969; Bove 2005 33 Piedra Parada Guatemala Highlands Y N Y N Y Shook 1952; de Leon and Valdez 2002 34 Polanco Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y -Y Bove 2005 35 Reynosa Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y -N Bove n.d. 36 Rosario-Naranjo Guatemala Highlands Y Y Y N Y Jacobo 1992 37 San Antonio Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y Y N Bove n.d. 38 Santa Isabel Guatemala High lands --Y -N Shook 1952 39 Santo Domingo Guatemala Pacific Coast Y -Y -N Bove 2005 40 Sintaa Guatemala Pacific Coast --Y --Bove 2005 41 Takalik Abaj Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y Y Y Schieber y Orrego 2001 (data obtained from Bove 2005:table 8.1 and compiled by the author)
43Table 2-1 (Cont.) No. Site Country Region Middle Late Pl ain Carved Excavated Main References 42 Texas-Montana Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y N Y Bove 2002; Bove 2005 43 Tonal Mexico Pacific Coast N Y Y Y Y Ferdon 1953 45 Ujuxte Guatemala Pacific Coast Y Y Y Y Y Bove 1989; Estrada Belli 1999 46 Uras Guatemala Highlands Y Y Y Y Y Robinson et al. 1999 47 Vieja Santa Rita Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y -N Bove 2005 48 Virginia Guatemala Highlands Y -Y -N Shook 1952 49 Xula Guatemala Pacific Coast N Y Y Y N Bove 2005 (data obtained from Bove 2005:table 8.1 and compiled by the author) Y = yes N = no -= no information available
44 Figure 2-1. Map showing Preclas sic sites with plain stone mo numents in Mesoamerica (data obtained from Bove 2005, Shook 1952, and complied by the author)
45 Figure 2-2. Map showing the archaeological sites with plain stone monuments in the central highlands of Guatemala (data obtained from Shook 1952)
46 Figure 2-3. Map showing the archaeological sites with plain stone monuments in Pacific Coast of Mexico and Guatemala (data obtained from Bove 2005)
47 Figure 2-4. Ujuxte Map (redrawn after Estrada Belli 1999:Fig.3.22)
48 Figure 2-5. Monte Alto Map (re drawn after Parsons 1986:Map 6)
49 Figure 2-6. Map of Takalik Abaj showing Structure 7 and the th ree rows of stone monuments (redrawn after Popenoe de Hatch 2003:Fig.1 and Fig.2)
50 CHAPTER 3 THE DWELLING APPROACH: METHOD AND THEORY This chapter explains the theory and m ethods us ed for this investigation. As was explained in Chapter 1, the main goal of this work is to incorporate the study of plain stone monuments of Naranjo into the life history of th e site to specifically target expl anations of social differentiation. The argument behind this statement is that spat ial and social differentiation are recursively connected processes (Barrett 1990:179). The ba sis of this study is understanding how the landscape at Naranjo was being shaped and modified through time (in relation to the erection of plain stone monuments), and at the same time, how these changes to the landscape modified the way the ancient residents related to one another. The main ideas presented in th is study unfold from a critiq ue of Cartesian philosophy. Rene Descartes (1596-1650) was a French philosopher and the lead ing figure who introduced a philosophy based in the mind-body dualism. De scartes philosophy, or Cartesian philosophy, states that human beings have a mind separate d from the body and that the act of thinking is separated from, and prior to, the form of being, as in Descartes famous statement I think, therefore I am. Under this premise, the body is visualized as an extension of the human mind, a medium by which cognizant human beings are ab le to perform their thought acts (Thomas 2001:171). This duality presente d is commonly referred in the literature as mind/body, but it also intersects with others, namely space/place and nature/culture (Ingold 1992, 1993, 1995; Thomas 1996, 1999, 2001). Cartesian philosophy is central to the way the western sciences approach the world, which includes the di scipline of archaeology (Thomas 1993). Such philosophy has permeated the study of ancient cities and monuments, and as is explained in this chapter, it presents pitfalls for the study of plain stone monuments.
51 Cartesian philosophy as applied in anthr opology has been characterized by Ingold (1995:66) as the building perspective. Thus, the building pers pective as developed by Ingold is presented as the first section of the chapter. The main goal of this section is to explain the conceptions behind the building perspective and th eir implications as ap plied to archaeological research, specifically Naranjos plain stone monuments. The second section introduces the alternativ e perspective to the Cartesian model: the dwelling approach. This approach is explaine d using Ingolds (1995) definitions and concepts, which unfold from broader theories of phenomenology (Heidegger 1977 ), practice theory (Bourdieu 1977; Giddens 1984), and materiality (Meskell 2004; Miller 2005). The dwelling perspective challenges modern western conceptions of how human beings interrelate to their environment and to each other, and it reject s the mind/body, space/place, culture/nature dualities exposed under Cartesian philosophy. Philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) introduced the notion of dwelling (Heidegger 1977), which embraces the notion that human beings cannot be considered detached from the world in which they live. Besides presenting the general theoretical framework of the dwelling approach, the second section also introduces the reader to the key conc epts that are central to the discussion of the plain stone monuments in Nara njo. Two specific subtopics of the dwelling approach are addressed: the concept of landscape as a process, and the nature/culture debate. Each subtopic specifically addresses the objectives presented in Chapter 1, which outlined concerns with a) the small-scale changes that occurred at Naranj o in relation to the er ection of plain stone monuments; and b) the integrati on of land features at Naranjo and the use of specific stones as plain monuments. In this second section, the co ncept of landscape as a process becomes the centerpiece for understanding the firs t objective, which is further explored in Chapter 5. For the
52 second objective, the concept of built/unbuilt materials becomes the basis to understand how a stone becomes a monument, which ultimately has a stake in the critique of the nature versus culture dichotomy, which is fu rther explored in Chapter 6. These two subtopics are presented follo wing the recent literature in landscape anthropology (e.g. Barrett 1999; Bender 2002; Bradley 1998; Casey 1996; Hirsch 1995; Ingold 1992, 1993; Low and Lawrence-Ziga 2003; Thomas 1993, 2001) with specific references towards its application to archaeology and the stu dy of stone monuments. In addition, details of the ways to operationalize both concepts for the study of plain stone monuments at Naranjo are introduced. Therefore, each s ubsection presents the methodology th at is followed in this study and explains the main bodies of data that are then described in Chapter 4. Guidance for this methodology was obtained by looking at how archaeologists in Europe have recently dealt with the same issues of monumentality and the erection of large stones during the Neolithic period, which is equi valent to the Preclassic period in Mesoamerica. Despite the fact that the plain stone monuments in Mesoamerica and the megaliths of Europe have completely different cultural histories, bot h the Neolithic and the Preclassic period are characterized as periods with th e first monumental works. Th ese monuments have often been interpreted by scholars in terms of the emergence of social complexity, both in Mesoamerica (e.g., Joyce and Grove 1999:2) and in Europe (e.g., Thomas 2001:177). In Europe, most megaliths are actually plain stone monuments, which have led scholars to study this phenomenon in a different manner than in Mesoamerica. As mentioned in Chapters 1 and 2, Mesoamerican archaeology has a long-standing tr adition of studying carved stone monuments, which has posed a problem for the study of plain stone monuments. Therefore th e case studies of megaliths in Europe present an interesting oppor tunity to apply a different me thodology to the study of stone
53 monuments in Mesoamerica, and specifically at Naranjo. Each methodology is explained under each of the two subtopics of the dwelling approach : landscape as a process and the nature/culture debate. The Building Perspective The building perspective draw s from the common notion that hum ans are divided into a tangible aspect, the body, and an intangible aspect, the mind the ba sis of subjectivity. Ingold (1995) explains this perspective by exploring ho w humans as subjects interact with their environment (objects). It is conventionally believed that human beings are different from other animals because they are capable of consciously building and transformi ng their environment. Even though both humans and other animals are ca pable of building thi ngs (e.g. beavers build lodges), the main difference betw een them is based on the crucia l distinction between design and execution (Ingold 1995:59). According to Ingolds building perspective, hu mans are distinguished by their capacity to design and plan what they are going to build. They are capable of organizing their space. Human beings are conceived as the desi gners of their world; it is this thinking ahead and planning that separates humans from other an imals. Non-human animals, on the other hand, are conceived as part of the environment, and their modifications to the environment are e xplained as adaptations and as an inherent part of their biological f unctions. Again, this distinction is based on the Cartesian fundaments that human beings have a mind and a body, but that animals, lacking such a mind, are only capable of reacting to their environment (Thomas 2001:171). Thus, it is believed that human beings bu ild their environment by transforming raw materials into cultural forms. This ability to create things also reflects the assumption that humans are capable of creating a mental or cognitive web of significance that goes beyond a mere adaptation to the environment, since human beings are able to inte rnalize/analyze/digest
54 their actions and inscribe mean ing to them (Thomas 2001:171). In anthropology this web of significance is conceived as culture (Ingold 1995:63). The build ing perspective creates the sense that reality is an external natural world, and that humans ar e able to perceive and absorb this external world through th eir culture, which implies internal cognitive actions. Under these assumptions, the building perspec tive creates a sense of culture separated from nature, which also assumes that everything that humans manipulate or transform is no longer part of the natural realm (Ingold 1995:66-67). Notions of a building perspective are embedded in archaeology in such a way that it is common to make distinctions between a natural environment and an artificiall or man-made environment by searching to see whether or not there is evidence of human modification of a place (Ingold 1995:67). According to Ingold (1995:70-1) this idea is clearly stated in some studies about the origins of hu mankind. These studies concentrate on finding the first evidence of tool use and the first evidence of man-made houses, because it is believed that once human beings were capable of designi ng and building their projects, su ch as houses and tools, they separated themselves from the rest of animals. Thus, culture was born, or in other words, humans were able to have a mind with which to rationalize. The goal of archaeologists in this type of study is not only to id entify the material remains of su ch constructions, but to try to determine the cultural motives a nd/or reasons behind the human actions. However, as Ingold (1995) explains, archaeologists encounter difficu lties when it is not possible to determine whether a feature was modified by humans, or if it was partially modified. Such built and unbuilt characterist ics of the environment are also presented by Cartesian philosophy as the duality of sp ace and place (Casey 1996:13-4). Space is considered as empty, infinite, measurable, and neutral (called geome trical space by Thomas ). It is this
55 geometrical space that scientists are often willi ng to measure and study. On the other hand, place is seen as a derivate of space. A place is considered a space inhabited by human beings; thus place was previously space that through human occupation and modifications was transformed into a place. According to this extension of Cartesian philosophy, space exists first and place can only exist through the action of human bei ngs (Casey 1996:14-15; Thomas 1996:84). For archaeology, such concepts have been used by assuming that human beings build settlements (archaeological sites) which are a transformation of a space into a place. Nevertheless, as is explained in the next section, other archaeol ogists (see Barrett 1999; Bradley 1990; Thomas 1993) believe that this model need s to shift, taking into account the dwelling perspective. For instance, Juli an Thomas (1993) critiques the in tensive use of visual aids (e.g. maps) in the representation of ancient cultures an d sites, and the use of such visual devices to interpret the past. According to Thomas (1993:32) maps have a totalizing effect which hides two important aspects of the ancient places under i nvestigation. First, they hide the experiential aspects of being in a place versus the omnipresen t view of a map, which is able to see several places simultaneously (usually from a birds-eye point of view), even though those places could only have been experienced one at a time by th e ancient inhabitants. Second, maps tend to equate all that is shown in a specific map as contemporaneous, even though some of the features displayed never coexisted. This second aspect highlights the notion that time is always embedded in place a concept and notion that is developed in the following section. Instead, Thomas states, archaeologists should study the people in those landscapes, not the material features scattered around the ground. This position does not deny that there is a real world out there that is held together by a very complex and changing set of relationships. But it acknowledges that the world which human subjects achieve is always an imperfect and situated
56 one (Thomas 1993:28). Relevance should be given to the relationship between past people and the places which they inhabite d and the nature of these everyday experiences (Thomas 1993:28). In the Maya area, numerous archaeological st udies follow several of the concepts common to a building perspective in rela tion to the study of ancient Maya cities. Studies investigating ancient Maya cities have focused on the meaning behind the city layout. U nder this approach it is assumed that the ancient inhabitants of the citi es planned their activitie s in order to create a sacred and symbolic place that followed certain rules common to their cosmology (see Ashmore 1991; Ashmore and Sabloff 2002; Frei del et al. 1993; Taube 1998). Therefore, the main goal of this type of study is to unveil the symbolism behind the man-made structures, or in other words the culture behind the material remains. Elaborated arrays of ancient cities have b een interpreted as the outcome of a complex system of beliefs, and Maya cities are considered to be three-dimensional replicas or a built microcosmos of an ancient world view. As Ashmore (1991:199) notes, many societies use architecture for symbolic expres sion, and often buildings and other constructions constitute maps of a cultures worldview. With this approach the fina l goal of the researcher is to uncover the abstract model or mental template hidden in the material components of th e cities (e.g. buildings, houses, monuments), which is supposed to reflect the pre-existing culture and symbolic systems of the ancient residents. In most cases fi nding this template means looking for specific symmetry in the buildings of the cities or astrono mical alignments of buildings and monuments. It also implies comparing several city layouts to understand the common pattern in all of them. However, less attention is paid to the small cha nges that the city went through over time and to the possible discrepancies that might exist with in these over-arching cultural templates and the archaeological context.
57 As described in Chapter 2, several ancient cities with plain stone monuments have shown a general alignment of 21 east to north, like the case of Ujuxte and Monte Alto, but this alignment is observed only by looking at the final stage of occupation of a si te, dismissing the evidence of earlier stages of occupation at the sites. Also, possible alignm ents of stone monuments have been interpreted as the result of astronomical ob servations which correlat e with specific world views, as was expressed for the cas e of Monte Alto and Takalik Abaj With such type of studies it is difficult to know whether all monuments we re placed at the same time, or if possible differences in their chronology might exist. Such small-scale information requires closer attention to the archaeological context of the mo numents and its relationship to the rest of the site. As Thomas (1993:29) stated [t]he structur es we excavate have not simply been affected by discontinuous human actions, they are both the outcome and the site of generation of human projects, and are meaningless if divorced from the structure of dwelling. Therefore, the dwelling perspective is presented below as an alternative for the study of plain stone monuments at Naranjo. The Dwelling Perspective The dwellin g perspective assumes a different type of relationship between human beings and the environment, one which operates as a critique of the Ca rtesian philosophy. To deconstruct the notions of mind/ body, nature/culture, and place/spa ce, Ingold (1995) explores the similarities between humans and animals. According to Ingold (1995:75) both humans and animals follow similar ways of living in the en vironment because they both build and modify their surroundings as an activity embodied in such environment. What this means is that humans transform their environment, not because of a prec onceived mental plan that is transplanted into the external world, like a building perspective woul d assume, but because th ey are living in such an environment and this environment enables su ch transformations. Furthermore, the dwelling
58 perspective rejects the concep t of space (described previously) as being devoid of human meaning and considers place as the center of every human experience. It is this human experience that gives the key for understand ing the world (Casey 1996; Thomas 1996). From a dwelling perspective it is harder to di fferentiate what is commonly conceived as a natural environment from a bu ilt/cultural environment. As an example, Ingold (1995:77-8) draws the comparison of a house with a tree. The building perspective makes an explicit difference between the two, the former as part of the built/cultural environment and the latter as part of the natural environment, but what happens with the an imals that live in the tree? According to Ingold (1995:78) the fact that anim als live on the tree makes the tree no different than the house where humans liv e; they are both dwellings. Under a dwelling perspective th ere is no distinction between mind and body. It assumes that the act of thinking, which is considered an internal or abstra ct process of human beings in the Cartesian model, is intrinsic to every live d experience. There is no separation between the inner person, referred to as the mind, and the outer person referred to as the body (Thomas 2001:171). Thinking is not an ab stracted reasoning which takes place in a realm of pure consciousness; it is a practic al aspect of our being in the world (Thomas 1999:4). Ingold draws explicitly on philosopher Mar tin Heideggers (1977) notion of dwelling. According to Heidegger (1977:143) hu mans tend to confuse what it means to dwell with what it means to build. Part of this misunderstanding de rives from the notion that human beings believe that through their thinking and conscious manipul ation of the environment, they have been mastering their building activities. It is believed that we build because we need a place to dwell, and to dwell is merely to inhabit a built place. Nonetheless, as Heidegger (1977:146) notes, building is not the antecedent fo r dwelling, but rather the other wa y around. He explains that in
59 order for human beings to be able to build, they first have to be in a place. It is the dwelling that makes humans build, and as Heidegger (1977:324) explains, to build is in itself already to dwell. As human beings we are always in plac e, since we are first and foremost dwellers and we cannot be detached from where we are. This idea was captured in the expression beingin-the-world, which implies that in order to be you have to be somewhere (Heidegger 1977:324,334-5). Ingold (1995:76) summarizes the dwelling persp ective as the forms people build, whether in the imagination or on the ground, which arise within the current of their involved activity, in the specific relationa l context of their practical engagement with th eir surroundings. Therefore, even though Ingold does not deny human beings are capable of designing bu ilding projects, these designs are viewed as the specific product of livi ng in a location; they are not external to the environment but part of it, and they are also part of human existen ce. Under the dwelling perspective, both humans and non-human animal s live in the world under the same set of principles and relationships towards the enviro nment and its modifications. This approach further assumes that human knowledge of the environment undergoes continuous formation in the very course of peoples moving about it. The process involved consists of the engagement of the actors with their environmen t in active ways (Ingold 2000:230). For archaeology, the adoption of a dwelling perspective provides a different way of thinking about material culture. As Thomas (1999:4) explains, wester n sciences (including archaeology), are consumed with the ways of human thinking. Under a building perspective, scholars encounter the difficulties that the material remains which they study are no more than bits and pieces of ancient cognitive worlds that are forever lost. As a solution, archaeologist John Barrett (1990) and others (e.g. Meskell 2004; Miller 20 05; Thomas 2001) propose a
60 dwelling approach which combines phenomenol ogy (following Heiddeger 1977) and practice theory (following Bourdieu 1977; Giddens 1984). Th is approach takes into account the idea that the material world also plays an important role in the constitution of society and individuals (Meskell 2003: 15-16; Miller 2005:3), thus avoiding the mind/body duality of Cartesian philosophy. What is important to explain in any archaeological inquiry is that immaterial ideologies, ideas and culture are not materialized through the actions of people, but instead, the materialization of them is simultaneous with the construction of such ideologies (Pauketat 2003:45). Barrett (1990:179) also ex plained this by saying that ma terial culture is a set of resources that guide social action. According to him, material cult ure not only enables and constrains those actions (followi ng Giddens 1984), but allows the archaeologist to monitor those actions and their effects in the world. Therefor e, to study the past we have to look for the historical context of the practices within which such resources were drawn. This perspective, called by some scholars materiality (Meske ll 2004; Miller 2005), problematizes the role that materi al things have in human lives. It is believed that without material or physical things, human beings would not be able to reproduce their social relationships, since the interplay between materi al culture and human be ings constitutes both societies and their physical world (Barrett 1990:179; Thomas 1993: 29). These relations enable and constrain future practices; thus, objects have the power to influence human action (Meskell 2004:20). In short, it is stated that we need to show how the things that people make, make people (Miller 2005:38). The Study of Landscape Following a dwelling perspective which unf olds from phenomenology, the concept of landscape assumes that any given place is the product of human-human and human-environment interactions. Landscape takes into account not only the physical charact eristics of a specific
61 location but it integrates the human aspect of it (Ingold 1993:152). By human aspect is understood the history of human occupation and the engagement of humans with a specific setting as well as with one another. Thus, a la ndscape cannot be translated into an environment or a specific location, but in it s definition it encompasses the physical and social aspects of human beings living in groups and forming societies (Ingold 1995; Thomas 1993, 2001). According to Ingold (1993), landscape is a pr ocess that encapsulates both place and time. Ingold and other authors (e .g. Bender 2002; Hirsch 1995; Morphy 1995; Thomas 1993) have noted that any given place is embedded with different temporalities which can be understood through the study of landscape. Landscape as a pr ocess means that time and places unfold from humans constantly engaging with one another and with their physical world. The integration of time and place into the concept of landscape means that past places and past actions of people/social groups are integrated into present actions and places, but it also means that the present actions and places are also projected into the future possibilities of a landscape. These dynamic aspects of the landscape have been e xplained in what Eric Hirsch (1995) calls background and foreground. Hi rsch (1995:3) describes a lands cape as a process, as the relationship between the backgr ound and the foreground of social life. By foreground he means the concrete actuality of everyday social life, what Hirsch calls the way we now are. On the other hand, background is the perceived potentiality outlined by our foreground existence, or as Hirsch says, the way we might be. In this definition, landscape as a process is a recursive interplay between past actions and present actions, but at the same time, the present actions have the possibility or potential to inform future actio ns. As anthropologists ha ve started to point out, the social importance of material things in pre-literate societies is often that they are futural.
