Warriors, nobles, commoners and beasts: Figurines from elite buildings at Aguateca, Guatemala

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28 Scopus citations


Figurines and figurine fragments excavated at Aguateca, Petén, Guatemala, have unprecedented contextual information. Because the site's epicenter was rapidly abandoned, we have recovered whole and reconstructible figurines from floor contexts in elite residences. In contrast to most Maya sites, these figurines are part of assemblages that were in use or storage when the structures were abandoned, providing a unique opportunity to investigate their function and use. In addition, numerous figurine fragments were recovered from middens associated with these structures. In conjunction with the figurines found on floors, these fragments point to a domestic use of the figurines. The distributions of the in situ figurines in the elite residences suggest that they were used and possibly made by the women of these households. The study of this data set contributes to our understanding of Late Classic elite household activities and social and gender roles. A preponderance of male figurines, many of them warriors, may be related to this center's frequent engagements in warfare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-293
Number of pages25
JournalLatin American Antiquity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Archaeology


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