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"Fishing in the Northern Maya Lowlands" International Council of Zooarchaeology, Fish Remains Working Group Meeting, Tallin, Estonia 2013
 

"Fishing in the Northern Maya Lowlands" International Council of Zooarchaeology, Fish Remains Working Group Meeting, Tallin, Estonia 2013

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Presentation at the International Council of Archaeozoology XVII Fish Remains Working Group Meeting Univerisity of Tallin, Estonia 2013

Presentation at the International Council of Archaeozoology XVII Fish Remains Working Group Meeting Univerisity of Tallin, Estonia 2013

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    "Fishing in the Northern Maya Lowlands" International Council of Zooarchaeology, Fish Remains Working Group Meeting, Tallin, Estonia 2013 "Fishing in the Northern Maya Lowlands" International Council of Zooarchaeology, Fish Remains Working Group Meeting, Tallin, Estonia 2013 Presentation Transcript

    • FISHING IN THE NORTHERN MAYA LOWLANDS FROM 250 TO 750 A.C: EVIDENCE OF FISH REMAINS FROM XCAMBÓ,YUCATÁN, MÉXICO Nayeli G. Jiménez-Cano Laboratorio de Arqueozoología Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Facultad de Ciencias Antropológicas Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
    • •  Fish exploitation evidence relies on iconography and written sources. It is limited by cultural and aesthetic elements. Codex Dresden page 76. Classic (1000-1200 A.C)
    • Fish remains survey From 300 B.C to 1550 A.C
    • •  Fish resources available in the Maya region •  Not normally researched Chronological distribution of fish remains in the Maya Area 4% 28% 24% 44% Preclásico (1000 a.C-300 d.C) Clásico (300-1000 d.C) Posclásico (1000-1521- d.C) Colonial (1521- 1800 d.C)
    • Few large collections •  Not sieved •  No clear taxonomic and anatomical identification •  Poor chronological and contextual information
    • Xcambó Gulf of Mexico Caribbean Sea
    • Gulf of Mexico
    • Marshland   Mangrove  swamp   Petenes   Pla$orms    to  avoid  flooding   Mangrove  swamp  
    • Materials •  Hand collected Birds 4% Mammals 16% •  >5000 faunal remains –  1268 fish remains: 88% identified - Classical Period (250-750 A.C) Mollusks 9% Reptiles 34% Fishes 37%
    • Coastal archetypes XCAMBÓ: A PARADIGMATIC COASTAL SITE •  Coastal port (based on archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence)
    • Coastal archetypes XCAMBÓ: A PARADIGMATIC COASTAL SITE •  Coastal port (based on archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence) •  Salt-producing emporium
    • Coastal archetypes PARADIGMATIC COASTAL SITES •  Coastal port (based on archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence) •  Salt-producing emporium •  Key site in trade operations •  •  •  •  •    obsidian pottery chert mollusca, stingray spines salted fishes (Lange 1971, Valdez & Mock 1991, Andrews 1997).
    • Coastal archetypes PARADIGMATIC COASTAL SITES •  Coastal port (based on archaeological and ethnohistorical evidence) •  Salt-making emporium •  Key site in trade operations •  •  •  •  •  obsidian pottery chert mollusca, stingray spines salted fishes (Lange 1971, Valdez & Mock 1991,Andrews 1997).   •  What was the role of the fishes at Xcambó?
    • Paleocultural and paleobiological implications of ancient Maya fisheries The role of fishes at Xcambó: local or regional subsistence?
    • Total fish remains (1689 NISP) identified by Canto (2009), Götz y Sierra (2012) and Jiménez (2012)
    • Results Feature typology based on architectural characteristics Animal remains do not inform about functionality of structures given that animal debris was used to level the platforms of the various structures in order to avoid flooding Fish remains distribution by feature typology
    • •  Burials: sealed contexts Burials 1.5 % Platform fills 98.5% Fish remains distribution by contexts •  Platform fillings: mounds composed of debris (ceramics, lithic, animal remains)
    • Burials •  Spines and shark teeth for offering blood to the Gods in the after-life are common in Maya burials. •  At Xcambó none of the former were found. •  Burials reflect an homogenous society (i.e.no elites). •  Fishes might have been used as food offerings.
    • Platform fillings Total fish remains (934 NISP) identified by Jiménez (2012)
    • SKELETAL FREQUENCIES •  Condricthyes: only vertebrae •  Osteichtyes: wide variety of elements Relative frequencies of Osteicthyes’ Families from Xcambó
    • Snooks (Centropomus sp.) Cranial elements Axial elements and vertebrae 23% 77% Element representation (percentages based on NISP) Relative frequencies of Osteicthyes’ Families from Xcambó
    • Catfish •  A catfish Maya trade has been proposed in Belize based on the be-heading method (Masson 2004). •  Salting and drying catfish is made with the head attached to the body (Zohar and Cooke 1997). •  Assuming catfish were preserved branchial bones should be scarce and cranial elements dominant (Zohar and Cooke 1997: 64) •  Northern River Lagoon: Application of different cultural models? •  Xcambó: Bias on recovery methods?
    • Taphonomy
    • Relative frequency of cut marks Relative frequency of burned remains •  Low frequencies of cut-marks •  Food leftovers? •  No butchery patterns evident (small sample) •  Burning of wastes?
    • Demersal fishes 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% Traditional fisheries, Oaxaca. 5% 0% 74.14% NISP Mendocino context. Aztec fishing. Rizhoprionodon terraenovae Ariopsis felis Fishing weights, Island of Jaina. Megalops atlanticus Centropomus sp.
    • Benthic fishes 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% Fishing spear, Oxtankah 1% 0% 12.99% NISP Dasyatis americana Ginglymostoma cirratum Opsanus beta Mural painting, Mayapan
    • Pelagic fishes 2% 1% Maya paddle, Belize. 0% 6.59% NISP Temple of Warriors, Chichén Itzá. Coastal approach during gametic migrations. •  Fishes most accessible at this time. •  Coastal fisheries backed on artifact evidence. Maya community, Chiapas.
    • Exploited fishing environments Marine 12.45 % Marine-estaurine 46.03 % Ginglymostoma cirratum Marine-estaurinefresh water 41.51 % Megalops atlanticus Aetobatus narinari Rizhoprionodon terraenovae Epinephelus morio Ariopsis felis Centropomus sp.
    • Carcharhinidae indet. 4% Condricthyes indet. 4% Osteicthyes indet. 4% More specific taxonomic identifications needed in order to fully grasp the paleoecological determinants of Maya fisheries. Ginglymostoma cirratum 4% Others 27% Sphyrna sp. 5% Ariopsis felis 7% Carcharhinus sp. 23% Rhizopronodion terraenovae 9% Centropomus sp. 13%
    • Conclusions •  Fishing as a local subsistence activity focused on estuarine environments not necessarily on the coast (i.e. “inland” fisheries?). •  Written sources vs. Remains •  Diversity of biotopes in a restricted area •  Changes in the coastal landscape? •  Poor knowledge on the Fresh vs. Salt water interactions in Maya times  
    • Acknowledgments •  Dr. Eufrasia Roselló, Dr. Arturo Morales and Dr. Christopher Götz. •  Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología de México (CONACYT) y Consejo de Ciencia y Tecnología de Yucatán (CONCYTEY).