62 Artefacts assume a projection forward of social relationships, and often seek to influence the character of connectedness between th e past and present (Thomas 1993:32) What is important about the de finition of landscape is that as a process, landscape is always under constant transformation, and that places unfold over time. Thus, landscape is always in relation to human beings and their act ions; it enables and constr ains their personal and social experiences (Barrett 1990:179). The majo r difference between landscape as a process under the dwelling perspective versus landscape in a building perspective, is that in the first one landscape is seen as a ch ain of actions that are constantly under transformation, whereas in the latter perspective, landscape is a synoptical view of the present. Following the dwelling perspective, Ingold (200 0:219) states that th ere is no mental map that determines the spatial relationship of man in a specific location, si nce places do not have locations but histories. With this statement Ingold opens the possibility of the study of landscape not as a location in space, but as a ne twork of connections between places and human beings, a concept drawn from phenomenology and also favored by other scholars (e.g. Bender 2002; Jones 2001; Thomas 2001). Here, places have meaning only in relation to other places and to people. These networks are informed by both the past but also inform future actions, in a sequence that creates historicit y. Landscapes have the ability to gather places, things and persons in a relational way, since locations ar e always drawn to our attention through what happens there or through the things which we expect to find there (Heidegger 1977; Thomas 2001:173). Acknowledgly the materiality of landscapes is of prime importance for archaeology because it allows scholars to unde rstand how social differences within human groups were being shaped and transformed by their own engagement in the physical and so cial world (Barrett
63 1999). Material things condense the social history of a commun ity, the stories of individuals, and through their persistence and materiality proj ect them forwards (Tho mas 1993:32). In the case of Naranjo this can be studied by looki ng at the landscape pr ocess involved in the construction of mounds, the erection of stones, and the inhabitation of specific locations within the site. In the Naranjo study, the concept of land scape as a process and as a network can help to explain how what we call today the city of Na ranjo was constructed over a period of 400 years, as will be detailed in Chapter 4, but also to unde rstand how the material remains that have been excavated at Naranjo were part of th e ancient populations everyday life. Nevertheless a landscape approach is much more than making a record of the human modifications to a specific location. In th is study, a landscape appr oach involves in its foundation the belief that social differentia tion emerges and is transformed through human engagement with the physical e nvironment and material aspects of life. Humans and things cannot be separated one from another in the se nse that human beings socialize through the manipulation and creation of the material world. In the case of Naranjo, this would mean analyzing the processes by which th e plain stone monuments were erec ted as part of the site and the outcome of the late Middle Pr eclassic society at Naranjo. For the study of Naranjo this means to understand how the ancient inhabitants of the site were socializing through their engagement with the environment, and specifi cally, through the erection of stone monuments and/or other monumental works. Recent megalith studies in Europe use a dwel ling approach as their basis, which, as explained above, implies a certain understanding of how ancient cities were created. As was already explained in the previous section, the dwelling perspectiv e assumes that the environment always influences the way people perceive and in teract with it; therefore, the Cartesian notion
64 that ancient inhabitants build cities according to mental maps is denie d. On the other hand, the concept of landscape as a process underlines the relationship and netw orking between humans, places, and things in a way that it is understood that human socialization could only occur through their engagement in the ma terial world (Thomas 2001:173). In his study of the Neolithic landscapes of Avebury, England, Julian Thomas (1993:30-32) concentrated on looking beyond the archaeologi cal maps of Avebury that identify the distribution of structures, monume nts and features. Instead, he was interested in grasping the notion of being-there following a phenomenologi cal approach, in the se nse that the ancient inhabitants did not experience th e site by looking at maps or from above, but they experienced the site by walking through, and living there. To accomplish this objective, Thomas engaged in a study of Avebury that implies looking at the sp atial distribution of the site not as homogenous space or as a place built according to a master plan, but as space that was constantly changing, and one that was differential and graded. Usi ng information from archaeological excavations, Thomas makes the distinction between the Mesolithic and the Neolithic occupations at Avebury in order to distinguish the change s occurred through that time. He paid special attention to the visual changes at the site, in terms of the erection of stone monuments, but most importantly, Thomas integrates the human habitations within the material transformations at Avebury. For instance, he was able to determine that the Neo lithic monuments were always placed on top of Mesolithic occupations, which appeared to be hunting places. Several of the Neolithic monuments were used as burial places, but later on, some of the monuments were blocked off, and only exclusive burials were interred in them. These new structures were designed exclusively to be looked at fr om the outside. During the la ter stage of occupation three causewayed enclosures were built in the Av ebury region, which were delimited by stone
65 monuments. Thomas interprets these causeways as the creation of a pathway or avenue which directed and restricted the bodily movement of the ancient residents of Avebury. Thus, by the end of the occupation there is a considerable re striction to certain places by the enclosure of monuments and this evidence is interpreted as practices perfor med by exclusive groups, i.e. a new social category (Thomas 1993:35-7). This study used st ratigraphic data drawn from archaeological excavations, which contained smallscale details of the modifications taking place at Avebury. Furthermore, Thomas took into a ccount the visual reconstruction of the site throughout the different stages of occupation. With these data he was able to understand how the politics of vision changed and constrained the later occupants of the site, meaning that social segmentation was the outcome of th e physical changes at Avebury. Another set of important studies of Brit ish megaliths conducte d by John Barrett (1990, 1999, 2000) similarly dealt with details of social complexity. Even though it is widely accepted by scholars that megaliths in Europe occur in conjunction with a more complex social organization, Barrett (1990) investigated the proce sses by which monumentality changes social complexity and vice versa. In his research, Barrett (1999:263) analy zed how burials in the Neolithic period served as a point of departure for what became burial lineages during the later Iron Age. Barrett (1990:180) explained how the long mounds of the Neolithic often produced human remains with more than one individual and few artefacts associated. In these burial places the skeletal remains were often found mixed and disarticulated. On the other hand, the subsequent Bronze Age round moun ds have primary graves with a single body. According to Barrett these differences in the interment of hum an remains are closely related to the emergence of burial lineages, which he believes, are closel y related to the innovation of a linear notion of time and a stricter control from a section of the population, that goes hand in hand with a
66 restriction in access to the megalith ic tombs. Similar to Thomas, Barrett took as the core of his data the stratigraphic evidence and the archaeological remains obtained from excavations, such as human burials, deposits, and structures. Drawing upon these and other examples of how to employ a dwelling perspective, this study of plain stone monuments at Naranjo adopt s a parallel approach wh ile investigating how the ancient inhabitants created a nd constructed Naranjo. Four main lines of information are used which are key to reveal landscape as a process in Chapter 5. The first line of evidence examines the main geographical features, such as bodies of water, topography, and hills. The purpose of this evidence is to understand the main physical characteristic s of the area where Naranjo is located, which is important to analyze the rele vance of Naranjo. The second line of evidence, and probably the most important one for the stu dy of Naranjos landscape, is the stratigraphic data obtained from the excavations carried out at the site. These data inform and illustrate the different changes that occurred at Naranjo dur ing its Middle Preclassic occupation. By looking at the stratigraphy it is possible to identify the first evidence of occupation at the site and its small-scale modifications, such as clay floors, earth fills, and earth st ructures (either mounds and/or platforms), or any other ar chitectural features. Furthermore, the stratigraphic evidence is useful to understand the original physical conditions of the area prior to human modifications at the location. These bodies of data are crucial to the discussion of landscape as a process and to understand the recursive relati onship of the background and foreground at Naranjo. The third line of evidence is the archaeologi cal remains obtained from the excavations at Naranjo. This material is used to understand specific practices, su ch as ritual deposits and burnt areas, which will be described in detail in Chapter 4. In addition, the ceramic material recovered from Naranjo provides a relative chronology of the si te in relation to the rest of the Valley of
67 Guatemala and to Southeastern Mesoamerica more generally. The ceramic sequence is useful also to identify small chronological changes th at are not possible to detect with radiocarbon dating. Nonetheless, several radiocarbon dates we re used to calibrate the whole occupation at Naranjo. The fourth line of evidence is composed of spatial information displayed through various maps. Both the topographic map and the archaeo logical map are used to understand the spatial distribution of features within th e site. Nonetheless this evidence is used in conjunction with the stratigraphic data in order to avoid assuming that the final layout of Naranjo remained constant from the beginning of its occupation, a pitfall in archaeology already disc ussed. Furthermore, the map is used to understand possible symmetries and asymmetries at Naranjo that will need further explanations drawn from the other bodies of data outlined abov e. Finally, and to complement the rest of information, visual elemen ts in the form of photographs and drawings are incorporated to aid the reader in the visual perception of Naranjo. These photographs and drawings illustrate key geogra phical features, the final dispos ition of Naranjo, the excavations, and the plain stone monuments. Further detail about the study of plain stone monuments per se is outlined in the following section. Bridging the Nature/Culture Divide The built v ersus unbuilt dichotomy is widely treated in anthropology and represents an important segment of studies that deal with concepts of nature and culture (see Dwyer 1996; Houston 1998; Kowalski 1999; McAnany 1998; va n de Gutche 1999). According to Ingold (1996:120) a sharp distinction betw een nature and culture is not universal. Other contemporary non-western societies do not believe in such di stinction between nature and culture and do not alienate themselves from their li ved environment (Ingold 1996:120).
68 For archaeology, such a distinction between nature and culture is an important part of distinguishing and delimiting human occupatio n. Archaeology relies on looking at traits definitively used or modified by humans to address anthropological questions regarding past human existence. Nonetheless, confusion may arise by looking at specif ic features that are partially modified by humans. The case of the pl ain stone monuments at Na ranjo represents such in-between objects because they usually represen t partially modified natural stones placed in association with other monumental buildings. To study the plain stone monume nts as part of the human experience and practices in Naranjo, it is necessary to leave behind Cartesia n divisions between nature and culture. Looking at how megaliths of Europe have been studied in relation to their environment, especially the work of Richard Bradley (1998, 2000), serves as a model for the Naranjo analysis. Bradley has studied megaliths and Neolithic sites using what he calls an archaeology of natural places (Bradley 2000). The main premise behind this idea is that there is no sharp distin ction between natural places and cultural places, something that follows from the dwelling perspective. As Bradley (2000:41) shows, the study of European megalit hs allows scholars to think of different explanations beyond this dichotomy. Bradleys (1998) main critique is that arch aeologists often forget to integrate the natural features and landsca pe into their studies of ancient cities. As a consequence most archaeological studies have focused on definitive human-modified features, such as archaeological sites a nd obvious man-made alterations to the environment. On the contrary, Bradley argues, archaeologists need to look at other environm ental features because they probably formed part of the ancient landscape as well.
69 Bradley (1998) presents an interesting case study of the stone monu ments of Cornwall in south-west England. At Cornwall several tors, wh ich are massive stacks of granite, often acquire a shape of massive piled stones, sometimes with a huge horizontal slab on the summit. In the same area, a series of megalithic tombs, have been identified. The shape of the megalithic tombs is strikingly similar to that of the tors, which has led several scholars to assume that the ancient residents of the area constructe d the tombs to imitate the natu ral tors. Bradley (1998:19-20) critiques this idea, arguing that it wa s not until modern geology in the 19th century that archaeologist were able to classify tors as na tural formation. Before that, even archaeologists had a difficult time distinguishing the tors from th e tombs. Bradleys case is to point out that archaeologists often extrapolate their own notions of nature and culture to the ancient societies under study. In this case, they assumed that the ancient residents of Corn wall copied the natural tors to build their own cultural monuments, th e megaliths. On the contrary, Bradley (1998:2021) believes there might be other explanations to interpret the similarities between the megalith monuments and the natural tors. He explains the possibility that the ancient residents of Cornwall conceived the tors as ancient ruins of pa st peoples, i.e. cultural: features, and because of their importance as ancestral places, the megalith ic tombs were erected in a similar fashion. The example presented by Bradley, concerning how archaeologists assume ancient peoples made a distinction between natu re and culture, are of use in this study of the plain stone monuments of Naranjo. As outlined above, plain stone monuments appear to be in a limbo between nature and culture. Therefore a differe nt approach should be a pplied, similar to that of Bradleys. The evidence to study the plai n stone monuments at Naranjo, along the lines of a dwelling perspective, is comprised of two main bodies of data. The first body of data comes from the
70 physical characteristics of the monuments themselv es. A detailed description of the monuments is presented with information about their shape, dimensions, stone sources when known, color, man-made modifications, and any other obvious visible features. This step includes a study comparing and contrasting the main characteris tics of the monuments. Length, width, and height are recorded according to the visible stone, the base of the stone, and the complete stone. These data are complemented with photographs, drawings and tables that summarize the information. This body of data is important to look at all the stone monuments of Naranjo and their unique characteristics. Contrary to previous studies of stone monuments in the Maya area that dismiss the medium as an important element of the site, the material conditions a nd characteristics of the stone monuments might provide insightful data to further ex plore the differences between modified and non-modified stones and thei r selection to be erected at Naranjo. The second body of data provides information about the possible geological formations from which the stones of Naranjo were obtained, e ither locally or regionally. The data are based on surveys carried out in the surroundings areas of Naranjo, and by looking at geological maps of the central highlands area. The informati on is presented in maps. The data provide information such as possible nearby stone sources, and possible natural s ites that were used by the inhabitants of Naranjo. These data, obtained from surveys and excavations in the field, are illustrated with photographs and traced on the map of Naranjo. The main goal of this second body of data is to provide information of the phys ical landscape at Naranjo and the stone sources used in the selection of the stone monuments. This information will be discussed in Chapter 6 following Bradleys ideas about the relevance of the stone sources and the natural surroundings of archaeological sites.
71 Conclusion This chapter analyzed the benefits of adop ting a dwelling approach for the study of plain stone monuments at Naranjo. Ingolds (1995) dwelling perspective, which unfolds from phenomenology, presents a different understandi ng of the relations between humans and the environment than the notions presented in the building perspective sect ion. According to a dwelling perspective, humans transform their envi ronment, not because of pre-conceived notions or mental maps, but because of their constant en gagement within this environment. Thus, there is no previous building without dwelling. In this study, the dwelling approach is a dopted through two main ideas: landscape as a process, and the rejection of a universal distinction between natu re and culture. Landscape as a process entails the notion that human beings cannot be detached from the places they inhabited; thus, places, humans and things are recursively connected. In this study landscape as a process allows the investigation of Naranjo by looking at its life hi story, analyzing small-scale changes recorded in the stratigraphic da ta recovered from the excavations at the site. Furthermore, by adopting ideas from materiality it is possible to link the physical modifications at Naranjo with the social transformations that occurred from th e beginning of the Middle Preclassic period until its end. The nature versus culture debate is addresse d in this study through the examination of the built vs. unbuilt characteristics of the plain stone monuments of Naranjo, to challenge modern western concepts of nature and culture. By l ooking at the plain stone m onuments at Naranjo and their relationship to their natural surroundings and other geological data, this study adopts a different approach compared to other studies of monuments in the Maya area which have been reluctant to study the material conditions of the monuments, the stones themselves. As was presented in the methodology section, such an at tempt involves recording and analyzing all the
72 possible details about the plain stone monuments to avoid trea ting at them as homogeneous stones. Adopting a dwelling perspective in the study of plain stone m onuments at Naranjo provides a different understanding of how the pr ocesses of constructing the site and erecting plain stone monuments are relevant to the development of so cial differentiation. By looking at the case studies from Europe presen ted in this chapter, it was possi ble to determine that the data for this study need to be as de tailed as possible, with specific bodies of information drawn from the archaeological excavations and surveys carried out at Naranjo. These data are presented in the following chapter.
73 CHAPTER 4 STONE MONUMENTS OF NARANJO, GUATEMALA This chapter summarizes the data from Naranjo that are the principle evidence for the analyses presented in Chapters 5 and 6. The ma in goal is to provide a general understanding of the plain stone monuments of Naranjo and th eir relationship to th e other monumental constructions as well as the rest of the archaeological evidence found through the excavations at the site. As was stated in the previous chap ter, this study focuses on the creation of place and how this was accomplished through the small changes that occurred during the Middle Preclassic occupation at Naranjo. Most of th e data presented here are derive d from the research done by the Naranjo Archaeological Rescue Project (NARP) (see Chapter 1), of which the author was a member, and the author is responsible for the summary and presentation of the data in this thesis. The chapter is organized in four sections. The first section briefly describes the Middle Preclassic occupation in the Valley of Guatemala to provide a general framework for the location and temporality of Naranjo, its relationship with other sites nearby, and the relevance of the plain stone monuments in this context. The second section describes the geography of Naranjo, which includes a description of the re levant natural features of Na ranjo. The main purpose is to describe the physical and visual landscape of Naranjo to provide th e reader with a sense of the place under study. The third section presents in formation on the occupation of Naranjo during the Middle Preclassic period. This section includes an explanation of the main characteristics of Naranjo, that is, its stages of occupation w ith emphasis on the main buildings and stone monuments. The objective of this section is to present detailed information obtained from the excavations at the site that ar e relevant to understanding how the ancient city of Naranjo was created and inhabited during the Middle Preclass ic period. The final section provides a study of the stones used for the monuments at Naranjo and the relevance of the stone sources. The goal is
74 to provide an understanding of the preferences for the use of certain stones and the possible locations from which these stones were obtained. Middle Preclassic Occupation in the Valley of Guatemala The Valley of Guate mala has a long history of occupation which began in the Middle Preclassic (ca. 900 BC) and extended until the Po stclassic period. The names of the ceramic phases are provided in Table 4-1. Unlike other regions in Guatem ala and the rest of Southeast Mesoamerica, there is still no evidence of Ea rly Preclassic occupati on in the Valley of Guatemala (Murdy 1990:351), which could be interp reted either as a lack of occupation or a sampling error. Therefore the first permanent se ttlements in the valley are dated to the Middle Preclassic period and are characterized as pla ces with monumental c onstructions such as mounds, large platforms, and in some cases, plain stone monuments (Figure 4-1). The Valley of Guatemala is often viewed by scholars as a strategic region due to its location on the continental divide between the Paci fic Coast to the south a nd the Lowlands to the north, and between the western side of the Highl ands and the Atlantic coast to the east (Shook and Hatch 1999). Since the 1950s the expansion of modern Guatemala City has brought about many changes that represented a challenge for ar chaeologists studying the ar chaeological sites in the valley (Crasborn 2000). For example, mo st of the excavations done at Kaminaljuyu, the most prominent regional center in the Valley, we re part of rescue projects due to modern construction (Kidder 1961; Kidder et al. 1977). The same is true fo r other investigations in the valley, which include Naranjo (Arroyo 2006:1; De Len and Valds 2002; Jacobo 1992). Despite an apparent lack of occupation in previous periods, there is sufficient information to conclude that most of the Valley of Guat emala was populated by the beginnings of the Middle Preclassic period. This period was first identified archaeologically by Edwin Shook during the excavations at the site of Kaminaljuyu in th e 1940s and 1950s (Popeno e de Hatch 2002:278).
