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This dissertation presents a compositional analysis of the architecture and a distributional analysis of the associated artifacts resulting from excavation of some ninety buildings dating from the Late to Terminal Classic Period at the Maya site of Copan, Honduras. The study of all artifacts recovered from primary contexts, both in situ and redeposited, focuses first on a determination of their function, second on an analysis of their distribution within the site, and third on their associations with one another in order to identify the kinds of activities carried out at various locations. A second line of evidence used is the construction, dimensions, orientation, furnishings, and other traits of the buildings with which the artifacts are associated.

A variety of methods is employed including statistical techniques where appropriate. They reveal not only differences in where different activities occurred, including among others food preparation, ritual observances, and craft production, but also a patterned relationship between these activities and certain kinds of rooms and buildings. Most but not all of the buildings prove to be residences or non-residential domestic structures. In addition to the in-depth examination of structure use and activity distribution, certain preliminary observations are offered on the social organization of the occupants of these structures.


Professor Hendon's doctoral thesis, written in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the subject of Anthropology from Harvard University.