Pre-Columbian Society of Washington DC

The Pre-Columbian Society of Washington, D.C. (PCSWDC), is an educational organization dedicated to furthering knowledge and understanding of the peoples of the Americas before the time of Columbus. Founded in 1993, the Society provides a forum for the exchange of information regarding these pre-Columbian cultures between academic professionals and interested members of the public.

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Merchants and Markets in the Maya Realm: The Classic Maya City of Chunchucmil - a review and retrospective in honor of Bruce H. Dahlin by David R. Hixson PhD

This meeting will be held at the Charles Sumner School, 17th & M Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.

The meeting starts with refreshments at 6:45 pm and the lecture begins at 7:15 pm.      

Northwest Yucatan, and specifically the archaeological site of Chunchucmil, puzzled and captivated Bruce Dahlin for more than 20 years to the end of his life.  How did such a densely settled city survive - apparently even thrive - within one of the poorest regions for agriculture? There were no documented carved monuments, no indications of a divine king, and the quadrangular architecture was not what one would expect from an Early Classic Maya capital.  What commodity, what economic system, and what political system made this city function? Was this even a Maya site?  These questions launched a multidisciplinary project that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Puuc hills, and has continued to inspire research to this day.  This paper will present the results of Dahlin's final project, demonstrating that interregional trade, market exchange, and resource diversification were likely at the core of Chunchucmil's location and prosperity.  

Dr. David R. Hixson received his Ph.D. in anthropology and archaeology from Tulane University and is currently an adjunct professor of anthropology, archaeology, and cultural geography at multiple universities within the greater D.C. area (Shepherd University, Hood College, and Frederick Community College).  While pursuing educational and archaeological studies in the greater Washington, D.C. area, David has maintained his research focus upon remote-sensing and GIS in archaeological survey methods, and continues to publish the results of his studies in NW Yucatan.  He has recently entered the arena of “drone archaeology” and intends, upon returning to the Chunchucmil region soon, to test this new technology in the low scrub forest of NW Yucatan to evaluate and verify the settlement patterns he will discuss in this talk.

Earlier Event: October 7
Later Event: December 2

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