Archaeology 101 OL Student Name: Student ID: Below is an account of Cache 86 from the Tikal North Acropolis. These are real archaeological data; the only modifications I have made are for clarity. These data are published in: ● Coe, William R. 1990 Tikal Report #14 Volume 2. Excavations in the Great Plaza, North Terrace and North Acropolis of Tikal. University Museum Monograph 61, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. ● Cache Richness Assignment ● Intersession 2023 In Maya archaeology, caches are defined as votive deposits (not storage pits) and are thought to represent either the aftermath of ritual behaviours, or ceremonial offerings, or both. The location of these deposits in a huge public structure, which is also used for elite burials, makes it extremely likely that all of these were deposited by elite members of society. Cache 86 dates to the Early Classic period (approximately AD 300 to AD 562 at Tikal). This is a time when Tikal is enjoying tremendous political power, with highly successful wars of conquest, and probably a long-distance political alliance with Teotihuacán, the central Mexican superpower. Political history (based on glyphs) suggests that Tikal underwent a dynastic change during the late AD 300s (probably around AD 379), and it has been suggested that the new ruler either comes from Teotihuacán or has ties to it. Cache 86 Data Tikal's North Acropolis is a major public structure, one of the largest in the city. This appears to have been a primary focus of ritual activity for more than 200 years, beginning shortly after the Entrada event of AD 378. The North Acropolis is the burial place for many royal burials and at least 200 ritual caches. Location: Structure 5D-23-1st, center base of stair. Repository cut through bottom step and charred Platform 5d-4: Floor 4, sealed by Floor 3. Content: 19 eccentric flints [chert is the more common name for this material in the Americas]; 15 eccentric obsidians; 4 used flint flakes; 6 obsidian flake-blade cores; ca. 900 obsidian flake-blades, flakes, and core fragments (including 1 spherical specimen); 1 jade bead; 2 shell figurines; shell: 1 Vasum muricatum; 1 Murex pomum [species now called Phyllonotus pomum]; 7 Pomacea flagellata snail shells; 1 Crocodylus sp. (entire curved skeleton); 1 headless turtle (possibly Dermatemys mawei); 3 snakes (Bothrops sp.); possible iguana vertebra in association with crocodile (digestive tract); 1 Balanza black cylinder with cover; inside: 1 jade bead; 1 Spondylus subspherical bead; 3 unmodified stingray spines; 4 bone imitation stingray spines; 1 jade and shell mosaic assemblage with plastered wooden base; perhaps a disintegrated sponge; specks of hematite throughout lower pit fill. Stratified deposit -- upper 1 Archaeology 101 OL Cache Richness Assignment layer: 8 flint eccentrics, 2 obsidian eccentrics, 5 chunks of cores, all other minor obsidian. All else on pit bottom. Locus 1: crocodile; Locus 2: tilted vessel; Locus 3: turtle; Locus 4: snakes; Locus 5: jade bead; Locus 6: eccentric flints (another obsidian); Locus 7: snails; Locus 8: sea shells. Intersession 2023 P. 426 "all but self-evident is that ca. 86 represents the burial of a crocodile accompanied by other reptiles (companions?), snails (sustenance?), and requisite paraphernalia (eccentrics, beads, etc.)." Sequential Position: Manik Ceramic Complex. Muul Offertory Assemblage. Early Classic. Lithics Using these data, answer the following questions: 1. Discuss these categories of material culture: lithics, shells (invertebrate fauna), and animal bones (vertebrate fauna); note that there are multiple forms of most of these categories. Where are the likely points of origin for each of these? Which materials indicate that Tikal was participating in a long-distance trade system? (15 points - 5 for each material category) (250 words for each category) 2 Archaeology 101 OL Shells Vertebrate Fauna Cache Richness Assignment 3 Intersession 2023 Archaeology 101 OL Cache Richness Assignment Intersession 2023 2. Cache 86 is described by the excavators as a crocodile burial. Could this cache and the materials within it symbolise a human burial or could this crocodile have been intentionally buried for some other reason? Why? (5 points) (250 words) 4 Archaeology 101 OL Cache Richness Assignment Intersession 2023 3. What is the significance of this deposit being situated in the North Acropolis, rather than another location? (5 points) (250 words) 5

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