75 Later the Middle Preclassic was divided into two phases: Las Charcas (900-600 BC) and Providencia (600 400 BC) (Arroyo 2006:135; Popenoe de Ha tch 2002b:278). This same chronology has been applied to the other archaeological sites in the valley. Las Charcas contexts are characterized by dense deposits that were placed in deep pits excavated into the sterile soil by the ancient residents of the area. Such deposits are referred in the lite rature as troncoconic formations or bottle-shaped pits (Marroqun 2006:1) and are distin ctive features found in other regions of Mesoamerican in the Preclassic (or Formative) period (e.g., Flannery 1976). Most of the Las Charcas deposits found in the Valley of Gu atemala have ceramic and lithic materials, and in some occasions, human remains (Borhegyi 1956:287). Nonetheless few architectural features have been identified during Las Charcas times (Shook and Hatch 1999). Most of the platforms found so far are low modified natural elevations (Velsquez 1993). In contrast, the subsequent Providencia phase is characterized by the cons truction of mounds and platforms using earthen fills that increased the level of the natural terrain (Romn 1998). As mentioned in Chapter 2, the plain stone monuments of the central highlands were dated by Shook to the Middle Preclassi c occupation, and one of the bases for this dating was the surface material collected at some of the site s with such monuments (Shook 1952). During his visit to Naranjo, Shook reported vi ewing several clay figurines da ted to the Las Charcas phase (Shook 1943), and these pieces were important in th e assignment of the plain stone monument tradition to the Middle Preclassic period at the site. As explained in this chapter, the excavations at Naranjo were able to confirm this dating (Pereira et al. 2007). In spite of the evidence for the vast occ upation of the Valley of Guatemala during the Middle Preclassic period, the arch aeological literature on the hi story of the valley has been dominated by the occupation of the ancient city of Kaminaljuyu. Kaminaljuyu is considered the
76 most important site of the valley due to its long occupation and la rge spatial extent. This city was inhabited since the Middle Preclassic period (ca. 900 BC) and abandoned by the Late Classic period (ca. AD 900) (Popenoe de Hatc h 1991:2). Nonetheless the Middle Preclassic occupation at Kaminaljuyu and the rest of the sites in the Valley of Guatemala is a topic that still needs further investigation. Even though Kamina ljuyu is posited as the dominant site of the valley for the Late Preclassic period (Shook and Ha tch 1999), recent excavations at other Middle Preclassic sites (Arroyo et al. 2007; De Len and Valds 2002; Jacobo 1992) suggest that Kaminaljuyu was not the major center during the Middle Preclassic peri od (Arroyo 2006:137-8). Nonetheless, by the beginnings of the Late Preclassic period there is a cha nge in the settlement pattern of the Valley of Guatemala because Kami naljuyu emerged as the regional center in the area. This is inferred by the large amount of mo numental constructions that were made by this time there (Popenoe de Hatch 1991:6). At the same time that Kaminaljuyu rose to dominance, several of the larger Middle Preclassic sites in the valley were abandoned, including Naranjo (Arroyo et al. 2007:871). Geography of Naranjo Naranjo is situated on a peninsula surrounded by ravines and rivers with its m ain access to the south (Figure 4-2). The most prominent feature that characterizes the area where Naranjo is located is a natural hill, the Cerro Naranjo. Th is hill runs from north to south, and it is located to the southwest of the Naranjo site (Figure 4-3) The Cerro Naranjo is an outstanding natural feature for the entire Valley of Guatemala because it is one of the highest elevations in the area, 1660 meters above sea level, whereas the averag e elevation for the valley is 1500 meters above sea level. In addition, its distinctive shape, composed of three major peaks, can be observed from great distances at severa l other locations in the valle y, which makes it a good point of reference (Figure 4-4). Besides the Cerro Naranjo, and from a larg er scale perspective, the Agua
77 Volcano also forms parts of the visual landscape of Naranjo. This volcano is situated more than 30 kilometers away in a straight line to the southwest of the site, on the outskirts of a neighboring valley. Nonetheless, its height of 1900 meters above sea level makes the volcano visible from the entire Valle y of Guatemala (Figure 4-5). At a smaller scale, and also forming part of the visual landscape of Naranjo, is another natural hill located within the site boundaries, in the east area (Figure 4-6). This natural hill has an elevation of approximately 30 meters from th e modern surface and deli mits the eastern border of Naranjo. In this area a ra vine of 150 meters of depth creates a gap between the terrain of Naranjo and the neighboring areas. This ravine borders the norther n and northwestern part of the site, although on the west side of the peninsula of Naranjo the ravi nes are shallower (Figure 4-7). Several small rivers run at the bottom of th e ravines surrounding Naranjo. Some of the smaller branches of these rivers come from natural water springs located within the boundaries of Naranjo. At least three permanent springs have been identified along the west ravine of the site, and many others are active only during the rainy season (Figure 4-8). The center of the Naranjo covers an area of approximately 160,000 square meters, which includes three mounds and two platforms (Figure 4-9) The terrain of the si te is characterized by a small gradient that makes the south area slight ly higher in elevation than the north area; the difference is about 10 meters. Nonetheless this di fference in elevation is mostly noticed in the southern portion where the slope is steepest. To the southwest this slope increases dramatically since there is a connection to the slopes of the Cerro Naranjo. Therefore it could be said that Naranjo is literally on the outskirts of the hill. The northern area of Naranjo (north of Mound 2 and the Natural Hill) is characterized by a flat terrain which is in terrupted only by the pres ence of Mound 3. This area has the best view of
78 the site. From here it is possible to observe th e northern part of the Valley of Guatemala, the Agua Volcano, the entire Cerro Naranjo, and the na tural hill of Naranjo. Both of these latter features are usually difficult to visualize complete ly from the center of the site (near Mound 1 or Mound 2) due to their proximity which reduces the panoramic view. History of the Occupation at Naranjo Naranjo was first occupied during the Mi ddle Preclassic period around 900 BC and it was inhabited un til 400 BC; its occupation spans th e Las Charcas and Providencia phases (Arroyo 2006:9). The site was abandoned by the Late Preclassic period, and it was not until the Late Classic period that it was partiall y revisited and reoccupied (Pai z 2007) (Table 4-1). The main layout of the site was created throughout the Middle Preclassic occupation. By the end of this period Naranjo was composed of two platforms, three mounds, and more than 20 plain stone monuments (Figure 4-9). The surrounding areas of Naranjo were also occupied during this period of time and there is evidence of household occupation (Pereira and Arroyo 2008). Nonetheless the information presented on this th esis focuses on the information gathered from the ceremonial center of Naranjo. The Northern Platform, Mound 1, and the Southern Platform are aligned north to south in the western portion of the site. These three buildings are conn ected to one another and they share the same foundation. Mound 1 stands out fr om both platforms since it has a height of 6 meters, whereas each platform is around 1.5 me ters high (Arroyo 2006:11). The area between these constructions and the natural hill is compos ed of a fairly flat te rrain of 200 meters by 200 meters. This is where most of the plain stone monuments of Naranjo were erected. Here, three possible rows of 16 monuments have been identified (Per eira et al. 2007). To the north of the area of the monuments and near the Northern Platform is Mound 2, with a height of approximately 4 meters. Finally, Mound 3 is located 250 meters north of what is considered the
79 center of the site. This mound wa s built on top of a natu ral elevation and it r eached a total height of 4 meters (Arroyo 2006: 10). Since the end of the 19th century, travelers visiting Naranjo felt attracted to the plain stone monuments of the site. As early as 1875, the ph otographer Eadweard Muybr idge visited Naranjo and took the first published picture of Naranj os Monument 1 (Burns 1986, cited in Arroyo 2006:3). One year later, the Mi nister of the United States for Central America, George Williamson, went to Naranjo as well (Arroyo 2006: 3-6). He was the first to publish a map of Naranjo as part of his archaeological report (W illiamson 1877). In his map (Figure 4-10) and descriptions he named 15 stone m onuments at the site, 13 of them di stributed in three rows in the central area between the natural hill and Mound 1. He provided furt her details, stating that Row 3 had four columnar basalts, there were five big boulders in Row 2, and f our stone monuments in Row 1, as well as another basalt column n ear the north end of Mound 1. The map and description made by Williamson have proven to be a valuable source of information, and the map has very accurate measurements. Decades later, Edwin M. Shook (1943) visited Naranjo and documented 21 monuments (Figure 4-11). He added five more monuments to Row 1 and several other monuments in the main area of the site. Nonetheless, Shooks sketch shows two of five columnar basalts in Row 3, which is confusing since Williamson reported only four columnar basalts in that row, not five. The Naranjo Archaeological Project was able to locate more than 30 stone monuments at Naranjo, although not all of them were in situ5 or at the center of the site. At Naranjo, the main visual arrangement at the site is dominated by th e three rows of monument s placed in the flat 5 The NARP numbered all the large stone found in the field seasons, whether or not these were in situ. Here I discuss only those monuments recorded in situ and dated for the Middle Preclassic period (Table 4-2).
80 plaza area between Mound 1-South Platform and th e Natural Hill (Figure 4-9) (Pereira et al. 2007). In addition, recent findings have identified a possible fourth row of monuments placed to the west of Mound 1 and of the Northern Platform (Arroyo personal communication 2008). It is possible that more stones were erected as part of row 1, since Shook noted in his sketch map ten spaces named as missing stelae. These missing monuments were not identified by Williamson in his map of 1877, which raises questions as to whether what Shook observed during his visit were in fact holes produced by removing some of the plain stone monuments (Pereira et al. 2007). Nonetheless, Shook was able to identify othe r stone monuments not recognized by Williamson, such as Monument 3 and 4 lo cated in front of the Southern Platform. First Occupation at Naranjo In addition to the visible constructions at Naran jo, the excavations that the NARP carried out during the 2005-2007 seasons re vealed that the ancient resi dents of Naranjo engaged in massive earthworks that are hidden to the naked ey e today. Some of these activities were related to carving troncoconic pits in the sterile soil, an d others were related to leveling some of the areas at Naranjo with large earth fillings. The troncoconic pits were found in several area s of the center of the site, mostly in the western portion. Some were found in the surrou nding areas of Mound 1 (to the west and north) (NJO8-1 and NJO 15-6, see Arroyo 20066), below what later became the Northern Platform, and others in the southern area of the site (Ope ration 24, Arroyo 2006). These pits were carved within the sterile soil and were filled with a high concentration of fragmented vessels and incense vessels, broken clay figurines, pieces of obsidian blades and flakes, broken basalt 6 Each excavation unit at Naranjo was designated under a three-code number. The first three letters NJO refer to Naranjo, the following number indicates the operation number, and the third number refers to the number of unit excavated within the operation number.
81 grinding stones, green stone, pumice, mica, a nd sometimes human and animal bones. The materials were deposited as cons ecutive layers, and the evidence shows that they were burned in situ since large quantities of ash, charcoal, and burnt chunks of clay were found. These deposits have been interpreted as eviden ce of ritual practices carried out in Naranjo (Arroyo 2006:29). None of the materials recovered was in one piece, and Arroyo suggests that purposeful breaking and scattering of the pieces was part of the ritual practices involve d, as well as the burning activity. During the ceramic anal ysis several broken pieces comi ng from these pits were found to be parts of the same vessels. A similar situat ion was encountered in th e analysis of figurines, where one head could fit one of the fragmented bodies found in adjacent excavation pits. Thus, this information indicates that pieces of the same ceramic vessels or figurines were scattered meters apart in the same pit or in a differe nt pit by the ancient inhabitants of Naranjo. All the deposits were found on top of the na tural yellowish tephra soil locally called talpetate7, and in some instances pits were dug in th is soil before placing the materials. The ceramics recovered from these pits were identified as Las Charcas materials. In addition to the ceramic seriation, carbon dating showed that thes e ritual practices were carried out during the time span of 830 750 BC calibrated. (Arroyo 2006:137). The evidence for earth-filling activities was iden tified in the south por tion of the center of Naranjo. Before excavation this area did not show evidence of m odifications and it looked like a natural flat terrain. Nonetheless the test pits demonstrated that great amounts of earth fill were placed here. In some cases the filling represente d an elevation of the natural surface by 2 meters. Thus, this evidence reveals that the original gr ound surface in this area was shallower than most of the rest of the center of the site. The first earth fill was composed of a mixture of brown clay 7 Talpetate is one of the layers recogn ized for the soil series Guatemala part of the central highlands soil types. Talpetate is a silty clay loam of brown yellow color an d is of volcanic origin (Simmons et al. 1959:776)
82 and sand with other inclusions, such as pumice and chunks of burnt cla y. The fill was topped with a layer of yellowish clay, presumably the same as the sterile soil or talpetate. This brownyellowish clay with a thin sand layer on top was interpreted as the first clay floor built at Naranjo, and it was found only in this area (Figur e 4-12). Few cultural materials were recovered from these excavations, mostly pieces of ceramics mixed in the earth fill. Therefore the dating of these activities was derived by correlating the stratigraphy of these excav ations with the ones from the rest of the site. Monumental Constructions at Naranjo After the construction of the first clay floor, se veral other activities were carried out in the center that changed the original landscape of Naranjo. These modifications produced three major characteristics: the elevation of the terrain in the west portion of the site, the creation of a new clay floor (Clay Floor #2) on top of the first clay floor, and the erecti on of most of the plain stone monuments in the same area where the sec ond clay floor was placed. Nonetheless not all of the changes occurred during the same time peri od. As is discussed here, some activities were carried out starting in the Las Charcas phase and continuing to the Providencia phase, while others did not begin until the Providencia phase (Arroyo 2006:51). The main division within this chronology is observed at a broader scale in the center of Naranjo. The majority of Las Charcas phase activities have been documented in the so uthern portion of the center of the site, which includes the South Platform, Mound 1, and some of the stone monuments, whereas most of the subsequent Providencia phase activities were documented in the northern portion where the North Platform and Mound 2 are located. The western portion of the center of Naranjo where the South Platform, Mound 1, and the North Platform are found today was originally a natura l elevation. In the southern portion of what later became the ceremonial center, the ancien t residents of Naranjo engaged in a series of
83 practices very similar to the ritual depositions already discussed as part of the first occupation evidence. Here, the same pattern was observed through the excavations, which consisted of the creation of pits within the talpetate. Broken cultural materials were placed afterwards as layers of burnt material which formed dense deposits, presumably ritual in nature (Arroyo 2006). These deposits were sometimes combined with la yers of mixed clays of different brown color tones (Figure 4-13). The stratigraphic evidence thus reveals that the elevation of this terrain (which has been named by the NARP the South Platform) was not a product of an inte ntional construction project, but was instead the indirect result of th e repetition of the practic es of the placement of ritual deposits and layers of earth fill, which li ttle by little elevated the area to around 1.5 meters above the surface. During the excavations the NARP was able to identify different heterogeneous layers of fills and cultural material deposits, although it was not possible to distinguish uniform construction fillings or bui lding stages (Arroyo 206:20) According to the ceramic analysis the South Platform represents th e main area where ritual practices were carried out. Furthermore, several carbon dates confirmed th at this area was in use from the Las Charcas phase around 790 BC until the end of the Provi dencia phase around 400 BC (Arroyo 2006:137). In the area where Mound 1 lies today the excav ations revealed a detailed sequence of soil layers that suggest at least si x different episodes in the history of Naranjo (Arroyo 2006:18). Each episode is connected to marked charcoal layers, and the stratigra phy of the mound proved to be rather complex. It is probable that the firs t phases of activities carried out in this area were not related to the constructi on of a mound, since the stratigra phy shows the possibility of two elevated areas. Nonetheless by the last episode of use, the formal construction of Mound 1 was evident by its front clay staircas e and a possible perish able structure on its top (Arroyo 2006:14).
84 The ceramic analysis and the carbon dating samples both show that the area where Mound 1 stands was a focus of activities since the Las Charcas phase that continued until the end of Providencia phase (Arroyo 2006:138). The final set of modifications made in Mound 1 is contemporaneous with the creation of a second clay floor in the center of Naranjo (Figur e 4-14). Before placing the second floor, they capped Clay Floor #1 and/or prepared the surface for Clay Floor #2 with brown clay fills. Thus, in the excavation profiles the brown clay was seen between the two floors. The area between the west constructions complex conformed by the South Platform-Mound1-North Platform and the natural hill to the east was covered completely with this floor. In this area the floor had characteristics similar to Clay Floor #1, which had been topped with excavated talpetate soil. Nonetheless the same floor found in the area west of Mound 1 and the South Platform did not have this yellowish color and was composed of br own clay without any fina l clay layer as the top surface. Thus, it has been inte rpreted that the area east of th e constructions (South PlatformMound 1-North Platform) and in between the natural hill, which did have the yellowish color, was a man-made surface that was under consta nt modification as is explained below (Arroyo 2006:29). By looking at both figures 4-12 and 4-14 it is possible to observe that the Clay Floor #2 had an extended area to the north in compar ison to the evidence of Clay Floor #1. The excavation evidence also shows that this exte nded area to the north suffered other permanent alterations such as the constr uction of the North Platform an d Mound 2. According to Barbara Arroyo (2006:30) the nort hern structures of Naranjo, includi ng Mound 3 were built at the later part of the Middle Preclassic pe riod during the Providencia phase (Figure 4-9). Excavations of
85 these structures showed that they had fewer construction phases and that they were built more quickly than Mound 1 (A rroyo et al 2007:869). With the evidence outlined above it is possible to interpret that the ar ea where the center of Naranjo lies today started bei ng used and modified by the beginning of the Middle Preclassic period, during the Las Charcas phase. By this tim e the southern portion of what later became the center of Naranjo had scattered r itual materials which with time became layered deposits on top of the sterile soil or talpetate In some instances troncoconic p its were dug before placing the cultural materials. Most of these ritual deposits were later buried deeply by subsequent earth fillings and floors. Around the same time the area southeast to the natural hill started to be modified. Such modifications involved large quantities of earth fill composed of clay materials. These fills were topped with a thin yellowish layer of talpetate which has been interpreted as Floor #1. Evidence of human modifi cations was also visible in the western portion of the center of Naranjo. Here, repetition of ritual deposits combined with mi xed clay layers over the years produced the South Platform (Arroyo 2006). In a similar fashion the area underneath Mound 1 was found to contain dense cultural material deposits. The area wa s later intentionally elevated to create Mound 1 with a nice front clay stairway and a perishable supers tructure. This later construction was probably done at the same time as the placement of the second floor in the area between this mound and the natural hill. The se cond floor was placed on top of the first floor with a clay layer in between, although the ancien t inhabitants of Naranj o extended its original surface to the north, where the new constructions of Mound 2 and the North Platform were also carried out by the late Middle Preclassic period. The following sections incorporate data from the plain stone monuments found at the center of Naranjo to complete the life history of the center of the site.
86 Monuments in Row 1 The existence of a plaza area as a defined sp ace was first identified by Clay Floor #2 and was further confirm ed by the evidence of the erecti on of the plain stone monu ments. Most of the monuments found at Naranjo were placed in this area, and their placement suggests they form three different rows, as Williamson first obser ved and noted on his 1877 map (Figure 4-15). Row 1 was erected to the west and close to Mound 1 and the South Platform (Table 4-5). This row is composed of Monuments 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 9 (Figure 4-16). All the monuments in this row have different shapes (size and height) and are probably from different materials (Table 4-4 and Figure 4-17). The NARP excavations of Row 1 monuments revealed that all of them were placed in Clay Floor #2, which means that the small portion of the stone used as the base or foundation was interred within that floor (Figure 4-18). Appare ntly, the floor was built at the same time as the erection of the monuments because there was no visible trace that th e clay floor was cut into to place the monuments after the floor was created. This was especially evident during the excavation of Monument 3, where a stone altar was found on top of the clay floor, but a small portion of Monument 3 was interred within th e floor to make it stable (Figure 4-19). Even though all of the Row 1 monuments were placed in the same floor, several differences were found while comparing the stra tigraphy of the excavations at each monument, which might indicate that not all the monuments we re placed at the same moment. One difference observed was that not all the monuments were placed in an area where Clay Floor #1 was present (the southern portion of the plaza). Monuments 7, 8, and 9 were placed directly on top of the sterile soil, where a clay fill topped wi th the Clay Floor #2 was built at the same time (Table 4-3). Furthermore, the ceramic analys is of the excavation materials showed mixed ceramics from Las Charcas and Providencia phase s (Arroyo 2006:63-7). In contrast Monuments
87 1, 2, 3, and 4 were placed in an area where th e previous Clay Floor #1 existed; thus, the stratigraphy here was deeper and revealed the presence of both floors. Furthermore one carbon sample obtained from the floor immediately next to Monument 3 resulted in a calibrated date of 800-750 BC (Arroyo 2006:59). The C14 date was corr elated with the ceramic and stratigraphic analyses, and creates an excellent precedent to corroborate the appearance of plain stone monuments by the beginning of the Middle Precla ssic period in the highlands of Guatemala (Arroyo 2006; Pereira et al. 2007). Monuments 3 and 4 were found almost buried underneath the modern topsoil with only about 30 cm of the stone monument vi sible (Figure 4-20). They both had the same stratigraphic contex t, and they both had an altar to their west side, which means that their front side faced the Southern Platform. Thus it could be presumed that they were placed at relatively the same time (Table 4-4 and Figure 4-16). Another difference found among Row 1 stone s was the presence or absence of an accompanying stone altar. As mentioned, both Monu ments 3 and 4 had stone altars in front of them, and the altars were wider than the monu ments. In addition, during the excavations of Monument 8 a stone was found to its east side, but it was not considered a stone altar because it was relatively small in comparison to the two pr evious examples (Arroyo 2006:65). In the case of Monument 8 the stone altar was narrower th an the size of the monument itself. Therefore the stone altars found in front of Monuments 3 and 4 represent the only examples of this category found so far at Naranjo (Per eira et al. 2007). It is also possible that the smaller stone with Monument 8could be considered ju st another variati on of an altar. Among the common characteristic of the plain stone monuments of Row 1 was the fact that there were very few cultural materials asso ciated with them, and what fragments were found were small (Arroyo 2006:55-92). The same characteris tic is true for all th e excavations made in
88 the plaza area, including the othe r rows of monuments discussed be low. Even though this lack of good ceramic material for seriation has made it difficult to be more precise with the dates of the monuments and the plaza floor in general, it is clear evidence that this area was kept clean and devoid of at least non-pe rishable materials by the ancient residents of Naranjo. Another characteristic that prevailed for all the monuments of Row 1 was the presence of small and medium size stones found at the bases of the monuments (Table 4-4). In some cases it is assumed that these stones helped to stabi lize the monuments, but in other cases, such as Monument 9, the stones were too small to aid in the foundation of the monument. In this case three stones were aligned at the west base of th e monument (Figure 4-17). Furthermore in some monuments, such as Monuments 3 and 7, several fragments of grinding stones were placed as part of these foundation stones. The excavations at Monument 7 also revealed a burnt clay surface with medium size stones below Clay Fl oor #2 and on top of the sterile soil (Arroyo 2006:63; Pereira et al. 2007). Monuments in Row 2 Row 2 consists of big stone boulders with an average of 3.1 meters high (T able 4-2 and Figure 4-21). So far five monuments have been located in this row, the same number that Williamson (1887) and Shook (1952) reported during their visits at Naranjo (Monument 22, 27, 28, 29, and 44) (Figure 4-22). Unfortunately by the time the NARP began in 2005 both Row 2 and 3s monuments had been taken down on purpose and buried in their original location. Their massive size permitted the NARP to locate by ac cident one of the monuments (Monument 22) during the 2005 season. During the 2006 season three more monuments (Monuments 27, 28, and 29) were found using a Ground Penetrating Radar a nd a magnetometer survey. Both techniques were used with the aid of Williamsons descriptio ns of the location of such monuments. These activities were directed by Hector Neff and his team (Arr oyo 2006: 53; Neff et al. 2007).
