Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Rice, Don


The goal of this dissertation is to identify the elite and non-elite power relationship between the Three Rivers Region primary center, La Milpa, and the small subsidiary center, Ixno'ha, during the Late Classic (A.D. 600 - 830/850). I analyze the domestic landscapes looking specifically at this relationship and how it reflected political change at the Late Classic beginning and end. The domestic landscape includes two parts: 1) the community patterns of house spatial associations to each other, environmental features, public centers, and infrastructure; 2) the household patterns of ceramic choices and house designs. What I found was that La Milpa and Ixno'ha shared many domestic landscape traits with largely similar Late Classic community and household choices. However, those choices shifted with greater similarity at the Late Classic end than the beginning. So, La Milpa elites showed potential influence over non-elite domestic choices during the late Late Classic. However, that influence was not overwhelming, thus suggesting a weakly centralized regional power structure. Moreover, the domestic landscape changes matched the political shifts only at the beginning of the Late Classic. This disparity suggests that non/elite and elite power regional relationships only partially connect to a regional political system. This research is about understanding hierarchical power relationships not just from the top-down elite view but also the bottom-up perspective, the domestic lives of the overall populations.




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