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from the Maya areas were sites with access to watercourses: Palenque, Piedras Negras, Yaxchilán, Bonampak, Seibal, Quiriguá, and Copán. Considering the evidence for an influx of new people into the western Maya area and the drainage of the Usumacinta and its tributaries, the historical importance of the artistic relationship between these sites and Modified Florescent Chichén Itzá cannot be denied nor yet clearly understood. At the same time it is important to underscore the artistic relationship of the southeastern sites, particularly Quiriguá, not only to Chichén Itzá but also to the Usumacinta sites listed above. All these sites with the exception of Chichén Itzá are accessible by water, which emphasizes the importance of water routes or transport in the background of some of the people at Chichén Itzá. This helps to explain the aquatic scenes and boats pictured in the murals at Chichén Itzá. It is difficult to ignore but hard to interpret what this means for the history of Modified Florescent Chichén Itzá. The wide knowledge of elements of Classic Maya art displayed by the Modified Florescent sculptors at Chichén Itzá indicates that whoever was responsible for this work had not just marched in from central Mexico. Years ago Proskouriakoff wrote that a simple fusion of the styles of Tula and the Puuc sites could not sufficiently explain the origin of the sculpture of Modified Florescent Chichén Itzá, and the present study makes this abundantly clear (Proskouriakoff 1946:211). The great influence the Gulf Coast lowlands might have had on ancient Maya

history has been often suggested but little explored archaeologically, and architectural comparisons are almost nonexistent. Better understanding of the later PreColumbian history of the Maya area must await a systematic approach to interregional archaeological problems in both synchronic and diachronic dimensions. Basic problems of chronology, stratigraphy and interregional relationships must be solved in order to more accurately reconstruct these periods of Yucatecan history and better understand any movements of peoples involved. The people of Modified Florescent Chichén Itzá selected artistic elements from various areas of Mesoamerica that they blended into often pleasing artistic and architectural forms. Many of these elements and forms do not have a local history in the area and thus are foreign to the northern lowlands. On the other hand, many continuities exist from Pure Florescent to Modified Florescent Chichén Itzá, particularly in architecture, certain sculptural themes, and ceramics (Andrews 1942:263, Smith 1971:253). These continuities, plus the evidence for a short period of transition from the Pure Florescent to the Modified Florescent at Chichén Itzá, suggest that total population displacement did not accompany the transition from one period to the next. The arrival of new peoples was most likely a factor in the cultural florescence of later Chichén Itzá, but the continuities with the earlier period probably indicate much of the previous population was still present.


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Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán  

Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán