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cave as a cosmogram: The use of GIS in an intrasite spatial analysis of the main chamber of Actun Tunichil Muknal, a Maya ceremonial cave in Western Belize

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Date Issued:
2001
Summary:
This study is a spatial analysis conducted in the Main Chamber of Actun Tunichil Muknal, a Terminal Classic Maya ceremonial cave (A.D. 830--950), located in Western Belize. The research examines ancient Maya ritual cave use by analyzing artifact deposition patterns. Using a Geographical Information System (GIS), it provides a methodology for the development of comparative models of spatial organization. The system facilitated data visualization, exploration, and generation. The GIS was instrumental in the analysis of the proximity of artifacts to natural morphological features of the cave. Artifact deposition patterns were correlated with known ritual behavior patterns from the region. Using this method, boundary markers, artifact pathways, and a centrally located symbolic three-stone-hearth feature were identified. This study suggests that, within the cave, the ancient Maya employed a cognitive model of spatial organization similar to that witnessed by ethnographers in other venues, or reported in ethnohistorical texts in rites of foundation.
Title: The cave as a cosmogram: The use of GIS in an intrasite spatial analysis of the main chamber of Actun Tunichil Muknal, a Maya ceremonial cave in Western Belize.
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Name(s): Moyes, Holley.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Fradkin, Arlene, Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2001
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 226 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: This study is a spatial analysis conducted in the Main Chamber of Actun Tunichil Muknal, a Terminal Classic Maya ceremonial cave (A.D. 830--950), located in Western Belize. The research examines ancient Maya ritual cave use by analyzing artifact deposition patterns. Using a Geographical Information System (GIS), it provides a methodology for the development of comparative models of spatial organization. The system facilitated data visualization, exploration, and generation. The GIS was instrumental in the analysis of the proximity of artifacts to natural morphological features of the cave. Artifact deposition patterns were correlated with known ritual behavior patterns from the region. Using this method, boundary markers, artifact pathways, and a centrally located symbolic three-stone-hearth feature were identified. This study suggests that, within the cave, the ancient Maya employed a cognitive model of spatial organization similar to that witnessed by ethnographers in other venues, or reported in ethnohistorical texts in rites of foundation.
Identifier: 9780493418131 (isbn), 12851 (digitool), FADT12851 (IID), fau:9725 (fedora)
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Thesis (M.A.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2001.
Subject(s): Caves--Belize.
Mayas--Balize--Antiquities.
Spatial analysis (Statistics)
Geographic information systems.
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fcla/dt/12851
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.