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Site-Planning Principles and Concepts of Directionality among the Ancient Maya Author(s): Wendy Ashmore Reviewed work(s): Source: Latin American Antiquity, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Sep., 1991), pp. 199-226 Published by: Society for American Archaeology Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/972169 . Accessed: 13/01/2012 22:42
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SITE-PLANNING PRINCIPLES AND CONCEPIS OF DIRECIIONALI1Y AMONG THE ANCIENT MAYA WendyAshmore
Many societies use architecture symbolicexpression,and often buildingsor otherconstructions for constitute maps of a culture'sworldview. Archaeological identification such ideationalexpressionsis receivingrenewed of attention,in the Maya area as in many otherregions.Excavationsin 1988-1989 in Groups8L-10 through8L12, Copan,Honduras,weredesignedto examine a particularmodel of ancient Maya site planning and spatial organization,in whichthe principlesof architectural arrangement and theirdirectionalassociationsderive from Maya cosmology. This paper describesthe model and its archaeologicalevaluation at Copan and discusses interpretive implicationsof the specificresults obtained, in the context of other ongoing studies in epigraphy, iconography, and archaeology. Muchasde las sociedadesmundialesexpresansus ideologiasa travesde la arquitectura, frecuentemente y los edificiosu otras construccio sirvencomo mapas de la cosmologia de una sociedad.La ident nes ificacionde tales usos simbolicosadquieremas relevanciaarqueologica anos recientes,en el area maya como en otroslugares. en Excavacionesen 1988-1989 en los Conjuntos8L-10 a 8L-12, Copan, Honduras,se orientarona probar un modeloantiguode planificacion arquitectonica maya, un modeloen el cual el origendel arregloy de la orientacion de la arquitectura derivade la cosmologia maya. Especgflcamente modelo afirmaque se establecieron se el los Conjuntos 8L-10 a 8L-12 intencionalmente como apice nortenode un patron triangular microcosmico que esa y posicion se asocio con el cielo en donde vivieronlos antepasadosreales. Por las excavacionesde 1988-1989 se encontraronmas de 100 rasgos de esculturaarquitectonica una serie de depositosceremoniales(escondites y y tumbas)entre los cuales se han identificado evidenciasde conmemoracion Rey 18 Conejo,ya muerto,y de del su dinastia.Este articulodescribeel modeloy las pruebasarqueologicas, indicalas implicaciones e interpretativas de los resultados, el contextomas ampliode estudioscorrientes la epigrafita, iconografita, la arqueologia. por en la y

Symbolic manipulationof space is a common theme in architecturethe world over (e.g., Blier 1987; Fernandez1977; Lawrenceand Low 1990;Tuan 1977). Even the most mundanecomponents ofthe built environmenthave often been shown to convey rich symbolic messages.Diverse analysts have demonstratedthat, in many cultures, house layouts define separablelocations for activities associatedwith differentgendersand with variablelevels of ritualpurity,domestic intimacy, social standing,and the like. In this manner, house interiorsoften constitute microcosms, or worldview maps, providingever-presentspatial chartsof the emic structureof social and ideologicalrelationships (e.g., Bourdieu 1973, 1977; Donley 1982; Douglas 1972; Hodder 1984, 1987, 1990; Nabakov and Easton 1989). Comparableanalyses of symbolically structuredspace have focused at both smaller and larger scales, from burialsand other relatively compact ritual deposits, to entire communities and wider landscapes(e.g., Benson 198 1;Coe 1988; Fritz 1978; Hodder 1984, 1990; Tavon 199 1;Taylor 1987; Tuan 1977). Within this overall range of foci, public buildingsand building complexes (including elite, chiefly, or royal domiciles) have likewise been identified as microcosms (e.g., Leach 1983), and as among the least subtle in their symbolic portrayalof cosmic and social structuring.Such civic architecturefrequentlyfocuses on placingpolitical and/or religiousleadersin locations which themselves convey authority;lest any miss the point of such placement, the locations are often markedwith multiple and redundantmessages signalingauthority,via symbols appropriateto the
WendyAshmore, DepartmentofAnthropology, DouglassCampus,P.O. Box270, Rutgers-TheStateUniversity of New Jersey,New Brunswick 08903-0270 NJ
Latin American Antiquity, 2(3), 1991, pp. 199-226. Copyright t 1991 by the Society for American Archaeology

199

g. The present paper does not contradictthese previous arguments. comp. Matheny 1987) but is one whose presencehas been identified in various Maya centers from the Late Preclassic(ca. sculptures.. Ruppert 1977). mural painting). Coggins 1967. Fox 1987. Forms of markinginclude imposing mass. What is important here is that the marking also involves location. Aveni 1980. Drawing on data and interpretiveargumentsfrom various sources (e. Freidel 1979. THE MODEL:A SET OF PRINCIPLESAND THEIR INFERRED MEANING A prime focus of this paper is ancient Maya use of cardinaldirections as symbolically charged positions in architectural arrangements. Notably.Tate 1985) have suggestedthat. and the paramountimportanceof east as the direction associated with strengthand potency. 1980. studies of spatial symbolism in architecturalarrangementare receiving renewedattention. Miller 1985. where we would conventionally place north. More specifically. and frequentsuppressionof markingthe southern position. they probablyhad wider civic roles as well. Ashmore 1986. and constitutes part of an evolving explorationof the potential symbolic meaningsassociated with that dimension.g. The template in question combines the following principles:(1) emphaticreferenceto a north-southaxis in site organization. Coggins 1980. Other analysts (e.200 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIOUITY [Vol. It is only one of multiple such sets. Aveni and Hartung 1986. 1989). This paper outlines some principles believed to have structuredancient Maya symbolic space.. recognizedin Maya sites (Ashmore 1986.and representational adornmentalludingto authority (e. 3. 1989. 1991 particularculture (e. 1991. 1986.g. Coggins 1980. Schele 1977. and some analysts have examined the simultaneous architecturalexpression of both astronomicaland political symbolism (Aveni and Hartung1978.. Niles 1987. 2. they have tended to infer the primacyof the east-west dimension (especiallyas the path of the sun's movement) in structuringspatial relations. Tate 1985). and the interpretations offeredshould be viewed as propositions. within the civic center and the community as a whole. Fialko 1988.Hammond 1987. de Montmollin 1988. thereby underscoringthe symbolic unity of the whole layout. Maya and other.(3) the addition of elements on east and west to form a trianglewith the north. Freidel 1986. (4) the presencein many cases of a ball courtas transitionbetweennorthand south.ritual behavior. Still. 1988c. 1989b.D.g.C.g. often but not always prominentlycentral. The oldest and best-knownanalyses have been archaeoastronomical ones (e.but as will be arguedbelow.g. and summarizesinitial evaluations of the hypothesisconductedin a pair of buildingcompoundsat Copan. arrangingarchitectureso as to symbolicallyequate the architectural center of civic power with the center of the universe. Honduras(Ashmore 1989a. in Maya buildings and civic centers were laid out as microcosms. Brotherston1976. Fox 1987. Marcus 1973.. No. Kuper 1972. the implications of findingsto date reinforcea growingbelief that this kind of researchholds much promise for expandingarchaeologicalstudy of ancient belief systems. 1990. Schele 1977. Tuan 1977). 1991. and other aspects of Maya culture. distinct architectural forms(e. The two compounds likely served as elite residences.. A. 600-900). as outlined elsewhere in some detail (Ashmore 1986. Coe 1965. 1988:106-107. Ashmore.. And several(e. Ashmore.ratherthan confirmedconclusions. For the ancient Maya. Steinhardt 1986. 1987b. They have noted frequently. comp. Coe 1965.for example. 100) through at least the Late Classic (ca.and (5) the frequent use of causeways to emphasize connections among the cited elements. Ashmore 1980. . or spatial templates.g. 1989a.this researchcenters on a particularset of site-planningprinciples involving cardinal directions. formaland functional (2) complementarityor dualism betweennorthand south. Coggins 1967). Wren 1989). 1987a. that sixteenth-centurymaps placed east at the top.Justesonet al.-A. presents a hypothesis about the specific symbolism involved.D.. Clancy 1988.but contends that a north-south dimension was recognizedanciently in addition.. Freidel et al. Freidel and Schele 1988b:556. Coe 1988. Roys 1967. Schele and Freidel 1990:66-77) have discussed symbolism of cardinalorientationsin settlement patterns. 400 B. 1988. Laporteand Fialko 1990. Fritz 1978. the dome shapeof many state and federalcapitalsin the United States). The researchis still exploratory.g. inscriptions. Various recent studies have treated an expanded range of symbolically structuredspatial arrangements(e. Coggins 1980. like counterparts many other cultures.

