The purpose of this thesis is to determine if there are spatial patterns in the ritual activities observed at the acropolis of Río Viejo, the political seat of the late Terminal Formative-period polity in the lower Río Verde valley of Oaxaca, Mexico. Using the 2012 and 2013 excavation reports and field notes, a GIS database was created to document the three-dimensional position of materials related to ritual activity at the acropolis. Contextualizing Río Viejo's public rituals within the broader region of the lower Río Verde valley grants the opportunity to assess if the patterns observed at the acropolis demonstrate ties to outlying communities or if distinct rituals were conducted as collective, regional-scale activities. To this end, four different ritual activities that were observed at outlying sites in the lower Río Verde valley are discussed in the context of the acropolis: ritual caches and offerings, communal labor practices, inhumations, and communal feasting. This thesis concluded that certain ritual activities at Río Viejo's acropolis, like food preparation, appear to be concentrated in a single area of the acropolis while other ritual activities, like offerings, appear to be scattered across the acropolis. This thesis also found that the ritual activities at the acropolis appear to differ from those found at other sites in the lower Río Verde valley.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Stebbins, Elyssa, "Ritual in GIS: Spatial Analysis of Ritual Activity at the Acropolis of Rio Viejo, Oaxaca, During the Late Terminal Formative Period" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1093.
Restricted to the UCF community until May 2025; it will then be open access.