Living the sacred landscape : the process of abandonment of the Early Classic Maya group of El Diablo at El Zotz, Petén, Guatemala.



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This thesis analyzes the process of abandonment of the El Diablo group located in the site of El Zotz in Petén, Guatemala. I use the study of the process of abandonment applied often by anthropologists and archaeologists as a model to understand how societies abandon cities, towns and small villages. In this thesis, I begin by trying to understand the history of the group. Based on data collected during three seasons of the El Zotz Archaeological Project, I established that the El Diablo group was a Civic-Ceremonial compound, which was started during the beginning of the Early Classic period (250 to 450 AD). After two hundred years of success the civic and ceremonial compound of El Diablo was abandoned. In my research, I conclude that abandonment of the group occurred approximately at the end of the Early Classic period (400 to 450 AD) and that this process was a planned decision made by the elite of El Zotz.