Swiat of 1990). however. this set of principles was linked to the following ancient cosmological concepts. (4) a division of the world in four partsapparently plus a centralposition.one interpretation by the sun in its daily transitthroughthe sky (Guillemin 1968). (3) vertical connectionsin space between the naturalworld and domains-for example. Both expressionsof the Twin Pyramid Complexes and the model underlyingthem are well-structured political symbolism. Tikal. with a sky of many levels in which the royal ancestors lived.g.a microcosm.thoughtto standfor the underworld of the Night. reproduced courtesy of the Tikal Project. Reconstructed view of Twin Pyramid Complex (Group 4E-4). Schele and Miller 1986.pyramidsflank viewed the pyramidterracesas steps used east and west sides of a spaciousplaza.l For the moment. Coe 1988:235. to corresponding cardinaldirections(see below).up.(2) the unificationof these layersin time via the cycles of the sun. likewise with multiple lived and which served as the setting for the primordialordeals of layers.the point is the provisionalinterpretation each complex as a map of the universe. the supernatural and mountainsmediatingbetween sky and earth. Guatemala (illustration by Norman Johnson. Venus. moon. some of them pan-mesoamerican(Ashmore 1989a): (1) a multilayereduniverse.Jones 1969). and other celestial bodies. . via the four bacabsholding up the corners of the sky. Tedlock 1985). where supernaturals mythologicallIero Twins.on the north.If south is symbolicallythe underworld realm. The University Museum. and a watery underworldbelow the naturalworld. each part with its diagnosticcolor and distinctive life forms. is an unroofedenclosurehousing a single stela and "downs'in these groups. Freidel 1981. The ruler portrayedon the northernstela thereby be '. University of Pennsylvania). he ascends to the sky and is equated with his ancestors(e.with the rulerplaced in a position of consummatepower. Coggins 1980.Ashmore] AMONG THEMAYA AND SITE-PLANNING DIRECTIONALITY 201 Figure 1.then north must and its altar. Opposite this building. see also Ashmore 1989a. form and its inferredcosmologicalmeaning(hereafter The postulatedarticulationof architectural referredto jointly as "the model") is best exemplifiedin the Twin PyramidComplexesof Tikal (Figure1." or the celestial supernatural by symbolically becomes supernatural placing his portrait in the northernposition-that is. Gossen 1974.Miller 1985:7-8. Boundingthe south of the plaza is with its Nine Lords a single-roombuildingwith nine doorways. In these complexes.. Guillemin 1968. or caves linking the earth with the underworld.

for his portraitoccupies the northernelement (stela in the enclosureof Group 3D-2) of a largernorthern The south is either markedby Str. I .* 202 - ' . Tikal. No.while a Twin PyramidComplex. Plan black symbols Larios 119881. 1989a). and likewise with a ball court at center. 2. a \ W E X _ a | . with the addition of a ball court. courtesy highlighting Report No. and understood to lie below the earth's plane. in this expressionof the template.Str. respectivelyTemples IV and VI (also called the Temple of the Inscriptions). occupies the north. 3. On an even granderscale.) of Great Plaza area. < I [Vol.2Indeed. Museum. SD-120 (with its nine doorways)marksthe south. and the North Acropolis. Solid and Coe and inking by C. the ruleris doubly placed in the heavens. Temples I and II are the east and west pyramids.0 . west and east are. is repeatedin the Great Plaza area of Tikal (Figure2. Guillemin 1968). SD-120 or left element (Group 3D-2 in the largerarrangement). 1991 LATIN AMERICANANTIQUITY North Acropolis X N MA G 1 4t 1 11 * * X 1 l 4 Temple I ||>11l . University architectural in text. literally in the underworld. 1987b. the model accounts for the placement of the largest constructionsof Ruler B.with its royaltombs and stelae. I - _ Figure 2. Carrelli. In the lattercase (Figure3). Group 3D-2. occupies the north. . cited features 19611 11 [Carr and Hazard of Pennsylvania. The same model. after Tikal are stelae and altars. . apparentlyunmarked. Guatemala. (Redrawn The University of the Tikal Project. Yax Kin Caan Chac (Ashmore 1987a.

i..Y..|i wll. LtHidde *1 I-ReseNoir 389N0ir w Ol!4V. .. t / 4 OP > V > s #. Map of Tikal.tt a 280 / X L GF. : < s z :^ w-- s . 1117 .Inscriptions Reservoir I LC_ \ . equivalent in content (linkingthe sovereign to symbolicallypowerfulpositions) though more imposing in scale.) - )f 4 *. 4 \ \ :a.r itXJ \ Tikal Resee Aguada Subin X X ( a _A. fa | \ X - - f f :r At |<2/0i J _t. Group 7F-I / -. \ rf- >t///<| North Acropolis llt *-S>. Grid squares are 500 m on a side and oriented to magnetic north. University of Pennsylvania.1). Z)ya iL > ( peN w f $. j:0 C t 4 . a//./ Figure 3.-. ---a d / r' g_ . 4 4 ffi f o . g TPG 4=3= TPG a CcausewayReseNoir H <.e S ...<tV r r 0 + > < Bejucal R| L .v-a.E (X'.ii j \L_f '/n))ts J '\ 22Sm \_N _ _ _ _ a f \_ _ _l X \ ().?i oct# X:"f' t ..> \ \iJ \ / -- tn r s-% r J:'\ Er.. | < . Wi | X |-I- z < _/ > ." r 7 "' . @) Ls j Ashmore] SITE-PLANNING DIRECTIONALITY AND AMONG THEMAYA 203 Xl#k JeL 4k . -v A./<< " ''.f. such as the "stackingprinciple"recently describedby Freidel and his colleagues (Freidel 1981:218.- | 's---7W j-j h ..-.Freidelet al.+ - V _..Z.\ [I ) X rS . 1991.TPG L<_< (Xz J \ ... Likethe Twin Pyramid Complexes. (strsc? r > Xa \r-\tt. . e \ \ Morfay Z .) such implicit but archaeologically "invisible"markingis compatiblewith Mayaartisticconventions in other media. n j wa r ': f. _ CX an5 .. a * / b w>' ' g -- a l -- - r\ | v c . ll t \ Xb p * r I Aguada Llas Chamacas /p g / " . The University Museum.t%XtA .X\F_ X */ r -*_ \. 1986. CClJVs \ / U / F-stoX \ South Acropol s F X deiraReseNoir_ O tj-.yS/¢/} e s f N/ <--- ss' eS .4 {(n''s}fg rf t 1E s . f (gHS t tN 2502 41 { . r | 4 V 0 St. [<' l 5C-1aJ ( .N!4 X 4 X ) J . these other Tikal arrangementsare interpretedas political assertions. (Reproduced courtesy of the Tikal Project. la .g v / ? \ ) - g --X l rX -\ f . The largestappearssimilarto the grandplan at Tikal. S.see also Scheleand Miller 1986).) .< rG " TE < Inscriptionsl / x . /20 tAguada Pital s a\ 419 '-Jo J04 v "' ee':e ###BOT_TEXT###quot;S A)' S>i.\@/<X X t ) . | <|[-l '/ 1 L | \ | _ ..L. 0 w n ': > i s ) _Temple --. / Se-e Temple 1l. / n r:y . ! '-' _-_ 1 _ _ f - X \ . : .r. / } ! ) i / *t0 \ !s .. ! ___ \ \ \ n _ *- oW : lCorriental Reservoir aW.X AX _ t _ - SAw I I 5 -. n ..>L .within . and againa ball court(here. Guatemala.oirj<6 < ' I > X - rf X\ '. Several microcosmic arrangementsmay also be present at Copan during its Late Classic peak (Figure4).

204 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. No. 2. 1991 . 3.

