UNLV Anthropology Lecture - Keeping up with the Joneses: Neighbors and Neighborhoods in Lowland Maya Cities


Mar. 6, 2023, 11:30am to 12:30pm

Campus Location

Office/Remote Location

Room 212 or virtual


UNLV Anthropology professor Dr. Lisa Johnson presents their research as part of the UNLV Anthropology Proseminar Spring 2023 Series. 

Increasingly, archaeologists working in Classic Period Maya cities have focused their attention on defining “neighborhoods” as a means to reconcile both a bottom up and top down approach.  A consideration of Palenque’s urban form and patterns in the clustering of stone structures along built terraces makes the existence of neighborhoods within this densely populated city highly likely. However, neighborhood boundaries and dynamics have yet to be strongly defined and supported by excavation data.

In this talk I will share some preliminary data following three field seasons of excavations in select residential groups. Preliminary data suggests there were considerable differences in the political authority, ritual emphasis, and daily practices across households that were spatially close and occupied contemporaneously. We are left asking, do these differences reflect a hierarchical social organization at the neighborhood level and/or a difference in the intensity of face-to-face interaction due to spatial proximity and topography? These questions are yet to be resolved but will be explored further in future investigations.

Admission Information

This event is open to the public. Please join us in-person or attend virtually via Webex.

Contact Information

Department of Anthropology
Heather Nepa