89 Nonetheless the fifth monument (Monument 44) could not be located, and it remained unknown until recently when the NARP team found it in the same area where the others were found, although it was not possible to excav ate it since it was found alrea dy lying on top of the modern surface (Arroyo personal communication 2008). According to the map of Naranjo (Figure 415) the monuments in Row 2 were placed approximately in the center of the plaza, and ar e closer to the monuments of Row 3 (Monuments 23-27 and 30-31) than to those of Row 1 (Table 4-5). The excavations of the four stone monuments in Row 2 demonstrated that all of them were placed within the same clay floor as the monuments in Row 1 (Clay Floor #2) (Table 4-3 and Table 4-4). Likewise, some of the Row 2 monuments were erected in an area where no prev ious Clay Floor #1 was placed. Such was the case for Monuments 22 and 29. At both excavations it was possible to id entify that the stone monuments were placed directly on top of the sterile soil or talpetate and that the ancient inhabitants added a clay fill toppe d with the Clay Floor #2 surface. In the case of Monument 29 the talpetate was dug into so that it allowed the tip of the base of the monument to be interred within it. This was presumably done to add st ability to such a big monument, since it was erected in an area where only a thin layer of around 60 cm of earth was placed to sustain the monument. To aid in the stability of all the monuments of Row 2, several medium and small size stones were placed as wedges at the base of the monuments. This was observed in the excavations of the four monuments. In addi tion the location of these wedges helped the NARP team to determine the original place where the monuments had b een erected before they were taken down in modern times, since the wedges apparently barely moved after the monuments were buried and recent disturbance did not displace them. During the excavations the wedges
90 were found within their original stratigraphic contexts. This information was corroborated by looking at the position of the wedges in all the excavation uni ts of Row 2s monuments and comparing their alignment assuming they were forming a north-south alignment. Also, the distance from each other and from the other rows of monuments was also measured and compared. All the data obtained were consistent with what Williamson had in his description of Naranjo. Two important differences between th e stone wedges found with these monuments and the small stones found at the base of all the m onuments of the Row 1 is that the wedges of Row 2s monuments were bigger, and th e stratigraphy showed that they we re not always totally buried within the Clay Floor #2, as was the case for Monuments 28 (Figure 4-23) and 29. In spite of the lack of a primary context in th ese excavations, it was rather easy to identify the modern intrusive soils in contrast to the an cient ones. Nonetheless all the ceramic and lithic materials recovered during the excavations were mixed, which excluded the possibility of a good ceramic sequence. During the excavation of Monument 22 a small carbon sample was obtained from the earth associated with the wedges, and it was dated to 750-500 BC calibrated (Arroyo 2006:137). Here there was also evidence of an ex tended area with burnt clay and small stones that has been interpreted as a possible perishable altar or an ancient surface for burning activities (Arroyo personal communication 2006). This feature was found adjacent to the monument in a northwest section of the excavation unit. No other cultural materials we re recovered from this locus except for big chunks of burnt clay. Monuments in Row 3 Close to th e stone monuments in Row 2 ar e those of Row 3. According to Williamson (1877) this row of consisted of four free-standing columnar basalts. Row 3s monuments are at a close distance from Row 2s m onuments (Table 4-5) and, as in the case of Row 2, these monuments were found by the NARP out of their primary contexts, and had been buried a small
91 distance from their original locations (Figure 4-15 ). All of the columnar basalts were broken, so instead of recovering four whole pieces, as was the case in Row 2, there were nine fragments. Five fragments of columnar basalt were recove red in the 2005 season (Figure 4-24 and Table 44), and the other four fragments were located with the aid of the Ground Penetrating Radar and magnetometer surveys (Neff et al. 2007) (Figure 4-25a). Two different test pits were excavated to recover the nine pieces, but little informa tion about their dating was obtained. After the excavations the NARP was able to reconstitute most of the monuments from the fragments, which formed three basalt columns (Figure 4-25b), which means that one columnar basalt is still missing according to Williamsons map (Arroyo personal communication 2007). With the aid of the stratigraphy of the excavat ed pits it was possible to tell that the columnar basalts were placed in the same floor level (Clay Floor #2) as the other two rows of monuments (Pereira et al. 2007:845) (Figure 4-24). The two test pits excavated to discover the basalt column fragments also revealed that this area had been previously modified by the construction of Clay Floor #1. Thus, in both excavations the two floors, #1 and #2, were identified (Table 4-3 and 4-4). Monuments in the Western Area Even though the m ajority of plain stone monu ments have been found to the east of the Mound 1 and the South Platform, fo ur plain stone monuments have been identified in the area immediately west in relation to Mound 1 and th e North Platform. Only Monument 17 out of the four monuments (Monument 41, 42, and 43) was found by the NARP and excavated while still in situ (Figure 4-15). The other three monuments were found recently by the modern construction project, and the NARP was able to locate only the area where they were found but no further excavations were carried out (Arroyo personal communication 2007). In addition to these new three stone monument s, another interesting find wa s made: several small basalt
92 columns were found in the area west of Mound 1, fa rther west than the original location of Monument 17. Unfortunately the archaeological context of these small columns, like that of the other three monuments, is lost. Monument 17 is located to the west of Mound 1, aligned with the midpoint of the mounds base. As with Monuments 3 and 4, only the tip of the monument could be seen before the excavation. During the excavation of this monument it was possible to determine that the stone was placed on top of sterile soil and was covered partially by a dark clay soil which comprised the clay floor of the area. In addition, several stones were found at its ba se and near the sterile soil. The difference between this monument and the rest of the monuments found at Naranjo is that four small greenstone celts were found duri ng the excavations of Monument 17. Three celts were complete pieces and one was fragmentary. One celt was found at each side of the foursided monument, near its base (F igure 4-27). So far, this is th e only stone monument of Naranjo where such types of artifacts were placed in th e base of the stone (Pereira et. al 2007). Nonetheless, all the other monuments also had st ones in their foundations, and in some instances these were fragments of grinding stones. In sum, four possible rows of monuments were found in th e center of Naranjo formed by 16 stone monuments and 9 fragments. Nonethel ess it is important to consider that more monuments could have been standi ng during the Middle Pr eclassic period at Naranjo. If so, they could have been moved by the Late Classic inhabitants of Naranjo or by the modern people that lived in the Hacienda Naranjo. Also, it is necessa ry to consider any possible sampling errors in the fieldwork season of NARP since some of the monuments found (e.g. Monument 3, 4, and 17)
93 were almost buried. The possibility that more monuments remain in the ground must be left open to consideration. All of the monuments excavated were found to be erected during the same time as the construction of what was named Floor #2 in the previous section. Nonetheless some of the monuments were placed in area s where the previous Floor #1 wa s found deeper in the excavation profile; the rest of the monuments were placed di rectly on top of the sterile soil. Row 1 was composed of 7 stone monuments all with different shapes and possible different types of stone. This is the only row that was actually excavated while the monuments were still in situ. By comparing the excavation profiles of all the monuments it was possibly to discern th at not all of them were placed forming a straight line, and pos sibly, not all of them were placed in a single event. Further details about their placement and the implication will be discussed in Chapter 5. Row 2 was composed of five massive stone boulder s of similar shape and size. Even though this row was excavated when the monuments were already out of context, it was possible to identify their original location by looking at the excava tion profiles. In addition, stone wedges were found in their surroundings indicatin g the aid of these stones to ma intain the large monuments in place. Row 3 was composed of nine fragments of columnar basalts, which possibly comprise the four monuments that Williamson saw standing by in the 19th century. Although the excavation units provided good stratigraphic data to indicate that the stones we re placed within Floor #2, the original location of two of the four original monuments was difficult to determine. The last possible row of monuments was located to th e west of Mound 1 and the North Platform, although only Monument 17 was excavated in sit u. The other three monuments were found out of context after the excavation seasons ended. The main charact eristic that prevailed among all
94 of the monuments is their variation. This variation was observed in the placement of the stones, their artifacts associated, and the characteristics of the stone itself, as is discussed below. Natural Stones at Naranjo The excavation of the plain stone m onuments at Naranjo provided valuable information regarding the practices associated with the placement of the st ones and the chronology of this placement. However, additional information is required in order to understand the nature of these stones. This topic is discussed in this section through th e study of the physical characteristics of the stones themselves. As indicated above, a wide variation was observed within the corpus of plain stone monuments f ound at Naranjo. This variation was largely informed by the stone sources selected for the mo numents, as well as furt her modifications that the ancient inhabitants of Naranjo might have made to them. Furthermore, the natural landscape of Naranjo and its surroundings are considered important elements that played a role in the practices associated with the erection of the stone monuments, and for that reason, they also must be considered in relation to the monuments. Stone Sources The identification of the stone sources for th e plain m onuments at Naranjo was carried out with the aid of geologist Rodol fo Alvarado who collaborated with the NARP. He was able to identify the stone composition of most of the monuments, although this was a visual identification, and no petrographic analyses have been carried out yet. In addition, Alvarado examined the stone outcrops found at the natura l hill and those in the southwest periphery of Naranjo. The discussion presented here is base d on his identifications (Alvarado, personal communication 2005-2006).
95 Limestone source At Naranjo at least 6 m onuments were id entified as possible limestones (Monument 7, 22, 27, 28, and 29: see Table 4-4). The stone outcrop s located in the imme diate surroundings of Naranjo have been identified as limestone (Arro yo 2006:11). The first li mestone outcrops were located in the natural hill, whic h has stone outcrops in its easter n, northern and southern portions (Figure 4-28). The NARP carried out a large survey in the natural hill, and several test pits were excavated. Nonetheless these excavations had s cant cultural material, and most of it was dated to the Late Classic period (Paiz 200 7). Furthermore, test pits were purposely located next to the natural rock outcrops to try to determine if stone was extracted from here. However, the excavations found no evidence of such activities, or of any perm anent modifications to the hill (Arroyo 2006:11). Thus, there is no direct evidence that the stone outcrops or the natural hill as a whole was the focus of intense or repetitiv e human extractive prac tices during the Middle Preclassic period, although this does not mean that they were not an important visual aspect of the landscape. The second area with identifie d limestone outcrops is the southwestern periphery of Naranjo, where several natural springs have also been located (Figure 4-29). Unlike the outcrops at the natural hill, these had stone boulders la ying in the surface. The investigations by the NARP also found several household areas near these stone outcrops a nd the springs, and the excavations showed that this area was occupi ed and modified duri ng the Middle Preclassic period (Arroyo 2006:44; Pereira a nd Arroyo 2008). The excavations carried out near the stone outcrops did not find any re levant cultural materials that coul d help define specific practices carried out there, such as stone extraction. Nevertheless the fact that stone boulders exist in the area could indicate that extracti ng was not necessary and some of the boulders could have been used as monuments. For instance, Naranjo Monume nt 7 has the same physical characteristics as
96 most of the rock outcrops located in this area, and according to Alvarado, these outcrops could be the potential source for this monument. Finally, during recent survey activities of th e NARP, other stone outcrops have been found in the Cerro Naranjo (Figure 4-28). Some of the stone outcrops found in this area were rather large, which could indicate a possible source for the stone monuments used in Row 2 at Naranjo. Nonetheless, further research, in cluding excavations, is needed in this area to assess whether there was a Middle Preclassic occupation or use of the area for quarrying. Andesite stone Andesite is a m inority stone type for the m onuments at Naranjo. Only Monument 1 and 2 were classified as andesite dur ing the visual classification made by geologist Alvarado (Table 42 and 4-4). However, he mentioned the possibility that some of the monuments classified as basalt might be andesite instead. Andesite and basalt have sim ilar configurations, and without a petrographic analysis it is sometimes difficult for the naked eye to observe the difference between them. According to Eggers (1972:17) the difference between basalt and andesite is their silica content. Usually basalt has a composition of 52% or less of silica, and andesite has more than 52%, although several geologists assign diff erent parameters for this classification (Streckeisen 1967). According to the Geological Map of Guatemala City and Amatitln (IGN 1970:2059 I and II), several andesite sources occur near Naranjo. I located several possible stone sources by looking at this map. One of these sources is located approximately 10 km west of Naranjo (Figure 4-30). These sources have been identifi ed as chiefly dark gray andesite and light colored fine grained docite, rhyodacite, and latite8, and they run along the Ro Pansalic, near El 8 Dacite and rhyodacite have similar petrographic comositions as andesite rocks (Strecksein 1967)
97 Manzanillo town. Smaller outcrops are located to the southwest w ithin a distance of 15 kilometers approximately. Larger andesite sour ces are located 20-30 kilome ters to the south of Naranjo in the surroundings of Lake Amatitln. Columnar basalt stones Colum nar basalt or basalt jo ints are geological formations found in many parts of the world (Hyndman 1985). They are prismatic rock joints having polygonal cross-section with straight edges and parallel faces. Typical cross-sectional dimension varies from a few centimeters to meter size and typical height from 20-50 meters. The columnar basalt is produced during the period of the cooling of the thick lava flow, which forms contractional joints or fractures. The flow usually shri nks in vertically without fractu ring, and cannot sink horizontally until the cracks are formed. In Hawaii, the forma tion of columnar basalt has been documented to form within minutes after the formation of fresh lava. The columns are tensional features formed by shrinkage during solidif ication of the magma where the shrinkage stresses are relieved at nearly regular intervals pe rpendicular to the most prominent cooling surface, extending inwards as the body cools (Hyndman 1985:66-67). Th is exclusive fracture networks results in the columnar formation. Basalt columns usually have six sides, although this number may vary, and in some cases there are columns with four to even ei ght sides instead. Twelve of the stone monuments found at Naranj o were basalt columns (Table 4-2 and 4-4). As noted above, four of them were found out of context (Monuments 10, 18, 19, and 37), and seven of them were fragments of three possible columns erected as the monuments of the third row. This means that Naranjo had at least nine columnar basa lt monuments. Of the monuments found in situ, it is possible to sa y that the average height of the columns was of 1.2 m, although some of the fragments of columnar basalt found in NJO16-4 and NJO29-1 were restored to their
98 original shape and they measured more than 2 m high. The columnar basalts of Naranjo have either five or six sides. As already noted in Chapter 2, th is type of stone was widely used at several sites of the highlands and Pacific Coast of Guatemala dur ing the Middle and Late Preclassic periods (Borhegyi 1965; Shook 1952) (see Figure 4-30 and 4-31 for their distribution). At these sites the archaeological evidence shows that the columnar basalts were erected as free-standing plain monuments, although there is also evidence of carved columnar basalts such as the well-known examples of Stelae 9 from Kaminaljuyu (Shook and Hatch 1999) (Figure 4-32), and other examples from La Venta in the Gulf Coast (M onument 13) or the Alva rado Stela in Veracruz (Parsons 1968). The columnar basalt sources have yet to be iden tified with precision. So far, there are four areas where these formations are known to occur, but a through study is ne eded to find if more sources exist. These sources are found along th e Pacific Coast in th e piedmont area of Guatemala and El Salvador (Figure 4-31 and 433). The nearest sources to the Valley of Guatemala are located near the Lake Amatitln. Th is area represents an important source of basalt and andesite for the whole Valley of Guat emala, and is located nearly 30 km south of Naranjo in straight line. The Amatitln Lake it self was created from volcanic activities in the area, related to the chain composed of th e major volcanoes Agua-Fuego-Acatenango-Pacaya (Instituto Qumico-Agrcola Nacional 1939:73 -75). Among these sources, two columnar andesite-basalt outcrops have been identified in the western portions of the lake near the modern town of Amatitln (Instituto Qumico-Agrcola Nacional 1939:33,43). Most of these columnar jointings are well developed and were created becau se of thick flows that are predominately cliff
99 formers. The colors of these sources vary fr om dark grey to black (Eggers 1971:40-1). The relevance of the columnar basalts wi ll be further discussed in Chapter 6. Stone Shapes Besides assessing the po ssible st one sources of the plain stone monuments at Naranjo, in this study it is important to provi de detailed descriptions of the shapes of the monuments. As already noted, the shape is largel y informed by the material or stone source selected for each monument, but as is shown in th is section, there is evidence th at some of the monuments were modified in order to create a spec ific shape (see Table 4-4). Even though the majority of the monuments of Naranjo were not modified, their surfaces had a smooth appearance, which might at first give the impression that they were modified. The most obvious example is the columnar basalts, wh ich have usually six (or else five) sides and present an even shape. Another example is represented by Monument 2 (Figure 4-17). This monument is a stone slab with shaped edges that provide a general rect angular form, although its top part has an irregular shape. The NARP could not assess whet her this was the original shape when the monument was erected or if the monume nt had been broken afterw ards (Pereira et al 2007:852). Monument 7 is a good example of the use of a stone boulder, left with its original characteristics of naturally smoothed and cur vy surfaces. As mentioned above, in the stone outcrops in the southwest area it was possible to identify several stones that were already on top of the surface and with the same features as Monument 7. Finally, all monuments in Row 2 presented a smoothed surface as well (Figure 4-22). In all cases it was observed that one side of the monument had a surface that appeared to be more even and flattened than the other side. It is assumed that this was the front side of the monument, although it is al so believed that these stones were selected to have such characteristi cs but that they were not purposely smoothened (with the exception of Monument 22, see below).
100 Only Monuments 1, 4, 8, 9, 17, and 27 showed alterations (Table 4-4). Most of the modifications to the natural stone were related to providing a smoother or even surface on one or both sides of the monuments. This was the case for Monument 8, which has a rather rectangular shape in comparison to the rest of monuments of Naranjo (Figure 4-17). Monuments 4 and 17 presented a similar situation in which both side s of the stone were smoothened. Minor changes were also present on Monument 9, a cylindrical column which has its top part flattened (Arroyo 2006:67). Modifications beyond smoothing were also found at Naranjo on Monuments 1 and 22, which indicate additional alterations to the stone. Both monuments presented distinctive features. Monument 1 has a purposely made hole in the upper central area of the stone (Figure 4-17). So far, this is the only plain stone monument reported for the Middle Preclassic period in southeastern Mesoamerica that possesses such an attribute (Pereira et al. 2007). In addition to this feature, Monument 1 was placed in Row 1 but it was not completely aligned with the other monuments in the row, which, in fact, makes it st and out even more. Fu rther information about the stone alignments will be discussed in the following chapter. An interesting characteristic of Row 1 is that each stone monument has a different shape and source of stone. The surface of some of the monuments in this row, such as Monuments 4 and 8, was intentionally smoothe ned, whereas the other monuments were left without visible alterations. Furthermore, the dimensions of the stones in Row 1 had a great variability (Figure 416 and 4-18. For instance Monuments 9 and 2 are overshadowed by the presence of other wider and taller monuments, such as Monuments 1, 4 and 8. The variations among the stones in Row 1 contrast greatly in relation to the uniformity presented among the stones of Rows 2 and 3. The monuments of Row 2 have an av erage of 3.1 meters of height (Figure 4-21); unfortunately,
101 similar measurements cannot be obtained with certainty for Row 3. Most of the differences between Row 1 in relation to Rows 2 and 3 is that in Row 1 all the stone monuments have a different shape and presumably a different stone s ource as well, whereas in the case of Row 2 all the monuments have a similar shape and they mi ght have come from ne ighboring sources (Table 4-4). The same case is presented for the monuments in Row 3, because the columnar basalts found were similar in shape and size (Pereira et al. 2007). Finally, Monument 27 represents an interesting case for the study of stone monuments at Naranjo. In 2007 Brbara Arroyo identified a pos sible carved surface on this Row 2 monument. To corroborate the possibility, seve ral night pictures were taken a nd a scan of the monument was carried out by Travis F. Doering from the Univer sity of South Florida with a three-dimensional laser scan (Arroyo 2007). These a dditional data corroborated the presence of a carved surface in the monument. It was very much eroded, and the shape of the de piction could not be ascertained, although some have suggested that it might be a leg and foot of a standing individual (Arroyo personal communication 2007). Nonetheless what is important to note for this study is the combination of a possible carved monument with other pl ain stone monuments that are similar in shape and dimensions, all placed in a Row 2. More discussi on of plain vs. carved surfaces is presented in Chapter 6. Conclusion The excavations at Naranjo showed that the site was inhabited from the beginning of the Middle Preclassic period, the Las Charcas phase. During that time the first clay floor was placed in what became the center of the site, and later a second clay floor was la id atop the area of the first, but of greater northern ex tent. It was in this second clay floor that all the plain stone monuments of Naranjo were erected. The site was also the focus of several construction activities that resulted in the elev ation of portions of th e terrain. By the subsequent Providencia
102 phase, Mounds 1, 2, and 3, the Northern Platform, and the Southern Platfo rm were constructed. Nonetheless the archaeological evidence showed that these activities were not a coordinated effort from the beginning of the occupation at the site. Besides the information obtained from the excav ations at Naranjo, the examination of the plain stone monuments also reveal ed valuable data. Three possibl e stone sources were identified as the places from which the ancient residents of Naranjo could have obtained the limestone: the Cerro Naranjo, andesite sources at other locations in the Valley of Guatemala, and columnar basalt in the Amatitln Lake area. Furthermore, the use of specific types of stones affected the final shape that the plain stone monuments at Naranjo had. In mo st cases the stones were left without further modifications, but there is eviden ce that a minority of stones had surfaces that were smoothed, and in one case, the surface of the stone was carved. All this information is discussed in the following chapter which will analyze the relevance of raw materials to the creation of place.
