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HONDURAS IN EARLY POSTCLASSIC MESOAMERICA

Abstract

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018 Social groups in Honduras played a key role in regional developments between a.d. 800 and 1100, acting as the pivot in long-distance networks extending west as far as Tula, north to Chichen Itza, and south to Costa Rica. Understanding the role of Honduran settlements at this time has been obstructed by the lack of well-dated contexts from this period and the associated uncertainty about the development of the key Honduran ceramic type, Las Vegas Polychrome. This paper offers a definition of the distinctive features that characterize Las Vegas Polychrome, reviewing evidence supporting earlier dates than traditionally suggested for this type, as early as the emergence of any white-slipped polychrome in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It summarizes evidence for a suite of luxuries consumed in conjunction with Las Vegas Polychrome, and points to the products most likely produced in Honduras for exchange with partners who provided these. Finally, the article considers the ideological, social, and political implications of changes in Honduran settlements where the new pottery was used.

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