Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Alan Farahani

Second Committee Member

Lisa Johnson

Third Committee Member

Karen Harry

Fourth Committee Member

Matthew Lachniet

Number of Pages



In some cases, plazas that undergo archaeological testing for marketplace activity are identified using a method known as the configurational approach. This preliminary research method compares plaza locations to a list of associated features, often treated as a list of criteria. However, this approach has been criticized for its speculative nature and the equifinality of the results. Additionally, some argue that these “criteria” are only a list of assumptions. Until now, the configurational approach has received little attention due to its limitations and speculative nature, yet it remains an integral part of the preliminary process in marketplace research. This project compiles the criteria list(s) that have been previously proposed and will compare them to those marketplaces positively identified elsewhere in the Maya region. This study sets out to determine if some, all, or no features typically outlined as marketplace criteria are associated with confirmed marketplaces. Then, the “criteria” list is tested against plazas at Lakamha’ to narrow down a potential location for future investigations. The collection of empirical data recorded here is expected to create stronger criteria associated with marketplaces. Furthermore, identifying which architecture is most often associated with marketplaces, allows us to minimize any ambiguity during the preliminary process.


Classic Maya; Configurational Approach; GIS; Market Research; Marketplaces; Methods


Archaeological Anthropology | Latin American Studies

File Format


File Size

3200 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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