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Ritual and Trade in the Pasion-Verapaz Region, Guatemala

Author(s): Brent Woodfill

Ritual space has been shown to be a sensitive barometer to examine population movement and interregional transit and trade. Woodfill details changes in ritual paraphernalia and ritual practice over 2,000 years of Maya history, creating a preliminary model for highland-lowland interaction and changing local cultural affiliations. In addition, he elucidates the varied functions of ritual in Preclassic and Classic Maya civilization.

In the Candelaria, San Francisco, and Hun Nal Ye cave systems, many important trade shrines were in use from the beginning of complex society in Mesoamerica to just after the collapse of Classic Maya civilization. All were located at or near the highland-lowland transition in Central Guatemala on the Great Western Trade Route, the principal trade artery connecting the Maya highlands and lowlands.

VIMA Series #6


Biography of Author(s)

Brent Woodfill is Director of the Northern Verapaz Settlement and Sacred Site Survey and a Visiting Professor of Anthropology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.