Investigations at the fortified Maya center of Aguateca, Guatemala, have revealed an unusual case of large-scale rapid abandonment. Structures in its epicenter were burned and abruptly abandoned during an attack by enemies at the end of the Late Classic period (A.C. 600–830). The excavation of burned structures has recovered rich floor assemblages, providing excellent data sets with which to examine household organization and activities. The residents engaged in a wide variety of activities, including food storage, preparation, and consumption, as well as the work of scribes/artists. The excavated structures were probably occupied by single nuclear families or smaller groups. These co-residential groups appear to have constituted important social and economic units, which may be called households.
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