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Introduction This monograph explores the relationship of architecture, chronology, and history at the site of Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico. The aim is to work from a detailed study of the architecture of Chichén Itzá to produce an architectural history of the site, to suggest a sequence of construction, and to tie it to the regional chronology of Yucatán. Then, it examines the place of Chichén Itzá in the later Pre-Columbian history of Yucatán, based almost entirely on archaeological information rather than strictly historical sources. As an architectural investigation, it is a comprehensive monograph of the site of Chichén Itzá with both diachronic and synchronic dimensions. Given the goal of suggesting an architectural history of the site, one aspect of the architectural study is concerned with changes that can be observed through time. In addition, similarities or differences in plan and orientation of certain types of buildings, or different courtyard organization in the central sections compared to the outlying groups, suggest functional differences sometimes independent of temporal considerations. Techniques of architectural construction, floor plans, and building decoration reveal differences between the constructions of Pure Florescent and Modified Florescent Chichén Itzá that builds on the work of Ruppert and Tozzer. This is not a study of architecture for its own sake, although a synthetic, comprehensive discussion of the architecture of Chichén Itzá is long overdue; it attempts to integrate the architectural archaeology and chronology of this commanding site with the later prehistory of the Maya area. The chronological aspects of this study have both local and regional significance. The chronology of Chichén Itzá is based upon the architectural sequence at the site, while ceramic, epigraphic, and radiocarbon data provide evidence for alternative interpretations of the chronology. Working toward absolute dating of the architectural periods at Chichén Itzá offers the possibility of better understanding the regional chronology of the northern Maya lowlands. The evidence will support more than one interpretation of the chronology of Chichén Itzá. These variable possibilities for dating the site are considered within the context of alternative interpretations of the stratigraphy and chronology of the Puuc sites in relation to the ceremonial centers of the southern Maya lowlands (Andrews IV 1960, 1965a, 1973; Thompson 1941, 1945, 1970a). A study of the architecture of Chichén Itzá alone cannot settle the problems of the regional chronology of Yucatán, but it frames issues of the archaeology of the northern Maya lowlands from the perspective of the major Postclassic site in Yucatán. This critical consideration of the evidence, rather than a definitive statement favoring one view or the other, is the contribution of the study to Mesoamerican archaeology.

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Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán  

Architecture and Chronology at Chichén Itzá, Yucatán