g. inking by C. courtesy of the Instituto Hondureno de Antropologia e Historia and William L. and it is not always clear how the expectationsof the model might be unambiguouslyfalsifiedby furthertesting. and/or a small complex with frog sculptures. with one partial. 1987b. (Redrawn after Fash and Long 119831. by means of excavationsin the northernarchitectural groupsat Copan. a 25-km2pocket of the Copan River valley (see below and Fash 1983b). These texts and the causeways appear to support the previously cited contention that a conceptualeast-west axis existed among the ancient Maya. by contractwith the Instituto Hondurenode Antropologia e Historia. non-Maya exception (Ashmore 1985. other scholars have continued exploration of linguistic. Coggins 1986. and north points were occupied by imposing architecturalgroups.Groups8L-10 through 8L-12 are referredto hereafter. hieroglyphictexts. respectively. These independent perspectives are considered below. East.collectively. Because of the multiple and often redundantforms and media of Maya symbolism. South may have been unmarked. 1989a).they are presentedas formulations for furtherexploration. in the North Group or other settings. 1987c). see also Miller 1988). sculpture. Although some of the interpretations offeredbelow are franklyspeculative. each approximately 1 km from the ball court.at the east end of this pocket. In Copan.1988a. as the "Copan North Group. Among other things. No claim is made here that the evaluation has been definitive. and ritual deposits [caches and/or burials])should be encountered.3 Copan'seast and west groupsare linked to the center by the only causewaysknown in this area. 9J-4 and 9J-5. Closs 1988a. the samples of all data categoriesare small. Fash. It is importantto note that the foregoinginterpretations were developed with data collected for other investigative reasons." this time in the west (Grube and Schele 1988). Before 1988.. and 8L-10 through 8L-12. primarilyto examine the symbolic implicationsof the model describedhere. the northernposition stood specificallyfor the sky. ritual. and "northern"associations. at present. royal.Groups 8N-11. highlighting Groups 8L-10 and 8L-12 and other features discussed in text. and (2) the most parsimoniousinterpretation of the patterns. following summary of projectresults. This projectconstitutes the first archaeologicalevaluation of the existence and symbolic associations of ancient Maya concepts of direction. the manifestationsof these themes were predicted only to the level of specifyingthat ( l ) genresin which symbolicexpressionwas likely (e." If the directionalassociations of the model are valid.south of the river (EleanorKing. is that offered by the model (see Kelley and Hanen 1988).and (2) the finds should preferentially involve the cited north-linkedthemes. Map of eastern part of Copan Valley pocket.no equivalent stelae are known in northernor southernpositions there. epigraphic. Neverthelessit would appearthat (1) the materialsymbols encounteredby the projectare remarkably tightly patternedin their observable characteristics. although the Acropolis (discussed below. where the sun crossed at midday and where the royal ancestors resided (Ashmore 1987a. One would then expect archaeologically encounterin the North Groupmaterialindices of symbolism to pointing to celestial.Ashmore] SITE-PLANNING DIRECTIONALITY AND AMONG THEMAYA 205 the PrincipalGroup) occupied the center. Carrelli.1988. neither excavation nor other investigationhad been undertakenspecificallyto explore this or any similarsite-planningmodel. Schele and Grube 1988). the Copan River (Julia Miller. Linda Schele and Nicolai Grube (1988) have identified a referenceto an "east quadrant"on Copan Stela 13. Indeed. COPAN AND THE NORTH GROUP PROJECT Copan is a major Maya center in the highlandsof western Honduras.) . concurrentwith the cited archaeologicalresearch. might have stood for this wateryunderworld position. Moreover.1988b. west. Grubeand Schele 1988.For this reason. the main ruins have long been consideredamong the most beautifularchiFigure 4. Stela 19 may mark another such "quadrant. personalcommunication 1990). these groups are.and other data concerningrepresentationand significanceof directionalityin the Maya world (Bricker 1983. personalcommunication 1990).Known to outsiders since the sixteenth century. The CopanNorth GroupProject(ProyectoArqueologicoCopan de Cosmologia)was thereforecreated. Miller 1988. at least at Copan.

g. must have been one of the most beautiful in the valley" (Morley 1920:13). As PAC Operation XLII in both years. Fragmentsof sculpturefrom fallen facademosaics were noted near Strs.Informationwas sought on the dates of constructionand occupation for each group.e. excavations neither penetratedsubstructuremasses nor cleared superstructure plans.excavationsclearedalong buildingsides.206 LATIN AMERICANANTIQUITY [Vol. late (Late Classic Coner ceramic complex.like Group 9N-8 in the Sepulturaszone (Webster 1989. seekingremainsof ancient symbolic declarations. 900). Yax K'uk M'o. 1978). No. 8L74 (Group 8L-10) and 8L-87 (Group 8L-12). Grube and Schele 1987). 1000 B. Together. and some half-dozeninterrelatedresearchprojectshave operatedcontinuouslythere since 1975 (e. On the surface. 1986).g. Willey and Leventhal 1979... indicating that occupation in both was brief. the sixteenth and last great sovereign (Fash and Stuart 1991. areas of tumbled construction).C. with the dynasty's founder. Fash and Long 1983). The Copan North Group Projectconducted 13 weeks of fieldworkin 1988-1989. projectpersonnelcompleted a total of 49 test excavations. Groups 8L.though equally surely much of the sculptureobservable at that time has since been removed by persons unknown. demographic. test pits probed building or stair corners and central axes exterior to the constructionproper. Sanders 1986.for sculpture. which. as well as any and all activities carriedout there. Freter. when a little-known ruler succeeds Yax Pac. Longyear1952.g. iconographic. with the date and timing of local decline beinga subjectof currentdebate(Websterand Freter1990a). personal communication 1988).. 1991 tecturaland sculpturalmonuments of the ancient Americas. 8L-73. Fash 1988.Within that overall span. 700-?900). and relatively uncomplicatedin constructionaldevelopment (William Fash. ritual deposits may well remain undiscovered within maJor burials (B) and caches (C) discussed lnst8eLtxlFs 8L=12) Key buildings are labeled as lalndd .especiallyin the form of sculpture and/or ritual deposits. Epigraphic. personal communication 1986).) through the Postclassic (after A.."are located in the "Salamar"sector of the Copan pocket (Figures4 and 5. the local dynastic recordopens in the mid-fifth centuryA. Baudez 1983. Work focused instead on plazas of the two groups (i. Fash and Fash 1990.and artifactsshe recoveredindicatedthat the complex had served as residence to a noble family (A. The bulk of settlement remains in the region occupy a 25-km2 pocket of the Copan River valley. Willey et al. 2.D.the imposing compounds appearto be elite residences. Because of permit provisions. where rich alluvium and adjacenthillslopes supportedan agricultural populationestimated to have reacheda Late Classic peak of about 9300-11.and other studies have combined with archaeologicalresearchto document in rich detail Copan's political. A decade ago. 1990. 3.D. these groups occupy a naturalpromontoryoverlookingthe PrincipalGroup and much of the surroundingvalley. Websteret al. A.10.g. judging from the fragmentslying around.10 through8L-12. AnnCorinne Freter excavated another 12 test pits in and aroundGroup 8L. and apparentlyends rather abruptly in 822. Websterand Gonlin 1988.Archaeological excavationshave been conducted intermittentlysince 1834 (e. Morley 1920). ca. Fash and Stuart 1991. The latter goal emphasized. Within this sector is Morley's "Group 6" (mislabeledas Group 5 on his 1920 map).. The latter statement surely pertainsto Groups 8L-10 and/or 8L-12 specifically.D. The resultingexcavationsample clearlyremains limited in some important respects (e. A single fallen element of mosaic sculpturewas recovered. on and within the constructionof platforms supportingthe compounds) and areas just outside the groups (e. on which new discoveries and insights continue to emerge on what sometimes seems a daily basis. Precolumbianoccupationextends in time from the Early Preclassic (ca. collectively designatedCopan's"North Group.500 (Websterand Freter 1990b).but was not limited to. middens. In February 1988.and economic development.For caches and burials. the HarvardUniversity Copan Projecttested the plazas of the two largergroups. The purposive sampling strategythereforefocused attention on excavation forms and locations deemed maximally likely to discover such materials. which he describedas "a small group containing a very elaborately sculpturedtemple.north of Str. as part of OperationXL of the ProyectoArqueologico Copan (PAC). Gordon 1896.

Carrelli.with amendments. e courtesyof the InstitutoHondurenode Antropologia Historia.Ashmore] THEMAYA AMONG AND SITE-PLANNING DIRECTIONALITY 207 / 0 l l N MAG 20 l M after Fash buildingnumbersand operationnumberXLII. (Redrawn.for burialsand caches.) and Long 119831.inking by C. .

- 208 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. 1991 l} l' / l\ \ 0 10cm Figure6. and analysis of the chipped-stoneremains has isolated distinct areas of productionfor obsidian and chert implements (Gajewski l9SS. The most markedcontrastsbetween the two compounds. review the data most directlypertinentto the model.the patternsobservedin extant data sets suggest usefulto stimulatediscussionand to guide furtherexcavations.inking by C. In both. Nevertheless. forms.caches. abundantevidence testified to domestic occupation in the Late Classic. however. bloodletter(CPN 15031. comp. l989] for more complete data summaries). 2. SculpturefromStr. SL-10 and SL-12. No. 8L^74. [19SS. and the evidence bearingon the model lie in their sculpture. 3. of the Copan North Group (see Ashmore. Such artifacts as manos and metates representedfood-preparation activities. l989).as assertedearlier. Ceramic forms likewise accord with residential use.Copan. and domestic middens were found in each group. as recoveredfrom The followingparagraphs the two larger units.depictingstingray-spine buildingmasses).here and provisionalinterpretations elsewhere.and perhapsarchitectural . Carrelli). burials.

