Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



In 1938, Robert C. Wauchope’s Modern Maya Houses provided the first detailed description of traditional rural housing for the Maya area. Until today, no research has attempted to test Wauchope’s notion of cultural continuity in Maya domestic architecture from the prehistoric past up to the time of his pioneering study. By examining data from three municipios located in the state of Yucatan, Mexico, I compared contemporary information collected during visits to residential areas with that published by Wauchope in 1938. An integrated approach to data gathering and analysis, that is, a combination of interviews, questionnaires, archaeological survey, and geographic information methods was used in order to evaluate the various mechanisms involved in the design and use of domestic spaces. My goals were to assess how the Maya define, use and conceptualize domestic areas, and to test the validity of Wauchope’s assumption of cultural continuity in Maya housing. Survey of thirty-one solares and descriptive statistical analyses provided data for comparison and interpretation. Comparison of essential elements found in Yucatec houses revealed variants in each community surveyed. These variations along with the conditions responsible for them, such as socio-economic, technological, or ideological changes were used to build a model of Maya housing.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Heather McKillop



Available for download on Saturday, May 10, 2025