Harper Galen Dine

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Brown U.

Grant number

Gr. 9991

Approve Date

August 26, 2020

Project Title

Dine, Harper (Brown U.) "Agriculture and community food security at Bohe, Yucatán, Mexico"

The proposed project is an archaeological and paleoethnobotanical investigation of agriculture and foodways at the ancient Maya site of Bohe, in present-day Yucatán, Mexico. It aims more broadly to understand the effects of political shifts on local foodways, as well as how people navigated these changes at the household level. Bohe’s occupation spanned the construction of a long, raised road (sacbe) that connects the cities of Coba, in the east, and Yaxuna, in the west. The construction of the sacbe, dated to the Late Classic period (600-800 AD), is widely considered to have been a political and economic move by Coba. The aim of this project is to investigate whether or not food security at Bohe was affected by infrastructural ties to new economies or pressures that may have been created by the presence of the road. Horizontal excavations of house groups, materials analysis, and paleoethnobotanical analysis of soil samples will facilitate the comparison of contexts from before and after the road was built. The project’s broader focus on control of food systems and household economy can contribute to discussions of food security for the present by providing new perspectives on food and political change at multiple scales.