and 7 April 842." in the Sepulturaszone-the contrast is probablydue in part to quite different degrees of clearing in the two locations.6. 8L-74 (see above).15.g.g.4These motifs are more reminiscentof decoration on buildings with ritual function in the Principal Group (e.known as 18 Jog or 18 Rabbit. 9. 9N-82 and other buildingsat Copan (e.these dates correspondto Gregorianequivalentsof 3 May 738. a form of the Principal Bird Deity discussedby Bardawil(1976) and Taube (1987)..0.19. the distributionfrom Str.the facade Farthernorth.14.Ashmore] THEMAYA AMONG AND SITE-PLANNING DIRECTIONALITY 2C9 OP.17. Figure 7).8 (see below). 8 Lamat6 Tzec?most likely corresponding Maya long-count positions of 9. drawing by J.g. 8L-74 is not symmetricalalong the length of the of facadefromwhichthey had fallen.9. 1989). platform. While this total is considerablysmaller than the 231 pieces recoveredfrom Str.ritual. and beheaded . or perhaps 10. The spatial distributionof sculpturalmotifs is also distinct in the two locations. large deity masks (e. 9N-82 (Fash 1986:340)-the "Scribe'sPalace.) The same text also mentions the name of a Copan ruler.4. renderedin a distinctive medallion-likesculptural of which carrieda hieroglyphictext (Figure to form.and reference to the heavens. Murcia).Clustering motifs suggeststhe presenceoftwo distinctbuildings.XLll C PN . Arias.14.6. Copan. Webster 1989). contraryto the patternof bilateralsymmetryin motifs at Str. who was capturedby Cauac Sky of Quiriguaon 9. SL-74. G....8. That is. depicting bird tentatively identified as Vucub Caquix or Seven Macaw (Tedlock 1985) (CPN 15058. thought to representVucub Caquix. and a jewel-bedeckedbird (CPN 15058.6 (1 May 738). inking by R. The text includesa calendar-round date. Sculpture from Str. and perhaps to greaterstone robbing at Str. Figure 6). but supportedby the same substructure 8).8. 8L^74. Fash 1988) than on known elite residenceselsewherein the community (e. (Using the 584. * 15 0 58 Copan Ruinas Figure 7. Fash 1986. CPN 15000). Sculpturalicons included a stingray-spinebloodletter (Copan sculptureinventory number CPN 15031.12.283 correlation.15.g. 89 fragmentsof sculpturewere recoveredfrom around Str.was anotherbuilding. Group 8L-10 In Group SL-10. One inferredbuildingappearsto have bornesculpturewith themesof sacrifice. 20 April 790.

" to 8L-74 are (1) the presenceof an inscriptionreferring an act or event involving the ruler 18 Rabbit. Figure8b). This cache consisted of a ceramic box containinga small Spondylusbivalve and a stingrayspine. each housing a pair of occupants. the north-to-south(i. 1989:4). along with speculations on the overall content of the incomplete text.suggeststhe inscriptionlikely serves to identifythe buildingas the house of one of 18 Rabbit'srelatives. Miller 1988:166. and (3) an elaborationof abstractthemes or in both sets of sculpture. Fash and Stuart 1991. the tomb location was markedby a small. Five burials were encounteredin Group 8L-10 (Carrelli1990). 8L-77 and its tomb. Burial XLII-5. but from their relative positions as fallen along the west side of Str. The lidded box is reminiscentof.g. Three (XLII-2.with a correspondinglack of personalportraiture other representation of individuals living in the compound. 8L-74.but a possible interpretation is outlined below. Figure 8e).210 LATIN AMERICANANTIQUITY [Vol..Figure8a). 1991 a 4 b a -'0c f d etX fX gX Figure 8. in front of Str. in a chamber with long axis north-south and centeredon the principalaxis of a building.or his brother. 8L=74. probablyof elite status. probablyalreadydeceased. The smaller of the two tombs was BurialXLII-1. 6 Tzec (CPN 15021.. reading)order of the seven recovered medallionsis as follows:elder brother(CPN 15011. Schele et al. . Fallen facade text elements (a-g) recoveredfrom west side of Str. 2.6 William Ringle(personalcommunication 1991). 3. At plaza level. and -4) were simple interments. house (CPN 15001.Copan. Carrelli). the most importantobservationsabout the data from "Str. Cache XLII-2 was located on the east or front side of Str. -3. It compriseda single hemisphericalstone covered by stone slabs. Stromsvik 1941). Figure8c)."The only artifactsin the tomb were a pair of flatjade pendants. each 26-31 cm in diameter(see text for CPN numbers.e. on the north side of the plaza. Figure8d). Figure 8g).decipheredby Stuart[1989b]. though these were not discovered archaeologically(see Note 6). For the moment. others known from Late Classiccachesat Quirigua(e. Figure 8f). uncarvedround "altar. described below. 8L-72.The other two burials were tombs..Medallions are inkings by C. though not identical to.one found with each skeleton. Schele and Miller 1986: 252. No. 8 Lamat (CPN 15064. The significanceof this cache is still obscure.g.5The text remains incomplete. Two caches were encounteredin Group 8L-10. Cache XLII-1 was located in what was thought a likely place for a ritual deposit. Bullardand Sharer1991. probablyon the same date (e.(2) the juxtapositionof a pair of opposites (the buildings with contrastingfacade programs)on a north-south axis. God K (CPN 15006.The stringof medallionsculptures also included portraitsof deities of the sun and moon. hel (CPN 15054. personalcommunication 1988). 18 Rabbit (CPN 15076. a woman lay to the north of a man (Rebecca Storey. otot. among others. These points are discussed furtherbelow. adjacentto the southeast cornerof the frontalstair on the south side of the compound. In each case.each placed below the edges of the plaza and an adjoiningplatform. with a deer humeruslying atop the slabs.

_ . no single decedent is clearlythe focus of mortuaryritual. _ . Moreover. Plan of Burial XLII-S. _ _ . and five vessels-four of the Late Classic Surlo ceramic type common in Copan burials of this period (Coner complex. . _ . as cited above. they are unusualat Copan. _ . This tomb was signaled by an uncarved square . Among other tombs reportedat Copanto date. by Cache XLII-2. _ _ Ashmore] SITE-PLANNING DIRECTIONALITY AND AMONG THEMAYA 211 0 l A 20cm l N mag r = A \ . a pear-shapedPabellon Molded-carvedvessel (Sabloff 1975.e. Although"double"tombs are not unique to Group 8L-10. \ \ Figure 9. the tombs of . _ . . 8L77.. _ J .however."and in plaza fill below the altar. the double tombs (specifically)imply a diminished importance of individual identity: that is. and north sides-with the south side apparentlyleft open or vacant. it appearsthat this tomb was encounteredsomewherenear the North Group.gsin a third. west. neither is clearly "attendant"or subsidiaryto the other) without evidence of sequentialinterment (i.10 repeatthe patternof pairedoppositeson a north-southaxis. _ ' . with the ceramic box mentioned above.'altar.and either (or both) could as plausiblyhave been sacrificial offerings. The latter inference could be a test implication for future excavations (see concluding discussion).e. two spindle whorls. the two discoveredin Group8L. Murcia). Viel 1983) and the fifth an import. In fact. below). _ . and those of the North Group are particularlyso in pairingadults of seeminglyequivalent social status (i. Not only are these tombs unusualwithin the funerarycorpus. in a reusedtomb) (Carrelli1990). a broken shell ring. along with a bone bead. _ . V _ . _ _ .with intermentsin two locations and buildir. _ . The second tomb. perhapsforindividualsinterredwithinthe buildingsadjacent to the tombs (see also Group 8L-12. Pezzati. from Gordon's (1896:32) report. on the west side of the plaza. the one most reminiscent of the Group 8L-10 double tombs appears to be Gordon's Tomb 6. Fragmentsof a third human cranium (plus loose jade-inlaid teeth) were found with the two complete skeletons. Suchpairing was thus present on the three sides of the compound most elaboratedin terms of architectural volume and investment-the east. Copan (drawing by A. Burial XLII-7. BurialXLII-5 (Figure9) was located in front and on the centerline of Str. _ . Longyear1952:4243). inking by R. _ . _ .-r J\)\l L . _ . currently.7Although the exact pairingsdiffered. the forms are plausible allomorphs in the largercategoryof paired opposites. see below). _ J\. althoughthe originaldescriptionof location is too vague to be certain (Carrelli1990:119120..

