Elite Artists and Craft Producers in Classic Maya Society: Lithic Evidence from Aguateca, Guatemala

  • Aoyama K
  • 26


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 41


    Citations of this article.


This report examines 10,845 lithic artifacts from the rapidly abandoned city of Aguateca, Guatemala, to elucidate elite artistic and craft production in Classic Maya society. The methods used include high-power microwear analysis. The results suggest that significant numbers of Maya elite, both men and women, engaged in artistic creation and craft production, often working in both attached and independent contexts. The royal family and other elite households produced many artistic and craft items, including wood carvings and hide or leather goods. The scribe inhabiting Structure M8-8 carved stelae for the ruler, and the high-status courtier/scribe living in Structure M8-4 emphasized the production of shell and bone objects and other royal regalia in a courtly setting. Clearly, Aguateca was a center of part-time production of both utilitarian and luxury goods as well as of consumption. Classic Maya elite men and women artists/craft producers possessed multiple social identities and roles, which in turn implies a more flexible and integrated system of Classic Maya elite participating in attached and independent craft production more than is usually proposed.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Kazuo Aoyama

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free