103 Table 4-1. Chronology for the central highlands of Guatemala Period Duration Ceramic phase Late A.D. 1300 -1500 Chinautla Postclassic Early A.D. 900-1300 Ayampuc A.D. 800-900 Pamplona Late A.D. 550-800 Amatle A.D. 400-550 Esperanza Classic Early A.D. 200-400 Aurora Terminal A.D. 100-200 Santa Clara 200 B.C.-A.D. 100 Arenal Late 400-200 B.C. Santa Clara 600-400 B.C. Providencia Middle 900-600 B.C. Las Charcas Preclassic Early 1100-900 B.C. Arevalo (Redrawn after Popenoe de Hatch 2002b:280)
104Table 4-2. Plain stone monuments of Naranjo Measurements (in meters) No. Location In Situ Height* Length* Width* Stone Source Columnar Basalt Excavation Number 1 Row 1 YES 1.6/2.52 0.12/0.5 2.00 Andesite NO NJO3-18 2 Row 1 YES 0.18/1.91 0.35/0.72 0.1/0.3 Andesite NO NJO6-1 3 Row 1 YES 0.12/1.6 0.46 0.28 Basalt YES NJO5-3 4 Row 1 YES 0.3/1.76 0.94/1.23 0.34/0.35 Basalt NO NJO5-1 5 In front S Platform NO ----------------NO NJO2-12 6 On S. Platform NO 0.67 0.94 1.47 Basalt NO NJO2-6 7 Row 1 YES 0.68/1.88 1.15/1.26 0.5 Limestone NO NJO6-4 8 Row 1 YES 2.25/2.52 0.75W/0.81E 0.47S/0.39N Basalt NO NJO6-6 9 Row 1 YES 1.19 0.52 0.41 Basalt NO NJO6-6 10 In front N Platform NO 1.5 0.4 0.37 Basalt YES Not excavated 11 In front N Platform NO 0.7 0.56 0.22 ----NO NJO9-5 12 In front N Platform NO 1.1 1.35 0.4 -----NO NJO9-4 13 In front N Platform NO 0.3 0.72 0.36 -----NO NJO9-1 14 In front N Platform NO 0.35 0.5 0.55 -----NO NJO9-1 15 In front N Platform NO 0.1 0.35 0.37 ------NO NJO9-3 16 On top N Platform YES 0.71 0.54 0.47 Basalt NO NJO4-21 17 West of Mound 1 YES 0.09/1. 52 0.58/0.86 0.2/0.39 -----NO NJO11-1 18 West ravine NO 0.8 0.3 0.18 Basalt YES NJO11-2 19 North spring NO 2.5 Basalt YES NJO32-32 20 In front N Platform NO 0.86 0.54 0.21 -----NO NJO9-5 21 Northern Platform YES 0.96 0.38 0.24 Basalt YES NJO4-25 22 Row 2 YES 3.5 1.7 1 -----NO NJO21-3 23 Row 3 NO 0.66 0.35 0.38 Basalt YES NJO16-4 24 Row 3 YES 2.4 0.52 0.38 Basalt YES NJO16-4 25 Row 3 YES 1.22 0.22 0.32 Basalt YES NJO16-4 26 Row 3 YES 0.7 0.31 0.2 Basalt YES NJO16-4 before excavation/after excavation (table created by the author compiling data from Arroyo 2006, Ch. 6)
105Table 4-2. Cont. Measurements (in meters) No. Location In Situ Height* Length* Width* Stone Source Columnar Basalt Excavation Number 27 Row 2 YES 3.2 1.5/1.0 0.8/1.25 -----NO NJO21-7 28 Row 2 YES 2.6 1.3 0.8 -----NO NJO21-8 29 Row 2 YES 3.2 2 1.42 -----NO NJO21-9 30 Row 3 YES 1.18 0.32 0.28 Basalt YES NJO29-1 31 Row 3 YES 0.93 0.24 0.34 Basalt YES NJO29-1 32 SW area NO 0.44 0.8 0.31 NO NJO35-4 33 SW area NO ----------------NO NJO35-4 34 SW area NO -----------------NO NJO35-11 35 SW area NO 1.13 0.8 0.27 ----NO NJO35-5 36 Natural Hill NO 1.1 0.98 --------NO NJO37-1 37 Natural Hill NO ------------Basalt YES NJO37-22 38 39 Natural Hill YES NO NJO37-44 40 Natural Hill YES NO NJO37-45 41 W of N Platform NO NO Not excavated 42 W of N Platform NO NO Not excavated 43 W of N Platform NO NO Not excavated 44 Row 2 NO NO Not excavated before excavation/after excavation (table cr eated by the author compiling data from Arroyo 2006, Ch. 6)
106 Table 4-3 Clay floors associated with the plain stone monuments of Naranjo No. Location Excavation Clay Floor #1* Clay Floor #2* Sterile Soil* 1 Row 1 NJO3-18 1491.1207 absent 1489.6207 2 Row 1 NJO6-1 1491.0871 1490.5871 1489.7871 3 Row 1 NJO5-3 1490.9544 1490.3544 1489.7544 4 Row 1 NJO5-1 1491.1208 1490.4208 1489.8208 7 Row 1 NJO6-4 1491.1729 absent 1490.7729 8 Row 1 NJO6-6 1491.3218 absent 1490.9218 9 Row 1 NJO6-6 1490.9607 absent 1489.7607 17 West of Mound 1 NJO11-1 1493.2180 absent 1492.6180 22 Row 2 NJO21-3 1490.2200 1489.8200 unknown 23 Row 3 NJO16-4 1490.5600 1490.1600 1489.4100 24 Row 3 NJO16-4 1490.5600 1490.1600 1489.4100 25 Row 3 NJO16-4 1490.5600 1490.1600 1489.4100 26 Row 3 NJO16-4 1490.5600 1490.1600 1489.4100 27 Row 2 NJO21-7 1490.9100 1490.2100 unknown 28 Row 2 NJO21-8 1491.0170 1490.5170 unknown 29 Row 2 NJO21-9 1490.2310 absent 1489.931 30 Row 3 NJO29-1 1490.4980 1490.098 unknown 31 Row 3 NJO29-1 1490.4980 1490.098 unknown AVERAGE 1490.7854 1490.2288 1490.0482 Measurements in meters above sea level.
107Table 4-4. Detailed information of plain stone monu ments at Naranjo Monument Source Shape Modification Facing Associated Materials Other Row 1 Each with a different source Each with a different shape Variably modified or not Each with different shape and source; variable dimensions Row 1:1 Andesite Irregular stone slab Yes hole in upper center Unknown Foundation stones to east and west sides Not aligned with others in row, slightly inclined to east side Row 1:2 Andesite Rectangular, top irregular No stone slab Possibly West Foundation stones to east and west sides Row 1:3 Basalt Columnar No Facing West to South Platform Altar to west side (looking to South Platform); Fragments of grinding stones with foundation stones to west and east sides Altar stone without modifications Row 1:4 Basalt Rectangular-four sides smoothed Yes intentionally smoothed Facing West to South Platform Altar to west side (looking to South Platform). Foundation stones to west and east sides. Burnt area to west side of stone Altar is modified and has a circular depression on center Row 1:7 Limestone, possibly from outcrops on Naranjo periphery Retains original natural surfaces, smoothed and curvy No Possibly East Fragment of grinding stone with foundation stones on west side. Burnt clay surface and med sized stones on east side Row 1:8 Basalt Rectangular shape Yes four sides intentionally smoothed Possibly East Small stone possibly altar to east side. 3 stones on the west base of monument. Foundation stones on east side. Row 1:9 Basalt Cylindrical column Yes-flattened top Possibly East Small stone possibly altar to east side Row 2 All possibly from Cerro Naranjo All with at least one smoothed surface No only one carved Unknown Stone wedges at the base of monuments Uniform sizes, all from neighboring sources, all the same source Row 2:22 Unknown source Big boulder No Unknown Stone wedges at base of monument Burnt area to west side of stone Row 2:27 Unknown source Big boulder Yes carved surface Unknown Stone wedges at base of monument Row 2:28 Unknown source Big boulder No Unknown Stone wedges at base of monument Row 2:29 Unknown source Big boulder No Unknown Stone wedges at base of monument
108Table 4-4. Cont. Monument Source Shape Modification Facing Associated Materials Other Row 2:44 Unknown source Big boulder No Unknown Unknown not excavated Row 3 All columnar basalt All columnar Noall natural stones Unknown None All columnar basalt, similar shapes, similar sizes Row 3:23 Basalt Columnar No Unknown None Monument found on top of modern surface Row 3:24 Basalt Columnar No Unknown None Row 3:25 Basalt Columnar No Unknown None Row 3:26 Basalt Columnar No Unknown None Row 3:30 Basalt Columnar No Unknown None Row 3:31 Basalt Columnar No Unknown None West Area All possibly from different sources All different shapes Yes-smoothed Unknown All columnar basalt, similar shapes, similar sizes W.A.:17 Limestone Rectangular with rounded top Yessides intentionally smoothed Unknown Four small green stone celts, one on each side. Stones to west and east side for foundation. Burnt clay area at the west base of monument. W.A.:41 Unknown source Rectangular Yes-sides intentionally smoothed Unknown Unknown Not excavated W.A.:42 Unknown source Rectangular No-natural stone slab Unknown Unknown Not excavated W.A.:43 Unknown source Rectangular Yessides intentionally smoothed Unknown Unknown Not excavated
109 Table 4-5. Distances between rows of m onuments and Mound 1 and the Natural Hill Mound 1 Natural Hill Row 1 Row 2 Row 3 Row 1 35 215 0 100 115 Row 2 135 115 100 0 15 Row 3 150 100 115 15 0
110 Figure 4-1. Map of the Valley of Guatemala showing Preclassic sites with plain stone monuments
111 Figure 4-2. Satellite photo of the Valley of Guatemala showing the location of Naranj o in relation to Guatemala City (Google E arth 2009)
112 Figure 4-3. View of the Cerro Naranjo from Naranjo (view east to west) (Naranjo Archaeological Rescue Project Photographic Archive, 2007)
113 Figure 4-4. View of the Cerro Naranj o in Guatemala City, view southeast to northwest (Photo by the author)
114 Figure 4-5. View from Naranjo to the Cerro Naranjo and Agua Volcano to the southwest (Google Earth 2009)
115 Figure 4-6. Natural Hill at Naranj o, view north to south (Naranjo Archaeological Rescue Project Photographic Archive, 2007)
116 Figure 4-7. Satellite photo of Guatemala City showing the loca tion of Naranjo (Google Earth 2008)
117 Figure 4-8. Water spring in the southwestern periphery of Naranjo (N aranjo Archaeological Rescue Project Photographic Archive, 2005)
118 Figure 4-9. Topographic map of Naranj o, Guatemala (Arroyo et al. 2007:Fig.6)
119 Figure 4-10. Map of Naranjo as drawn by Williamson (redrawn after Williamson 1877)
120 Figure 4-11. Map of Naranjo as drawn by Edwin M. Shook (redrawn after Shook n.d.)
121 Figure 4-12. Map of Naranjo showing the location of Clay Floor #1
122 Figure 4-13. Southern Platform excavation (Arroyo 2006: Fig.4.12)
123 Figure 4-14. Map of Naranjo showing the location of Clay #2
124 Figure 4-15. Close-up of the map of Naranjo sh owing the location of th e plain stone monuments (Arroyo et al. 2007:Fig.6)
125 Figure 4-16. West profile draw ing of the plain stone monuments in Row 1. Di stance between monuments not at scale (Arroyo 2006:Fig.6.16)
126 Figure 4-17. Photographs of monument s in Row 1 (Arroyo 2006: Fig6.3, Fig. 6.5, Fig. 6.7, Fig.6.9, Fig.6.11, Fig. 6.13, Fig. 6.15)
127 Row 1 plain stone monuments showing relative height to Middle Preclassic surface Floor #2-1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 1234789 Plain stone monumentsHeight (m) stone above modern surface deposition monument's base Figure 4-18. Row 1 Plain Stone Monuments show ing relative height in relation to Floor #2
128 Figure 4-19 Profile drawing of Monument 3 and Alta r 2 in NJO5-3 (Arroyo 2006)
129 Row 1 plain stone monuments showing relative height to modern surface-2 -1.5 -1 -0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 1234789 Plain Stone MonumentsHeight (meters) above modern surface monument's base deposition beneath modern surface Figure 4-20. Row 1 Plain Stone Monuments s howing relative height to modern surface
130 Row 2 plain stone monuments showing absolute height0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 22 27 28 29 44 Plain stone monumentsHeight (meters) Figure 4-21. Row 2 Plain Stone Mo numents showing absolute height
131 Figure 4-22. Photographs of monuments in Row 2 (Arroyo 2006: Fig6.19, Fig.6.21, Fig. 6, Fig. 6.15)
132 Figure 4-23. Profile drawing and photogra ph of Monument 28 (Arroyo 2006:Fig.6.22 and 6.23)
133 Figure 4-24. Profile drawing and photograph of Monuments 23 through 26 (Arroyo 2006:Fig.6.28, 6.29)
134 Figure 4-25. Columnar Basalts from Ro w 3 (a) Monument 30 and 31 (Arroyo 2006:Fig.6.30); (b) Monument 31 after reconstruction (Nar anjo Archaeological Rescue Project Photographic archive, 2007) (b) (a)
135 Plain stone monuments on Western area of Mound 1 and North Platform absolute height0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 17414243 Plain stone monumentsHeight (meters) Figure 4-26. Plain Stone Monuments on Western Area of Mound 1 and North Pl atform showing absolute height
136 Figure 4-27. Excavation photogra ph of Monument 17 (Naranjo Ar chaeological Rescue Project Photographic Archive, 2006)
137 Figure 4-28. Rock outcrop in the southwestern slope of the Natural Hill, Naranjo (Naranjo Archaeological Rescue Project Photographic Archive, 2006)
138 Figure 4-29. Rock outcrop located in the s outhwestern periphery of Naranjo (Naranjo Archaeological Rescue Project Photographic Archive, 2006)
139 Figure 4-30. Map showing Andesite stone s ources near Naranjo (data source: IGN 1977)
140 Figure 4-31. Map of sites in Southeastern Mesoameri ca with columnar basalts and columnar basalt sources
141 Figure 4-32. Stela 9 of Kaminaljuyu showing a carving on a columnar basalt (drawing by the author)
142 Figure 4-33. Columnar basalt source at Suchitoto, El Salvador
143 CHAPTER 5 LANDSCAPE AS A PROCESS This chapter analyses the concept of landscap e as a process using the data from Naranjo presented in the previous chapter. As was explained in Chapter 3, landscape as a process involves the relationship of people with things in the creation of place. The main goal of this chapter is to present how the fi nal layout of Naranjo was the pr oduct of a 400-year process in which the ancient residents engage d in constant practices that ch anged the physical aspect of the site, and at the same time, these practices and material transformations changed the manner in which they related to each other. Thus, this chapter analyzes how the connection with different places and different categories people emer ged in the creation of place at Naranjo. The chapter is divided in two sections. Th e first section examines the evidence of the initial occupation at Naranjo, whic h includes the first modifications to the physical landscape. The main goal of this section is to analyze what was in place at this lo cation before the erection of the stone monuments. It al so discusses the evidence of the first practices carried out by the first residents of Naranjo. This section is important to set the social and material conditions that existed before the erection of the stone monume nts which are considered here the background (following Hirsch 1995) that enabled the la ter erection of monuments at the site. The second section of the chapter examines th e placement of the monuments at Naranjo. The main goal of this section is to analyze the erection of the stone monu ments in relation to the other monumental constructions, such as the Sout h and North Platforms and the mounds. Also, differences in the placement of the monuments ar e discussed to understand their orientation and their association to one another. A detailed analysis of each row is presented to test if whether the stone monuments were actually placed to form rows or if a different arrangement might have existed. The last part of this section discusses the final construction epis odes that occurred at the
144 end of the Middle Preclassic occupation of Naranj o. These data are analyzed to understand the final configuration of Naranjo as the map we see today. Creating Place at Naranjo The first evidence of m odification to the physical aspect of Naranjo is scattered throughout the south and southwest portions of the site. Th is evidence is characteri zed by shallow and deep pit excavations into the sterile soil, a yellowish tephra of volcanic origins. What is prominent about these features is that most of them show an irregular shape, depth and size. Nonetheless all of them are characterized by cultural material deposited in several layers that filled the pits. The materials found in the pits were broken pieces of pottery and figurines, obsidian knives, and ground stones, and sometimes pieces of green stone and bones. All these materials were broken and scattered in the pits, and it was possible to refit several fragments from different excavation units. The evidence also pointed to burning ac tivities on top of the fragments and throughout the pits. Thus this evidence has been interpreted as ritual activities that were carried out before any of the constructions was be ing taken place (Arroyo 2006). Even though these practices coul d be interpreted as ritual activities that were preparing the soil for further constructions at Naranjo, as is explained in this section, the archaeological evidence suggest a different approa ch, similar to what has been found at the Mississippian site of Cahokia, Illinois (Pauketat 2000), and the Formative site of Los Naranjo in Honduras (Joyce 2004). Until recent times, large mounds in the Mississippi river valley system have been interpreted as constructions carried out ar ound AD 1000 by a complex chiefdom-level social organization. At Cahokia, chiefdoms are believed to have consolidated at a rapid pace between AD 1000-1200. Here, mound and plaza constructions were most intensive in the earliest phase compared to other neighbori ng sites (Pauketat 2000:118). Th ese data led Timothy Pauketat (2000) to investigate the process of this rapid change in the social organization at Cahokia, where
145 the final height of the largest earthen pyramid (Monks Mound) reached 30 meters. According to Pauketat (2000:119) previous interpretations fail to explain the process by which giant Mississippian chiefdoms suddenly appeared out of what are usually described as minimally centralized precursors. Pauketat takes a different standpoint and, instead of assuming that a preexisting elite group commanded the constructions at Cahokia, he proposes that it was through communal annual rituals that the ancient reside nts of Cahokia were able to accumulate large portions of earth and materials in discrete loca tion which eventually increased the height of specific portions of land. K nowing that construction occurred in stages, as was visible in the stratigraphic record of Cahokias mounds, Pauketat interpreted some of these stages as annual ritual construction cycles similar to those of the ancestors of contemporary Mississippians. The stratigraphic evidence showed that there are often nearly as many individual stages as there are thin layers. The central point of Pauketats argument is that no Mississippian platforms and few other central features were constructed as one-time labor project. On the contrary, the mounds at Cahokia appear to have been incremental c onstructions (Pauketat 2000:119-120). Pauketat (2000:121) interprets the evidence as collective ac tivities that were condu cted as annual largescale ritual held at central gr ounds. Pauketat states that what ma de the difference to escalate to another level was the scale of these practices, not necessarily their character. This interpretation of Cahokia is interesti ng when thinking about the first evidence of practices at Naranjo. Even t hough Naranjo and Cahokia have differe nt life histories and are not directly related, the first practices at Naranjo have also been identif ied as ritual activities. What is important to highlight about these practices is their scattere d nature. Therefore, at the beginning of the occupation at Naranjo there wa s no one central place were all these rituals where occurring, possibly in accordance with the de-centralized nature of the social organization
146 at that time. The case of Cahokia comes into play at Naranjos interpretations with the idea of repetition and sequence. According to Pauketat, it was the recurrent use of ritual spaces and the deposition of the materials which produced an elevation in the terrain which was not first intended but that brought consequences in relatio n to social stratification and conceptions of monumental constructions. This idea contrasts with what the nor mative approach has stated in Mesoamerican archaeology. According to Kowals ki (1999) monumentality implies the existence of an elite group who controls and commands these constructions. But as Pauketat (2000:114) noted [t]hose who become commoners were prob ably often unaware that their coordinated actions could restrict their own ability to coor dinate action in the future, thus it was these communal activities which led to social differentiation. Repetition and sequence is observed with the fi rst ritual evidence at Naranjo. As it has been explained, most of the dug pits were found with several layers of broken materials and charcoal. Nonetheless since not all of them are found in one single place, it is hard to know which one was used first, or in other words, what was the horizontal/vertical sequence of use; all of them took place at specific locations before there were any formal constructions. Although it is difficult to know why this area in general wa s chosen for such activities, the surrounding physical landscape might provide a clue. As it is believed for other Preclassic sites in Mesoamerica, features such as hills were cons idered important and other archaeological sites have been found next to these landmarks (see Gr ove 1989). The ritual activities carried out in the Naranjos terrain are located ne xt to a small natural hill and al so the Cerro Naranjo is located to the west of this area. It might have been possible that these features were considered by the ancient practitioners.