There is likewise a strong relation between the rabbit and Xbalanque. is associated with akbal. 3.the Hero Twin who later becomes Venus or the night sun (e. the tombs' emphasis on the north-south axis may imply not solely thegeneral ideas of"change" and "transition.8The complex of concepts conveyed by these forms includes change. for the Maya. Schele et al.g.g.the latter perceived the figurecontainedwithin the celestial "face"of the moon's sphere(Scheleand as Miller 1983:45-46)..for both Hunahpu as (e. kin.For example. Ixchel is well known as the goddess of childbirth. not necessarilycontradictingHoran's suggestion. . that Xbalanque revived Hunahpu (Edmonson 1971: of 122-127. the four "directions"would correspond. directional glyphs were painted on the chamber walls. or "darkness.g. see Figure 8g for an example of the hel glyph). completion. Tomb 12.9The moon/Ixchel also could signifya king'smother. which refersto "day" or "light". Hunahpu. of their north-south axis. Note 3.Thompson 1971: 161-162. The glyph for "east" (likin) is on the east wall and is associated with another glyph. More concretely. may likewise be significant.in linking the tombsymbolism to the Str. In the context of Tomb 12. for it was by means a rabbit. Schele and Miller 1986:245. Rio Azul.. Thompson 1971). all the cited concepts are implied.in her role in facilitatingthe apotheosisof her son. succession. which "is womans' (Thompson 1971:232). and Venus is male. l 988. and on the north (xaman) is the moon. 275).212 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol.the moon-or "woman.comp. and as will be developed below.'° for Recall that. in the Popol Vuh. I hypothesize that the Group 8L-10 sculptureand the paired opposites in the two tombs celebrate continuity and perpetuationwith respectto 18 Rabbit and his dynasty. 8L-74 text. the association for the "south-directional" glyph nohol is a Venus glyph. and on the north-south axis."or the moon goddess Ixchelis linkedwith the north(Ashmore. the tombs may also refer to transition specificallyby rebirth. But why herein such an explicitly structured relationwith Venus?Whythis male deity in particular? Whatdo the two have in common? One possible link is their shared identities as agents of birth. and I propose that in this instance. though decapitationwas apparentlya prefeITed means of execution royal captives (e."On the south. In that tomb.. 1989:4). 8L-74 in embodyingthemes more abstractor impersonal and ritual oriented than aimed at commemoratingan individual. Schele 1984).In the firstplace.the glyph for "west" (chikin).g. to the perpetualcycle of the sun's life and death. Other possibilities. No.on the west wall.perhapsby apotheosis. it is Xbalanque.who successfullyrestoreshis decapitatedelder brother. Together thetomb walls and their glyphic texts define dimensions that collectively encompass the universe in space (the "directions")and time (perpetualcycles). The parallelof death by decapitation. First. Coggins 1988c). to the perpetual action of human or divine agents responsiblefor maintainingthe formercycle. there is a close association betweenthe moon and the rabbit. what might be the significanceof the north-south axis and its association with distinct sexes? Sharon Horan (personalcommunication 1988) suggestedthat the First Fatherand Mother could be the referentsof the tomb pairs. but not invariably.the Quiche Maya creation myth as recordedin the sixteenth century(Edmonson 1971. Guatemala(Adams 1986. 1991 Group 8L-10 parallelthe sculpturefrom Str. Tedlock 1985:297).and Venus can be linked to supernatural rebirth. The foregoing suggests an analogous symbolic identificationfor the males and females of the Group8L-10 tombs. see also Bricker 1988:Figure1. Rio Azul. provided important initial clues. of individuals identified elsewherein the group within the royal dynasty.Through symbolic referenceto Ixchel and Xbalanque. 2. as seen in apotheosis settingsat Palenque(Scheleand Miller 1986:272. Interpretation GroupSL-10 Symbolism of It is worthwhileconsideringfurtherthese notions of paired opposites. then.at times.on the eastwest axis. That is. imitating a ball. Tedlock 1985).imply a link with ancient concepts of directionality. Elsewhere. by analogywith iconographicinterpretation finds of from Palenque. and unification. in hieroglyphic inscriptionspairedopposites are an alternativeform for the hel glyph (Riese 1984. and of the associationof the ends of the axis with differentgenders."as signified by paired opposites throughoutthe compound. Tedlock1985) and 18 Rabbit (e.. 306.to life.

Similar-appearing Copan stelae. Gillespie 1989. Tedlock 1985:44-45.the cache's location adjacentto the southeast corner of the large-blockstair that was likely the main access to Group 8L-10. This cache links the lattertwo elements directly.g. Miller 1986:252). Baudez 1985. It is therefore possible. and Venus). The decapitation would have been the prerequisitestimulus for rites of resurrection(i. and Maya rulerswere often symbolicallyequatedwith the sun.all of whose orderlyreplacement perpetuation vital to continuity complexesto this theme would be perfectly of Mayalife. Schele and Miller 1983) and the continuity of to the dynasty. 145-147) and deer (Schele and Miller 1983:46-48).e. I discovered Dieter Dutting's earlier epigraphicand astronomicalanalyses. from which he concludedthe following(Dutting 1985a:113.e. and sculptorsfrequentlyadjustedtheir designsto accommodatethe materialof some balls. in the potterybowl just outside the wall niche.. celebratingtransitionof rulershipand perpetuationof the Copan dynasty. or calendric cycles (e. a centuryor moreafterthe decapitation (see below). certainlyMaya (and other Returningto the overarchingtheme of transitionand transformation. moon. Lounsbury1976): I exploredwhetheraccessiondates of Mayalords and dates of otherhistoricalevents werelinkedwith similar by dates of the past. the complete female skeleton was on the north of the tomb. and the fragmentswere an effigy "stand-in"for the ruler'sskull. Note. Laporteand Fialko 1990. Perhapstoo. by his name. especiallyat Copan (e. Schele and M. In one instance.'3In BurialXLII-5 (Figure9). in particular. the liminal point that triggeredritual action.e. Dutting 1985b. astronomical phenomena (especially the sun. Venus and the moon are closely relatedto the sun in Maya symbolism(as arguedabove). and thus this event markeda behavioralthreshold. Turner 1974).Stone 1985). though their state of is preservation consistentwith the probabledate ofthe tomb.areincreasingly seen as tantamount to titles (see also Gillespie [1989:170]. ConcerningCache XLII-1. as cause of the royal death). 1 After making the precedingassertions.. The corresponding proceSS.g.3 Tedlock 1985:43. I thereforespeculate that Cache XLII-1 constitutes another his referenceto 18 Rabbit. Indeed..emphasis added. The dedicationof one or more architectural . such a stone was incorporatedinto a text citing 18 Rabbit. Freidel and Schele 1988a.. 12 The foregoing symbolic links suggest further specific speculations regardingthe third skull in BurialXLII-5 and the meaningof CacheXLII-1. The possibility that these deterioratedbones could be his actual remainsseems small.In the southeastcornerof the tomb.Glyphicreferences Mayarulers. a deity 1 symbolizingroyal authority. That is. 1988. perhapsthe hemisphericform even representing death by decapitation. Dutting 1985b..g.g. concerningMotecuzoma as an Aztec title). 143-147). with importantdates in the life of parentsand forefathers. the hemispherein Cache XLII-1) should flankthe stair entry. Schele was or and Miller 1986. near the centerof the chamber. lay badly deterioratedcranial and dental fragmentsof a third human (gender unknown). see also Carlson 1980. this king received his name as more of a title. perhapsthis king. Miller 1983:4950. signifyingaccession (e. that the third skull representedthe decapitated 18 Rabbit. If Group 8L-10 was the arena in which these rituals were enacted. and it is noteworthythat the "names'of this king (as well as some others) is God K. although clearly not demonstrable.associatinga hemisphere(i. used specifically in place ofthe glyph for "rabbit"in his name compound on Stela D (Scheleand J. placingthe physicalembodiment ofthe death act at the physical thresholdfor action (e. stones also occur as naturalinclusions in the raw halved ball) with a deer bone. it would be appropriatethat a putative effigy severed head (i. Baudez 1985. The subjectsof changeare usually sequential rulers. full multiplesof time-periods with astronomicalsignificance. mesoamerican)iconographyis rich in allusions to these notions. and the complete male skeleton lay south of her. stood for the concept of rulershipand dynastic succession.It turnedout that the Moon and the planet Venusplayed a particularrole in deitiesare the divinitiesmost deeplyinvolvedin the resurrection the timing of such events... it is also possible these implied associations do not refer solely to 18 Rabbit as an individual. one notes that the ancient Maya saw a close relationbetween rabbits and both balls (Schele and Miller 1986:252.commonlyused by scholarsas names.. However. this cache may well have been integral to the compound's overall symbolic theme. 1988).Ashmore] AMONG THE MAYA SITE-PLANNING AND DIRECTIONALITY 2.

