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.
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