An archaeological study of settlement distribution in the Palenque area, Chiapas, Mexico
Keywords: Maya archaeology, settlement pattern, Palenque, social organization
Current research in Maya studies shows that the coexistence of a high degree of political and economic stratification, with a marked functional homogeneity, characterizes prehispanic Maya society. According to this evidence, questions regarding both the nature of the different segments that shaped Maya society and its integrative mechanisms are fundamental to arguments that characterize it as either segmentary or unitary. Using data from recent regional settlement pattern studies conducted in the Palenque region, this paper discusses the general settlement distribution in order to infer aspects of structure and development and the mechanisms that might have held together different social units throughout Palenque´s developmental sequence.