18 Rabbit'sStructure10L-22 (Fash 1988:160. the last great ruler. and as noted earlier.Both were domestic sites. possibly this involved something akin to a na ceremony. while there was at least one this the theme was personalportraiture. No. showed what Stuartet al. Group SL-12 Group 8L-12. Why after the collapse?The ceramicsof Group 8L10 pertainto the Late ClassicConercomplex (ca.Stuart 1987. then." I believe it was likely during Yax Pac's reign in the late eighth century. Websterand Freter 1990a:79.D. to that for Group 8L-10. contraryto usual Maya practice. Fash and Stuart 1991) and was ultimately the stimulus for construction of the great HieroglyphicStairwayof Str. Sharer 1978) apparently precipitated crisisin political a stabilityat home (Fash and Fash 1990. 81).l5 The most informativematerialfor datingthe group's occupation.but there were significantcontrasts in roles. was occupied in the Late Classic. 2.as can be seen in remainsof other symbolicexpressionand as impliedas well in architectural and settlement form. as part of an architecturalassemblagededicated via multiplesymbolicexpressionsto proclaiming the immortalityof this deceasedrulerand. Sabloff 1975. occupantsof Group 8L-10 had authority the and resourcessufficientnot only to obtain such an exotic item of elite culture but also to inter it in an imposing construction.however. too. the series suggests Late Classic occupation lasting until at least the final decadesof the ninth century. contemporaries the late first then.D. 703 through960. analyzed AnnCorinneFreter(Websterand Freter by 1990a:71. 1B2.A. as attestedby Coner-complexceramics(but with mixed remains from the Late Preclassicas well). on Str. perhaps marked indirectly by the effigy bloodletter of Str. In the ninth century.Yax Pac. 830 (Ashmore. 8L-87. 700-?900). and a shield (the shield is . 8L-74 (Figure 6).The ceramicvessel from the primarycontext of the tomb accords with obsidian dates inasmuchas the specific the type. 10L-26. in millenniumA.Marcus1976. associated with the rulerwho beheaded 18 Rabbit). Fash and Stuart1991. Fash and Stuart 1991). 1988. PabellonMolded-carved. The two compounds were. sculpturedfacade in Group 8L-12. Whenever that structurewas erected. time One tenoned sculptureof a humanheadwas recovered. 1991 in keepingwith symbolism in other media.D. Furthermore. a monument explicitly extolling Copan'sdynastic strength(Fash 1988:161-166).first appearedabout A. 822 (Grubeand Schele 1987). that Str. Indeed.D. His death at the hands of Quirigua'sCauac Sky (e. And at Copan. and a series of 15 obsidian-hydration dates from 740 to 935-a span essentiallyequivalent A.almost all of which was manufacturedin the Pasion region of southwest Peten.. 18 Rabbit was a particularly important ruler in the sequence. (1989:2) referto as a "consistent preoccupationwith 18 Rabbit. through him. however. 420-580 [Beta-29348]). 1989a)was not sealed by the construction projects of subsequentreigns. however. In the first place. at least in part.comp. 8L-74 could beattributedto alternativepositions within and beyond the Late Classic. It led to a significantreorganization of governance (Fash and Fash 1990.D. at least some of the North Group's symbolic expressions of continuity were still being made after the dynasty'scollapse around A. Even taking into account the errorfactor of + 70 years for each obsidian date. Guatemala. a still little-knownritual sacrificeof captives to commemoratea dead ruler (Schele 1984: 29). concerninga parallel situation at Quiriguainvolving Str. The obsidiandates. indicate an occupation from approximately A. which in itself suggests unusual attitudes toward this ruler and his monuments (see also Sharer[1978]. One radiocarbondate is available. when building sculpturearguablybecame more widespreadamong nonroyal elite compounds (Fash 1983a).1989.clothing.Scheleet al.g.17450 + 80 years (A.14 The expressionsprobablyincludedarchaeologically invisible rites.it derives from charcoal in the matrix surrounding Burial XLII-3 and could well come from old wood and/or from secondaryburial. 3.D.214 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol.is a seriesof 39 obsidianhydration dates and the one decoratedceramicvessel from tomb BurialXLII-5.the calendricdate of 8 Lamat 6 Tzec on Str. but they appearto have had important functional differences. Fash 1988.D. the invincibilityof the dynasty. 79). as as carved fragmentsfrom multiple well featherheaddresses.The stingrayspine and Spondylusbivalve in nearbyCache XLII-2 suggest bloodlettingtook place in connection with the interment. 8L-74 was built..

whose chamberlay beneaththe substructure of the building. called Sepulturas (GuillermoMurcia. Websteret al. this case with respect to relations between the occupants of the principal in groups and their attendants.'6 Burial XLII-7 was east of Str. however. 8L-74. Differencesin architecture and settlementpatternwere also evident betweenthe two compounds. on the west side of the plaza. 1986)-than to the neighboringStr. three) near 8L-10. the visual effiectbeing one of enclosed or private space in 8L-12 and open or public space in its northernneighbor. 8L-87 is more similar to Str.Whatever the interpretation.evidence points to ritual celebrationof an individual person. these smaller structuresare most likely domestic adjuncts.Ashmore] SITE-PLANNING AND DIRECTIONALITY AMONG THE MAYA 215 discussed furtherbelow).either dismemberedor secondarily deposited. with at least 18 surrounding Group 8L-12 (not countingGroup 8L-11.portraiture.Viel 1983). DISCUSSION What was the relation between the two groups.it may also be significantthat this fourfoldset of pairs (threepairs of stones and one of skeletons)lay to the north of the burial. all in a midden-like matrix. and that between their occupants?To me. I have proposedthat the specificsymbolic forms encounteredin Group 8L-10 suggestthe nature of these other activities. and two ear flares. 8L-87. personal communication 1989. Other small groups are found in the general vicinity. and that these involved affirmationof Copanec .one of Spondylus the other.two other pendants(each carvedwith a human face). including kitchens. The whole featureseems more like a cached offiering than a burialdone in reverenceto those interred(Becker1988. Viel 1983) common in Late Classic Copan burials. and toward an identity more abstractthan personal. a few meters to the south. Carrelli1990).the other two were anotherritual-related type.17 There is likewise a markedcontrastin the abundanceof small. Burial XLII-6. as in the sculpturefrom this structure. If this inferenceis correct. Ashmore 1981. Two burialswere encounteredin Group 8L-12.In one ofthe Surlovesselsweretwo shells. by an uncarvedsquare"altar"set atop a line of flat-laidslabs. 1986). Willey and Leventhal 1979). but that fact does not precludethe residentsfrom having carriedout other activities. and The former shell contained two miniscule stingrayspines. not of abstractideas as found in symbolic expressionsfrom Group 8L-10.Webster et al. Excavation below that altar encounteredthe exteriorof the tomb. appears to have been more oriented toward ritual activity. and only one (or at most. Seven of the vessels were of Surlo type (William Fash. ancillary structures. and the whole is north of the PrincipalGroup (see Discussion). By analogy with similar featureselsewhere(e. the organizationof the evidence (the distributionof sculpturalforms. Webster 1989.and residences for servants. and fivejade ornaments includinga line-incised bar pectoral. Rebecca Storey. storehouses.personalcommunication1989. 8L-87.and of mass and arrangement architecture) of implies markeddiffierences betweenthe two elite residences. of elaborateburials. and an iconographicfocus on an individual. personal communication 1989). but the plaza is smaller than in Group 8L-10. The burialitself consistedof a verticalseriesof masonryblocksor slabs(threesequentialsets of diffierently orientedpairs)among which were embeddedtwo human skeletons. That of Group 8L-10. and in this way Str. It most likely related to the tomb. both in associationwith Str.the formal patterningis strongly consistent within each compound and contrastive between them. It is important to note that.adornedwith effigy cacaoappliques. nine ceramicvessels. Its location too was signaledat plaza level. Burial XLII-6 was a vaulted tomb the presence of which was marked at plaza level by a large uncarvedrectangular "altar"(broken)on the center line of Str. That of Group 8L-12 is more the overall form expected in a noble's compound. For now the importantimplication is that in Group 8L-12 one is dealing with personalreferences.Strombus. 8L-87 and north of the altar markingBurial XLII-6. 9N-82-the Scribe'sPalace or House of the Bacabs (Fash 1986. The tomb housed a single adult (probablymale. midway between the two largercompounds).Artifactsrecoveredin excavation do suggestpeople lived in each compound.just as Group 8L-10 (with its multiple pairs) lies north of 8L-12. but again the general distribution implies diffierences. with fragmentsof deer-antler tines.g.. The ruined constructionsof Group 8L-12 are a bit taller.similarto (thoughsmallerthan)Patio A of Copan'sGroup9N-8 (Webster1989.

it appearsthat the architecture occupyingthe northernposition is itself a microcosmicarrangement (i.the north is associated with the heavens and the south with the underworld. By analogywith the scribesculptureson the Scribe'sPalace. and perpetuation. or Xbalanque (Scheleand Miller 1986:50. 275).These compoundsform a pairon a north-southaxis.g..but one can nonethelessinfer the symbolic associationsfor each terminus:In the CopanNorth Group. in some contexts. however." or heavenunderworld. but shows clearlythe cruller-eyedface in of the JaguarGod of the Underworld(Miller 1988:178-181. and to the equivalence of this axis.and that sometimes a road is named for its direction. Figure26). Finally. Perhapsthere is anotherclue in the sculpturedfragmentof a shield found at Str.a stronglymarkednorth-southaxis unquestionably occursin many Mayacivic centers.Among modern Chorti Maya. completion. Evidence from several independent sources now points to an ancient Maya concept in which a north-south axis was defined. 2. east and west may have been the only ones that consistentlyheld directionaland geographic significance. the shield hints at the identity of the principaloccupantof Str.In this regard. 1987a.whose plans are argued elsewhere (Ashmore 1986. to undenvorldlyaSairs (see below). Brotherston1976. to a vertical dimension. Webster 1989. the same authorobserved that only "east" and "west" have equivalentsin the Chortilanguage. 9N-82 (Fash 1986.and perpetuation.Vogt 1969:719). and other centers.The referencesto east and west quadrantson Copan Stelae 13 and 19 were cited earlier.As in the most expansive expressionof the templateat Tikal?describedearlier. Coggins 1980. to "above-below.Andjust as one can see these civic centersas microcosmscelebrating dynasticpower. reconstructed Figure 10). No. Coggins 1967. 272. As already noted. It is only a single fragment(CPN 15119. In these traits. whatever the symbolic significance.royalty.216 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. from at least the Late Preclassicon (Ashmore 1986. see also Coggins 1980:730) refers to north and south as "moments between"east and west. examples including the famous texts of Copan Stela A and Seibal Stela 10 . The same "absence"occursin Tzotzil Maya(Brotherston1976. Group 8L-12 was linked to more worldly and. I furtherpropose a specific relation between the two adjacentand imposing compounds of the North Group.north")and nohol("south")that appear to involve cardinal directions. Roys 1967). Brotherston(1976:57. Twin PyramidGroup 3D-2 at Tikal and the North Group at Copan). it is the whole axis that is important. Perhapsa warrioris indicated(Miller 1988:178-179. However. 3.I would reiteratethe generalobservation that. This interpretation separable is from but also consistent with the view that the North Group overall and in intricatelycomplex ways signifiedthe combined themes of transition. as well as new interpretationsfrom various sources.and Mary Miller's (1988) analysis of the iconographyof the southwardlylocated Copan Acropolis suggests stronglythat south here did indeed stand for the underworld. 1986). Str.e.these ongoingactivities apparently constituteda symbolic negation of the actual royal collapse. Moreover.Thereare no Chortiwordsfor "north"or "south"(Wisdom 1940:206. For this reason. 1987b. 1989a. 8L-87 and presumablyof its tomb. 8L-87.. east and west were recognized anciently. 1991 dynasticcontinuity.Note 6). Websteret al.. Copan's PrincipalGroup is one Late Classic instance ofthis pattern. Hammond 1987). conformingin partto the natural shapeof the promontorythey occupy.and west-runningcauseways. Given the late dates of some of the remains. Wisdom (1940) noted that roads leave town along cardinaldirections. at least partially. as well as the same site's east.WhereGroup 8L-10 was associatedwith ritual.Tikal. one can interpretthe North Grouplayoutas a whole as anotherdeliberateallusionto royaltransition. But the arrangement specificallypairsa more open compound on the north with a more enclosed one on the south.and perhaps resurrectionof sovereigns. Thompson 1971:134). with suggestedfunctionalcontrastsbetween the two. and therebyto a role for the shield bearerin acts concerningrebirthor resurrection. Marcus 1973. At the same time. 1987c. as well as the schematizedcore layouts of Quirigua.rebirth. the original model may be reconsideredin light of data from the Copan North Group. In this scheme. 1989a) to have been based on the site-planningprinciples describedhere. the Copan North Group replicatesthe plan of the Principal Group (see Figure4). Certainlythere are referencesto xaman (. and east in particularis usually consideredthe primaryposition (e.the shield could be an allusionto anticipated rebirthand exit from the underworldas describedearlier(Edmonson 1971:142).

