Student Connections

Niagara Frontier Center Mentor Dr. Rhianna C. Rogers' Book on Maya Research Published by Archaeopress/British Archaeological

By Rhianna Rogers, mentor, cultural studies, Niagara Frontier Center

October 5, 2012

Dr. Rhianna RogersDr. Rhianna Rogers' (at left) ongoing research at the Maya site of Tihoo, Merida continues with the publication of her book From Ichcanzihoo to Mérida:Documenting Cultural Transition Through Contact Archaeology in Tihoo, Mérida, Yucatan (Oxford: ArchaeoPress/British Archaeological Reports, 2011). Rogers is a mentor at the Niagara Frontier Center.

"This expanded volume of my dissertation is concerned with the role material culture played in transformation and/or retention of Maya authority, just prior to and after Spanish contact, A.D. 1100–1800s. As one of the last standing structures in the Maya site of Tíhoo, now buried beneath the Spanish capital city Mérida, the Ciudadela collection represents a rare glimpse into a significant, yet understudied, Type 1 archaeological site," says Rogers. "Included in this project are a general examination of Maya studies in the Northwestern Yucatán Corridor and the results of a preliminary classification and discussion of materials represented in the YUC 2 assemblage. Results of the archaeological component of this study illustrated that there was little change in production of indigenous pottery after the fall of Mayapan (ca. A.D. 1441–1461), as inhabitants of precolumbian Tíhoo continued to use preexisting wares from their former capital, particularly those within the Mayapan Red Ware and Mayapan Unslipped Ware classifications, well into the Colonial period."

The book explains that in the Post-Colonial period, a significant change in wares occurred as native inhabitants incorporated foreign ceramic types into their society. Ceramics from Spain, Italy and England, and porcelains from China and Japan, combined with colonial Mexican Majolica and preexisting Mayapan wares, illustrating the interaction of native inhabitants with European immigrants and their import goods. Although the YUC 2 collection supported the transformation of material culture after Spanish contact, the research in this text illustrates that the Maya, through religious practices, militaristic resistance and oral/written traditions, were able to retain significant aspects of their pre-Columbian power into the Colonial era and beyond.

This expanded book includes detailed descriptions and analyses of 20,000 artifacts, catalogs of the analyzed collections held at the University of Florida, artifact images and drawings and translations of colonial and contemporary Spanish historical and archaeological narratives about the site.

Further details about this project were presented in Rogers' paper “Contact Archaeology at the Site of Tihoo, Merida,” at the 2012 Society for Historical Archaeology Annual Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology in Baltimore in January 2012.Dr. Rhianna C. Rogers' Book

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Article Contributors
  • Danielle Benedict
  • Helen Edelman
  • Justin Giordano
  • David Henahan
  • Susan LeClair
  • Tom Mackey
  • Mark Miyake
  • Vickie Moller
  • Sarah Morehouse
  • Rhianna Rogers
  • Pat Ryan
  • Jandet Shideler
  • Betty Wilde-Biasiny