147 Vertical sequence plays an impor tant role in the analysis of South Platform and Mound 1 stratigraphy. During the ex cavations it was possible to identify that the South Platform did not have a symmetric layout. The South Platform ar ea was already a natural elevated terrain before any human modification took place. This na tural elevation was also below Mound 1 and possibly the North Platform. On the South Pl atform excavations it was evident that the construction was not through a series of phase s but through a series of ritual deposits sometimes alternated by earth fillings, in a rath er, disorganized manner. At Los Naranjos, Honduras, Rosemary Joyce (2004) has identified Middle Preclassic platforms which she believes were places of gathering. Joyce explains how monumental constructions might be related to domestic platforms, since the ancient inhabitants of Los Naranjos were already familiarized with the construction and maintenance techniques of these structures during the Middle Preclassic period (Joyce 2004:16, 19), therefore, the monument al structures of the Middle Preclassic period are considered by her the uninte nded consequences of larger scal e projects. Thus, in a similar manner than Pauketat (2000), Joyce (2004) gives an explanation about earth monuments, one that was based in previous familiar practices but that were applied to the physical terrain at a larger scale. For Joyce (2004) this transf ormation in the landscap e was crucial to the development of different social categories. At Naranjo, what appears to be the shift in pattern is that the ritual practices were concentrated in one area: the pre-South Platfo rm and pre-Mound 1 area. Therefore, instead of scattering materials through a larger portion of the terrain, all the ma terials from ritual activities started to be accumulated in a concentrated area. In a similar manner to what Pauketat (2000) described for Cahokia, it was possibl e that the elevation of the te rrain here enabled a new sense
148 of elevated places, which became an important asp ect in the final layout of Naranjo, as will be discussed in the final s ection of this chapter. In addition to the pre-South Platform a nd pre-Mound 1 area changes, the other major change that occurred at a similar time was the construction of Floor 1. This modification involved placing an earth fill in the southern portion of the site, where there was a natural depression in the terrain. Earth was placed on to p of the dug pits with ritual deposits, although some excavation units also showed the same earth fill on top of the sterile soil without previous modifications. After placing this layer of earth, Floor 1 was created by topping the earth fill with a small layer of yellowish tephra soil. This m odification required not only intensive labor, but from a phenomenological perspective, it also changed the physical aspect of the landscape. Not only did Floor 1 flatten a large portion of terrain at Naranjo (possibly 150 x 100 m) but it also covered some of the first ritual deposits that were placed on top of sterile soil. With their enclosure, a different set of understanding about these practices became apparent, there were no longer available for further deposits or rituals, but they were also closed from the view of people. These first practices became part of their past instead of their actu al present. Also, the creation of Floor 1 brought about a new even space suitable possibly for people to gather. Floor 1 also created a new identifiable area, a new sp ace, between the natural hill and the ritual activities to its west in the pre-South Plat form and pre-Mound 1 area. Therefore, the construction of Floor 1 and the ac tivities in the pre-South Platfo rm and pre-Mound 1 area created a different set of understandings since the unmodifie d terrain that existed by the beginning of the Middle Preclassic period changed to a large area covered by a clay layer (Floor 1) and a ritual activity area in the west porti on of the site in the pre-S outh Platform and Mound 1 area.
149 Before the placement of the stone monuments at Naranjo took place, there was already in place a different landscape of references. First, the ritual practices were already taking place solely in concentrated areas, at the pre-South Platform and the pre-Mound 1 area. By this time the construction of the first floor also occurred, which was topped with the same yellowish tephra soil found in the sterile terr ain. Thus, at the same time that the visual landscape was being transformed to give rise to some of the stru ctures, other lower areas were being leveled to produce a flat surface. Significantly, all these changes informed the placement of stones at Naranjo, as is presented in the following section. Placing Stones at Naranjo Even though the final layout of Naranjo showed that three row s of stone monuments were placed in between the South Platform-Mound 1North Platform complex, looking at all the monuments as a single event or construction project, as in the building perspective would, neglect relevant data that might indicate a sequence of their placement. This section instead examines the stratigraphic data to determine wh ether the monuments were placed forming such rows since the beginning, or if their chronology might indicate sequence of placement. The relationship between the monument s and the other key features of the physical landscape, either built or unbuilt, is also discussed here. As Thomas (1999) mentioned for megalithic sites at Britain, the main point lies in considering monuments less as objects in themse lves than as transformations of space through objects. Through their labor, people were creatin g new kinds of relationships with place and with material substances. These changes in the configuration of space would also have affected the ways in which places were experienced by human beings. Yet people do not come upon a world of shapes and forms and add meaning: the dwelling perspective assume s that their world is inherently meaningful. It is from within an existence which is alrea dy rich in meaning and
150 experience that people choose to think of objects as having relevance (Thomas 1999:35). These ideas align with the concept of landscape as a process in Chapter 3 following Ingold (1995) and Hirsch (1995), in which human pr actices are considered embedded in a previous social context, therefore any practice is attached to past practices and at the same time, have embedded the potentiality of future practices. Following this train of thought, which agrees with the other authors mentioned in this section (e.g. Barrett 1990, 1994, 2000; Love 1999), is possible to establis h the process by which the ancient residents of Naranjo erected the stones monuments as part of a web of connections that already was in place. This web of connec tions was enabled by the first practices carried out in the physical terrain of Naranjo by the beginning of the Middle Preclassic period. It is difficult to establish the place of origin of the peoples that gathered at this partic ular location to practice such rituals, since no previous Early Preclassic o ccupation has been identified at Naranjo or in the central highlands of Guatemala for that matter. However, these first rituals probably recreated previous practices already familiar to the first inhabitants of Naranjo. Through their repetition and sequence, people were able to establish a new set of relationships with the new physical landscape of Naranjo, namely the concentr ation of ritual activity in the South Platform and Mound 1 and the construction of Floor 1. It was the (re)creation of these places through constant ritual practices which started the permanent modificati ons to the physical terrain. Contrary to a building perspec tive argument, the first monument s of Naranjo were not laid out as rows of monuments in a single building proj ect, but were the product of a larger sequence. According to the excavations at Naranjo, Monum ents 3 and 4 were among the first monuments to be erected. Both of these monuments had a ro und altar to their west si de, which indicates that the monuments were directed toward the South Platform, which was already a center of ritual
151 activity. As mentioned in Chapter 3, the NAR P obtained one radiocarbo n date from Monument 3 which dated to ca. 800 BC, the first half of the Middle Preclassic Period, a date which coincides with the South Platforms initial o ccupation. These two monume nts are distinctively different by their physical appearance, since one is a columnar basalt and the other one is a smoothed andesite stone, although they are both considered similar in the sense that they were the only two monuments found with large round altars. More detail s about the physical aspect of all the stone monuments of Naranjo will be discussed in Chapter 6. The erection of the first stone monument at Naranjo is crucial for understanding all the remaining monuments. This plain stone monument was placed so as to be in a fixed position by the ancient inhabitants. Before its placement, a rather flat terrain, considered a plaza, existed between the South Platform-Mound 1 complex to the west and the natural h ill to the east. This flat terrain was prepared with Cl ay Floor 1 and later a second fl oor was added in which the first stone monument was placed. Therefore, placing a stone monument on such open area it would attract the attention of people walking through the plaza. Especially since stone was not a material used in the other of the constructions at Naranjo, which were composed mixtures of clay. People living at Naranjo and its surroundings would have seen stone only at two other nearby locations: the natural hill and the southwest outcrops in the periphery. In Europe, megalithic monuments have been disc ussed in terms of thei r durability and their relationship to the dead (e.g. Barrett 1990, 2000; Thomas 1993, 2000). Since stone was the material used to create them, several archaeologist s have argued that the durability of stone also highlights the durability of the social landscape enabled during th e Neolithic period. At several sites archaeologists have observe d that the original monuments before the stones were erected, was a timber circle, and this might have been asso ciated with extensive deposits of artifacts and
152 with the debris of feasting. In time, the circle of posts was rebuilt in stone, and this kind of monuments is associated with the remains of the dead. Ston ehenge provides the best-known example of this sequence. Scholars suggest that the first structure was connected with the living and for that reason it was made out of wood, an organic material. These monuments were formed from a living substance which would eventu ally decay. When the site was recreated in stone, it was associated with th e dead, and that is why it was now formed from a material which would last forever (Bradley 2002:123). Similar concepts relating wood w ith the living and stone with the dead have been interpreted for the Za fimaniry in Madagascar Here, Maurice Bloch (1995:71-2) explains how megalith ic stone monuments are erected to commemorate a deceased relative. He interprets this as the act of inscribing a person in the land, which is believed to be unchangeable. Therefore stone is chosen since it is more permanent than wood. The durability of materials is also an important characteris tic noted by Joyce (2004) for the enlargement of public platforms at Los Naranjos, Honduras. Even though at Naranjo, no traces of wood ha ve been identified as previous monuments before the stone ones, differences in durabi lity might be observed by comparing the ritual deposits in the South Platform, which went through constant cha nge throughout the whole Middle Preclassic occupation. On the contrary, the stone monuments were not altered following their placement and remained in the same place. Also, the particularity of a visible standing stone would produce a set of relati onships with the residents diffe rent from those created by the ritual activities ca rried out at the South Platform and Mound 1. The ritual deposits there were placed as layers of possibly different events, alth ough it is hard to distinguish one from the other since all of them are concentrated in a single location. In a very different manner, a single stone set on a clear plaza surrounded by a clay floor re creates a singular even t which I believe, calls
153 attention to the singularity of the group of people that erected it, or to the singularity of the event that produced it. This single er ected stone would highlight all t hose characteristics and stand as witness for future practices or gatherings. As Tilley (2004) has noted for several megalithic sites in Europe, the presence of stone monuments as part of the visual landscape draws the attention and recalls the memory of visitors and reside nts. Also, as Andy Jones (2001:240) explains, objects have traces that embody retentions from prev ious objects, and at the same time, have the potential for future objects. In the case of Naranjo this would mean that the first stone monument erected at Naranjo lik ely made reference to a predece ssor event/object/stone source, and it would become the potential for the erection of future monuments at the site. Thus, a connection between previous and following monum ents would be created at the center of Naranjo. The erection of Monument 3 and 4 establishe d the first set of relationships between monuments and the rest of Naranj o. First they were oriented in relation to the South Platform, and second, they were oriented to one another in a disposition th at initiated a north to south alignment, an arrangement further developed with the rest of the stone monument placed at Naranjo. According to the stratigraphic data, the occupation of the S outh Platform and Mound 1 continued to be formalized during the middle of the Middle Preclassic period. At Mound 1, several construction phases have been distinguished, and by the e nd of this period, this was the largest construction at the site. Therefore it is believed that the placement of Monument 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, was oriented in relation to the construction of Mound 1, instead of the South Platform, as in the case of Monument 3 and 4. N onetheless these two first monuments were already a place of reference in the landscape which the ancient reside nts of Naranjo continue to validate by erecting the other monuments (1, 2, 7, 8, and 9) forming a rough alignment with those first two. The
154 placement of Monument 7, 8, and 9 extended the spatia l field of the previous Floor 1 to the north since all of these monuments were erected on top of sterile soil where no previous Floor 1 existed. This extension to the north of Floor 2 was also visible th rough the excavation of Monument 29, the Row 2 monument placed farther to the north. Evidently, the connections between these diffe rent structures were not the product of gradual evolution, but involved a conscious evocation of existing monuments. At Naranjo this would mean that the rest of the monuments after the placement of the first monuments would make reference to those first landmarks. N onetheless, the other monuments erected after Monument 3 and 4, also created new relationships to the landscape. For instance, Monument 8 and 9 each had a small stone placed to their east side. Even though this stone was considered too small to be an altar, it might reveal the orient ation of the monuments. If this is the case, Monument 8 and 9 would have their front side to the east, instead of the west side like Monument 3 and 4 had. During the Late Preclassic, stone monuments with altars at other sites have been reported to be placed in front of mounds and platforms with their front side looking in the opposite direction from the structures. At Naranjo, this would have meant that the residents were to look at the monuments (1, 2, 7, 8, and 9) in conjunction with Mound 1. By looking at the monuments from east to west Mou nd 1 would have been as a background, whereas Monument 3 and 4 were oriented towards the west probably to be looked at from the South Platform area. This change in orientation was part of the em ergence of Mound 1 as the central structure at Naranjo. Even though the South Platform remained in use the rest of the occupation of Naranjo, after the second half of the Middle Preclassic period, Mound 1 achie ved 6 meters in height and its construction was formalized as a pyramid with a frontal staircase and a superstructure. The
155 relevance of Mound 1 would remain throughout the rest of the occupation at Naranjo and, as it is discussed below, it was a point of reference fo r future monument erections and the other mound and platform constructions. All the monuments that have been discussed above have been referred in Chapter 4 as Row 1, although this name was assigned before analyz ing if all the stone monuments were possibly forming a row. Through the analysis here, it was possible to determine that Row 1 did not achieve the arrangement of a row until the end of the placement of all the monuments. Even at that time, all the monuments were not aligned perfectly as a row. By looking at the map of Naranjo (Figure 4-15) is possibl e to observe that monuments 2, 3, and 4 were placed forming a row, and, although monuments 7, 8, and 9, look like th ey were part of the same row, they were actually placed a few centimeters to the west. Th e case of Monument 1 is different, since this monument is clearly off the row a nd slightly to the east in relation to the rest of the monuments. Despite all these differences observable onl y by taking exact m easurements of the alignment of the stones in relati on to each other, in the field, the experience one gets is of a row of monuments. Possibly the observer will only be able to distinguish the fact that Monument 1 is not totally aligned with the rest of the monuments. Designing a straight row of monuments would require minimum effort and technology with two poles and a rope. On the contrary, I interpret the slight differences observed of the m onument placement, as differences in time since not all the monuments were placed during a single project. Therefore, under this analysis, Monuments 3 and 4 were among the first ones to be placed in relation to the South Platform, while the rest of the monuments: 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9, were probably placed at a later time and in relation to what was becoming Mound 1, th e largest construction of Naranjo.
156 The other two rows of monument s at Naranjo present a different set of relationships with the landscape, than what Row 1 showed. The fi rst difference is that Row 2 and 3 were placed farther away from the South Platform-Mound 1 cons tructions, but nearer the natural hill. By looking at the distances between each row it was possible to establish that Row 1 was placed 30 meters to the west from the South Platform -Mound 1 construction, and that Row 2 was placed 200 meters to the west of Row 1. Row 3 was pl aced 20 meters west of Row 1 and 200 meters east of the natural hill slope. Thus, Row 2 and 3 were placed in relati onship to Mound 1, Row 1, and the natural hill. Their placement corroborates three important set of spatial relationships. The first relationship is made between Row 1 and Row 2 and Row 3. Row 2 and 3 were erected in a north to south alignment in the sa me way than Row 1. By looking at their position and by looking at the previous maps published by Shook (1943) and Williamson (1877) it is possible to state that both rows were placed form ing such alignments from the beginning. Unlike Row 1 which shows discontinuities in the placement of the stones in a straight line, Row 2 and 3 shows that they were symmetrical ly aligned. Therefore, it is possible that Row 1 served as a reference for the placement of Rows 2 and 3, which were set as rows from their beginning. Their symmetrical disposition is also shown specifically in Row 2, since all four stones found in the field were separated by a similar distance fr om one another, 25 meters approximately. Williamson (1877) ad Shook (1943) also menti oned that Row 3 monuments were placed equidistantly from one another. Thus, the er ection of stone monuments in Row 1 enabled the disposition of Row 2 and 3. The second relationship is made between Row 2 and 3 and Mound 1. Both rows were placed at a middle point between Mound 1 and the natural hill to the east, therefore by placing this monuments a wider plaza was created, one that encompassed th e whole flat terrain between
157 Mound 1 and the natural hill. Before their placem ent, Floor 1 covered a smaller portion of this terrain. This terrain was also expanded towa rds the north with Floor 2, where there was no previous occupation. This expansion is visi ble by looking at Monument 29 which is placed on top of sterile soil, in a sim ilar fashion to that found for Monuments 7, 8, and 9. With the placement of Row 2 and Row 3 in the center of the plaza, symmetry was also accomplished between Mound 1 and the natural hill. The final stage of Mound 1 was found to be aligned 90 degrees with the top of the natu ral hill. Even though both eleva tions are not symmetrical (the natural hill has a larger slope to the south) their summits coincide with this alignment. It is believed that this alignment was further reinforced w ith the placement of Monument 17 at a later time. Monument 17 was placed west of Mound 1 following the same alignment. This was the only monument with a greenstone celt in each side, although several othe r monuments had small and medium stones at their bases which I interpre t here as possible offerings during the erection event (Table 4-4). The third relationship related to Row 2 and 3 is related to the visual appearance. Row 2 was conformed by five stone monuments of simila r materials and of sim ilar shape and size, and Row 3 was conformed by columnar basalts. Each of these two rows shows homogeneity which is another characteristic that makes each group of stones a row. This homogeneity contrasts with the heterogeneity of the Row 1 monuments. Row 1 has seven monuments with different ston es and different treatments which result in a different visual aspect than Row 2 and 3. Even though the thr ee rows show a continuation of north to south alignment preferences, their differences in chronology show that different relationships were being estab lished as time passed by and as new monuments were erected. Therefore Row 1 of stone monuments stands in opposition to Row 2 and Row 3. Row 1 is
158 conformed by a wide variety of stone monuments; all seven monu ments have a different shape and source and are located near the focus of r itual activities. Theref ore, Row 1 of stone monuments is characterized in th is study as a heterogeneity of events that could point to the heterogeneity of the social landscape at Naranj o as well, whereas the placement of Row 2 and Row 3 show a trend towards homogeneity and a preference towards symmetry. These arguments follow concepts of materiality because by placing different stones in a single row or alignment the ancient residents of Naranjo were (re)produci ng the social differentiation, in the sense that each stone represented a different social elem ent of the landscape, and perhaps therefore a different social group. For Chalcatzingo, Grove a nd Gillespie (n.d.) noted that different social groups within the site were citing different places outside Chalcatzingo. Although we dont have detailed evidence for Naranjo, Row 1 presents inte resting evidence to consid er a heterogeneity in the social organization of that time, one that c ould have been challenged with the later placement of Row 2 and 3. After the placement of Row 2 and Row 3 stone monuments, a new area would have emerged at Naranjo, one that was dominated by stone monuments in a flat terrain. This area would have been easily visible fr om several angles within Naranj o and even outside of Naranjo (from the slopes of Cerro Naranjo for instance). Rows of monume nts have been interpreted at other sites as paths. At Ch alcatzingo, David Grove (2005) proposed a processional pathway in relation to the stone monument s found at the center of the si te. Likewise, Rice (2007:112-13) has proposed that some of Izapas monuments were viewed as part of ritual processions. This idea is based on Suzanne Miles (1965:258) who proposes that Stelae 2, 21, 22, 7, 12, 18, and 5 at Izapa seem to be almost a sequence. Such ideas are based on the idea that processions could be the counterpart of festivals, a nd each monument could be a na rration of a myth. Nonetheless,
159 even Rice (2007) states that hypot hesizing which was the best rout e to approach the monuments is a difficult task. At Naranjo su ch concepts are difficult to esta blish, although the fact that the monuments were placed forming different rows could indicate th at different sequences were intentionally created by the ancien t residents, sequences that could be relate d to specific oral histories. During the second half or the Middle Preclassic period, the residents of Naranjo engaged in several building constructions in an active way. During this ti me, the North Platform, Mound 2 and Mound 3 were built. The stratigraphic data from such constructions revealed specific techniques that helped to achie ve these buildings in a rather rapid manner. Nonetheless the constructions were also integrated with the prev ious constructions; therefore the sense that they were all part of a single project is created. Not only were these constructions carried out faster, but in a manner that achieved a symmetrical layout of the site as well. The arguments which have been put forward so far suggest that the monuments of Naranjo structured the social landscape largely th rough the influence that they exerted upon the experience and interpreta tion of space on the part of its ancient residents. The idea that a building plan was taking shape at Naranjo is interpreted in conjunction with the social differentiation process occurring at the site. As mentioned for the first practices at Naranjo, and even the erection of the monuments which late r composed Row 1, there was no central plan governing the modifications to the physical landscape. Nonethel ess, as the ancient residents created a differentiated space, by erecting more monuments, constructing mounds, and platforms, social differentiation also took place. Such modifications were part of the process that created the social differences, which by the e nd of the Middle Preclassic period were stable enough to produce a single vision of the site a nd a unique symmetric layout. At Naranjo, the
160 people who engaged in structuring a landscap e through the building of monuments and mound, was actually involved in the making of human subjects, and t hus in the making of different categories of human subjects. Thus, I interpre t the first ritual practices at Naranjo as heterogenous and less centralized activities that were likely conducted by a diverse group of people each of similar social ranking. Nevertheless, through th e constant manipulation of the environment and through the habilitation of diffe rent types of spaces, such as the platforms, mounds, and plaza area, I suggest that a rather unified vision and symmetr ic layout started to take place by the end of the Middle Preclassic pe riod at Naranjo. The later construction projects at the site point to the possibility of exclusiv e groups coordinating such activities and enabling a new landscape. The relationship between social differentiation and spatial differentiation has been widely documented in archaeology. For Neolithic Europe, Thomas (1993:35) and Barrett (1990) have argued that modifications to the first Neolith ic monuments brought about secluded and private spaces which were only accessible to a small group of people. Therefore, spatial segmentation is interpreted in relation to so cial segmentation as well. According to Thomas (1999:38) architecture can be considered in terms of the mark it makes on the landscape, but at a micro spatial level it can actually constrain the bodys m ovement and attitudes. This means that the way the physical body acts in space may limit the way in which the space is experienced, and hence constrain interpretation. During the Neol ithic period, monumental architecture can be interpreted as demonstrating increasing efforts to regulate the ways in which particular spaces were moved through, and thus experienced (Thomas 1999:48). At Naranjo, a similar interpretation is argued, because by the end of the Middle Preclas sic period the sites layout was
161 producing an enclosure of buildings that woul d seclude the space where the stone monuments were erected from the majority of the population. Therefore, a closed sp ace was being created. Visibility from far distances also played a role, and as Barrett (1994) has argued for many Neolithic monuments the construction of monu ments in earlier Neolithic Britain introduced discontinuity into the landscap e, by establishing boundaries around secluded and differentiated places. This has been established by his res earch of megaliths in E ngland. Here Barrett (1999:259-260) explained how during the Neolithic period stone monuments were the foci of ritual activity but later these practices stopped and the monuments became distant elements of the past. Thomas (1993:38) also explains how Silbury Hill is a monu ment which was intended to attract the eye of the onlooker from a distance as he or she passed up the valley. Thus by the end of the third millennium the monuments of th e Avebury area were intended to be seen in sequence rather than simultaneously forming a kind of spatial narrative, each structure revealed in turn. Thomas (1993:32-33) also explains how the West Kennet monument at Avebury district changed from a stone chamber with burial rema ins was later elongated, and then the chambers were blocked of by the erection of three extremely large sarsens across the entrance. Therefore the monuments was more imposing when seen form a distance. The monument was to be seen from a distance. Thomas believes that access to the inner chamber produced intimate knowledge that was shared by a select group of people, a pr ivilege social group. This issue of visibility could be applied at Naranjo by looking at how th e center of the site, conformed by two platforms and two mounds were enclosing the open area with the stone monuments. At the same time, the site was getting larger and could be di stinguished better from the distance. In Mesoamerica, Love (1999) presents a si milar case for La Blanca, an Early and Middle Preclassic site located in the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. Through an analysis of the
162 monumental constructions at La Blanca, Love argues that the constr uction of monumental mounds changed the social space and modified th e daily routine of the ancient residents. Following theories of structuration (see Gidde ns 1984), Love (1999:143) says that the new monuments were able to occupy space and prevent previous daily routines. These monuments also became reference points for regionalization and the social categorization of space. In a similar tone to those of Pauketat (2000) and Joyce (2004), Love (1999:144) argues that the monument were different from earlier mound constructions in the z one because they were larger and durable, thus they were fixed in space. The construction of such mou nd would have created a larger concept of place, although as place was larger, space itself was more highly segregated. This highly differentiation in space was visible at Ujuxte, a later neighboring site, which according to Love had a very controlled and plan ned center. Here the ceremonial zones were tightly clustered and more enclosed spaces, such as ball courts were built in this place (Love 1999:146). According to Love, the Middle Prec lassic sites were anchored on ceremonial architecture, but these social practices enabled the further regionalizat ion of space beyond the ritual sphere. It was the creati on of these types of space that had an effect in constructing non egalitarian forms of social interaction (Love 1999:147) At Naranjo, the final outcome is three ro ws of monuments creat ed throughout time, although probably not planned and executed from the beginning. These data highlights the concept of landscape as a process discussed in Ch apter 3 because it takes into account that the monuments in each row were not placed as a sing le event or construction project, but that by looking at the chronological differences, is possi ble to observe a sequence in the placement and the creation of new references. It was thes e new references whic h brought about social differentiation into Naranjos landscape.
