Chronological revision of preclassic Kaminaljuyú, Guatemala: Implications for social processes in the Southern Maya Area

Takeshi Inomata, Raúl Ortiz, Bárbara Arroyo, Eugenia J. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Kaminaljuyú has been an important focus of archaeological research since the 1930s, and the chronologies of various sites of the Southern Maya Area are linked directly to that of Kaminaljuyú. The implications of the currently prevalent chronology of Kaminaljuyú are that various social and political institutions developed significantly earlier in the Southern Maya Area than in the Maya Lowlands during the Preclassic period. Our evaluations of new and existing radiocarbon dates through the application of Bayesian statistics, as well as ceramic cross-dating, indicate that the Middle and Late Preclassic portions of the Kaminaljuyú sequence need to be shifted forward in time by roughly 300 years. Our chronological revisions have the following important implications: (1) many centers in the Southern Maya Area suffered political disruptions around 400 B.C., roughly at the same time as La Venta and the centers in the Grijalva region of Chiapas; and (2) highly centralized polities with divine rulers and their depictions on stelae developed roughly contemporaneously in the Southern Maya Area and in the Maya Lowlands after 100 B.C.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-408
Number of pages32
JournalLatin American Antiquity
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • History

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