Margarita Settlement Survey, Quintana Roo, Mexico
In the summer of 2009, Jason Sherman will be initiating the Margarita Settlement Survey in south-central Quintana Roo, Mexico. This multiyear project will document rural settlement in the hinterland of Margarita, a medium-sized ancient Maya center occupied during the Preclassic and Classic periods (ca. 600 BC–AD 1000). Survey, mapping, and excavations of small sites will be undertaken to examine ...
- the structure of rural households and communities;
- social, political, and economic interaction between rural, largely commoner populations and the urban residents (including elites) at Margarita; and
- changes in households, communities, and commoner-elite relations at Margarita vis-à-vis the long-term evolution of regional polities in this portion of the Maya lowlands.
The Margarita Settlement Survey will complement ongoing research in the monumental zones of Margarita, which focuses on elite sociopolitical organization and the evolution of the urban built environment.
Prof. Sherman am also currently collaborating with scholars at Oregon State University and the American Museum of Natural History in a study of how Zapotec state formation (ca. 300-100 BC) affected the organization of ceramic production and distribution in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. This research involves compositional analyses of clay samples and archaeological ceramics, including both petrography and instrumental neutron activation analysis.