Whittaker Schroder

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Pennsylvania, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9355

Approve Date

October 5, 2016

Project Title

Schroder, Whittaker Carl, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Collapse, Crisis, and Resilience: Household Resettlement in the Upper Usumacinta Landscape,' supervised by Dr. Richard Leventhal

WHITTAKER SCHRODER, then a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received an award in February 2017 to aid research on ‘Collapse, Crisis, and Resilience: Household Resettlement in the Upper Usumacinta Landscape,’ supervised by Dr. Richard Leventhal. Funding supported study of the political crisis and the effects of state collapse at a remote hilltop archaeological site, El Infiernito, in the hinterlands of the Classic period kingdom of Piedras Negras. This research addressed the question of how social actors and communities respond to protracted crises and how certain cultural systems remain resilient in such scenarios. The grantee conducted survey, mapping, and excavation of the site to determine the chronology of different households and to collect data relating to changes and continuities in the material record. Excavations suggested the majority of construction dated to the Protoclassic period (AD 100-300) and the Late Classic period (AD 550-850), with evidence of a resilient population into the Early Postclassic period (850-). This data suggests that El Infiernito’s strategic position in the landscape supported populations in times of crisis, as the Protoclassic and Terminal Classic periods were characterized by societal transformations associated with collapse. Initial analysis of artifacts highlights continuities in household production and status from the Late to Postclassic periods, though changes in regional trade routes influenced the use and reuse of production materials.