This thesis creates a ceramic chronology for the site of Vista Alegre, a Middle Preclassic-Postclassic Maya port site on the northern coast of Quintana Roo, Mexico. As a member of the Proyecto Costa Escondida (PCE), I analyzed a sample of ceramic material (14,326 sherds) from three off-structure test units and their extensions (Pozos 8, 8A, 10, 12, 12A, and 12B). I completed "type: variety-mode" identification for 13,114 identifiable sherds with the help of the PCE and the Yucatán INAH ceramoteca facility, and I found a total of 101 established ceramic types and varieties, and twenty-five "specials" for which only the ceramic group can be determined. With this data and the PCE's previous working chronologies, I developed a ceramic sequence of six ceramic complexes to delineate Vista Alegre's site history. This thesis also establishes a new "Crema Inciso" variety for the Cetelac ceramic group and adds a tecomate vessel form (restricted-orifice neckless jar) for two other types. The findings here organize the ceramic data into a standardized, usable format and establish a chronology to reference and revise. Because a ceramic chronology is a tool, I demonstrate its utility by contributing to two ongoing research questions for the PCE: fluctuation in population levels at Vista Alegre compared to larger regional patterns; and the number of potential water storage vessels at the site over time as related to sea level rise and freshwater access. This ceramic sequencing project adds data to the site history of Vista Alegre, establishes a system of modern and more representative ceramic complexes with room to grow, and addresses a gap in scholarship on Maya maritime settlement in this area. The trading reach of Vista Alegre was wide, varied, and long-term, and its ceramic materials continue to inform us about its persistence and influence over the last 2,000 years.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Tucker, Carrie, "The Ceramic Sequence for Vista Alegre, Quintana Roo, Mexico." (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1302.