163 Conclusion At first sight, the present layout of Naranjo looks like other Middle Preclassic sites in the central high lands or the Pacific Coast of Guatemala. It could even be argued that Naranjo has a symmetrical arrangement with a nort h to south orientation in most of its major buildings, such as the arrangement South Platform-Mound 1-North Plat form located in the west portion of the center of the site. Even the pl ain stone monuments are believed to be positioned in a north to south fashion, and have been described to be forming three rows (see Williamson 1877). A deviation of 21 degrees from north to east exis t in all the major construction of Naranjo, a characteristic also common to many other Middle and Late Preclassic site s in the highlands of Guatemala (Shook 1952:3). Nonetheless, as was expl ained in this chapter, looking at the final stage of Naranjo hinders understanding the proce ss by which the ancient residents created such a regional center. Knowing this process is important, not only to know the different stages that the building might have had, but because from a dwelling pers pective, it is believed that through the doing and building activities and other pr actices, people are able to rela te to one another and to their physical environment. Landscape is not a fixed ca tegory in space; it involves the social aspects that are attached to the variety of practices perf ormed by people in relatio n to place and to other people. Landscape is a system of references in which each human action performed is intelligible in the context of other past and future actions. Society is itself carried forward by such practices, involving human act ions such as the erection of st one monuments, as in the case of Naranjo. What is important is that peopl e reproduced the conditions of their own lives (Barrett 1990:182). In this case, the monuments of Naranjo do not re flect or reify th e prior social organization, but they end up as a consequence of possible unintended institutionalized practices.
164 The study of landscape as a process at Naranjo re vealed that the first residents or occupants engaged in ritual activities at several locations in the site. Nonetheless no specific synoptic pattern was observed. Later, these deposits were covered with a layer of clay and Floor 1 was built. As this floor was being constructed, the ritual activities concentrated in the pre-South Platform and Mound 1 area. It wa s during this time that the first stone monument was erected. Monument 3 or 4 was one of the first monuments erected and they were placed in front of the South Platform. Their placement enabled a new set of relationships with the landscape which became more visible through the erection of the monuments 1, 2, 7, 8, and 9. These new monuments formed Row 1 and highlighted the em ergent importance of Mound 1 as the central construction of Naranjo. Rows 2 and 3 were erect ed within a new set of understandings in what became the middle of the plaza, which was also extended to the north. The plaza became the middle point between Mound 1 and the natural hill. These alterations to the landscape produced a more symmetrical layout at Na ranjo, which continued to be c onstructed during the second half of the Middle Preclassic period. By that time the North Platform and Mound 2 were built to produce a symmetrical center at Naranjo. Naranjos history started with a less formalized arrangement, which is interpreted as one that occurred in conjunction with a de-centralized organization. The heterogeneity of tge Row 1 monuments points to the possibility of different groups of people in teracting in the same terrain. Nonetheless by the end of the Mi ddle Preclassic period there seem ed to be a trend towards a unique direction of the site, whic h is evident by the rapid construc tions and the desire to acquire a symmetrical layout. Therefore, the first practices of Naranjo and the first monuments erected at the site, although part of a heterogeneous group, enabled a new system of references that favored a centralized project at th e site. As Joyce (2000:71) has not ed in relation to practices of
165 exclusion: Claims to exclusivity were likely ma de long before their inscription on the Formative landscape, but it was in the creation of permanen t monumental architecture and art that these claims gained irrefutable force. At Naranjo, this could be in terpreted as a symmetrical center with stone monuments in its center and a focu s towards a more enclosed space and a single building plan carried out by the e nd of the Middle Preclassic period.
166 CHAPTER 6 BRIDGING THE NATURE/CUL T URE DICHOTMOMY This chapter presents an analysis of the plain stone monuments at Naranjo. After reviewing landscape as a process in Chapter 5 this chapter as ks the question How does a stone become a monument? The main goal is to analyz e the use of specific stone sources and the final shape of the monuments when they were placed at Naranjo. This information is discussed under the nature vs. culture debate explained in Chap ter 3. Instead of looking at the stone monuments of Naranjo as a homogeneous final product at the center of the site, as the building perspective would do, this chapter takes in to account the life history of the stones, including their provenience and the later alterations made to them by the ancient inhabitants of Naranjo. The main idea is to look at what is usually consid ered the medium the stone itself (Newsome 1993:1) and consider its materi al characteristics as vital fo r understanding the plain stone monuments at Naranjo. Most of the ideas presented in this chapte r are based on the work of Richard Bradley (1998, 2000) who integrated the study of European megaliths with the natural environment. Under the dwelling approach, Richard Bradley (2000) presents a different view of stone sources. He is interested in contesting the notions that ar chaeologist have about nature and culture, and he wants to call our attention to what he calls an archaeology of natural places. With this approach the study of monuments at Naranjo could focus not only in what the monument might signify by itself, but on the relationships betwee n the monuments, the stone sources, and other places. Therefore the materials, landscapes, and places could have acted as important landmarks for the people who erected these monuments (Bradley 2000-36-38). This chapter is divided in two sections. The first section examines directly the nature of the stone monuments by looking at the possible stone sources used. The idea of this discussion
167 is not only to identify the stone source but also to discuss the relevance of the stone sources as places and their relationship with the residents of Naranjo. Therefore, the section analyzes the stone sources as part of the ne twork of places that form the landscape at Naranjo. The second section of the chapter analyses the manipulation of stone to become monuments at Naranjo, discussing the evidence of alterations to the stones and their implications for the creation of place at Naranjo. Stone Sources as Places Most of the monum ents found at Naranjo pres ent a variety of shap es and possible stone sources. As was discussed in Chapter 4, furthe r analyses must be ca rried out to positively identify some of the stone sources used by the an cient residents at the site. Nonetheless, this section attempts to provide furt her inferences central to the di scussion of landscape as a network of places. Maya archaeology has been interested in identif ying some of the sources for several of the materials recovered in excavations, such as ce ramics (Bishop et al. 1980) and obsidian (Braswell et al. 2000). These studies often focus on understanding technical as pects involved in the production of the pieces, such as the quarrying ac tivities that took place at the source, and the production steps to achieve the final desired piece. Trade of raw materials and of the final pieces is also combined in this type of studies. Under this approach, the source of a specific material is seen solely as a place of procurement (e.g. a quarry). Two different critiques are highlighted in this study in relation to the study of stone sources. The first one is the lack of petrographic analyses to id entify the stone source of the monuments at several ancient Ma ya cities. Compared to th e vast amount of information regarding obsidian sources used in Maya cities, there is scant interest to identify the stone sources used for monuments. The second critique is the treatment of the stone sources solely as
168 places of procurement. In this study, the perspectives presented by Bradley (1998, 2000) regarding natural formations as places are used to challenge this noti on of stone sources. According to Kempe (1983:80), until relativel y recently the question of provenance of building stones at archaeological sites rarely arose. Because of the problems of transport, it was believed that the ancient residents of a site tended to use local stone rather than attempt largescale, long-distance moving of massi ve blocks of rock. Two simple rules governed the choice of stone. One was ease of working, largely determ ined by the natural formation sedimentary beddings, igneous jointing, or metamorphic folia tions. The other was local availability in sufficiently large quantities. In the past, however, Kempe notes that th ere were instances of people laboring to transport a particular type of rock over considerable distances and difficult terrain. Examples of such cases are descri bed by him in the case of Stonehenge, Britain. Most of the megalithic works of Europe ar e built of local stone, commonly limestone, sandstone, granite, or gneiss. They incorpor ate both boulders and mason-dressed slabs and pillars. With the exception of Stonehenge little has been written concerning the petrology of the rocks employed. At Stonehenge petrographic analys es have revealed the use of different types of stones from very different locations. Accordin g to these, Stonehenge originally consisted of an outer circle of 60 sarsen stones; a bluestone circle of 60 stone s; a sarsen horseshoe of five trilithons; and an inner horseshoe of 19 bluestones. The sarsen stones occur sporadically on the nearby area of Marlborough downs, regarded as local origin. Large tabular slabs of sarsen stones were also quarried locally. The bluestones, how ever, are of totally foreign nature unknown in southeast England. Wales, Shropshire, the Mendip Hills, Devon, and Cornwall have all been suggested as possible sources. Studies have been able to compare sections of the bluestones with rocks known from other parts of the country, and have established that the bluestones almost
169 certainly originated in the Preselau Hills of Pembrokeshire, a distance of some 280 kilometers away from Stonehenge (Kempe 1983:101). In Mesoamerica, a similar pattern is observed, since the provenience of the stones used as monuments is usually not a priority for their st udy. As argued throughout this study, most of the relevance is given to the carvings that might appear on their surface rather than to the stone itself. Nonetheless few studies have dealt with issu es of provenance and the production of stone monuments. One is a research carried out in the Gulf Coast of Me xico to account for the production of the Olmec colossal heads found at seve ral sites in this area, such as San Lorenzo, Tres Zapotes, and Laguna de los Cerros. According to Heizer, Smith, and Williams (1965) some of the colossal heads from Tres Zapotes come from boulders of a distinctive picritic basalt occurring on the slopes of Cerro Cintepec, 8 kilo meters from the Tres Zapotes locality. Williams and Heizer (1965:5) stated that the Cerro Cintepec basalt boulde rs on the slopes of the Tuxtla Mountains was the major source used for the Olmec colossal heads. At Llano del Jcaro, near La guna de los Cerros, evidence of quarrying activities was identified. This basalt source site is located in the Tuxtla Mountains, at a mid distance from the Olmec site of San Lorenzo. Investigations at Ll ano del Jcaro helped determined that the stone obtained for the monuments and carvings in th e Preclassic period was pre-shaped on the site before removal to a regional center (Gillesp ie 1994:240). Another study concerned with quarrying activities and th e extraction of stone for monuments is the study of at the Preclassic Maya site of Nakbe located in the lowlands of Guatemala. Here Woods and Titmus (1994) carried out an experiment to re plicate the conditions of how a nd where the limestone extraction was done by the ancient inhabitants of Nakbe. Thr ough surveys they were able to locate some of the limestone sources where stone was extracted. Cuts made into the natural limestone and tools
170 were found at these places (Woods and Titmus 1994:298). Nonetheless, this study was more concerned with efficiency models and the energy spent in the quarrying activities than to the significance of the stone source used. At Naranjo, three possible stone sources we re used to obtain the stones erected as monuments (see Chapter 4). These are located at different distances from the site, ranging from a few hundred meters away from the center of Na ranjo to approximately 30 kilometers away to the south. The local source believed to be used for Row 2 monuments, co mes from the vicinity of the Cerro Naranjo. During survey the NARP team was able to locate several boulders of similar shape and size in the slopes of Ce rro Naranjo. Although there was no superficial evidence of quarrying, the dimensions and type of stone found there ma kes it a good candidate for the Row 2 monuments. Limestone outcrops were also identified in the southwest portion of the Naranjo periphery, and it is believed that Monument 7 was procured from that area. What is interesting about the two nearby sources candida tes for Row 2 monuments and Monument 7 is that both places had rock outcrops surfacing from the underground, but most importantly, stone boulders were identified lying on the ground. This would mean that in order to procure a stone the ancient re sidents of Naranjo did not have to quarry the stone outcrops, but were able to pick one of the stones on the surface. Evidence of human occupation or modification at these local stone outcrops was sc ant. With the exception of the southwestern slope of the natural hill, where small concave circles were identified on one of the natural stone outcrops (Figure 4-28), the other pl aces did not have evidence of use (according to survey and excavations). This could further sustain the idea that there were no quarrying activities being taken place at the stone outcrops, but that stone s were procured from the ground surface.
171 The visual aspects of these stone outcrops s howed a group of stones, but in some instances, linear arrangements, or sequen ces of stones could be observed (Figure 4-28 and 4-29). Nonetheless, unlike the case of the megalithic stone tors and tombs discussed in Chapter 3, where both type of stone arrangements had prom inent similarities (Bradley 1998), at Naranjo it is difficult to tell the grade of resemblance be tween these local natural outcrops and the stone rows at the center of the site. As well, the sequences observed by the author in the natural outcrops are composed of big prominent rocks very close to each other, but there is no definitive resemblance between these rocks and the m onuments found at the center of the site. At Middle Formative Chalcatzingo, Mexico si milar characteristics between monuments found at the center of the site and natural stone outc rops in the natural hill have been discussed. Here, two sets of sculptures were found, one lo cated within the buildings and the second set located in the natural hill that is situated in the south end of the site. According to Grove (1987) a major difference between both groups of monument s is the topics depicted on their carvings. In the natural hill area, the monuments portray natural elements such as lizards, squash plants, and mythical figures. On the contrary, the monuments erected at the center of the site are stone slabs, named stelae, portraying human figures in a standing position (Grove 1989). These distinctive sets of sculptures are related to thei r spatial context, maybe in a similar manner to the monuments at Naranjo. If we c onsider the stone outcrops in th e natural hill and the southwest periphery as monuments as distinctive feature of the physical la ndscape, a sharp distinction is made between these, and the vertical monuments at the center of the site, which were erected one stone at a time as discrete monuments that have certain distance between stones. The other source of stone used at Naranjo wa s andesite, which is very abundant in the central highlands of Guatemala (Figure 4-30). Several andesite sources are located south of
172 Naranjo, although no archaeological survey was carried out here, so there is little information regarding the nature of the source or its visual appearance. What seems to be a more intriguing source used at Naranjo is the columnar basalt, considered the third source. This source was widely used at Naranjo since 12 monuments both in situ and out of c ontext were columnar basalts. Columnar basalts were widely used at other Middle Precl assic sites (Clancy 1990, Shook 1952) (Figure 4-31). This type of stone wa s apparently preferred by the Middle and Late Preclassic period and was not restricted for the use as plain stone monuments. As in the case of Kaminaljuyus Stela 9 (Figure 4-32), there are ot her examples in the Gulf Coast where the basalt columns were erected as monuments as well (Pars ons 1986). Furthermore at the site of La Venta the use of basalt columns was f ound in the context of monumental constructions. Such is the case of Tomb A, an entire structure built using columnar basalts. Tomb A had walls and a roof that consisted of this type of stones (Druck er et al. 1959). The Ceremonial Court and the Southwest and Southeast Platforms in Complex A ar e the other examples of the use of columnar basalts as architectural elements. This cour t was surrounded by a parapet of columnar basalts (Drucker et al. 1959). What is interesting about the use of columnar basalts in Mesoamerica is their particular shape, which is also attestable by looking at the columnar basalt sources (Figure 4-33). The basalt columns give the same impression as th e case study presented by Bradley (1998), where natural tors had a distin ctive shape that was thoug ht of as being man-made. The symmetry and smooth surface of the columnar basalts give the impression that these stones were man-made and not naturally formed. Following Br adleys (1998) explanation that the tors were not necessarily conceived as natural stone, we need not assume that the ancient inhabita nts of Naranjo thought of the columnar basalts as natural stones as well. The basalt column formations are something
173 rather impressive to look at. In these sources all the columns ar e aligned vertically, forming long columns one next to the other. In most cases, th e edges of one column are right next to the other column. Their vertical position make an interesting connection with the fact that most of the evidence from the Preclassic shows that the basalt columns were erected in a vertical position as well, although there are some exceptions such as La Ventas Tomb A. At Naranjo one whole row of m onuments, Row 3, was composed of this type of stone, and several other columns were found in the center of the site. Seve ral basalt column sources are found throughout Mesoamerica, including one in the Hidalgo, one in the Gulf Coast area, another in the piedmont of Guatemala near Amatitln (Figure 4-30 and 4-31), and in the piedmont of El Salvador as well (Marlon Escamilla personal communication 2006). Therefore this study proposes that the basalt columns were probably placed in a vertical manner at several of the sites of the Preclassic period to create a co nnection to these places of origin (the sources) and possibly, also in connection to a mythical past, or with the ancestors. Although no research has been done on the columnar basalt sources themselves, it seem s that the physical aspects of these stone outcrops are important enough to cons ider them as places with meaning beyond the procurement of the stone. As other archaeologist s have noted elsewhere, specific land features are often selected as meaningful places due to their unusual characteristic s (van de Gutche 1999). Furthermore, as Bradley (1998) suggested for th e megaliths of Britain, what we call natural formations might well have been considered ma n-made monuments by previous peoples in the past, of the time of the ancestors. Bradley (1998) explains that conceptions of what is culture or cu lturally created and what is nature fails when a careful examina tion of some stone monuments do not follow the clear distinction as to what is culturally constructed and what is not. In his case study of south-
174 west England, he engages in a comparison be tween the natural stone s and the built stone monuments. He realizes that both configurations are rather simila r. Nonetheless he states that this is not because the ancient dwellers of England were trying to copy the natural rock formations, but that these rock formations were already part of thei r experience and local histories. Their familiarity with this landscap e and rock formations is what informed the residents in building the monument s. Bradley (1998:18-19) also stat es that the particular shape of the natural formations of southwest Engl and might have captured the ancient residents attention, and maybe they thought that those were ancient monuments created by ancestors. Bradley points that this idea is not that strange since even today it is ha rd to distinguish the natural stone formations from the cultural ones. In spite of the importance that basalt colu mns had during the Middle and Late Preclassic periods, by the end of the Preclassic basalt colu mns were no longer being erected. Instead other forms of stone became more popular, such the shap ed rectangular stone slab. Stone slabs were already being used during the Mi ddle Preclassic period, as Monuments 2 and 8 of Naranjo show; nonetheless, the fact that the residents of some sites stopped erecting basalt columns remains a topic without explanation. At Kaminaljuyu, se veral plain basalt columns have been found. Unlike Naranjo or Rosario Naranjo, where the ar chaeological evidence demonstrates that the monuments were never taken down after the Midd le Preclassic period, at Kaminaljuyu all the plain monuments found are columnar basalts, and all of them were found buried within structures of later periods, specially the Late Preclassic period (Berlin 1952, Shook 1952). This evidence show that not only did the residents of Kaminaljuyu stop erecting basalt columns, but they buried them within newer constructions of the mounds.
