Bruchez, Margaret Sabom (1997-05). Archaeological investigations, Department of Solola, Southern Maya Highlands : premaya to postclassic settlement, northern terrestrial rim and subsurface shore Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • This dissertation reports findings of archaeological investigations conducted by Proyecto de Solola in the Lake Atitlan basin in southwestern Guatemala. The study began as an analysis of an account of the Cakchiquel Maya's early settlement in the basin. The version of the tribe's beginnings appears as part of their narrative of sacred mythic origins transcribed at the time of the conquest in los anales de los Cakchiqueles. The tribe's mythic, legendary, and historical founding rites were considered to be an expression of, and therefore were used as a guide to, features in the sociological context. The archaeological study of cultural material site remains was used to determine the effects of the social organization upon the natural and social setting. Summarized are the systematic archaeological reconnaissance, surface surveys, excavations, and data analyses carried out along nine sq km of the northern rim, lake, and lakeshore region from 1993 through 1995. Highlighted are materials representing early Middle Preclassic to Late Preclassic traditional styles shared throughout a broad southeast highland region. Hypothesized is the partial reconstruction, based upon material remains, of the beginning of the ancient belief system used to legitimate the tribe's heritage.

publication date

  • May 1997