Chapter

Creating Community with Shell

Cynthia Robin

in Chan

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039831
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043753 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813039831.003.0013
Creating Community with Shell

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This chapter examines 29,000 shell items excavated at the Maya farming community of Chan. It discusses three archaeologically identifiable practices in which the people of Chan used shell objects to create community: (1) the consumption and ritual deposition of freshwater snails (jutes), (2) the ritual placement of shell items in caches and burials, and (3) the production and distribution of shell ornaments. Chan's leading families were involved in small-scale marine shell bead production. Exotic marine shell ornaments that typically have restricted distributions in the Maya area have a more equitable distribution among Chan's households.

Keywords: Maya; Chan; farming community; shell; community; archaeologically; ritual; production

Chapter.  5585 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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