175 If we take into considerati on the proposition that these basa lt columns were related to a mythical past or identity, as th is study argues, there is a possibility that changes occurred by the Late Preclassic period shifted these narratives, and thus excluded the meaningfulness of the basalt columns from the ancestral landscape. Using some of the notions that Dwyer (1996) discusses for his ethnographic research at Papua New Guinea might be of use for the case of basalt columns. Dwyer studied three differe nt communities and their relation towards their environment. As he explains, the community that had a livelihood system connected with the forest and its extractions also had a stronger connection with what Dwyer names the invisible world. For them, the invisible world was all around and manifested itself through specific material things. On the other hand, the community with an inte nsive agricultural system had a distant relation with the invisible world. For them, that worl d was outside their own social field, and was relegated to the periphery. Dwyer interprets these findings as the result of what he calls the invention of nature which emerges when a livelihood system engages in a different manner with their environment and surroundings, in this case, agriculture. Basalt columns may have been take n as traces of this invisibl e world that formed part of the Preclassic period landscape; nonetheless, it might have been the case that by the end of the Late Preclassic period, this invi sible world was moved off to a pe riphery. If this was the case, basalt columns were no longer part of a fam iliar world. The archaeological evidence suggests that by the Late Preclassic period, people we re engaging more in monumental works and inscribing the landscape through the construction of mounds a nd monuments (Joyce and Grove 1999). Thus, through the formalization and region alization of space a greater differentiation between centers like Naranjo and st one sources like the columnar basalts was created. Clancy (1990) notes a similar difference in the carvings of Maya stone known as stelae. She mentions
176 that the Preclassic carved monume nts show more interest in th e natural form of the stone, whereas the Classic monuments are completely modi fied from the natural source and shaped into rectangular and symmetrical forms. In this later period, the mani pulation of the stone is entirely up to the artist, who preferred a symmetrical and standardized shape. The relevance of stone outcrops as places of meaning is also evident in modern Maya ceremonies. Linda Brown (2004) has studied several of the ceremonies performed on hilltops in association with stones or ot her natural features. Although at Naranjo, no evidence of ceremonial activities was found in association with the plain stone monuments or the stone outcrops in the vicinity, the fact that stone outcrops are often consid ered sacred places is relevant for the interpretations in this study. Even though the archaeological studies using a building perspective te nd to separate stone monuments from stone formations, in a way of separating cultural artifacts from natural formations, in this study the stone monuments of Naranjo are understood in relation to such natural formations. Using the concept of landscape as a web of connections, which was explained in Chapter 3, the stone monuments of Na ranjo are seen as gatherings of all the stone sources from which they come from, which were presumably places of relevance to the ancient inhabitants of Naranjo. The stone monuments at Naranjo make re ference to those other places, and possibly to other groups of people that were also connected to Naranjo through the stone sources, perhaps at other sites that also had pl ain stone monuments of similar sources. Thus, looking at the different source of stones at Naranjo makes it is possible to understand the network of places that constituted the social and p hysical landscape at this particular site. By looking at the monuments in terms of connections with their places of or igins, the category of stone monument itself, no longer exists as a cult ural category, since it ha s strings attached to
177 natural formations. Therefore, monuments cannot be considered merely cultural icons of Naranjo; they cannot be interp reted as cultural manifestations or appropriations of natural elements, since their meaning was imbued in relation to their stone sources of origin. Rather, the center of Naranjo, with so many different stone so urces represented, was a gathering of places, a unique single vision of distant and near places all in one space: the plaza of Naranjo. The Creation of Monuments at Naranjo Besides stone sources, the final shape of Naranjos m onuments was affected by modifications made by the ancient residents. One of the first striking characteristics about plain stone monuments at Naranjo is th e wide diversity of stones used, and that their final appearances are different. As observed at Nara njo, stones erected in the center of the site varied from small monuments with 1 m of height such as Monument 9 in Row 1, to massive monuments with more than 3 m of height, such as Monument 22 in Row 2. In all the cases the shapes and forms of the monuments were largely informed by the type of stone used, although in some cases, additional modifications were made by the ancient residents. Textures an d composition of stone determined the final appearance of the plain stone monuments. From an ethnographic point of view Brown ( 2004:34) argues that th e archaeologists should pay attention to the types of mate rials used for ritual activities and their transformations, as well as the different acts of deposition and their locations. Brown brings attention to the relevance and manipulation of the material. Her research demonstrates that the materials are transformed through the rituals and this transformation is recursively connected with how effective the ritual is. In the case of Naranjo this could mean that the ancient residents selected the type of stone they used for the monuments, which includes a sp ecific stone source and a specific shape, either natural or man-made. Even though there is no evidence of the contexts where the
178 modifications of stone monuments took place, what is important to highlight in this study, is that the final product achieved, the ston e to be erected as a monument had specific characteristics that made it unique and suitable to become a monument. At Naranjo the final shape of monuments varied from non-modified stones, as in the case of all the columnar basalt monuments and Monument 7, to the monuments th at were modified almost entirely, like Monument 8, Monument 4, or even the case of Monument 27, which has evidence of carvings like a stela. The fact that so me monuments were modified while others were not raises the question, why the ancient residents of Na ranjo created distin ct monuments? Ethnographic studies in the Maya area have pointed out that st one is a powerful source in itself since people use it as mediators between this world and the world of the ancestors (Brown 2004:32). Brown was able to document a variety of rituals in the El Duende mountain located in highlands of Guatemala. According to her, mountains, mountaintops, and stone shrines are potent places to facilitate ritual activities (Brown 2004:31). Some of the stone shrines that are described in her study are unmodified natural stones with a special feature, such as a flat-topped boulder or alcove in a rock, although constructed features also exist, such as rock alignments and platforms (Brown 2004:36). Her study reveals that a single mountain had a variety of places used to perform different rituals, depending on the purpose of the ritu al. The interesting information about Browns study is that the ritu al practitioners do not divide their shrines according to a modified vs. unmodified dichot omy, but that this variety of shrines exists because of the variety of ritual practices perfor med at El Duende. These ideas agree with what has been already argued by Bradley (1998, 2000) desc ribed in the previous section, in which the distinction between natural formation and cultura l monuments is not universal. At Naranjo, the fact that different stone monuments, modified a nd unmodified, coexist in the same area and in
179 close proximity to one another could support the id ea that the ancient residents did not make this distinction either. Other interesting examples of the connection between what archaeologists consider natural formations and archaeological sites in the Maya area are related to cave use. Archaeological research has documented manipul ation, movement and resetting, removal, and caching of speleothems (stalagmites, stalactites, and other formati ons). Speleothems appear in excavation contexts and at surface sites, such as Yaxchilan where a speleothem was erected in front of a stone building construction. At othe r places, such as Chichen Itza, stone monuments have been identified to which were made to rese mble the basic shape of a speleothem (Brady et al. 1997:725-6). As well, plain stone monuments have been also identified inside cave systems at Belize. Awe et al. (2005) documented three caves in we stern Belize that contai n vertically standing megalithic monuments. Because these monuments resemble stelae found in Maya sites, the authors applied the term stelae, although they recognized that the cave examples in western Belize are shorter and bear no inscriptions. Un like speleothems, which were sometimes placed in an upright position an d rarely modified, the stelae in th ese caves were produced from either slate or limestone and generally display evidence of modifications. The monuments were also erected within recessed cave chambers and ar e accompanied by cultural materials associated with ritual activity (Awe et al. 2005:223). Some of the plai n stelae depicted by Awe et al. (2005:227) have man-modified features. For in stance, Stela 2 has the top carved to a point, which was interpreted by Awe et al. (2007) as mi micking the shape of an obsidian bloodletter. Also, the Tarantula Cave stela as well as th e Tunichil Muknal monume nts were produced from
180 slate and display clear evidence of having been cut and dressed along th e sides (Awe et al. 2005:232-33). Both case studies illuminate that it is di fficult to make a sharp distinction between modified and unmodified features The fact that unmodified speleothems were extracted from caves and erected several ancient Maya cities, and that on the other ha nd, modified stone slabs were placed within caves, is a good example to demonstrate that modified and unmodified objects commonly coexist in relation to human habitation. Therefore a better suited appro ach for the study of stone monum ents of Naranjo is to look beyond characteristics of modified versus unmodi fied surfaces, and focus on the final product that was erected at the site. What appears to be the most important factor among all the stone monuments of Naranjo, according to the present condi tions of the stones, is that they all have a smooth surface. In the cases of the columnar basalts, Monuments 1, 2, 7 and 9, the natural stones already provided that characteristic. On the contrary, the surface of Monuments 4, 8, 9, 17, and 27 were purposely smoothed on at least one side of the monument. The altars found in association with Monument 3 and 4 show a similar pattern. Alta r 2 paired with Monument 3 did not show signs of modification but its surface wa s naturally smooth. On the contrary, Altar 1, paired with Monument 4 was purposely modified to have a smooth surface on its top. There are only two examples that do not follow this rule : Monuments 1 and 27. Both monuments show additional modifications that do not appear on an y of the other monuments. Monument 1 depicts a carved hole in the upper central part of the stone. This ston e slab does not have any further modifications. Monument 27 also presents an intriguing case since it was discovered by the NARP that two sides of the monume nt (one face and one side) had what appears to be an eroded carved surface (Arroyo 2007). The carvings depict a standing figure, although only part of its
181 legs and feet are distinguis hable (Brbara Arroyo, personal communication 2007) Monument 27 was erected in the same row with four other monuments that had a shape, size, and surface, similar to Monument 27, except for the carving. For an explanation of Monument 1 and 22 studies of Jones (2001), Clancy (1985,1990), and Stuart (n.d.) are useful. Jones (2001) ex amined the role and landscape of Bronze Age artifacts recovered in Britain. He (2001:339) critiqued the perspective that arch aeologists often consider artifacts mute against their producers. In this view, the culture of the producer is what actually affects the morphology and the decora tions of the artifact. However, Jones argues, this concept of culture is not examined within their own social practices. Clancy (1990) and Stuart (n.d.) also discuss the relevance of the stone material when analyzing the types of carvings among Maya stone monuments. As explained in Chapter 2, both authors acknowledge the relevan ce of the stone material used as a monument. Clancy (1985, 1990) believes that during the Preclassic period the type of stone and the specific properties of a stone reinforced the final form of the monument. Stua rt (n.d.) also explains, sometimes a small detail in the stone, like a differe nce in color, or an inclusion, ca n become powerful elements to distinguish a stone as more important than other homologous stones in the same outcrop. If these ideas are applied to the cas e of Monuments 1 and 27 it is possi ble to suggest that it was the specific social practices associated with these stones or a trait in their natural form that resulted in their very different characterist ics compared to the monuments. In sum, the stone monuments at Naranjo show a wide variety of shapes and treatments. However instead of looking at the alterations or modifications that some of the monuments suffered as the result of an imposition of cu ltural ideas upon a blank canvas, like the building perspective would do. On the contrary, I suggest, these modifications were affected by a desire
182 to have a smooth surface. In the case of M onument 1 and Monument 27 that were further modified, perhaps by special traits in the materi al stone itself or sp ecific social practices performed at the site. Conclusion The plain stone m onuments at Naranjo show a wide variation in terms of their final shape. This variation can be understood in terms of the stone sources used and the later modifications made at the stone. Even though not all the ston e monuments were modifi ed, the final shape was apparently directed towards having a smooth surface. The fact that some of them were purposely smooth and others were not seems to be the re sult of a decision made based on the previous conditions of the natural stones. In the case of the columnar basalts, for instance, their symmetrical shape and smooth surface was left unaltered. Three possible stone sources were identified among the ston e monuments at Naranjo, although further analyses are necessary to positivel y identify the stones with the sources. Using a dwelling approach, the stone sour ces related to Naranjo are treate d as places of importance to the ancient residents. This view sharply contra sts with other studies th at have treated stone sources of monuments as merely places of procur ement. As important places, the stone sources of Naranjo were part of a web of interconnect edness that not only rela ted the stone monuments with the stone sources, but that connected peop le with the significance of these places. Thus, the erection of stones at Naranjo draws attention to these signi ficant places in the landscape. By selecting different types of stones people produced monuments that were presenting places outside the immediate landscape at the center of Naranjo. Thus they engaged in a process of condensing the si gnificance of other pl aces through stone erection. Nonetheless, at the same time that the stone monuments made reference to their s ources of origin, their removal from these rock outcrops and their positi oning in the center of Na ranjo, where they were
183 aligned on rough rows through the landscape, indicates how they were involved in the creation of a new visible sense of order. Stones are both part of, and other than, the landscape they come from, since by placing them at the center of Naranj o they encapsulated those places and created a new place.
184 CHAPTER 7 CONLCUSIONS This chapter presents the conclusions for this research and sug gests topics for future investigations of plain stone monuments in the Maya area and Mesoamerica more generally. The main goal of the chapter is to evaluate the objectives outlined in Ch apter 1 and to provide a concise conclusion to the study. Th e last section of this chapter discusses questions that emerged from this study and that could be addressed in future studies. The main motivation for adopting the dwelling a pproach was to avoid looking at the plain stone monuments as art pieces or monuments in th e same category as the later stelae, popular in the Classic Maya period. By pr oviding a different explanation about plain stone monuments that was not centered on the fact that these monuments were plain or devoid of carvings, this study was able to incorporate the plain stone monu ment tradition into the discussion of social complexity and differentiation during the Midd le Preclassic period in the Maya area. This study of plain stone monuments at Nara njo adopted a dwelling perspective, based on phenomenology, in opposition to the building perspect ive, which follows Cartesian notions of a body detached from the mind. According to the dwe lling perspective humans are an integral part of the environment. This pers pective assumes that human beings are always contextualized in place and that any social experience is inform ed and transformed by the places that human beings inhabit. The dwelling perspective denies that the body is detached from the mind; on the contrary, it assumes that every act of thinking is embedded in the act of living-in-the-world (following Heidegger 1977). For the study of plain stone monument s at Naranjo, the adoption of a dwelling approach involved look ing at a different set of data that was presented through the two main objectives of this study.
185 The first objective, outlined in Chapter 1, stat es the idea of looking at the stone monuments of Naranjo in relation to the rest of the monumental buildings at the site. This information was obtained by looking at the excavation data from the Naranjo Archaeological Rescue Project, which operated at the site from 2005 until 2007. This goal was meant to observe the monuments in relation to each other, in rela tion to the other constructions at the site, and in relation to their natural environment. The concept of landscape as a process was developed to analyze this objective. Landscape as a process derives from the dwelling approach, and assumes that human beings socialize through their rela tionships with places and material things. This concept also conveys notions of materiality, which state that it is through the construction and modification of the physical environment that human beings are able to reproduce and transform their society. This study concludes that the erection of stone monuments at Naranjo was a process that did not occur all at once ri ght at the beginning of the occupation at the site. The first evidence of occupation at Naranjo was scattered around the s outh and southwestern portion of what later became the center of Naranjo. The first practices in these scattered areas gave a ritual significance to Naranjo and became the base upon which the following modifications and constructions took place at the si te. It was no coincidence that the first stone monuments were erected on top of material residue of these first ritual practices. Nonetheless, later in time the ancient residents of Naranjo were able to di versify their space by building two mounds and two platforms and by erecting more than 20 plain stone monuments in the center of the site. It was these modifications that reshaped the way the anci ent residents related to one another, and likely, enabled social differentiation at Naranjo. Following this research, no longer can the plain stone monuments of Naranjo be studied in isolation. This research has shown that the plai n stone monuments were pl aced in relation to the
186 other landscape features at the site, such as the South Platform, Mound 1, and the natural hill. Stone monuments can only be understood in relati on to one another, to the other monumental constructions and features, to the stone sources, a nd in relation to the other places with plain stone monuments. The careful examination of plain stone monume nts at Naranjo provides the basis for future research on plain stone m onuments in the Maya area, and hope fully the rest of Mesoamerica. The study of plain stone monument s at Naranjo opens a new series of possibilities for future studies. This study posed questions only in rela tion to the occupation an d modifications carried out in the center of the site. Therefore, the first question that would follow after this study would be, what was the relationship between the peop le living in the household areas identified by NARP and the erection of the stone monuments. If this study concludes that the erection of stone monuments at Naranjo enabled the possibi lity of new categories of people and new types of organizations at the site, we must also as k what other evidence besides the core area of Naranjo should be analyzed to prove this? To answer these questions more fieldwork needs to be done to compile information on the surround ing areas of Naranjo, specifically the Cerro Naranjo. Furthermore, the stone sources identifi ed at Naranjo as well as the columnar basalt sources of Amatitlan call for a potential study of the stone sources and their importance as meaningful places in the Preclassic period. Other possible topics derived from the study of plain stone monume nts at Naranjo are related to the erection of plai n stone monuments at other sites in the central highlands of Guatemala and their relationship with processes of social differentiation in the Preclassic period, for instance, the relationship between Nara njo and its close nei ghbor Rosario Naranjo. Excavations at Rosario Naranjo have revealed a possible row of stone monuments, but the
187 arrangement is different than at Naranjo, sinc e the monuments are not aligned parallel to the mound constructions. One of the main differences is that Rosario Naranjo was not abandoned by the end of the Middle Preclassic period like Naranjo, but was occupied during the Late Preclassic period. Continuous occupation between the Middle and Late Preclassic period was also the case at Kaminaljuyu. Kaminaljuyu presents an interes ting case since all the plain stone monuments discovered there were found in a secondary c ontext, buried in late r phases of occupation, apparently placed during the Middle to Late Preclassic transition (e.g. Berlin 1952, Shook 1952). Excavations of Mound C-III-6 at Kaminaljuyu showed six columnar basalts placed as part of a previous phase of the mound. One of the monu ments was Stela 9, a carved columnar basalt (Shook 1952:240-44). This find was in associati on with an offering combining the stone monuments and several complete ceramic vessels. Edwin Shook (1952:240) dated this find to the beginning of the Late Preclas sic period, but he also noted that the previous occupation when the offering was placed, was during the Las Char cas phase of the Middle Preclassic period. Similar practices might have occurred elsewher e at archaeological si tes where plain stone monuments have been found buried inside earlie r occupations of the earth mounds, as was the case at Chalchuapa, El Salvador (Sharer and Sheets 1978) and El Portn, Guatemala (Sharer and Sedat 1987). It raises the ques tions, What is the relationship between these buried plain stone monuments and the Late Preclassic occupation of the sites? What we re the shifts that occurred during the Middle to Late Preclass ic transition that led the inhab itants of Naranjo to abandon the site, but allowed the people living at Rosari o Naranjo stay? How was Kaminaljuyu involved in these events? All these questions point to the ne ed to integrate the information from the various sites in the central highlands, since Naranjo was not isolated.
188 The Middle to Late Preclassic transition is a topic that also needs to be discussed in relation to the erection of plai n stone monuments and carved m onuments. As explained in Chapter 2, there are several sites that have bot h types of monuments a nd were occupied during both periods. Sites such as Takalik Abaj, Guatemal a need to be studied by considering both types of monuments, both plain and carved. Detailed information of the plai n monuments still needs to be analyzed in conjunction with the carved monuments analyses already published to complete the monumental history of the sites. Finally, this study hopes to bri ng attention to the study of st one monuments in the Maya area, either carved or plain. As was me ntioned throughout this study, the dominance of iconographic studies has hidden the relevance of th e archaeological contex ts of the monuments and of their material, and shapes. The study of monuments using a dwelli ng perspective can help eliminate this limitations, and ope ns possibilities for understanding the stone monuments at other places.
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204 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Karen Pereira was born in Guatem ala City. She attended the Universidad Del Valle de Guatemala where she obtained her BA degree in Archaeology. Karen has worked in excavations projects of several Guatemalan archaeological sites in the lowlands, highlands, and the south coast. She came to the University of Flor ida in 2006 to pursue her MA and PhD degree in Anthropology under the directi on of Dr. Susan Gillespie.