Cloth Making at Chichen Itza
Living reference work entry
The manufacture of cloth is a tradition with deep roots throughout the Maya area (Fig. 1), which encompasses the Yucatán Peninsula or northern region, and the area south of this, comprising what are today the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas, Guatemala, Belize, and parts of Honduras. Because of the humid nature of the climate characterizing much of the Maya area, few textiles survive from the pre-Hispanic time period (i.e., prior to the sixteenth century). The largest collection that does, however, comes from the Sacred Cenote at Chichén Itzá. Over 600 fragments of textiles were found in the early twentieth century dredging operations at the cenote (a natural pit or sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath), most of them only a couple of centimeters in size. They exhibit a variety of weaves, although a plain weave is the most common (Lothrop, 1992; Mahler, 1965). The original provenience and dating of the Chichén textiles...
KeywordsClassic Period Archaeological Evidence Maya Region Deity Effigy Burning Incense
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