But these instances could equally indicate the semantic complexity of the concepts xaman and nohol.the "north"and "south" translationsprovided by Yucatec informantswere simply the availablein Spanish. For example.1988b). especiallyin light of others' independentcomments on the particularimportanceof . Is it not possible that. consideredin this paper With respectto the ancient Maya. underworld (Marcus 1973. seems ratherto supportBrotherston's can prospectivelyconnote a range of transitions between east and west-including above-below. Fallen facade sculpturefrom Str. astronomical associations of Str.and/ornorth-south. and the lexical definitionof"north" for xamanin Yucatec(Closs 1988a.xamanand nohol. So does current interpretationof the Copan North Group findings. Rio Azul (Adams 1986) already described.ratherthan identicallyboundedconcepts?The evidence closest approximations (1976) implicationthat these two concepts. Carrelli). 1976).the model of spatialconceptualization remains a hypothesis. as with Landa's "alphabet"proving to be a syllabary. inking by C. 8L-74's calendar-rounddate need furtherexploration (see Note 12).- Ashmore] THEMAYA AMONG AND SITE-PLANNING DIRECTIONALITY 217 o 10 cm l _ / > / S _ Figure 10. heaven-underworld. the painted walls of Tomb 12.and of the directional axis they define. 81^87. a tenonedshield with the face of the jaguar god of the (CPN 15119.

SharonHoran. Victor Cruz Reyes. and then develop has the methods to addressthem (Binford1962).. Marcus 1989).No one but me is responsible for errorsor misjudgments.. 3774-88.and Lic. VictorCruzR.. OscarCruzM. PrudenceRice. Hill 1990. Jose MariaCasco. Fox 1987). howcontemporaryhistoricalrecordsand continuitieswith the ethnographic ever.218 LATIN AMERICANANTIQUITY [Vol. There is a growing conviction (e. Culbert 1991.g. Editor Pru Rice has insisted there isn't page space in the journal to acknowledgeall those I'd originallylisted. the Copan North Group researchhas begun a needed explorationand refinement data along with those of the originaland derived hypotheses. 4029-89) and Rutgers-TheState University of New Jersey(Office of the Provost and the GraduateSchool).Matthew Gajewski. former director.requiresfurthercriticalreview.g. Recent mesoamericanarchaeology yieldedexciting insights in exploring multiple aspects of ancient idea systems (e. as inferredabove (e. director)and carriedout its investigationswith supportfrom the National GeographicSociety (GrantsNos.1986. W. Honduras. Coggins1988b). Fash and Sharer 1991.I would order): help and consideration(in alphabetical individuals.and Susan Swiat. Finally. Benson 1981.1988. 34. spanning a wide range of social complexity (e.. in part to seek hieroglyphicbenches like others known at Copan). William Ringle. 1986 Rio Azul. Clearlythe potentialsare only beginningto be realized. context."used provisionallyherein. Acknowledgments. 237) In a slightly diffierent has recently challengedarchaeologiststo first dare asking interestingquestions.iconography.RebeccaStorey. Tavon 1991). To be sure.Rudy Larios V. the referenceto "elder brother"necessarily remains cryptic. here as a step along a wideningavenue The results of the Copan North Group Projectare offiered of such investigation.. Paperpresentedat the TercerSeminariode ArqueologiaHondurena.Santa Barbara.and ethnology. David Webster.in a collaborativeor conjunctiveapproach gaining renewed momentum in mesoamericanresearch(e.Tela. but no less pertinently. Baudez 1985. The Proyecto ArqueologicoCopan de Cosmologia (Copan North Group Project)was formed by contractwith the Instituto Hondurenode Antropologiae Historia(Lic.AnnCorinneFreter. Fialko 1988. masses) or to locate additionalinscriptions(e.. National Geographic Ashmore.David Stuart. Magazine 169:420-451. the prospects for productive investigation are strong (Houston 1989).And at the risk of severeeditorialcensure. with regard to 18 Rabbit as human or celestial sibling-or both.AlessandroPezzati.1983-1985. Renfrew 1982) that material evidence concerning ancient idea systems may be more accessible archaeologicallythan previously held. Fash and Stuart 1991. As noted at the outset of this paper.g.but ultimately it may turn out to be metaphoricalratherthan literal.Where among the most challengingand interpretivelyambiguousareas of archaeological presentare available. archaeological exploration of the model's implications elsewhere. at Copan and beyond. RobertSharer. 3. And certainlythe aptness of the Popol Vuh "link. Because of the incompletenessof the Str. 1985 Excavacionesen el CentroSelecto de Gualjoquito. E.linguistics. by clearingsuperstrucsuch as within substructure tures.. R..g. Fritz 1978.Furtherexcavationsarewarranted. Flanneryand Marcus 1976. Many individualshave contributedto development of the projectand to explorationof the ideas on which it has focused.GeorgeStuart.Expedition23(1):33-44. 8L-74 text.g. 1991 sun and Venus cyclingand imageryat Copan(e.and especially in the Maya area. Barbara WilliamFash.and especially the other members of the North Group project-Christine Carrelli. Hodder 1984. but pleaseknow I thankyou all nonetheless.. is requiredto provide broaderand independentevidence pertinentto these arguments.g. to test patternsin the content of ritual deposits. Hodder 1990. analyses involving and architectural other spatialsymbolismhave alreadyproven stimulatingand fruitfulin in a variety of ancient cultural settings.Olivier de Montmollin (1989:33. W... by locating other deposits. Aveni 1979.Vito Veliz R. Nevertheless. 2.for theirparticular like to thankthe following-named and RicardoAgurciaF. .. Diehl 1984.ArturoSandoval. CITED REFERENCES Adams.g. Such advantagesare clearly presentin Mesoamerica.this and otherkinds of symbolic studiesremain research. No.systematicallyapplyingarchaeological from epigraphy. 1980 DiscoveringEarlyClassic Quirigua.

