Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Anthropology

Content Description

1 online resource (xxvi, 663 pages) : illustrations (some color), maps (some color), plans.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Marilyn A Masson

Committee Members

Robert Rosenswig, Debra Walker


Maya Collapse, Migration, Northern Belize, Precolumbian Maya, Progresso Lagoon, Terminal Classic period, Mayas, Excavations (Archaeology), Land settlement patterns, Human settlements

Subject Categories

History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


While there is consensus that the processes of decline and abandonment at many sites associated with the Terminal Classic Maya “collapse” (A.D. 750-1050) included the movement of peoples across the Maya lowlands, there has been little focused archaeological research on the resettlement and regeneration of these migrant groups. The movement of peoples across the Maya landscape was partially encouraged by a declining and ever increasingly taxed environment, as well as a revolution in exchange systems, with a notable increase in entrepreneurialism across the Maya subarea. This more integrated economic system focused on a wider range of commodities that served to link polities and regions on a more inclusive scale. As a result, many regions experienced marked population growths with the expansion of existing settlements, the resettlement of previously abandoned sites, and the establishment of new communities. While in recent years some scholars have begun to investigate Maya immigrants using biological and chemical scientific methods, the archaeological investigation of the resettlement of a migrant or immigrant community in wake of the Maya “collapse” has remained somewhat elusive.