pottery types related to Puuc ceramics make their appearance in certain Maya sites of the Usumacinta zone and the northwestern periphery of the Maya area (Rands 1973a, 1973b; Smith 1971; Sabloff 1970, 1973). At Seibal, on the Pasión River, a tributary of the Usumacinta River, sculpture and architecture appear at this time that are related to forms found in the northern lowlands. Exploring this relationship will lead to better understanding the place of Chichén Itzá in ancient Maya history.
10.0.0.0.0. At Palenque, polychromes remained dominant until around 184.108.40.206.0, with Fine Paste ceramics appearing about 220.127.116.11.0 and gaining importance, especially in the early part of the Late Balunte phase, until the appearance of Fine Orange Wares dated to 10.0.0.0.0 to 10.1.0.0.0. Polychromes remained important at Piedras Negras until around 18.104.22.168.0 in the Chacalhaaz Ceramic Complex, the end of which Rands says effectively marks the abandonment of the site. These were followed, however, with Fine Gray Ware and a related
In the great Maya sites of the Usumacinta zone and northwestern periphery, Classic architectural and sculptural activity ceased by about 22.214.171.124.0, with the last dated monument at Palenque at 126.96.36.199.7, at Piedras Negras in 188.8.131.52.0, at Bonampak around 184.108.40.206.0, and at Yaxchilán about 220.127.116.11.0 (Rands 1973a:48-52, 1973b:171-173). Just as the erection of dated monuments ceased earlier in the west and later further to the east, there was also an increase in the popularity of Fine Paste ceramics at the expense of Maya polychromes that began earlier in the west and was later in the east (Rands 1973a). Thus, in the TrinidadLower Usumacinta area, polychromes were of major importance until about 18.104.22.168.0 and Fine Paste ceramics were rare to appreciable. In the early Naab phase, from about 22.214.171.124.0 to 126.96.36.199.0, polychromes became less important as Fine Paste ceramics became more abundant, and following a late Naab phase with polychromes seemingly absent, Fine Orange ceramics mainly of the Balancan Ceramic Group appeared between about 188.8.131.52.0 and
pottery, both with affiliations to ceramics from the Balunte Complex at Palenque, and to ceramics from the Campeche coast, Tabasco, Dzibilchaltún, and Yoxiha (Rands 1973b:176). Rands believes the scattered Fine Orange pottery at Piedras Negras is later than the first Fine Paste ceramics at the site, which are themselves later than the final polychromes marking the final Classic occupation of the site (1973b:176-178). At Altar de Sacrificios, at the confluence of the Salinas (Chixoy) and Pasión Rivers, Fine Paste ceramics first appear in the early Boca phase around 184.108.40.206.0 and are associated with Maya polychromes until about 10.0.0.0.0, when Fine Orange Ware first appears here and at Seibal. The general picture that emerges is of the long and increasingly important position held by various Fine Paste ceramics in the western Maya area, which are introduced at increasingly later times into Classic Maya sites to the southeast still using Maya polychromes. The Fine Orange horizon of the Altar and Balancan Ceramic Groups is dated slightly earlier in the Trinidad-Lower