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and A. East-west extent of excavation varied with location. Baudez. 1974 Dramas. Thompson (1962:354) interpreted the creature represented in the T757 glyph as a combination isjaguar and iidogs. Webster. Jog collocation as the name of a ruler at Copan. Webster. Patio A (Operacion VIII). M..Honduras. G. comp. In Precolumbian PopulationHistoryin the Maya Lowlands. and eastward. The terms of the permit precluded more extensive clearing of the mound itself. L. D. 1989). and his arguments are considered later in the paper. so this reading has historical precedence (Marcus 1976. but never higher than the riser face of the third platform step. pp. and Metaphors: SymbolicActionin Human Society. Albuquerque. but the precise . Secretaria de Cultura y Turismo. 1989 Composition and Content in Maya Sculpture: A Study of Ballgame Scenes at Chichen Itza. have argued on semantic grounds that T757 does portray a rabbit. Cambridge. Vogt. personal communication 1991). pp. Journalof Field Archaeology15:169-190. Leventhal. University of Texas Press. Gonlin 1988 Household Remains of the Humblest Maya.. H.Ashmore] SITE-PLANNING DIRECTIONALITY AND AMONG THEMAYA 225 Tuan. C. In this regard. Sanders. Albany. Few other sculpture fragments were recovered. 1990b The Demography of Late Classic Copan. 1977 Space and Place.6 m to 4. Y. In Ethnographic Encountersin SouthernMesoamerica: Essays in Honor of Evon Zartman Vogt. Viel. Wren. L. Austin. 1988). The Perspective Experience. probably the north. Tegucigalpa. L. In Maya Archaeology and Ethnohistory.tomo I. L. Freter 1990a Settlement History and the Classic Collapse at Copan: A Redefined Chronological Perspective. Wisdom. 29. 1983 Evolucion de la ceramica en Copan: Resultados preliminares. but the two views are not mutually contradictory. portraits of the sun and moon deities (CPN 744 and 1007). In Excavacionesen el area urbanade Copan. L. In Introducciona la arqueologiade Copan. M. Minneapolis. 287-301. 1940 The ChortiIndians of Guatemala. his conceptualization differs slightly from that considered here.. and N. (editor) 1989 The House of the Bacabs. Yucatan.. State University of New York. Leventhal 1979 A Preliminary Report on Prehistoric Maya Settlement in the Copan Valley. W. In connection with the foregoing it is also worth mentioning that a midden north of Str. Bricker and G. 3 Claude Baudez (1991) has independently described references to cruciform plans of varying scales at Copan. and no further glyph medallions (Ashmore. however.g. Webster. T.. Abrams 1986 Excavaciones en el conjunto 9N-8. Chicago. Institute for Mesoamerican Studies. and E. University of New Mexico Press. Fash. R. 75-102.tomo I. F. 8L-78 yielded a burned eccentric (Cat. and may well have begun on another side of the building. edited by T. 1989). No. but limited tests were undertaken in 1989 along the other three sides of Str. 1969 Zinacantan. Copan. Webster. 37-61. Fash 1988. edited by N. edited by C. Latin AmericanAntiquity1:66-85. it is especially important to note the degree of clearing involved in project excavations.4 m from the platform. comp. Z. Gossen. Willey. 5 Not all epigraphers agree on reading the name ofthis ruler.. L. 6 The text is grammatically incomplete. R. extending westward from 1. 471-549. D. 4 See also Horan (1988. Schele and Miller 1983:28. Two other medallions are known. and R.ss Kelley (1962:Figure 2) identified the XVIII. Dumbarton Oaks. Ithaca. R. 2 Mary Miller (1985) has offered a different rationale for placement of Tikal's Great Temples. 1973). NOTES I Michael Closs (1988a. C. pp. D. L. G.. 8L-74 (Ashmore. of Turner. Willey. Jr.Cornell University Press. Mexico. Her view and that presented here need not be seen as incompatible. Instituto Hondureno de Antropologia e Historia. Jr. R. H. Fash. D. 1978 Maya Settlement in the Copan Valley. Other epigraphers. R. edited by W.Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology No. 8L-74. pp. E.C. F. pp.A Maya Communityin the Highlandsof Chiapas. 1988b) has disagreed with the directional associations attributed here. Hammond and G. P. Archaeology 31(4):32-43. and W. XLII/13/6-2). S.Belknap Press.University of Minnesota Press. hence the word iijog. Washington. and therefore read the rulerss name as 18 Rabbit (Riese 1986: 100.Honduras. 49-50). V. 155-317. It remains the preferred reading for some. William Ringle. excavations cleared the entire length of the plaza along the west side of the platform supporting Str. a type of lithic artifact associated with sacrifice and not generally found in domestic contexts. M. Proskouriakoff 1968. Secretaria del Estado en el Despacho de Cultura y Turismo.Fields. Tegucigalpa. Rice. D. who read T757 as ispocket gopher (e. Studies in Culture and Society No. R. In 1988.University of Chicago Press. Culbert and D. Willey. edited by V. 3.

The interpretivesituationis obviously far from neatly resolved. 1991 . it is Xbalanquewho becomes the sun and Hunahpuwho becomes Venus.. 16 The occurrence deer-antler of tines is suggestivehere. Recall too the deer humerus found as part of (iisealings?) Cache XLII-1.Sometimes these twinssfatherand uncle (themselvestwins)are said to have become Venus as morningand/or evening star (e. 12 This remarkleads one to ask whether8 Lamat 6 Tzec. Scheleand Miller 1986:306. 1989). 1989). 15 Carrelli(1990) notes that the bones of this burial were in much poorer condition than those in the very nearby BurialXLII-4. 13 Thanksto ChristineCarrelli and Marie Selvaggiofor suggestionsas to the possible symbolic natureof the hemisphere. Schele 1991. Royal Maya burials often followed death by only a potential equivalents(i.and may be the dedicatorydate of the building. but perhapsthe aboriginalinterpretationswere more fluid than twentieth-century western analysts would prefer (e. which is availablearchaeological evidencedoes not link the constructionpreferentially with that or any of the three in A. Tedlock 1985:46). Coggins 1988c. and. Edmonson 1971:170. 1I Perhapscontinuinganalysesof the recentlydiscoveredStela 63 of Copan (Stuartet al.and perhapsthe examinationof computer-simulated charts for pertinentGregoriandates plus ongoing sun.g. minimally documented sculptureassembled from various parts of the valley incollections of miscelprevious years (e. perhapsthus favoringthe A. 8L-74 may be coincidentalhere.g. and other events in the iiafterlifecycle seem to have occurredat longer and more variable intervals (e. 738 position.g. Thompson 1971) and perpetuationof the universeas the sixteenth-century Quiche Maya knew it. full-figure rabbitsat C4 and D1 and close associationwith early membersof the dynasty.Alternatively(or later?).Tedlock 1985:353).g. '° See also Scheleand Miller(1986:251-252) on the Mayaballgameand the role of decapitationas earthbound ritualreenactmentof mythicalgames playedby the Hero Twins and Underworld Lords.and stone debrissouth and east of 8L-12 atteststo to what has alreadybeen lost (Ashmore.D.as well as 8L-10. Houston and need not be linked to burial rites. but none were found.8L-74 facade.Since the specific iitenoned-medallion form of the two pieces has otherwise been encountered only in the text elementsof the Str. in A.Ritual deposits were also sought exterioralong the south side of Str.D..g. There is clear evidence that this group.at least partially. 8 The occurrence of a hel glyph on Str.the ascribedprovenienceseems stronglyprobable. while Xbalanqueis the dying (afternoon) aspect (Fox 1991).. 3. from local landowners).or Venus becomes the sun (Tedlock and the full moon are 1985:342). Nevertheless... 1988. 8L-78.g.Fashand Fash 1990. Preliminary sky consultationwith AnthonyAveni suggestthis line of inquirymay repayfurtherpursuit. As William Ringle (personal communication 1991) points out. Freidel and Schele 1988a:83). might be significant termsof astronomical in phenomenainvolvingthe moon and Venus. Carlsenand Prechtel1991. 14 One of the Gregorianequivalents for the calendar-round date of Str.. 790. Schele 1991). the calendar-round date from Str.g.g. though details on position cannot be determined.e. though various lines of researchhave suggested productiveas a workinganalogue(e. 8L-74 (e. Tedlock 1985:296-297). Schele and Miller 1986:245. No.. But Str. Venus sometimes seen as equivalent(Tedlock 1985:369). perhapsindicatinggreaterantiquityfor XLII-3. most occurrencesin comparablecontexts refer 'seitherto a distance number [linkingdates]or to the Nth ruler in the local dynasticsequence.will with its two help clarifythe situationconcerningthe complex of concepts.226 LATIN AMERICAN ANTIQUITY [Vol. the threecelestial entitiescited are seen as closely interrelated (e..The text remainstoo fragmentary say more.in all views. 309. 1990. or 842). 8L-74.by standing architecture.as central players in the primordialcosmic drama of both generation 369.g. 17 The iiopen southeastcornerof Group 8L12 may have originallybeen filled. althoughnot likely of substantialsize.D. 8L-74 falls withinYax Pacssreign. Tedlock 1985:368-369).The two were identifiedfrom laneous. 2.Hunahpumay be the young (morning)sun. continues slide graduallydownhill.the pair becomes the sun and moon (Baudez 1985:35. few days Mathews1985. 1991] relationof these sculpturesto the facade text is unknown.Tedlock 1985:46.Schele the document is and Miller 1986).Unfortunately. Closs 1979:153. together. And all are specificallyinvolved in processesof birth and/or rebirth. Received Decemberl8.comp. acceptedAugust22. but the apparentlack of ritual deposits could still be a result of samplinginsufficiency.Gillespie(1985) places the ball-gameritualin a similar but broaderinterpretivecontext. Edmonson 1971:122-127.. ratherthan the reverse. in light of the symbolicassociationbetweendeer and jaguars (e.Fox 1991. see also Carlsenand Prechtel 1991).Note 3. to 9 In many interpretations (e.. 738. 7 Subplazatests were conducted on the south side of Group 8L-10. 790.Whetheror not the Popol Vuh is an appropriate analoguefor interpreting Classic symbolism is a serious and likewise unresolved issue.