Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Sociology

Major Professor

E. Christian Wells, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Karla Davis-Salazar, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Marie White, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Linda M. Whiteford, Ph.D.

Keywords

Honduras, Mesoamerica, archaeology, settlement patterns, political ecology, rank size analysis

Abstract

Communities have traditionally been viewed as spatially bounded social units composed of multiple households whose inhabitants are integrated by shared resources and a common sense of identity. While investigating resources and identity is useful for archaeological study because of their material correlates, such views of community ultimately fail to acknowledge the dynamic interaction between cultural and environmental forces in shaping and shifting those arrangements over time. This study examines settlement, excavation, and geoarchaeological data from the Palmarejo Valley in northwestern Honduras with the aim of modeling the process of community formation at the intersection of social and natural landscapes in both the past and present.

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