Chemical composition of architectural plaster at the Classic Maya kingdom of Piedras Negras, Guatemala

  • Abrams E
  • Parhamovich J
  • Butcher J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Architectural plaster from elite masonry structures at the Classic Maya kingdom of Piedras Negras, Guatemala, is examined. Chemical composition is determined through X-ray fluorescence and compared statistically. Based on this sample, it was observed that any single masonry building was coated with plaster made from a single source of limestone and limestone-based aggregate, but that architectural plaster from different buildings across the site varied in chemical composition. It is concluded that this pattern is best accounted for by a model of rotational labor obligations to the state, with spatially distinct groups being responsible for manufacturing plaster for specific buildings. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Maya architecture
  • Piedras Negras, Guatemala
  • Plaster
  • X-ray fluorescence

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Authors

  • Bruce McCordFlorida International University

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  • Elliot M. Abrams

  • John Parhamovich

  • Jared A. Butcher

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