Meyers, Allan Dale (1998-12). Community, household, and status at Hacienda Tabi, Yucatan, Mexico. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • In the last quarter century, many studies have demonstrated how the archaeological record reflects known socioeconomic distinctions on plantation settlements in the American South and Caribbean. Despite the lack of empirical data, historians have assumed that the physical structures of Latin American hacienda sites reflect similar social and economic distinctions. This study examines whether socioeconomic patterns are observable in the material remains of hacienda sites. Recent archaeological investigations at Hacienda Tabi, a nineteenth- and early twentieth-century sugar estate in Yucatan, Mexico, reveal that class distinctions based on occupational status are, indeed, manifest in the site's physical remains. Patterns relating to the documented hierarchy of labor are evident at the community, intra-community, and household levels of analysis. By employing empirical and statistically supported data, this study bolsters historians' previous assumptions. The study also demonstrates a method of reconstructing hacienda settlements in Yucatan, estimating their populations, and identifying the former dwelling locations of high and low ranking laborers.

publication date

  • December 1998